What’s the advantage of using a baby sling or baby wrap?
Carrying or “wearing” babies in baby slings has been done for generations and the practice is picking up again in North America. There are many reasons why a baby sling is preferable for moms and babies over a stroller, bouncy seat, swing or other kind of baby carrier.
• Allow you to breastfeed discreetly anywhere
• Can be used from newborn up to preschool depending on the style and size
• Leave your hands free to do other things (housecleaning, laundry, gardening)
• Encourage better breastfeeding and weight gain for babies
• Enhance visual and auditory experiences for baby which encourages cognitive and speech development
• Reduce colic. “Babies are happier because they have less need to cry, and parents enjoy their babies more as a result.” (1)
• Promote bonding. “A higher frequency of feeding and touching stimulates mothering hormones, and frequent carrying encourages and speeds the development of a mutual reading of each other’s cues.” (1)
The most important aspect of a baby sling is that babies need physical contact. Physical contact with mom helps babies regulate their body temperature, soothes babies with sounds they were accustomed to in the womb, and encourages them to feed because they are closer to mom’s breasts and can smell the milk. (2)
Is there more than one type of baby sling available?
There are many different types of baby slings, from single sheet kinds of slings to full front or backpack styles.
The main styles are:
• Adjustable slings with rings (padded or unpadded)
• Pouch slings which are not adjustable
• Asian-style carriers
What’s the proper way to wear my baby?
Kind of like learning how to swaddle your baby, wearing your baby in a sling looks complicated and perhaps is why some moms are afraid to try them. It’s actually much easier than it looks.
Plus, some styles allow babies to sit anywhere: tummy-to-tummy, on the hip, across the back (like a backpack) and sitting facing out on mommy’s tummy (back-to-tummy).