What’s The Best Sling?
So you’ve decided you want a sling or carrier for your baby. You’ve looked online and in the shops. You’ve asked on Facebook and amongst your friends and now you have 10 different recommendations… so what’s the best sling? Asking this question is a bit like asking what’s the best fruit? I say mango, but if you don’t like mango, that doesn’t help you.
At It’s A Sling Thing we get asked this question all the time, and the answer depends on many things, including personal preference! If you were buying expensive jeans, you’d try a few on, rather than trust the jeans that fit your friend are right for you. That’s exactly what we recommend when looking for a sling or carrier for your baby. At It’s A Sling Thing we offer a postal library service with one of the largest ranges of carriers in the country. You can access our expert advice and hire or buy directly from the comfort of your own smartphone.
If you’re new to slings, our free download – 5 main types of sling and carrier – might be useful!
What makes a sling or carrier ‘the best’?
The best sling or carrier for you and your baby is one which is safe, appropriate and comfortable. If it meets those criteria then it’s great for you at this moment.
Safety – the carrier you are using needs to support your baby so that they can breathe, so that they won’t slump down and close their airway and so that they are securely held.
Appropriate – the sling you choose needs to fit your baby appropriate to their size and development, and ideally supports them in a developmentally appropriate J shape
Comfortable – you and your baby need to be comfortable! If anything is straining or digging in after a short while, it might not be the right carrier for you or you might need to tweak something to get a better fit.
So, to narrow down your choices consider a few points
What’s the best sling for your baby’s developmental stage?
There are carriers available to suit all ages and stages from tiny preemies to 26kg+ preschoolers. If you’re looking for the perfect newborn carrier then look for a carrier suitable for a newborn. If you have a toddler or preschooler then look for a different kind of sling. Often people find that the ideal carrier can change at different stages so find something that will work for right now. If it will grow with your child that’s great, but it needs to fit well now.
What’s the best sling for what you want to do?
Keeping a reflux-y newborn upright and a camping trip with a toddler might have different ideal carriers. A stretchy wrap that snuggles and supports the whole newborn form might be a muddy mess whilst camping.
What about body type?
Some slings have lots of padding at the waist meaning they might not tighten enough on very slender people, and, very few, might have insufficient webbing for the most cuddly physiques. The wide range means there is something for everyone but not every sling will fit you comfortably. A free phone consultation is a great way for us to help you decide what options might be suitable for your body shape.
If there are medical conditions in the adult carrying the baby that might affect their posture, comfort or safety; or conditions affecting baby’s ability to support their airways, and the positions they can maintain, such as having a Pavlik harness it can be worth seeking specialist advice via a consultation. We have a wealth of experience assisting families with a range of needs.
So, what is the best sling?
Answers to all of these things all help us build up a picture of you and inform our recommendations. If you get in touch with us we will do our best to suggest a range of options that may suit, taking into account everything you tell us, but we won’t recommend the best sling, because the best sling for you is something only you can really decide!
You can get in touch for a consultation, or head over to our hire portal right now, and if you find the best sling for you then we are over the moon <3