Choosing the best sling can be very beneficial to you and your baby. Carrying your baby in one makes it easy for you to accomplish minor tasks in the house without leaving your baby at one location. Carrying your baby in one also makes it easy to walk through crowds and when you need to go up or down stairs. Babies carried in slings also remain happy because they remain close to their moms.
The most important consideration you need to take into account when shopping for one or several baby slings is safety. Your baby’s spine and hips are no doubt soft and very flexible. Your baby’s spine, in particular, is still in C-shape instead of being straight. The best sling, therefore, should be one that makes it possible for your baby’s spine to remain in its natural shape. The fabric a sling is made of should b flexible enough to hold your baby in a slouched position.
The best sling should also provide necessary support for your baby’s hips. Such a sling should make it possible for your baby to squat rather than sit. Your baby’s bottom should be at a lower position than his/her knees, in an M position.
Safety also extends to how the rest of your baby’s body fits in the sling and in particular his/her back and head. The best sling should not only provide support for the back but the neck regions as well. Ideally, your baby’s head should rest on the upper end of the sling.
From the above, the best baby sling should be one that;
- Is soft but tight enough to provide the necessary support that your baby requires.
- Allows you to have a view of your baby’s face close to your own face.
- Supports your baby’s chin from his/her neck for ease of breathing.
- Prevents slumping of your baby’s back.
There are different types of baby slings in the market. However, not all are appropriate especially for young babies. You are most likely to come across wraps, structured carriers, ring slings (pouches) and bag slings. It is very important that you avoid choosing bag slings until your baby is old enough. This is because bag slings will not only cover your baby’s face but will also restrict your baby’s chin to his/her neck, which poses the risk of suffocation.
The design is another important consideration you need to take into account when shopping for the best baby sling. The best sling should be one that allows your baby to sit while facing you. You seriously need to avoid any sling that allows your baby to face outward. This is because your baby’s back will ultimately remain in a straight position against your chest with his/her legs dangling. This position directs your baby’s weight to his/her crotch instead of being spread out.
Lastly, it is important to consider whether or not a baby sling you are about to buy will make it easy for you to breastfeed your baby without having to remove the sling. The best baby sling should be flexible enough to allow you breastfeed with ease.