A baby sling or carrier is a piece of cloth or harness that supports an infant or small child on a carer's body. They are useful because they leave the parent/carer's hands free, they make it easier to get about town or when out walking. They can also be useful to calm a fussy and unsettled baby, especially one who has colic. Baby slings keep your baby close to you.
Using a sling when breastfeeding a newborn can be a good way to feed your baby discreetly or on the move.
What to look out for when choosing a baby sling or carrier:
Does is have a high safety standard?
Is it easy to assemble and attach to your body?
For carriers, look for wide, well-padded shoulder straps that distribute your baby's weight evenly across your body.
Ensure that the carrier supports your baby securely and straps, buckles and belts are in safe working order.
Check that any sling or carrier purchased is easy to clean.
Your baby may not feel comfortable or like using a sling or carrier at first. Keep trying over a few weeks until they get used to it.
It is very important when purchasing a sling or carrier that you have read the safety notes, as incorrect usage could lead to suffocation.
There is also a considerable variation between ring slings, buckle carriers, woven wraps and the more structured carriers such as BabyBjorn, so choose an option that works for you.
The following are popular slings and carriers, with online positive customer reviews. Click on a product to read more reviews or to purchase.