Baby carriers and slings: What you need to know
From what to look for and the latest on the market in baby carriers and slings
Baby carriers and slings are an alternative way to transport your baby rather than a pushchair, great for country walks and busy city centres. Using a sling or carrier can also help with bonding and help soothe and calm newborns.
What to look for
Firstly you’ll want to choose between a carrier and a sling. Carriers are more structured, and usually made from nylon-type fabric. You can also buy rucksack-like back carriers for older babies.
Slings are made from a length of fabric that can be tied in a variety of ways. A soft-structured carrier is a hybrid of a carrier and sling.
Look for versatility, a choice of carrying positions and comfort for your baby, and also for wide, well-padded easily adjustable shoulder and waist straps to make sure it’s comfortable for you, too. For a front carrier, make sure the seat and straps will support your baby securely and that all buckles, snaps, and belts feel durable and are in good working order.
Try as many options as you can before buying so you can decide which type of carrier or sling is right for you. Always practice putting on the carrier or sling before you use it for the first time to make sure you do it correctly (there are videos on YouTube to help).
Always follow the TICKS guidelines for safer babywearing:
- Tight In view at all times
- Close enough to kiss
- Keep chin off chest
- Supported back
- You can choose between a sling, baby carrier or soft-structured carrier
- Wide, adjustable straps are important for the carrier’s comfort
- Always follow the TICKS guidelines for safe babywearing