The lowdown on the top baby sling styles
From wraps, pouch slings and structure slings, here's our round up of the best around
Carrying your baby in a sling has so many benefits. You’ll both enjoy the closeness, and newborns will be soothed and comforted by your proximity. Wearing a sling will also keep your hands free to get on with things around the house, and make heading out and about less of a faff than taking a pushchair.
What to look for
If you’re thinking about carrying your baby in a sling, doing research beforehand is key. There are many different types, and it’s important to find the one that works best for you. Never buy the first one that you see in the shops, spend some time trying on different models instead. There are even sling libraries where you can borrow different types to use for a few days and see what suits you and your baby best.
Need to know
Your chosen sling should not place any strain on your back, neck or shoulders and should support your baby’s back in its natural curved ‘C’ shape and their legs in a ‘frog leg’ or ‘M’ position, with their hips lower than their knees. This helps prevent hip dysplasia.
It’s important that you always make sure you follow the TICKS rules for safe babywearing. Keep your baby:
In view at all times
Close enough to kiss
Keep chin off chest
1. Reversible Pouch, £49.99, Rockin Baby
Pouch-style slings are one of the easiest types to get to grips with and need little practise to learn how to wear. Made from ultra-soft breathable cotton, this version has four carrying positions and an easy-to-fit nylon zipper system so it suits all body shapes. The gorgeously printed fabric is also reversible.
2. Wrap sling, £39.95, ByKay
A wrap sling is one of the most tricky to master, but once you've cracked it, you’ll be amazed how comfortable it is to wear. This one is made from soft, stretchy fabric, that’s ideal for cocooning and carrying newborns, just make sure you practice using it before leaving the house so you’ll feel as confident as possible.
3. Ring sling, £39, Calin Bleu
This type of sling is extremely versatile, simple to use, and can be used all the way from carrying tiny newborns to toddlers on your hip. It’s made from a double layer of breathable and comfortable cotton gauze and is available in a rainbow of different shades to suit different tastes.
4. Pao carrier, £89.99, We Made Me
The Pao is a soft-structured carrier suitable from four months to around three years old, and can be worn on either the parent’s back or front. It’s ideal for those new to sling wearing as it stands in the middle ground between a traditional sling and a more structured carrier.
5. Baby carrier, £67.99, Connecta
Available in a wide choice of fabrics and colours, the Connecta baby sling is based on the design of a traditional Mei Tai carrier. These are normally a simple panel of fabric with four straps, but this version has buckles added for ease. The shaped body and wide base supports baby's hips in the ergonomic M position, too.