Talk to any new mother about their baby sling opinions and you will get a wide range of answers. What is not in dispute is the need and desire to keep your baby as close to you as possible, and it will be another purchase that you will want to make before the baby is born. Whatever decisions you reach, your sling needs to comfortable and easy for you to wear and remove in a hurry.
The first big decision you will need to make is whether you want a sling that both a man and woman can wear. The way that men and women carry weight on their upper bodies makes a difference to the kind of sling you buy.
For example, men tend to use their shoulders more while women carry most of their weight around their waists and have to consider their breasts. Some slings make use of both your waist and your shoulders to carry the weight of the baby but these are harder for women to put on so you should only get one if your male partner is keen on carrying the baby around in a sling.
Fabric wraps are rising in popularity as they fit in with the idea of a more natural maternity. This kind of baby sling is simply a long piece of fabric that is combination of cotton and latex providing a bit of extra stretch. It wraps around your stomach and shoulders with enough spare fabric to fully support your baby. Typically, it is used more for the first few months, as it is much more comfortable and easier for the baby to ride facing inwards.
The best wrap baby sling on the market is the Moby wrap. They come in a wide range of designs and styles as well as a good range of colors. The thing that sets them apart from the rest is the length and strength of the fabric. The original sling is five and one-half meters or little more than six yards in length and can hold a baby up to one year old. Expect to pay around $50 for a wrap.
If the idea of messing around with fabric and learning how to secure the wrap properly does not interest you, then you may want to invest in a baby carrier instead. Many mothers choose baby carriers as a safer way as it is harder to make a mistake with straps and clips than with tucking away bits of fabric. However, the rigid design does not suit all body types and you will often find that they carry your baby’s weight over your shoulders. Some brands also offer waist straps that allow you to put some weight around your stomach.
The market leader for baby carriers is Baby Bjorn. They have been in business for over 30 years and are constantly rated as the most comfortable and easy to use. The key feature is the extra back support on even the most basic model of the baby sling, which makes them usable by both you and your partner. They are more expensive than their wrap counterparts with even the basic models cost just under $100.
Once you have bought your sling, you will need to think about which accessories you want to buy. One of the most important is a rain cover and while you can buy brand specific covers, these tend to be more expensive. If you choose an ErgoBaby cover, it is big enough to cover even the largest sling and has numerous clips to secure it to either your sling or your clothing. They are waterproof and guaranteed for five years before you will need to recover them. You will find them on the ErgoBaby website for around $50.
The right baby sling allows you to bring your baby most places you want to go. It allows you to enjoy your new child, hold them close and enjoy your time together.