The Best baby Slings for Newborns and Toddlers
Updated 07-03-2021 – Lucy Walters
When you have a newborn at home, carrying them around every single day for several hours is inevitable. As a parent, you will most certainly love doing it, and your new arrival will totally love being close to you. But, this can make it hard for you to carry on with your regular chores, even things as simple as having your breakfast, doing the dishes, or more importantly, using the bathroom. Or let’s just say you’ve planned to host your closest family members during the weekend and you have a lot of planning and working to do; even if there are others who could help you with your little one, the baby will ultimately need you. So, what’s the best solution here? Baby wearing!
What is Baby Wearing?
It is the concept of carrying (wearing) your baby using a carrier designed specifically for the purpose. If you weren’t aware of it already, this technique has been followed around the world for centuries and certainly isn’t new. This old yet effective tradition has become popular in the UK, because families have started realising its benefits and have started using baby slings to carry their babies.
Baby Slings vs. Baby Carriers vs. Baby Backpacks
When you read “baby slings”, most of you would have probably thought of a baby carrier or backpack. Despite people thinking that they are all the same, they are actually different baby carrying equipment.
A baby sling is typically a long stretch of fabric that you can wear across your front in different positions, and it is secured over your shoulder.
A baby carrier, on the other hand, is the widely used model, which is a soft, padded pouch that can be worn on your front. Many baby carrier models have different adjustable features, and some models also allow you to carry your baby on your back or hip.
A baby backpack usually has inflexible frames and you can use it only on your back, as the name indicates. These are typically designed for older babies and toddlers.
Benefits of Using Baby Slings
One of the major challenges you would face as a parent is dealing with a crying baby. Trying to soothe a crying baby, especially a young infant, is a tedious task, and using a baby sling can prove to be extremely useful in this case. Though it might not prevent your little one from crying, it will certainly reduce the same. Since your baby will be held close to you with a sling, he/she will feel safe and secure, which in turn will make them less fussy and keeps them happy.
Easy to Travel
This is one of the obvious benefits of using a baby sling to carry/wear your baby. When you need to travel, using a baby sling to carry your baby makes the whole traveling process easy for you, as you don’t have to take along a huge stroller wherever you go, and it also leaves your hands free when you are out and about and need to carry things, make a phone call, etc.
Makes Everyday Life Easy
While you may wear your baby for a few hours a day, there will be days when your little being demands to be in your arms all the time, from morning to night. It is during those days you will find your baby sling to be a lifesaver, because it makes it easier for you to go on with your daily tasks with ease, with both your hands at your disposal, while your little angel enjoys the comfort of being wrapped around you. From making your morning cup of tea/coffee to folding laundry to helping your older kid with their homework, a baby wrap or sling will make your life easier in a lot of ways.
Physical and Emotional Development
Wearing your baby also aids in their physical and emotional development. By properly following the manufacturer’s instructions, you can wear your baby with a baby sling in such a way that it helps with their physical development, preventing flat head syndrome and reducing the risk of SIDS. It is also known to promote early language development, neural development, gastrointestinal health, and helps with their balance.
When you wear your baby, you are as close as you can be with him/her, and this closeness automatically leads you to interact with them constantly. Furthermore, it gives you an opportunity to learn more about your baby’s cues for different needs, like hunger, diaper change, sleeping, etc. It helps develop a close bond with your baby, and all the snuggling only strengthens the bond more, just like how your baby felt inside your womb. The good news is that this applies not just to the mother but anyone else who wears the baby, like the father, grandparents, older siblings, etc. Above all, all this closeness with your newborn boosts the mother’s milk production as well.
Improves Mother’s Mental Wellbeing
Postpartum depression, or baby blues, is a condition that affects many new mothers, and it is known to be harmful for both the mother’s and baby’s wellbeing. Wearing your baby greatly reduces the risk of postpartum depression because it gives you the confidence you need to take care of your newborn in the best way possible, lets you stay active, have a social life even with a tight schedule, and do things that you like just the way you did before having your baby.
With so many benefits that you and your newborn can enjoy, it only makes sense that you get a baby sling before or after your little one arrives. Following is a list of our recommendations for the best baby slings you should consider.
|Boba Wrap Baby Carrier||Best Baby Sling||9.9|
|The Pocket Wrap||Best Value for Money Baby Sling||9.7|
|Babylonia Baby Carrier BB Tai||Best Premium Baby Sling||9.6|
|CuddleBug Baby Wrap Sling + Carrier||Best Versatile Baby Sling||9.5|
|Koala Babycare Cuddle Band||Best Baby Sling with Ergonomic Back||9.4|
1 Boba Wrap Baby Carrier
Best Baby Sling
Known to the original stretchy wrap, Boba Wrap is widely known to be the best product out there in the baby slings category. First of its kind, this sling/baby carrier comes in Classic or Serenity Blends, where the Classic is made from 95% cotton, allowing for proper airflow, and it also makes the sling durable and easy to maintain. The remaining percentage of material used is spandex, which gives it just the right amount of stretch, and makes the baby wrap to easily form to the shape of your body while keeping your baby comfortable and safe.
The Boba Wrap comes with clear, step-by-step instructions that makes it easy for you to use the sling. The fact that there is just one way to tie the wrap makes this a no-guess choice for wearing your baby, and this is one of the positive aspects of this product. Every single time you tie the wrap around you to place your baby, you are basically creating an ergonomic seat that makes him/her be positioned in the right posture and this aids in healthy hip development.
The Serenity Blend from the brand has 25% cotton, 66.5% viscose from bamboo, and the remaining is spandex that makes it stretch. The use of bamboo in this blend makes the wrap feel silky and cool, and this in turn makes it a perfect choice of baby wrap for summer months. Boba Wrap Baby Carrier is capable of wrapping babies right from newborn up to 15 kg, and the product is available in a wide range of colours, including Boho, Black, Kahla, Organic Dark Grey, Peach Sorbet, Serenity Dark Blue, Serenity Rainbows, Serenity Pesto, and Vintage Blue.
2 The Pocket Wrap
Best Value for Money Baby Sling
The Pocket Wrap by Trekki is one of the most practical baby carriers/wraps you could find and its affordable price tag is what makes it an attractive option among parents. The sling comes with a large front pocket that provides you with much-needed space to store your essentials, like your mobile phone, cash, cards, and even your little one’s pacifier. This is one practical and convenient feature that attracts many buyers. This baby sling is a combination of 95% cotton and 5% spandex, and it is suitable not just for newborns, but also for infants and toddlers, with a carrying capacity of 3 to 15 kg.
The length of the wrap is 510 cm, which makes it suitable for both petite and plus size parents. When you wear your baby in the Pocket Wrap, it evenly distributes his/her weight, providing them firm support, thereby aiding with their posture as well as preventing back and shoulder pain for you. It also allows you to carry your baby in multiple positions, which are endorsed by the Hip Dysplasia Institute, and you and your baby will remain comfortable even for longer durations.
The high quality of the Trekki Pocket Wrap makes it possible for you to use it for years to come, even as your family grows, thanks to its ability to remain tight without sagging after constant use. There are zero chemicals in the making of this sling and it is machine washable too. With its additional 15 cm length, it allows you to wear your baby in different carrying positions – in the front, back, or on your side, and the product is available in three gender neutral colours – grey, black, and earth. The Pocket Wrap comes with a 30-day money back guarantee and a lifetime replacement warranty.
3 Babylonia Baby Carrier BB Tai
Best Premium Baby Sling
Babylonia baby carriers are known for their high quality, premium finishes, and soft and cosy nature. Made from sustainable materials, they are some of the premium baby slings and wraps you can find. The BB Tai model baby wrap is designed as a combination of the simplicity of Asiatic Mei Tai and the comfort of a baby wrap. You can use the wrap for your baby right from their newborn stage up until he/she likes to be carried.
The BB Tai baby sling from Babylonia allows you to wear your baby the way you like – on your belly, hip and back. Thanks to the detachable inside pocket, the wrap is easy to use even when you have a newborn baby. The product is made from 100% organic cotton, and it is machine washable at 30 degrees. You can purchase this sling in a wide variety of colours, such as Caramel, Warm Taupe, Berry Dusk, Wasabi, Black Beans, Delicate Pink, Colibri, Soft Jungle, and more.
4 CuddleBug Baby Wrap Sling + Carrier
Best Versatile Baby Sling
CuddleBug is one of the go-to brands for many parents when it comes to purchasing the highest quality baby slings and wraps with decent pricing. This Baby Wrap Sling + Carrier from the brand is one of their bestselling products. The sling is made of 95% cotton and 5% spandex, like most baby wraps are, and this combination makes it as gentle as wearing a t-shirt while having the strength and flexibility to hold your child while supporting their head.
This is a buckle-free, ring-free baby carrier plus sling model is designed to be simple and easy to use, and comes with zero frustration instructions. The clear and easy to follow instructions help you learn to wear this wrap quickly and easily, thereby enabling you to wear your baby within minutes, even when they are fussy. The wrap can be used to wear babies up to 15 kg in weight, including preemies, and this is a one size fits all model. You could also tie it as a nursing sling when you head out with your little angel, or use it as a traditional nursing cover when you breastfeed in public. The product comes with a lifetime guarantee.
5 Koala Babycare Cuddle Band
Best Baby Sling with Ergonomic Back
Koala Babycare is a relatively new brand in the baby products sector, and within this short span, the company has managed to gain a reputation for delivering high quality, reliable products that serve some of the most vital purposes for mothers and babies. Their products lineup includes baby pillows, maternity pillows, baby wraps, pacifiers, pillow cases, ring slings, and more. The Cuddle Band baby carrier/wrap from the brand is one of the most loved products in the category and a top-selling model on many online platforms.
The Cuddle Band is the first baby wrap designed and manufactured by the brand, and it is designed to allow parents to go on walks with their little bub in any season. Made of 95% cotton and 5% spandex, with 100% polyester backrest, the sling is breathable and prevents the formation of excessive heat between you and your child. It has practical lateral rings, which you can easily adjust after wearing the sling, making it adapt to your body shape and height, and once you set it up the first time, you wouldn’t have to do the same again and again.
The Band comes with an ergonomic backrest, which makes the weight of your baby to rest on your shoulders and your lumbar area, thereby preventing pain to your back and other areas, while also keeping you and your baby comfortable. You can use the Cuddle Band right from the day of your baby’s birth, in the cradle position, and there is a front sling that provides extra support. There is also a front pocket where you can store your essentials, and it comes in a practical fabric bag that makes the wrap easily transportable. You also get a Satisfaction Guarantee (money back guarantee) from the manufacturer.
How to Choose a Baby Wrap/Sling
With so many baby slings available on the market, from different manufacturers and in different price ranges, choosing just one can be difficult. To make sure that you shortlist the best baby stretchy wraps, consider the following:
Your Child’s Age
Considering the age of your baby is essential when choosing the right ring sling for your needs. If you are buying one for your newborn, you wouldn’t have any problem finding a perfect model because most of these products are suitable from birth. However, if you are starting late and planning to wear an older baby or toddler, you should look for models that are capable of holding your baby’s weight. Since most models are designed to carry up to 15 kg, you may have to move towards finding a baby carrier or backpack rather than a ring sling.
Ease of Use
The sling carrier you choose should be easy and comfortable to wear. In general, wearing a baby wrap involves multiple steps and it could take time for you to learn the same. However, ring slings, in particular, are quite simple to use and you can also adjust them to suit your body shape, size and comfort level. The same applies to soft structured carriers. But, if you are open to spending some time learning to wrap a sling, you could go with traditional slings/wraps.
People Using It
Before choosing a wrap to wear your baby, you should also consider who will be using it. Will you be sharing it with your partner? Will the baby’s grandparents be using it occasionally? Will you have a babysitter wear it at times? If such is the case, you should choose a model that can be easily adjusted, so everyone can adjust it to suit their body structure and feel comfortable to wear the wrap; a stretchy wrap is a good example. Choosing one that offers multiple carrying positions can also be helpful if you will be sharing it because whoever uses the sling can use it in a position that they are most comfortable in to carry your child.
If you are looking to use the sling up until your baby’s toddler years, you need something that can endure your growing baby’s height and weight. Also, during the initial months, you are more likely to wear it for several hours a day, which can cause a lot of wear and tear to the product. Therefore, the model you choose should be long-lasting and durable.
Moreover, such constant use can strain your back, especially when your child gets older. The alleviate this concern, choose a wrap that distributes your baby’s weight evenly, taking the pressure away from your back and abdomen and moving it to your shoulders. This helps prevent any potential pains or discomfort you might encounter.
The climate of the region you live is also a vital factor to consider when choosing a baby wrap for wearing your baby. If the temperature in your location seems to be on the warmer or humid side for most of the year, you should choose slings made of premium quality cotton as the main material, as it is breathable and doesn’t cause you or your baby to sweat, thereby keeping you both comfortable. On the other hand, if your region tends to be on the colder side for the most part, getting a woven wrap, one with padding, or a heavy knitted models would be your best bet.
Care and Maintenance
Like with any other best baby product, you need to make sure that the wrap you choose is easy to care for and maintain. As you would know, babies are quite messy, and with all the inevitable drooling and spit-ups, the sling will easily get dirty, which means you need a product that is machine washable, so you don’t have to deal with a complex and time-consuming cleaning process.
Are slings safe?
Yes, they are, provided you follow the proper wearing technique as suggested by the manufacturer. In addition, there is the TICKS rule you should follow when wearing your baby:
- Tight – the sling should be tightly secured against whoever is wearing it and the baby should be in upright position.
- In view at all times – the baby’s face should be visible to the wearer at all times to be able to monitor his/her breathing. This also helps you to make sure that your baby is comfortable and in a good mood.
- Close enough to kiss – the baby should be positioned in such a way that the wearer can simply lower their head and kiss the little one’s forehead. If not, the baby should be repositioned.
- Keep chin off their chest – the baby’s chin should be away from their chest, with at least two fingers wide gap under their chin. This helps avoid breathing difficulty. If you have positioned your baby in proper upright position, with their legs in squatting position and their back curved, chances of their chin dropping to the chest will be reduced.
- Supported back – when securing the wrap, you should make sure that it is just tight enough, without any gap between you and your baby, but still with enough room for you to be able to provide support for their back by sliding your hand into the wrap.
Can I breastfeed in a sling?
Yes, you can. Just reposition the sling and your baby to a breastfeeding-friendly position and you are good to go. You can also use your wrap as a traditional breastfeeding cover.
Can slings and wraps cause hip dysplasia?
This is a matter of concern in those models that cause a baby’s legs to stay together. But, since almost all slings and wraps are designed to support your baby’s thighs, keeping their legs apart, they provide proper support to their hip and keeps it stable, which means you don’t have to worry about this condition.
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