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Baby Wearing - All the Best Babies are Doing It!

Updated on July 22, 2011

A Sling Baby Is a Happy Baby!

My babies lived in a sling from the moment they were born. So comfortable for them and me too! I tried other baby carriers but always came back to slings. They are much more versatile than most other carriers, but at the same time far simpler to use. No buckles or straps to mess with; no holes for this body part but not that body part. Sometimes low-tech is truly the way to go!


Photo source: Balboa Baby Sling by Dr. Sears

Look for my special FRUGALICIOUS TIPS!

Outward-facing baby in Maya wrap
Outward-facing baby in Maya wrap

Hold Your Babies Close

Studies show that more physical contact increases baby's health AND intelligence quotients!

This low-tech baby carrier is far more versatile than any new-fangled, high-tech carrier on the market. Baby can sit in at least four different ways in the sling, and all you have to do is pull on the tail to tighten it around his body and yours at the same time. Also, you can use the same sling from birth to two or three years of age! In the picture (no, that's not me) you can see how roomy the sling is - the cloth goes up to the baby's head in back and to his chin in front!

Newborns can be cradled completely inside the sling. Mom has both hands free! It's great for nursing discreetly, too. I have sat through many church services and other events quietly nursing with no one the wiser but me and my little one.

Very early, mine loved to sit facing outward, with their legs curled up tightly near their bellies (as in the photo). I got many comments on how uncomfortable they looked, but my comment that until very recently they had been wrapped up even tighter always brought a comprehending look.

As they get older they will sit up a bit, as shown in the picture (below) of my dad. Their chubby legs hang out below; cup the cloth under the bottom so they are sitting down inside the sling.

They can sit facing your chest in this position, especially if their legs are curled inside, but as they gain better head control and get heavier and their legs hang out, you will naturally shift them to your hip. I carried my babies in the sling until they were quite large, near two years or so. I often got comments about how they were surely too big for that sling. My answer: It is easier to carry them on my hip with the sling than without it!

The final simple position is on the mom's back. I didn't use this much but that's my personal preference; it is fairly simple to put the baby on your hip in the sling, and shift her to your back, then retighten the sling. This leaves your arms completely free and baby can peep over your shoulder, something she will love to do!

Photo source: Maya Wrap

My father, with his 8th grandchild. He had not ever used a sling before but took to it like a pro!

My father, with his 8th grandchild. He had not ever used a sling before but took to it like a pro!
My father, with his 8th grandchild. He had not ever used a sling before but took to it like a pro!

Would you use a sling carrier for your baby?

Have You Carried a Baby in a Sling?

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Brad Pitt with baby in sling
Brad Pitt with baby in sling

Brad Pitt carries his babies in a sling!

See more celebrities who use sling baby carriers!

Photo source: MammasMilk.com

Wonderful Baby Slings - Different styles of sling for your baby.

There are two basic choices with slings. The first is: padded or not? A sling is basically a long rectangle of cloth with or without padding along the long edges of the sling, which somewhat reinforces the support they offer. I started with a Nojo padded sling, later made a padded sling myself, and ended up with an unpadded Maya wrap which was by far my favorite! The unpadded edge gives perfectly good support and is far more flexible for wrapping exactly where you want it to go.

The second choice, tail width, makes more of a difference. Most slings narrow at the end where the cloth goes through the tightening buckle (see the pic of my dad, above), but the Maya wrap does not, and the tail is extra-long compared to narrow-tail slings. The tail is the same width as the rest of the sling (see the pic in Keep Them Close, above), which gives it several benefits over the narrow-tail slings:

~~ The tail is wonderful for throwing over baby's head to provide shade or shelter from wind, sun, snow, and prying eyes.

~~ Since the tail is the same width as the sling, you can easily and separately adjust the front, back, and middle parts of the sling, impossible with a narrow-tail sling.

~~ A narrow-tail sling will not fit a wide variety of body sizes, since it will lengthen only to where the tail narrows; a Maya wrap, however, is nearly infinitely adjustable for different body sizes, as it will lengthen as long as there is tail left!

~~ BONUS: when you toss it over baby's head, it goes over your opposite shoulder for a very dramatic look for you! ;-)


Original Maya Wrap Sling (Not Padded)-Bright Stripes
Original Maya Wrap Sling (Not Padded)-Bright Stripes

This Maya wrap is almost identical to my beloved sling, and shows the facing-out position my babies all loved! Mayas come in a wide variety of solids and bright patterns, and are available with a roomy pocket on the end that hangs free.

 
Moby Wrap UV SPF 50+ 100% Cotton Baby Carrier, Almond Blossom
Moby Wrap UV SPF 50+ 100% Cotton Baby Carrier, Almond Blossom

Moby Wraps were just coming out as my last baby outgrew her sling, so I never tried one. Similar to the Maya, but a bit more actual wrapping is involved.

 
Balboa Baby Adjustable Sling by Dr. Sears - Geisha Trim
Balboa Baby Adjustable Sling by Dr. Sears - Geisha Trim

I love the pocket in the middle of the sling on this one. Convenient for mom, and when baby faces forward, a nice toy pocket!

 
Lite-on-Shoulder Baby Sling(Moo-Cow)
Lite-on-Shoulder Baby Sling(Moo-Cow)

Padded edges and a narrow tail, with shoulder padding to distribute baby's weight across your back.

 

Sling Bonus

When you have two babies,

or a toddler and a baby,

one can be slung on a hip

and the other carried on the

other hip when the need arises;

hard to do that with a carrier

with lots of straps and buckles.

You can even use two slings!

Plus, you'll have done

your weight lifting for the day!

Make Your Own Baby Sling - Making your own baby carrier is cheaper, and you can make a personal statement with your fabric choice!

FRUGALICIOUS TIP: There are lots of free baby sling patterns out there, and it is very easy and quick to make your own (especially a Maya wrap style) from cloth you have on hand - even a sheet! You can purchase a pattern if you need one, but it will still be a significant savings over buying a new sling!

Baby #3 loved to go to sleep just like this, snugged in the green/blue sling, with my thumb in his mouth.

Baby #3 loved to go to sleep just like this, snugged in the green/blue sling, with my thumb in his mouth.
Baby #3 loved to go to sleep just like this, snugged in the green/blue sling, with my thumb in his mouth.

How to Use a Maya Wrap Sling - The Maya Wrap adjusts slightly differently than other slings.

The ONLY Baby Book You Need! - Dr. William Sears gently and thorougly addresses all your parenting questions!

My "baby" is five and a half ... and I still can't bear to give up my Baby Book! What if one of my friends has a question? This is THE book to give expecting and new parents.

Boppy It Baby! - Boppies are great for tummy time and assistance sitting up.

The Boppy is a thing of beauty, and the other thing besides my sling that I could never have done without. I kept at least two: one in the house and one in the car so I would always have one handy! It is a nursing pillow, a tummy-time pillow, a learn-to-sit support pillow, a playtime pillow, and just about anything else. It even has a removable cover for washing and you can purchase extra covers in a wide variety of styles and colors.

FRUGALICIOUS TIP: The Boppy does quadruple duty as nursing pillow, a safe place to lay baby (the wings keep him from rolling away), support for tummy time, and support for baby just learning to sit up (simpler than piling pillows everywhere which will just fall away when she tilts onto them).

Boppy Nursing Pillow and Positioner - Bare Naked
Boppy Nursing Pillow and Positioner - Bare Naked

The basic Boppy, without a cover. The round shape makes it very flexible for fitting around your tummy while nursing, or baby's bottom as he learns to sit up.

 
Boppy Slipcover 2-pack 'Rainforest/Stripe'
Boppy Slipcover 2-pack 'Rainforest/Stripe'

It's wise to have at least two covers so you can keep one on while the other is in the wash. This 2-pack is in attractive muted rainforest colors.

 

My oldest daughter with her doll in a sling I made, which matched the sling I made to carry her baby brother.

My oldest daughter with her doll in a sling I made, which matched the sling I made to carry her baby brother.
My oldest daughter with her doll in a sling I made, which matched the sling I made to carry her baby brother.

All photos and text copyright © tandemonimom unless otherwise credited.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

What's Your "Can't Do Without It" Baby Item? - Baby Wearing on Squidoo

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    • Bluemoongoddess1 profile image

      Lisa Musser 5 years ago from Kansa, USA

      These are definitely a lifesaver for a busy mom!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      baby slings are a definite must if you want a stress free momma and baby! Check out www.babyslingsNthings.com to find a great deal on baby slings. It is where I get all my slings and I recommend them to all of my friends!! <3 Your welcome ;)

    • tandemonimom lm profile image
      Author

      tandemonimom lm 6 years ago

      @smithlights: LOL - I switched the pictures so that won't happen again. Thanks for pointing it out!

    • Frischy profile image

      Frischy 6 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      My daughter and I loved our baby sling and used it until she was almost 3 years old. Nice lens! I am linking to you from my lens on bonding with a blind baby.

    • smithlights profile image

      smithlights 6 years ago

      I always enjoy reading your lenses. This one especially made me laugh when you said "see the pic of my dad below" and I scrolled down to see Brad Pitt! Great info, and love the style!

    • profile image

      Joan4 6 years ago

      I really enjoyed the Boppy when our grands were small! I never have used a sling, but I think I would have loved that! Lensrolling to my baby pages.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 6 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I wore my babies, too. This lens brought back sweet memories! Returning the lensroll to my Juppy Baby Walker lens. (Thanks!)

    • shepardc lm profile image

      shepardc lm 7 years ago

      Great lens! I have two kids, and I went through a few different carrying products. One was a homemade sling. I love how many great carrying products are on the market.

    • joanhall profile image

      Joan Hall 7 years ago from Los Angeles

      Great lens! I was definitely a babywearing mom. Loved it! I didn't even own a stroller.

    • profile image

      Joan4 8 years ago

      Oh how I wish I had known about the sling when my children were babies! We did have a boppy for the grandchildren and I loved that!

    • profile image

      herbie66 8 years ago

      Welcome to the 'Pregnancy and Baby' Group

      ( http://www.squidoo.com/groups/pregnancy-baby )

    • JanieceTobey profile image

      JanieceTobey 8 years ago

      5 stars and a welcome to: Nine Months: The Pregnancy Headquarters!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Nice lens, good advice, great photos.

    • Lou165 profile image

      Lou165 8 years ago from Australia

      Great looking lens........for some reason we never used a sling - didn't use a carrier either we generally carried her or if she had fallen asleep in the car then we popped her into her pram when we were out.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      We made our own wraps - my husband loved carrying DD around in them coz of all the attention they would get :) My mom made a fleece "sack" that we could slip over her in the winter while she was in the sling, and it doubled as her cover in the car seat. DD is 18mos now and we still use the wrap to carry her on our hips (when she allows us to, of course)

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 8 years ago from Canada

      I, too, love the picture of your Dad. When my children were babies, I had a friend who loved her sling. For some unknown reason, I never used one.

      Brenda

    • Adrienne Jenkins profile image

      Adrienne Jenkins 8 years ago

      I lvoe the picture of your Dad.

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 8 years ago

      We never could get the hang of the sling although it looks like it would be really great. I ended up with a back pack carrier that my husband and I both used with our babies.

    • Natalie W Schorr profile image

      Natalie W Schorr 8 years ago

      My kids were devoted to their slings. An excellent lens!

    • profile image

      ThomasC 8 years ago

      Well done! The lens looks great!

      ThomasC