AGHHHH So Many Sling Options!
Updated: Oct 15
You’re expecting a baby or just had one and you’ve seen friends carrying their littles ones in slings. You like the look of it so you open google………
😱😱😱 so many options. So many names of things you’ve never heard of. Where do you even start?!
That’s why sling libraries, like myself, exist. We’re here to help you find the best sling or carrier for you. We're here to make the decisions much easier.
Below you will find a run down of the different types of sling.
If watching a video rather than reading is more your thing, then click here to see the options in action.
1. Stretchy wraps.
*One long length of material with some stretch in it. Some barely stretch and some really stretch! Because they vary in ‘stretchiness’ hugely, which can affect how they need to be tied, It’s always best to try some at your local sling library first rather than buying one on Amazon that you then can’t get on with.
*Suitable from birth (fitting even premature babies - with support from a Babywearing consultant like myself)
*They fit absolutely any shape or size body.
*Perfect for the first few months of baby’s life. Most people move on from the stretchy by about 6 months but some stretchy’s can be used longer.
*They can be used as a feeding aid, whether that be breast or chest, bottle, tube fed or otherwise.
*There are also hybrid stretchy’s like the Close Caboo. These are pre-tied and can be easier for some people to use, although in my opinion, not always as comfortable or versatile as a wrap.
2. Woven wraps.
*One length of material that comes in different lengths, sizes 2-8. Most people start with their base size. (Size charts below.)
*The true birth to forever carrying option. Literally fits from a tiny newborn and grows with your child right up until they no longer need carrying.
*They fit absolutely any shape or size body.
*They can be used to do front, hip and back carries.
*They can be tied in so many different ways to suit your baby, your body and your needs.
*They're one of the few options that allow you to back carry with a small baby (with support from a consultant if you’re not familiar with doing this)
*They can be used to feed baby in.
3. Ring Slings.
*One piece of material, (roughly 1.6 or 2.1m) with two rings sewn at one end.
*They fit absolutely any shape or size body, They tend to come in two different lengths to allow fitting for everyone.
*They, like the woven's, fit from tiny newborn to big preschooler.
*They can do front, hip and back carries.
*They’re so quick and easy once you’ve had a practice, making them perfect for those newly walking toddlers that want up and down every 5 minutes!
*They’re an excellent versatile option for using as a feeding aid.
4. Meh dai.
*These mix the fabric of a woven wrap with the structure of a buckle carrier. They have two short straps for the waist and two long ones for the shoulder straps.
*You can get half buckles too which have the same long shoulder straps but a buckle waistband.
*Because they tie around your body they fit every shape and size person.
*You can also get some custom made from a couple of places.
*Depending on the brand and size you can get them to fit from newborn right up to big preschooler.
*They can be used for front hip and back carries.
*They can be used to feed in.
(Photo's from Didymos & Neko)
5. Buckle carriers.
*These are very much like jeans or shoes- they all fit differently on every body. the main differences are the amount of padding in the Carrier and whether the straps are in a H or X configuration on your back.
*Some suit more petite frames, some suit larger frames. But each one will feel different on you, so it is always advised to try them first (which is where libraries come in)
*Some fit well from newborn and some don’t (despite what they say on the box!)
*Some will fit right up to big preschooler.
*Some carriers adjust and grow with baby and some are fixed for certain age ranges.
*They vary hugely in price and the most expensive isn’t necessarily the best one for you! *Some offer the option to hip carry (great for any fussy phases) or face baby away from you (a position that is not necessary but some people like)
*Almost all can be used as a feeding aid.
I hope that helped a bit in understanding the differences between all of the options out there.
Please get in touch with me via the contact form if you have any questions at all, or to book an appointment with me to find your perfect sling or carrier.
Click here to find out what myself and other consultants voted for as the 'best' slings and carriers. Sheen Slings ran a small survey to help you narrow down your choices depending on your child's age, budget and lifestyle.
Carrying Consultant at South Essex Slings