Why should I use a baby carrier?
Carriers are a practical solution for parents all over the world. Some babies really need that close contact
for extended periods of the day and slings make this easier for you to do. For some babies that closeness
and the movement can be what they need to get them to sleep in the day when they otherwise won't.
But beyond these reasons carrying your baby and toddler is fun! When they are very little you are able to
cuddle and be close to your baby whilst you do other things both in and out of the home. When they get
older, you are able to chat away whilst you are out and about, sneak in little kisses and get out and about
in places where a buggy just will not go.
Advantages of the right carrier include:
Feeling comfortable and balanced whilst carrying your child
Being hands-free and able to get on with things you want to do whilst still giving your child a positive experience
Making exercise through walking easier
Reduced post-natal depression as carrying a baby like this has been shown to increase the bond between mother and
child and lead to a happier baby.
You will be able to enjoy carrying your child until they are much older than you think (many are up to 40lbs/approx 3 and
a half years.
Being able to go to places where you could not fit a buggy
For your child:
Less stress and less crying: many studies have shown that babies who are carried cry less and are able to learn about
the world from a safe and secure environment
Breastfeeding is easier with some carriers, allowing child to gain benefits of this more easily.
Communication between the child and carer is better as the child can easily see your face-especially with newborns who
cannot see as far.
Won't carrying my baby make him/her clingy?
There is no evidence to support this view. In fact, evidence actually points to carrying in a sling making
babies more secure and independent as they get older. The theory drawn upon to support the evidence, is
that these babies are able to view the world and new sights and sounds from a secure environment and are
able to turn away into the adult if they get overstimulated or alarmed.
What types of sling can you use with a newborn?
Everything on this website apart from the Scootababy hip carrier can be used with a newborn. Some carriers
will have a variety of carrying positions for different ages, and some will have special inserts to make them
suitable for smaller babies.
I have been carrying my baby but now he/she is about 6 mths it is just too heavy. Why are you
saying people can carry for longer?
Many of the high street brands of carriers are only really designed for use up to about 6 mths. This tells you
that they have not been designed for comfort and distribution of weight as well as those that are designed for
longer use! A well designed carrier will be comfortable for you and your child for a long time, and will
be much much easier than carrying a child in your arms!
I sometimes have back problems but sometimes still need to carry my baby. What type of carrier is
Find a carrier that distributes the weight really well aropund your whole torso including your waist.
A wrap, a good quality buckle carrier (i.e. one with a waist strap as well as shoulder straps) or a Mei Tai is
ideal. You should always check with your doctor if you have concerns.
Which carriers are good for breastfeeding?
Many manufacturers of slings and carriers state that their carriers are good for breastfeeding, but much of
this will decide on the individual's anatomy and willingness to practice and get it right in different positions! On
the whole, a ring sling is often the easiest as you can sit down, loosen the fabric and feed your baby within
the sling, with an extra piece of fabric from the tail for more discrete feeding if you feel you need it.
My baby has hip dysplasia and i have been recommended to get a carrier to help with this. Which
ones are suitable?
Some very young babies are diagnosed with this and parents are advised to carry them in a sling that spreads
their legs wide. For a newborn, a woven or stretchy wrap would be ideal for this, with the baby in the upright
position. These have the give and adjustability to allow the fabric to support them without spreading the legs
wider than they need to be. Avoid any carriers that you see where the baby's legs hang straight down, or
where they are tucked up under them for the first few months.
I want a carrier that my baby can face out in. Which are best?
Many 'hardcore' babywearers will discourage carrying a baby facing outwards as it is difficult to obtain the
optimum 'knees just higher than bottom' position. It can also be overwhelming for babies and when they get
tired or overstimulated they are unable to turn away from all the sights and sounds.
However ...... some babies really do love this and a facing out position for a short period of time is something
they really enjoy. You can do this with a Moby Wrap, or the Beco Gemini, but only once your baby has good
head control (from approcimately 5 mths). Once your baby reaches about 1 yr it can be less comfortable for
the adult to have a baby facing out on the front, and then you might want your nosy baby on your back
looking over your shoulder.
I like the idea of using a carrier but it feels a bit 'hippy' like. Are there any more conservative ones
available that are comfortable?
Yes - lots! It can be a bit overwhelming seeing all the different types but it is definitely something that
everyone can do. Buckle carriers (often called 'Soft Structured Carriers' or 'SSCs') are the ones that look like
the other high street ones the most - so the Beco Gemini, Beco Butterfly, Boba, ABC or a Scootababy fit this
category. But if you are new to the world of babies generally, we think that you will find once you get out and
about with your baby that more and more people are using slings and wraps too.
There were reports of a baby dying because the parent used a sling - aren't slings really dangerous?
A very specific brand of 'bag sling' was recalled inthe US and then internationally, after reports of very young
babies dying whilst in them. These types of slings are not, and never have been, sold by Slingtastic, or most
other sling sellers in the UK. These types of slings hung near the adult's waist, allowed the baby to sink down
in the carrier, chin to chest, with lots of fabric obscuring the parent's view of the child. For further information
on the recall see here , and here for a response from the industry. Please look at our safety guidance, and
always follow manufacturers' guidance - just as with any other baby related item.
My baby is now quite heavy/old but I would like to start using a carrier. Is this possible?
Yes - but you may need to build up to carrying for longer periods depending on your strength and the weight
of your child.
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