Some of the Benefits of Slings & Carriers
Riding in a sling is very calming for babies, especially newborns. They feel safe and secure, and the rhythm of your walking and sound of your heart beating reminds them of the womb.
You are able to get things done! Of course, you should not be worrying about that during the immediate postpartum period, but eventually you will be ready to resume some of your normal activities.
Most slings allow for discreet nursing. If you enter a restaurant with your baby in a sling, chances are that no one will notice when you begin nursing him halfway into your meal.
Many proponents of baby wearing believe that it helps make your baby smarter. They are more involved in mom & dad's daily activities. As you move, baby's range of vision changes and he can choose what to focus on rather than the fixed surroundings when in a swing or bouncer.
Try out your sling when baby is calm & happy. Most babies will get accustomed to the sling faster if you keep moving.
Start out with short 15-minute periods in the sling, and then you can gradually lengthen the time.
Support baby with your hands at first, until you feel comfortable with the sling.
If you have to bend over with your baby in the sling, always bend at the knees and squat rather than using your back. Keep one hand on the baby to ensure he is secure.
If your newborn seems to be "lost" in the depths of the sling, you can roll up a receiving blanket and place it under her to slightly raise her up.
Most slings have enough fabric to use it as a blanket or changing pad if necessary. The Maya Wrap can also be used as a harness for your toddler.
Types of Slings:
Pouch (New Native Baby Carrier, Maya Pouch): Virtually no learning curve, compact and easy to pack in diaper bag.
Ring Sling (Maya Wrap Sling, Over The Shoulder Baby Holder): Available unpadded or with padded rails/shoulders. Most versatile type of sling, many positions and easily adapted to more than one user.
Wrap-around Sling (Ella Roo, Didymos): Great weight distribution for longer carrying and for babies over 20 lbs.
Asain-style Sling (Podegi, Mei Tai, Sutemi): Good weight distribution, great for back carry with younger babies.
Newborn or cradle carry - Baby lies on back and head is on the same side where the sling goes over the shoulder. With a pouch, the baby can also be moved behind the hip temporarily if necessary to complete a task.
Nursing - Baby lies on back or side and baby's head is on opposite side of where the sling goes over the shoulder. The tail of a ring sling can be used to cover the baby for more privacy.
Kangaroo carry - Use when baby is older with good head control and wants to observe her surroundings. Place baby sitting cross-legged with back against your chest.
Front carry - Younger babies can sit cross-legged facing you. Older babies that can sit unassisted will like their legs hanging out. Place baby's bottom in the pouch with fabric up to the knees and rest of the legs out.
Hip carry - Use when baby can sit unassisted. Baby straddles hip with fabric at least halfway up their back and down to the back of their knees.
Back carry - Use with cooperative older babies that will hang on to you (usually around 15 months old). Many Asian-style slings and the Ergo Baby Carrier will allow you to back carry younger babies that have good head control. It's best to have a "spotter" with this carry until you are well-practiced getting baby secure by yourself.
Mothers Moon Natural Care & Products currently carries the Maya Wrap Sling & Pouch, Moby Wrap, & a beautiful selection of WAHM's carriers, all in a variety of fabrics. Please contact me if you would like to purchase one of these carriers for your baby or toddler, to simply try one out, or for a "class" in baby wearing! (carriers are available for trial through the Mindful Maine Mama's Sling Library: ask me more about it!)