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Baby carriers and Baby slings - The Lowdown

Is choosing a baby carrier causing your unnecessary stress? No idea where to start or even if you need one? Are they safe? Where do I even buy one from? We try to help answers some of these questions below. Why do I need one? According to the rospa “Attachment parenting” or “Babywearing” helps to develop and promote secure attachments between the child and their caregivers. The benefits are overwhelming and when carried out safely, it is valuable skill to have. (Source Baby slings - RoSPA). The answer as to whether or not you need one is very much dependent on your lifestyle and activities. For some a baby carrier is an unnessercery expense and they are very happy to use their pram. Where as for others a baby carrier is a can't live without necessity used for long country walks on muddy paths which arent buggy friendly or busy school runs where there is limited space for a buggy for example. Are they Safe? When used correctly baby carriers are safe. Source NHS What you'll need for your baby - NHS (www.nhs.uk) The UK Sling Consortium recommends that baby sling wearers follow the 'T.I.C.K.S' rule for safe use. You can find a link to the T.I.C.K.S rule here ticks.pdf (babyslingsafety.co.uk) It’s really important that you read the instructions for your baby carrier properly as using them correct is crucial to the safety of you baby. If you are buying a second hand sling (which can be a very cost effective option, ensure that the instructions are with the sling or baby carrier and check for any damage prior to use). You can also check out www.which.co.uk for advice on which slings and baby carriers are the safest. What Type? What type of carrier you chose will depend on several aspects, safety must always be paramount and you must ensure that the carrier you are using is suitable for the age of the child you are wanting to use it for. Wear on your front or back carrying? There are so many questions when purchasing a baby sling. If you are looking to use one from birth a front wearing sling is for you as back carriers have an age limitations or at least from 6 months on. You can also see your baby more clearly and there is the potential to be able to breastfeed whilst in a forward carrier. A back carrier may be better suited for older children who may be slighly heavier and may outgrow wanting to be carried on the front however they can prove tricky to get the hand of first of all. There are a lot of tips on YouTube on how to load your baby! Comfort is also a massive factor when chosing a baby carrier , particularly if you are going to be using it regularly. Personal tastes, budget and longeivity may also come into it, are you planning to only use it for the first few months or would you like one that adapts and grows with your child? What is the most popular What's the most popular kind of baby sling or carrier? According to Which top of the list is a soft structured baby carrier Baby Bjorn, Cybex, and Mamas & Papas with 61% . The second most popular type is a wrap sling, such as those from Moby or Je Porte Mon Bebe with 19% The third most popular carrier is a pouch sling, with 12% owning one of these. Ring slings and wraps are owned by 5% of parents and Baby backpack carriers are owned by 4% of parents. Source Which. Which baby carrier can you breastfeed in? From personal experience of both Olivia & Kayleigh (Olivias PA) a stretchy fabric wrap sling is idea for breastfeeding in and can be adjusted into a variety of positions for ease of feeding. I (Kayleigh) walked around a zoo in Holland whilst breastfeeding my youngest in a wrap sling. Olivia found using a kangaroo style stretchy carrier was an amazing bonding experience. Sling Libraries Buying a baby carrier or sling can be a minefield. There are so many different types and some of them are rather costly, plus we all have different comfort levels and as such the needs of no two mothers are usually the same. No body wants to pay out a costly amount only to find two days later the sling isnt for you. This is where Sling Libraries come in . Sling Libraries are often held in local halls or in some cases soft plays and for a small hire fee you can hire a sling for a few weeks in order to "test drive" it so to speak. The team offer excellent advice and show you how to use the slings correctly and safety, they are also a great opportunity to get to know other mothers and have a coffee and a chat. Theres some more information on sling libraries here. Where can I buy a sling or baby carrier? With the fall of the two major baby high street chains kiddicare and mothercare there have certainly been hurdles placed in the way re buying slings from the highstreet. Though many smaller baby and childrens product shops are still around. My top tip would be to try before you buy at a sling library and then to either purchase online or second hand (following the safety tips above) . Link to Hertfordshire Sling Library: https://www.nct.org.uk/events/hertford-ware-and-district/nct-hertford-ware-and-district-sling-library



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