A crisp overview of all existing types of baby slings
and carriers helps you find out
baby carrier is best for you
.Â We check out the
main features and
which best help your baby sleep
So, how to
choose a baby sling?
When looking for a sling, you may easily be overwhelmed with the
numerous choices you find. Which one is best for you, depends on your
baby and your preferences and situation.
There are basically
types of baby slings:
wraps, slings, ABCs and pre-shaped
A quick-start selection guide:
You and your
newborn or young baby and ready to invest minimal practice for best
A wrap sling is a
long piece of cloth that you
and knot cleverly to make a comfortable and
with perfect support.
Baby's posture in a wrap is
good muscle development
A baby wrap carrier is
most ergonomical of all types of baby slings
: you carry
the weight on
both shoulders, and if desired, partly on your hips too, so you do not
put unwanted pressure anywhere.
AÂ wrap is definitely the best choice if you have any neck or
because of their safety for your baby and because they
leave your back, neck & shoulders stress and strain-free. See
A Bub review
for more on my personal experience.
It can flexibly be used in the front, on the hip or on the back
with baby lying down or sitting up. Baby can face you or
on her age.
Speaking of age, you can use some of the good-quality well-wrapped
from DAY 1
the closest ever first days with your newborn baby.
Please do not scare away from a wrap because it is supposedly
complicated to wrap and tie. A good set of instructions - which comes
with each good wrap - and a few practice sessions are all it takes.
Needless to say that the wrap is perfect
to help baby sleep
too. As discussed in
slings and sleep
you will be carrying baby at nap or other
sleep times around the house and during walks. This is possible with a
wrap as it is
for you and safe for your baby
A sling is a
piece of cloth worn
are used to
create the hammock-like baby
one or more
rings in a
or ring carrier,
knots in a
and a pre-sewn shape in a
are padded versions of these slings too which can offer extra support
but this is not absolutely necessary for a good quality sling.
Because a sling of this type only hangs from one shoulder it is a bit
less ergonomical than the wrap. However, if the sling is of good
quality and has a broad supportive shoulder piece, and you do not have
specific shoulder or neck problems, this is
still a most reasonable
Baby is safe and well supported in a good quality sling.
of a ring, knotted or pouch sling is the ease of use. You
it on you and
you are ready to put baby in straight away. That makes it
a great beginner's
yourÂ baby sleep in the sling
: it may be a bit
more challenging to carry baby for long naps and walks in a sling,
compared to a wrap. But that is mainly if you have rather weak shoulder
or neck muscles.
But since you can literally have your baby
in the sling within seconds
it can be a true lifesaver
calm baby down quickly when she is fussy or
Back Carriers (ABC) or Mei Tai
An ABC or Mei Tai is a
square piece of cloth with cloth stretches and/or straps at each corner
be wrapped and
knotted/fixed around you to create baby's
A pre-shaped front or back carrier has a fixed
for baby made
of padded material, that you usually buckle around you.
There are exceptions, but in general these carriers are
not suited for newborns
and should only be used from six weeks or even two or six months old.
can be great for older babies and children as they offer good support
and carrying comfort in spite of the increasing weight.
carrier can be a bit bulky to carry around. This in contrast with the
plain cloth of wraps, slings and ABCs which you can easily stow away in
This carrying comfort is
plus with regards to sleep
your child will be able to take good naps during longer walks or going
about the house.
Always make sure though that your baby is comfortable
Heidi Holvoet, PhD, is the founder of the Baby Sleep Advice website and movement, an award-winning author, baby & toddler sleep consultant with 14+ years experience as well as a certified lactation counselor.
Over the years, Heidi has received several awards inluding a Mom's Choice Award (MCA) and National Parenting Awards (NAPPA) for her Baby Sleep Advice website, programs and books.
She is also a member of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants of which she was one of the earliest contributors. She obtained her PhD degree in physics at the University of Ghent in Belgium.
Heidi is passionate about helping babies and their parents sleep more and better, with her trademark approach that has been proven and praised time and again by parents worldwide to be effective and truly no-tears. Respect for you as a parent and your baby, is at the heart of Heidi's warm and kind support. Her approach always keeps in mind a baby's needs and abilities at any given age, is based on pediatric science and the most up to date knowledge in infant care and sleep science.