We often find that many parents haven’t thought much about babywearing and don’t realise how useful it can be! It can also seem quite overwhelming as there are so many different options around and it can be hard to know what to choose! To add to this, many of the slings found in high street shops are narrow based and not ergonomic. While most of these are not unsafe, they can be very uncomfortable for both baby and wearer and so many parents give up on slings entirely as they don’t realise it can be much more comfortable! Coming to the sling library allows you to try lots of different options before deciding which one works best for your family. The type of sling you use is really about personal preference. There is no “best” one. If there was there would be no need for sling libraries! Everyone has a different favourite. This can be down to ease of use, the body shape of the parent or many other factors. For newborns we tend to recommend a stretchy wrap as these can be easiest to get the ideal position for a newborn and it really does feel like your baby is so close and cuddly! However, this isn’t the best option for everyone and there are many other choices.
There are so many benefits to babywearing but it can be particularly useful for newborns as laid out below by closeparent.com.
There are some websites and books we can recommend if you would like to find out more.
Carrying Matters is a website set up by Dr Rosie Knowles. Rosie is a practising GP in the UK with a particular interest in holistic medicine as well as children and women’s health and perinatal and infant mental health. She is also a trained babywearing consultant and founded Sheffield Sling Surgery and Library in 2013. As well as her website she has also written a book:
Sarah Ockwell-Smith is a gentle parenting expert and and has many blog posts on her website that can really help with having realistic expectations about babies. One in particular about the fourth trimester is an example we often use to illustrate some of the benefits of babywearing for newborns. She also also written many books, one of which is in the same series as Rosie’s above.
Hopefully this has given you a better understanding of babywearing! If you are expecting a baby or have a newborn (up to 3 months old), please consider coming along to our Antenatal and Newborn Babywearing Workshop to learn even more, ask questions, and get to try out different slings for yourself (if you haven’t had your baby yet, we have dolls you can practice with).
We’ve made a video demonstrating one of the many benefits of babywearing: