When Can I Start Using a Baby Sling?
A baby sling is a form of baby carrier that uses a long piece of stretchy cloth in order to support an infant. It can be of many different types such as ring sling, wrap and pouch sling. Simple pieces of cloth can also be used to become a sling by tying it into knots.
The art of babywearing or using a baby sling has been an adaptation from different cultures. For instance, hampers were mainly used to carry heavy things but were repurposed and adapted to accommodate carrying infants and small children. When using a baby sling, a baby can be carried in different comfortable carrying positions such as vertical, cradle hold, kangaroo carry, front carry, hip carry and back carry.
There were safety concerns about using baby slings for babywearing but these matters could be easily overcome by making sure that any of the carrying positions is properly done and the baby's back, head and neck have ample support. Checking the baby periodically is highly recommended even if the baby is carried closely.
So when is the right time to carry your baby in a baby sling?
Most parents are hesitant to use any form of baby carrier from the first day their baby is born which is understandable. However, the truth is you can start using a baby carrier like a baby sling from day 1 onwards. Babies love to be cuddled and by using a baby sling, you actually help promote a happier and healthier baby.
There are many benefits to using a baby sling. For one, babywearing allows parents to closely monitor their newborn which helps lay the ground for her emotional, physical and intellectual growth foundations. Babies get fussy at times and sometimes having them swaddled in a baby sling can help calm them down and even help prevent colic. They feel the warmth and a sense of security whenever they are carried by their parents. This paves way to a beautiful connection and bonding between parent and child. The more secure a baby feels, the longer she sleeps which means less fussiness.
Another good thing about baby slings is the fact that mothers can nurse their baby with the right amount of coverage from the sling cloth for a discreet and private breastfeeding session which is helpful especially in a public place.
Here are also a few of the important things to remember when using a baby sling:
- Check for wear and tears.
- Babies have weak neck muscles in the neck until they are at least 5 months old so if you're planning to use a baby sling from day 1, make sure it provides enough support.
- Be extra careful when picking something up or when bending.
- Monitor babyís breathing from time to time. Make sure that the babyís face isnít obstructed.
- Follow safety guidelines or read the manual and instructions.
- Make sure to protect the babyís head.
- Position the baby in an upward way where the chin is up and the nose and mouth are free.
- Avoid pressing the babyís face against the chest of the wearer.
- Adjust the length of the sling so that the baby is neither hunched or too low.
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