REASONS TO USE BABY SLINGS!

How any mom gets by without using baby slings is a mystery to me! If I misplace mine I go into a panic! Do you have a newborn that won't let you put her down? I have! And I wouldn't get a thing done without my slings, carriers, stroller and (to a much lesser degree), my sweet husband who helps when he can.

Not only are they practical, they are pretty and stylish. Infant slings allow for front, hip and back carry positions depending on the age of the child. They are easy to use and are a lifesaver for discreet moms who breastfeed.

I know that there have been some recent reports on injuries associated with the use of sling carriers, but by using common sense on when and when not to wear the baby I have managed not to let her fall out of the pouch or bump her head on anything. But you should make the decision based on advice from your baby's doctor on whether or not using a sling carrier is safe.

The first time you try on an infant sling it feels strange. But as you become more accustomed to the procedure you will instinctively get a feel for the security of the baby sling and know what activities may be appropriate for when baby is on board.

I have even heard that it's possible to learn to carry twins in baby slings! I would dearly love to see that accomplishment, but have not yet. I will have to check to see how to use a baby sling in that fashion. If it's possible, I'm sure there are some reviews posted posted in a babywearing forum somewhere.

The point would be to develop hands free parenting and it does take practice to propery use infant slings. You just have to work at it until you are comfortable. In my opinion, the results are well worth the effort.

SHE'S ALL WADDED UP!
Start your practice sessions before your baby is born. Practice using a life size baby doll or even a baby sized stuffed bear. Keep her little body positioned in a slight curve. Let the hammock positioning of the carrier work for you. If her head looks crooked or she appears to be uncomfortable, just reach right in and reposition her.

Your baby will feel much more secure as she's used to the motion of your body and the sound of your voice. Give your baby time to adjust to the world by keeping her heart to heart with you until she is better acclimated to the hustle and bustle of this strange new world. It's a shock to babies to suddenly be taken away from constant human contact and put into a crib, bassinet or stroller.

The smallest child can be carried in a baby sling. As long as they weigh three pounds or over there will be benefits for both mother and infant. It's beneficial for a preemie's development to be carried against your bare skin. This practice has been known to help accelerate much needed weight gain.

WHAT ABOUT EQUIPMENT FAILURE?
Your baby sling should be constructed with a sturdy, durable fabric that is easily washed and dried. There are many suitable materials from which to choose. Some popular choices are silks and organic cottons in bright and cheery colors! The more label conscious might consider having a sling made from designer fabrics produced by Ralph Lauren or Gucci. Is your husband a hunter or in the military? Maybe a camouflage print would be a good Father's Day present. The best baby sling for any daddy is one that he will actually be comfortable and proud to use.

On the issue of choosing your rings, some baby slings use nylon rings and others use metal. The nylon rings are tested for many times the weight of your child and are washer dryer safe. I would personally prefer a solid metal ring no welded seams. (This is a matter of personal preference. You must always use your own judgement when it comes to your baby's safety.) It's always a good idea to inspect the stitching and all other aspects of your baby sling carrier. No matter how unlikely failure may be, as always use your judgement and take no chances when it comes to the safety of your child.

ARE THESE ONLY TO BE USED IN WINTER?
Holding a baby is a warm experience in itself. Good choices for winter would be made of fleece or corduroy. A tip: Baby can be worn snugly inside your coat. Just pop little your little peanut inside the baby sling shell and hold her close while you put on your coat. Some are made with lighter weight fabrics for days when no extra warmth is needed. Lightweight pastels are ideal for summer and 100% cotton fabrics make it nice for those of us leaning toward natural baby care. Some special recommendations for hot climates and sunny days would be the

Solarveil Infant Slings, cotton pouches, Rebozos and an unpadded cotton baby sling. Choose your baby carrier for the day in much the same way you would make your own wardrobe choices.

For the hot summer season Solarveils are very popular with parents taking steps to protect their babies from the UV rays while in the water and even when simply taking in some fresh air. In a recent online review poll some moms voted that they didn't care for the feel of the Solarveil fabric. Apparently the solarveil is not quite as breathable as other fabrics.

Before giving up on added SPF sun protection via your babyslings, please give one of the carriers made of solarweave a test run. Solarweave is a of a different texture than the Solarveil. It is a much softer, and tighter weave. Solarweave dries quickly after a trip to the pool and does a decent job of blocking UV rays. The material makes you think of the stuff used in swim trunks if that helps you imagine the fabric of this particular infant sling.

For swimming without advertised sun protection qualities give the BodyGlove carrier or the Infant Neoprene Onesie a try! These may be the answer for a less than toasty warm romp in the surf. These carriers are made of Neoprene Neoprene is supposed to help regulate a child's body temperature similar to the way that wetsuits operate during deep sea diving. At least that's the way I'm reading it. They come in some pretty cool colors

  • Camouflage
  • Red
  • blue
  • Hibiscus
  • Pink
  • Yellow

They make black as well, but that would be WAY too hot for summers in the deep south or summertime just about anywhere other than in frigid climates!

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN BABY SLING
If you are handy with a sewing machine and would like to learn how to make a baby sling. Here is one free sling pattern including easy instructions so that you can make your own baby slings. Do you want to look at more patterns? Personalized homemade gifts are always appreciated and make such unique gifts for baby. Keep several on hand!

SPEAKING OF WEIGHT GAIN...
No, I'm not talking about your weight gain. I'm still talking about that precious little package you've been wagging around for the past year. You probably still have another year to wear your baby. This might be a good time to assess the performance of your baby carrier.

  • Is the baby sling distributing your baby's weight evenly across your back and shoulders?
  • Is your sling holding your baby high enough on your body? Your child should be positioned above your stomach to avoid lower back strain. A mother using a baby sling has less incidence of upper body strain than if she had been carrying the child in her arms alone.
  • Will your carrier allow you to use a variety of carrying positions? As your child gets older you will want to experiment with different carrying positions.

    The ideal baby sling (like a New Native Baby Carrier or the Maya Wrap) can be worn in several positions.

  • baby on your hip
  • baby in the front
  • baby on your back
  • baby in the kangaroo pouch
  • baby in nursing position. The fabric of the baby sling is handy for discreet nursing.

    On longer treks you may need to share some of the load. Which brings to mind...

    Have you gotten a baby carrier for dad yet? This may be a good time to shop for that special baby carrier that he will actually use! Men seem to feel that the backpack baby carrier fits their manly image much better than most slings, wraps or asian inspired carriers. But I'm seeing more and more celebrity moms and dads on outings with daddy toting baby in a sling. If your husband needs proof positive that other baby wearing men exist, cruise on over to the chat group or forum at The Babywearer site and take at all the pictures of guys wearing their kids!

    Do not make the mistake of limiting yourself to one sling! Each type has unique qualities. For instance, have you used a Mexican Scarf Sling? Have you tried one of the handy mesh or solarveil fabric slings? Have you worn your baby into the water yet? There are many types of baby carriers all with different benefits and characteristics. Try them all! Make a few yourself! Baby carriers are now a hip fashion accessory regardless of whether it's homemade or from a posh baby center. So be stylish and jump right into attachment parenting! You will be ever so glad that you did.

    Anatomical & Medical Software is a good place to gather understanding of the stress that is placed on a mom's upper body when carrying her baby. A properly used sling may help eliminate many of the aches and pains you would otherwise endure.

    ColicHelp.com - Colic support, information, and remedies for frazzled parents.

    Disclaimer: The contents of this article and website are for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice from a doctor or professional. You should always make your own choices on the advice of your chosen professional in matters concerning your baby's safety.

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