Types of Slings
A tube of material which is worn across your body. Only one-shoulder carries are possible with a pouch. Suitable from newborn to the end of the baby wearing time. Most pouches are non-adjustable and come in different sizes. Carries: cradle, tummy to tummy, hip
A long piece of fabric with two rings attached to it at one side. The fabric is threaded through the rings. They are worn across your shoulder. Suitable from newborn to the end of the baby wearing time. They come padded and non padded. Ringslings are adjustable and one size fits all usually. Carries: cradle, tummy to tummy and hip
Woven wrap around sling
A wraparound sling is, basically, a long scarf. They come in different sizes, from 2.20m – 5.30m long and between 60cm and 75cm wide . Suitable from newborn to the end of the baby wearing time. What size you need depends on the carries you want to do and on the size of the carrier. In my opinion, the wraparound sling is the most versatile type of sling as you can do many different carries with just one sling: front, back, side, one and two shoulder holds.
Stretchy wrap around sling
A stretchy wrap around sling is a long scarf similar to the woven one described above. Most brands of this style come in a single size designed to fit anyone. Suitable from newborn up to approximately 8kg. With a stretchy wrap you can do pre-tied carries (Meaning you tie the wrap before putting your baby in it, and can take the baby out without opening the wrap). Only carries that use three layers can be used with this wrap. This is so that you give sufficient support to the baby.
A panel of fabric with four straps. This can be used from newborn with legs in until the end of the baby wearing time, with legs out. They usually come in one size-fits all. Some come in baby and toddler sizes depending on the age of the baby. Carries: front, hip and back
A panel of fabric with two straps. This can be used from 4month onwards until the end of the baby wearing time. One size fits all. Carries: front and back
Soft structured carries
SSC`s are basically modern mai tai`s. They usually have a heavily padded waist. These carriers have buckles and look more conventional. Babies will fit in most soft structured carriers when they are approximately 68cm long. Some of the brands come with a newborn insert. They are adjustable and one size fits all. Carries: front and back, depending on the brand they can be used in a hip carry.
There are many brands of slings on the market. All differ a bit from each other. Depending on your size and shape some will fit you better than others. I highly recommend trying out a sling before buying, if possible. You can try out slings at sling meetings or borrow them from the attachment parenting sling library. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about a particular sling.
Facing out is not recommended because the baby cannot be in a natural curled position with the bum lower than the knees. Because of the baby being further away from the carrier this changes the gravity for the carrier and you will find it gets uncomfortable for you. Some babies get over stimulated from being carried facing out. If your baby wants to see more I recommend you to do a hip carry, baby can look forward and backward and can “hide” if it gets over stimulated.