Q?What should I look for in a good baby carrier or sling?

It must be supportive for your baby – especially while they are sleeping.
The fabric of the carrier or sling should reach from the baby’s crotch area to the back of the knees to give them good support.
It should allow your baby to fall asleep in a naturally curled seated position.
It should be easy to adjust the carrier so that it fits well.
There should be good weight distribution so that it is comfortable for you to wear and doesn’t pull on your shoulders or any other part of you.
It should be made of material that is free from harmful chemicals.
It should be good value for money.
It should have a design you like.

Q?Why should I pay for a sling lesson?

Paying for a sling lesson is a great way to really learn how to get the best from your sling. Lessons allow you to try out different types of carries with a weighted doll instead of your child, and you can learn different techniques and even try out different types of sling to find which may suit you best. The atmosphere is relaxed and no one is trying to sell you a specific brand or style, and you have an expert on hand who can answer any questions you might have.

Q?How do I know the sling is tight enough?

If you place your baby in a front carry (i.e. on your chest), and lean forward, your baby should remain in position and not move away from you as you lean. You should be able to do this without supporting your baby’s head separately.

Q?What should I dress my baby in while he/she is in the sling?

One layer of sling fabric is approximately equal to one layer of clothing, so if it is a hot summer day you can carry your baby naked in the sling to prevent over heating. You must however still remember to protect head, arms and legs from the sun. In colder weather, you will want to put socks or tights on your baby as normal as their legs are exposed, on their top half a cardigan over a baby grow is often enough as the baby will get extra warmth from your body heat, and babies can overheat quickly if they are dressed too warmly. The best rule to remember is to use one less layer on any part of the baby that is within the sling.

Q?My baby cries when I put him/her in the sling what should I do?

It is quite common for babies to start crying when they are first put into the sling. Babies like to keep moving, so I advise moving around a little while you are putting baby into the sling, and then start walking as soon as baby is securely in the sling, this will normally quickly ease their cries.

Q?My child is already a year old is it too late to start using a sling?

It is never too late to start carrying your baby in a sling or carrier. If the babies are older however, they may take a little more time to get used to it, and I would recommend hiring or borrowing a sling first so that you can make sure your baby will settle to being carried this way before you spend money buying one.

Q?Is it possible to breast feed in a sling?

Yes! The most suitable type of sling for breastfeeding is a ringsling.

Q?Does my baby get enough air in a sling?

Yes air will circulate around your baby within the sling and as long as their nose is free from covering, they will get plenty of air. A study was made in Germany at the Children’s Hospital in Cologne of premature and full term babies who have been carried in wrap around slings, The study is called ‘Cardiorespiratory Stability of Premature and Term Infants Carried in Infant Slings’ and it can be read online here: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/ it showed that oxygen levels within slings dropped only minimally which was found to be harmless.

Q?At what age can I start to carry baby in a sling on my back?

With a wrap around sling you can carry your baby on your back from the point when it has full head control. (This is usually at around 3 months old). The advantage of a wrap around sling is that you can tighten it around your baby to give them plenty of support. With the sort of sling that is not adjustable in the way that a wrap is (the Mai Tai Soft Structured Carrier for example), I would recommend not beginning carrying on the back until 6months old. The advantage of beginning carrying your baby on your back early is that they are not wriggling around as much as an older baby does, so it can be a lot easier for you to learn back carrying methods.

Q?How do I carry my baby if it is wet or raining?

There are coats, rain proof jackets and babywearing covers available that are specially designed for use when baby wearing (carrying your baby in a sling or carrier).

Q?What is a sling meeting?

A sling meeting is a place for parents to meet who use slings or who want to start using them. They are places where you can exchange your experiences with different types and styles of slings, and where you will see many different slings in action.