Mumie hacks: Babywearing

by laura , Last updated May 9th, 2023

Here at Mumie we want to share with you all the tips we and our community of parents have picked up on our journey through parenting that made our new lives as parents a little easier; our Mumie hacks. Today we will look at carrying your baby in a sling – commonly known as babywearing.

Babywearing is a practice that has been around for centuries, and for good reason. It involves carrying a baby or young child in a carrier or sling, keeping them close to the your body while allowing you to have your hands free. In recent years, babywearing has become increasingly popular as parents have recognized its numerous benefits. In this article, we will discuss six key benefits of babywearing.

Promotes Bonding

One of the most significant benefits of babywearing is that it promotes bonding between you and your baby. When a baby is close to your body, they can hear your heartbeat and feel your warmth, which can help to soothe and comfort them. Additionally, you can talk to and interact with your baby, which can help to strengthen your emotional connection.

Eases Fussiness

You’re not alone if your baby only wants to be held. Babywearing can offer many benefits while soothing your baby.

Another benefit of babywearing is that it can help to ease a fussy or colicky baby. Being held close to your body can provide a sense of security and comfort your baby craves, which can help to reduce crying and fussiness. This can be particularly helpful for parents who are struggling to soothe a fussy baby.

Increases Mobility and Freedom

Babywearing snowy adventures on Dartmoor, Devon

Babywearing can also increase your mobility and give you more freedom. With your baby in a carrier or sling, it’s much easier to navigate crowded spaces, climb stairs, and even engage in light exercise such as walking or hiking. You can access all kind of terrain that even the best buggies couldn’t manage. This can be especially useful for parents who want to continue an active lifestyle while caring for their baby.

Allows for Hands-Free Parenting

Babywearing lets you get on with your day whilst holding your baby close

Another significant benefit of babywearing is that it allows for hands-free parenting. With your baby in a carrier or sling, your hands are free to do other things such as jobs around the house, cooking, or running errands. This can help to reduce stress and increase productivity, making it easier to manage the demands of parenting, and is particularly helpful if you have older children to run around after.

For Babies Who Sleep On The Move

For babies who only sleep on the move, babywearing allows you to get on with other things (apart from sleeping when the baby sleeps!)

Some babies prefer to be moving or held to sleep. Babywearing allows you to provide your baby with the sleep environment that they crave whilst also getting on with your day, avoiding an overtired baby and an overstressed mama.

Supports Breastfeeding

Finally, babywearing can also support breastfeeding. With a baby in a carrier or sling, it is easier to breastfeed on the go, as it’s possible to discreetly nurse the baby while out and about. Additionally, the close physical proximity can help to stimulate milk production and increase milk supply. It takes a bit of practice but once you’ve cracked it you can breastfeed whilst getting on with life!

In conclusion, babywearing is a practice that offers numerous benefits for both you and your baby. From promoting bonding to easing fussiness, increasing mobility, allowing for hands-free parenting, and supporting breastfeeding, babywearing is a versatile and practical tool for parents. By choosing to wear their baby, parents can provide comfort, security, and closeness for their little one while also making their own lives a little bit easier.

Some tips on safe babywearing

Babywearing is a wonderful way to bond with your baby and provide comfort and security. However, it’s important to practice safe babywearing to prevent any potential accidents or injuries. Here are some guidelines to follow for safe babywearing:

  1. Choose a carrier that is appropriate for your baby’s age and size. Some carriers are designed for newborns, while others are better suited for older babies and toddlers. Make sure to read the manufacturer’s recommendations and follow them carefully.
  2. Ensure that the carrier is properly adjusted and fitted to your body. A carrier that is too loose or too tight can be uncomfortable for both you and your baby, and can also be unsafe. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for adjusting the carrier to fit your body and your baby’s body.
  3. Check the carrier regularly for wear and tear. Over time, the carrier may become worn or damaged, which can compromise its safety. Check the carrier regularly for any signs of damage, such as frayed straps or tears in the fabric. If you notice any damage, stop using the carrier immediately and replace it.
  4. Position your baby safely in the carrier. Make sure your baby is positioned in the carrier with their airway clear and unobstructed. The baby’s face should be visible and not covered by the carrier or any clothing. Keep your baby’s chin off their chest to prevent their airway from becoming blocked.
  5. Be aware of your surroundings. When wearing your baby, be mindful of your surroundings and any potential hazards. Avoid activities that may be unsafe while wearing your baby, such as cooking over an open flame or using power tools.
  6. Listen to your baby. Pay attention to your baby’s cues and signals while wearing them. If your baby seems uncomfortable or fussy, it may be time to take them out of the carrier.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your baby is safely and securely carried in a carrier, allowing you to enjoy all the benefits of babywearing.

How to choose a sling

Choosing the right babywearing sling is important to ensure both you and your baby are comfortable and safe. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a babywearing sling:

Type of Sling: There are several types of slings, including ring slings, stretchy wraps, woven wraps, and structured carriers. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to research each type and consider your needs before choosing one.

Size: The size of the sling is also an important factor to consider. The sling should fit you comfortably, with no uncomfortable pressure points or tightness. It’s also important to choose a sling that is the right size for your baby – too big and your baby may slip down, too small and they may be uncomfortable.

Material: The material of the sling should be comfortable for both you and your baby. Soft, breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, or bamboo are good options. Avoid synthetic materials that can cause your baby to overheat or be uncomfortable.

Safety Features: Look for slings that have safety features like buckles, adjustable straps, or rings that can be adjusted to ensure your baby is secure and comfortable. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe use of the sling.

Comfort: The sling should be comfortable for both you and your baby. Consider the weight of the sling, the padding around the shoulders, and the amount of support the sling provides.

Ease of Use: The sling should be easy to use and adjust. Consider how easy it is to put on and take off, and how easy it is to adjust the fit for both you and your baby.

Budget: Slings can range in price from very affordable to quite expensive. Consider your budget when choosing a sling, but keep in mind that a more expensive sling may offer more features and better quality.

It’s also a good idea to try out different types of slings and brands before making a purchase, to find the one that works best for you and your baby. Many areas have a “sling library” where you can try on slings, rent them to try out, or just chat to someone who knows all about slings and carriers!

Our favourites

Here at Mumie we have some standout favourite slings.

Close Caboo – a fabric sling which can be worn from newborn, including tiny babies. It’s fastening system leaves the tummy area free – perfect for if you have had a caesarean and are keen to avoid any pressure over that area. Buy Close Caboo sling on Amazon with next day Prime delivery

Ergobaby 360 – a more structured sling which is also suitable from birth. Your baby can be worn in multiple different positions (age/weight restrictions apply) up to the time they are a toddler. An excellent investment in our opinion! Buy Ergobaby360 on Amazon

What slings have you used and loved? Share with your Mumie community using comments below.

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