Baby slings: better than a buggy? Are baby carriers taking over from pushchairs, do you think?
We're intrigued by a recent BBC report saying that more and more new parents are choosing to carry their baby around in a baby sling, baby wrap or baby carrier – instead of a pushchair.
Apparently, it's partly a money thing (slings are cheaper than buggies!) but it's also down to a revival of interest in the idea of 'baby wearing' (keeping your child physically close to you pretty much all the time).
It's also help by the new availability of sling libraries, where you can get you expert advice and support on choosing the right carrier for your baby - and your family's budget and set-up.
So, what do you think?
Do you use slings/carriers? If you do, do you use them instead of a buggy or as an extra? And do you prefer taking your baby out in a sling - or not?
If you haven't had your baby yet, would you be tempted to get a sling/carrier? Why? And, if you are tempted, would you feel you had to get a pushchair, too? Or not?
Please do let us know your views by posting a reply on this discussion thread. We'd really love to know!
We have one. I found carrying DD much easier around certain shops and if I wanted a breather then she settled and slept better in the carrier than in the pushchair. We do have both. Now we are due no2 I will be baby wearing a lot more, Ill find it easier to feed in the carrier and continue walking/doing whatever because this time we won't have the option to just stop in a cafe for an hour with a 2 year old in tow!
We had a Bjorn carrier and a Babasling - I could never, ever get the baby in the Babasling for love nor money - watched their Youtube videos and everything! The Bjorn was used rarely, as i'm just happier with the buggy (we have a Bugaboo Bee - it's old and knackered, but I love it!). Wished i could get the hang of the slings so much, but alas!
Also a friend of mine who's a bit of a hippy (she ALWAYS used a sling rather than buggy with her kids) swears that forward facing infants in a sling is super dangerous for their hip joints (with prolonged use) So that kinda of put me off too!
I bought a buggy before my daughter was born & used it a handful of times. I went to a sling meet & tried a few different carriers before settling on a Connecta & never looked back. They're just so much easier than using a buggy. But you have to get a good 1. A lot of the high street carriers ccan be bad for the people who carry (bad for the back if poorly designed) & bad for the baby if front facing or not wide enough base as it can be bad for the babies hips.
It's just so much easier to get around & give you 2 hands to do things. Things like going on public transport, on the underground, going abroad. When my daughter got older the carrier was great as I would get her to walk the majority of the time & keep the carrier in my bag to get out for when she was tired. I carried on slinging her till just before my son was born & she was nearly 3. Am intending to get a toddler carrier so we have a 2nd sling so we can sling both of them. They're also so useful around the house as my son is quite clingy so I can do the washing, tidy up or even cook with him in the carrier on me.
I love my sling, as does my hubby who is confused when he discusses it with his male friends who complain about lack of boot space or having to lug a buggy around!! The only thing I feel I miss out on is doing the buggyfit classes!!!
If you're thinking of getting a sling/carrier definitely go to a sling meet & try different ones rather than buy a high street carrier like a baby bjorn as it'll last a lot longer!
I wasn't sure about getting a sling at first but I love it now I've got it! I went for the Moby Wrap as I'd read lots of reviews and people seemed to love it. On many reviews I noticed people saying they bought the sling for their second baby and wished they had discovered it for their first - so I thought I would go ahead and get one and I agree that it's not worth waiting. My DD often cries when put down so to be able to have her with me and still have my hands free is brilliant.
I have a pushchair too as I wouldn't want to be without that either! I just decide which one to use based on whatever I'm doing and what is easiest. My hubby is a fan of the sling too although he's still getting the hang of getting DD into it sometimes as she'll put up a bit of a fight!
I babywear our little one loads more than I use her pram although think when she gets bigger and more alert / awake I will use the pram more. I do love carrying her though it is sooo handy for the school run as I am not clogging the classroom up with the pram. We are using a close caboo and I love it
I have a sling and a pram. I have only used the sling at home as far as haven't had the need to use it outside yet. My little girl loves being in it though and falls asleep quickly. Great for doing housework while she's in it!
Really good point about the forward facing issues. People aren't made properly aware how carrying a child in a forward facing sling (on the parents front too) is not good for little one's hips.
I forgot to add that I think the majority of people buy a pram or similar before their baby is born as it's considered an essential item when actually you can just buy a good quality sling & save yourself a lot of money & storage (car storage I've heard it's a pain with a large buggy).
i have 4 little girls and as newborns they have all hated buggys, crying shortly after being put in resulting in me needing to carry them. So a wrap has been a life saver for me all 4 times. I can do jobs round the house, get my girls ready and too schoil and baby is happy to be close to me. Once they get to 6 months I go back to using a buggy x
When my daughter was a baby I had a Baby Bjorn sling, but found as I'm rather top heavy she was squashed in my cleavage and she wasn't comfortable, then I tried a MaByland trek sling when she was a bit older and she liked it for facing outwards, however my back didn't.
I'm trying for baby number two and want to get a new sling, so went to a local sling meet up the other day, but didn't find the one I would ideally want (one with a lumbar support belt). As I have a bad back and need more support when carrying a baby.
I'm also Childminding a five month old and would like one suitable to cover this age.
Does anyone know of one as described that won't break the bank?
Help or advice will be appreciated.
My experiences are similar to many peoples' above.
We bought a pram before my LO was born fully intending it to be the only way we went out and about with her. We totally changed our minds in the first month after she was born though. She had bad colic, and also reflux every so often. That settled after 2 months but she still hates being put down and craves physical contact with us. I did a bit of research and stumbled upon babywearing after a woman at my playgroup suggested it to me, seeing me hold my baby a lot. I bought a Moby wrap and it has been the singular best purchase I've made! If I need to get housework done, I wrap her up and she happily falls asleep letting me crack on. If she's in a pram she gets fussy after 10 minutes and wants held, but in the wrap I can go out for a walk for over an hour with her quite content. If she's particularly fussy we wrap her even just if we're sitting around the house as she finds it so calming.
I know everyone has different ideas on parenting, and I've met people in my own family who are horrified by the approach I am taking. They feel it would be better for my baby if I got her used to my way of doing things and let her cry a little as it would do her no harm. I take a more attachment view of parenting though and feel it helps with our bonding to minimise her distress and feel not responding to her crying might lead to long term effects and a breaking of her trust in me. I don't think there's any right or wrong way of doing things, I just think it's important people know there are different ways of doing things so they can make an informed choice rather than base most of their parenting decisions on what other people tell them is the way it should be done.
Other benefits. I can interact with her more, as she's right up close to me. I can rub her back or give her a little kiss whenever I like. It's very practical, as it's easier to transport a wrap than a pram and better for public transport as other people have mentioned. We now only use the pram as a safe place to put her if I pop into the kitchen to make my meals or a cup of tea (it's not safe to babywear while cooking or drinking hot drinks) or when she's had her jabs, as it would hurt her legs to manoeuvre her into the wrap. Babies find that physical closeness soothing, and when they're calm, it enables them to better learn and develop.
As other people have said though, buying a cheap one is not a good investment. We got a basic one from mothercare as a gift but it didn't distribute the weight evenly so gave me a sore back. It also left LO's legs dangling rather than properly supported in the M position. That's why the wrap suits us - better back support and better for baby's hips. It's easy to wrap it to whatever shape and size you are so my husband can use it without having to readjust any straps.
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I forgot to mention that when doing jobs around the house like loading or unloading the dishwasher or cooking I have my son in the Connecta on my back as it wouldn't be safe if he was on my back - especially cooking!!