Which sling should I buy?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions from parents.

Which sling should I buy?

If you type babywearing into the search engine you can see there are hundreds if not thousands of slings in the world – different style, different material, different brand, different size.

So today I am going to help you narrow down your choices so that you will know which direction you are going with.

Sling categories

Slings can be generally categorized into the following – stretchy wrap, woven wrap, ringsling, mei tai, soft structured carrier (ssc). In this article I am going to list out the characteristic of each kind, so hopefully it will help parents narrow down their choices.

Stretchy wrap

– A stretchy wrap is a long piece of stretchy fabric that generally wrap around the baby and parent 3 times.

Pro: not much learning curve, forgiving to beginner, perfect for snuggling newborn

Con: not so great for bigger babies, you might need to upgrade to a more supportive sling from 4-6 months onward.

Woven wrap

– A woven wrap is a piece of woven fabric. Size varies from 2 metres to 5.2 metres.

Pro: very versatile, one can do many different carries with this, there is always one carry suitable to every situation, it can also be used as a scarf, picnic blanket, car blanket, etc, depending on the size, very beautiful, easy to wash, easy to store

Con: steep learning curve, you might need help from a babywearing consultant, but it’s a good skill to have once you know it. I keep telling parents they can know carry their babies even during zombie attack as long as they have a towel or a random sheet handy, haha!

Ring Sling

– A ring sling is a piece of woven wrap with a ring attached so that you don’t need to tie knots. Some ring sling can be made with stretchy fabric.

Pro: can be used from newborn to toddlers, perfect for quick up and down, elegant, good for dressy occasions

Con: not suitable for long walks due to the use of only one shoulder, not as much learning curve as woven wrap but still you need to learn how to ‘make a seat’

Mei Tai

– A Mei Tai is based on traditional Chinese design. It’s made up with a square and 4 straps. Sometimes you have a hood and other modern convenience, e.g. little bag for your phone or hooks for teething toys, etc.

Pro: easy to learn, particularly good for summer months due to its airy nature, great for sharing between mom and dad as there is no adjustment,

Con: long tails dragging on the floor while securing a carry could be tricky with Irish weather (i.e. wet floor!)

Soft Structure Carrier (SSC, aka buckle)

– It’s basically a Mei Tai but with modern hiking technology.

Pro: almost no learning curve, if you know how to use a hiking bag, you know how to use a sec, very supportive for long walks

Con: Could be bulky, might need adjustment switching between parents, different brand might suit different body type, you might need to try a lot of them to find your holy grail

So when it comes down to it, how do we choose which kind of sling is suitable to your family?

It depends on your lifestyle. You have to ask yourself what are you going to use the sling for. For example, if you are like me who lives in Dublin inner city, we use public transport exclusive and walk a lot, woven wrap or ssc might be a good choice for you as they are the most supportive for long walks. If you are only using the sling at home so you get your hands free to do housework, then maybe a mei tai is great for you. It is supportive, both parents can use it, you don’t have to worry about long tails and it won’t be too warm for indoor. If you have a newborn AND a toddler, then Ring Sling could be good for both newborn snuggle and toddler going up and down every 5 minutes.

I hope this post helps you to understand the different sling categories. If you think you still need extra help in choosing a sling, you can contact me for a consult, an hour and a half consult will help you to choose a sling plus to learn one carry (and your partner if you wish). Alternatively, check out your local sling meet if you want to see a wide range of slings and play with them to get a better idea. Check out Babywearing Ireland website for your next local sling meet.

In case you don’t already know, I have launched my own sling brand with what I think the best quality of fabric and the best design. Check it out on LOVA Sling.

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Babywearing and Christmas shopping

Babywearing is going to save your sanity this Christmas shopping season.

No, I am not exaggerating.

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The crowd in City Centre in the coming weekends are going to be mental, babywearing is going help in many ways…

  1. You can have your hands free so that you can go through the merchandise
  2. You can hold the hands of your older child so to minimise them running around in the crowd
  3. You can navigate the crowd easier because you just walk! No more ‘excuse me’ 100 times just to push the pram around people
  4. That also means less people being angry with you when you keep saying ‘excuse me excuse me excuse me’…
  5. You can go in the stall in the toilet for sure, no need to worry about the pram
  6. No need to worry if there is enough space to get on the bus, Luas, etc…
  7. This one is very important, babies are less likely to be overstimulated by the noise and the light in the shops! You are less likely to end up having a grumpy baby!

This is why this holiday season, you need babywearing more than ever! Check out my design on LOVA Sling or book a consultation if you need advice on babywearing.

Why babywearing?

We, homo sapiens, have been carrying our offsprings in some form of a carrier since the beginning of history. Not only because it is practical (so that the mother can carry out productive activity while caring for the baby), but there are also a lot of health benefits. Here are a brief introduction on the benefit of babywearing, if you want to read further on the subject matters, please check out my Lending Library.

  1. Health and psychological benefits for both parents AND child
    • We, as a species, are physically meant to be carried. Just try to pick you any newborn baby, their legs are ready to ‘grab’. Any adult, when they pick up a child, they instinctively place him/her on their hip where you achieve a snug fit.
    • Baby cries 50% less when being carried
    • Babies in sling tend to breastfeed easier because mothers are more in tune with baby’s cue
    • Babies being carried developed a better sense of balance quicker because they are in an upright position and have to experience the 3 dimensional movement when the parent is walking
    • Studies have shown that the tummy to tummy vibration help babies to have better digestion
    • Babies in sling have less heat loss, parent’s body temperate also help to keep them warm with less clothes needed
    • Babies in slings learn quicker and more. Firstly, they cry less. When they are not crying, they are learning. Secondly, they are on eye level and seeing the same view as the parents, taking everything in.
    • As a result, babies in sling have better social skill sooner. Simply, if you think about it, they learn ‘good morning’, ‘thank you’ etc just by hearing it every day, many times a day.
    • Better bonding between babies and their carers. It helps with father and child bonding, so as grandparents and grandchild bonding
    • Babies in sling are also more sociable, they are participants of their parents’ lives vs being a spectator if they are sitting in a pram.
    • It’s fashionable! We all know how difficult in the early days to look half way decent so to get out in public. Being able to look great booze our moral in the midst of sleep deprivation!
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  3. Logistical benefits
    • You can get things done around the house! You have your arms back!
    • Plus, babies love the vibration when you are doing things around the house, it soothe them and they go to sleep
    • Easier to handle public transportation, no need to worry about if there is enough space for the pram
    • No need to worry about stairs
    • No need to worry about how to fit the pram in the toilet when you go into toilet in a cafe or restaurant
    • No need to worry about how to carry the baby while carrying your food tray (if you were to eat in a cafe for example)
    • You can hold the hands of your older child
    • You can chat with your friends while walking together! Not a lot of footpath allow two prams walking side by side
    • You don’t have to worry about cobblestone road
    • This is a tricky one – you don’t have to worry about strangers or weirdos to touch your baby! We all run into some well meaning strange people of whom you might not want them to touch your baby. It’s much less likely for them to lean over to you to reach your baby in a sling. It’s much easier for them to bend down to touch the baby in a pram. Plus, it’s much easier for you to move away with your baby from the weirdo than having to manoeuvre the pram to escape.

If you want to know more about babywearing or if you need help choosing a sling, please feel free to contact me on here.

Sources:
http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/health-concerns/fussy-baby/baby-wearing/benefits-babywearing
http://www.lalecheleague.org/nb/nbnovdec04p204.html
http://babywearinginternational.org/what-is-babywearing/babywearing-resources/benefits-of-babywearing-2/
– And nearly all the books in my Lending Library has information on benefit of babywearing!

Meet the Sling Lady – Free Demo Playdate Tallinn

Alice the Sling Lady is bringing babywearing to Tallinn!

Babywearing has lots of benefit to the baby’s health and psychological development, it’s also very convenient for the parents. And don’t forget – it’s also very fashionable!

Plus, you can get your arms back so that you can work! Here you see Licia Ronzulli – MEP from Italy, multitasking at European Parliament.

And you can do a lot of fun stuff…

Come meet me at the FREE DEMO PLAYDATE, I will tell you:

  1. The  health and psychological benefit of babywearing to baby AND to you
  2. TICKS safety guideline – why it is essential for the safety of your baby and yourself
  3. Why babywearing will make your life easier
  4. Why are some slings uncomfortable
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Credit: Babywearing Ireland

I will bring more than a dozen of slings from all the famous brands in USA, UK, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, etc. So that you try them on. There will be demo dolls with real baby weight for you to use, so that in case your baby is sleeping, you can still play!

Meet the Sling Lady – FREE DEMO PLAYDATE

Date: 1 September, 2016
Venue: to be confirmed, Tallinn

For more info, you can email me or contact my local organise Helen on 5596 1960.

 

Sling Clinic – Tallinn

Alice is bringing ‘Sling Clinic’ to Tallinn this autumn!

  • Have you been gifted a sling and not sure how to use it?
  • You have tried and it never sits ‘quite right’?
  • Is it pulling your back or shoulder?
  • Does your baby flop around?
  • So you end up constantly checking and adjusting it when you are walking?
  • Or do you feel you need to put one hand on it all the time just to feel safe?

A correctly fitted sling enable you to carry on with your day without having to adjust constantly or putting your hand on the sling all the time. You should be able to wave both your hands in the air and be able to dance! 

You should be able to…

  • Take the tram easily…

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  • Have a walk on the canal…

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  • Browse the vinyl record store in peace…

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  • Cook dinner…

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  • Do housework…

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  • Do grocery shopping…

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  • Attend the gay marriage campaign…

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  • Be cozy in winter…

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  • Stop and smell the flower…

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  • Walk around Kuala Lumpur

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  • Go hiking in the rain forest in Malaysia…

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  • Attend a wedding while your child is sleeping peacefully…

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Tallinn Sling Clinic

Date: 3-4 September, 2016

Venue: To be confirmed, Tallinn, Estonia

Time Slot: 30 minutes

Cost: 15 Euro

Time slots are limited. Book early to avoid disappointment. Please email me to book for a time slot or call my local organiser Helen on 5596 1960. 

If you don’t have a sling yet and you need help to choose what to buy, come to my Introduction to Babywearing workshop. You will walk out of the workshop knowing exactly which sling to buy and you will be able to carry a baby in at least one style of sling.

Workshop – September

Introduction to Babywearing – 25 Euro per person

Time: 3 September 2016, 14:00 to 17:30.

Venue: Tallinn, Estonia (exact venue to be confirmed)

This workshop is perfect for expectant parents or parents with newborn. You can bring your own sling and we have limited sling to borrow. If baby is asleep or you are expecting, there are demo dolls available for practice. Changing facility available. Tea and coffee are included in the price.

In this workshop, we will cover:

  • the brief history of babywearing
  • the scientific proof of the benefits of babywearing
  • basic anatomy of baby and adult and how it applies to babywearing
  • TICKS safety guideline and optimal positioning
  • a demonstration of all sling types
  • you can try different kind of slings
  • at the end of the class, you will be confident to use a stretchy wrap for front carry

Places are very limited. Please book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. 

If you are already using a sling but it’s not totally comfortable, you can make an appointment to my Sling Clinic. I will troubleshoot for you. Your baby and you will walk out of the clinic feeling much more comfortable with your sling.

To sign up, email me or call on my organiser Helen on 5596 1960. See you there!

 

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About Alice

Alice is a Trageschule UK Advanced Level Babywearing Consultant. She is also a Birth and Postpartum doula trained by DONA International.

Alice was born in Hong Kong where babywearing is very common. Growing up being carried and seeing all the babies around her being carried, she didn’t knew such a wonderful way of parenting wasn’t the norm in other parts of the world!

Having been living in Europe for 13 years (5 years in France, 8 years in Ireland), Alice decided to spread the word of babywearing to parents in Europe since she became a mother 2 years ago. And now she is bringing this workshop to Tallinn!

Alice is also a cat behaviourist and own a cat sitting business in Dublin. You can read more about her cat work here.

Workshop – August

Introduction to Babywearing – 25 Euro per person

Time: 13 August 2016, 14:00 to 17:30.

Venue: The Constant Knitter, 88 Francis Street, Dublin 8

This workshop is perfect for expectant parents or parents with newborn. You can bring your own stretchy wrap and we have limited sling to borrow. If baby is asleep or you are expecting, there are demo dolls available for practice. Changing facility available. Tea and biscuits are included in the price.

In this workshop, we will cover:

  • the brief history of babywearing
  • the scientific proof on benefits of babywearing
  • basic anatomy of baby and adult and how it applies to babywearing
  • TICKS safety guideline and optimal positioning
  • a demonstration of all sling types
  • you can try different kind of slings
  • at the end of the class, you will be confident to use a stretchy wrap for front carry

 

To sign up, send me an email or call on 087 3198534. See you there!