Babies have been carried in many ways over the years. From Native American papoose boards to today’s car seat, which inevitably does triple duty as a baby carrier and bassinette, it seems we have explored just about every feasible way to get baby from point A to Point B. Enter the baby sling.
Baby slings aren’t exactly a new idea. Fabric slings of sorts have been used by parents in many cultures, dating back as far as we can trace. They have continued to be popular in many Asian countries, but have only recently begun really catching on amongst Americans.
There are several benefits to carrying your baby in a sling. Here are a few of the benefits for you as the parent:
- A sling is much more comfortable to carry around than a car seat. Because it is fabric, it can be folded easily and fits into a diaper bag, so you can use it when you need it and store it when you don’t.
- Baby slings allow you to have closeness while carrying your baby. Carrying them this way has been shown to increase bonding. This idea is strongly supported by many proponents of attachment parenting.
- Baby slings allow you to use your hands while still safely carrying your baby.
- Carrying your baby in a baby sling distributes the weight, and is generally more comfortable than other carrying methods. It’s also easier on your back.
And here are some of the benefits to your baby:
- Baby can be awake or asleep and still be close to you, making her feel more secure.
- The fabric conforms to the shape of baby’s body and can be more comfortable because it doesn’t place as much stress on baby’s back as more rigid carriers do.
- A sling allows baby to be carried in several different positions, facing towards or away from the parent.
- Being carried and held helps babies with their development, especially when it comes to communication. Parents who carry their baby in a sling can carry the baby for longer periods of time, giving the baby more intimacy with mom and dad.
All of us know babies like to be held. The more we can have them with us, the better for them and us. Carrying your baby with a baby sling allows you to stay more connected by having more close contact with your baby, while not wearing you out as quickly as carrying your baby would otherwise.