Which Sling is right for me?

What sling is the right one for you is often a tricky choice. What you thought you wanted might not be the comfiest option. It will depend on the age of the baby, your body shape, and what activities you will be doing whilst wearing. This guide should help you narrow it down but remember this is what sling libraries do best. Book a free online 15 min chat to help narrow your choices or a longer session to have a more in depth look at the options and to help you make the right choice for you and your baby.

There are five main types of sling / carrier for you to choose from.

Stretchy Wraps:

These are long pieces of knitted stretchy fabric that you tie around your body.

Pros:

They fit all body shapes and sizes

You can tie it once in the morning and then pop the baby in and out all day without having to take it off and put in on again each time

They are snuggly and soft and supportive

They are useful for the new-born / forth trimester phase

Easy to wash

Lots of colours and prints to choose from

Supportive

Cons:

Like tying shoelaces, there is a learning curve when starting out. However just like tying your laces after a few goes you no longer need to think about it.

Once baby gets to the ‘pushing away’ phase usually around 6m but can be 4-9m, they are not as supportive as they were when baby was younger.

There is a lot of fabric and some people find that they feel ‘swamped’.

Asian Style Carriers (also known as  Mei dai’s, Mei Tais, Podaegi’s, and Onbuhimo’s)

Typically, these have a square or rectangle body panel, 2 waist straps and 2 shoulder straps that are tied in a double knot to secure.

Pros:

Simple to use

Supportive

Fit most body shapes

Come in a variety of sizes or adjustable

Easy to swap between users, no adjustments needed

Comfortable in front, hip, and back carries

High back carries where baby can see over your shoulder are an option

Easy to wash

Lots of lovely fabric prints to choose from

Cons:

Long straps can get dirty on wet ground

The shoulder strap angle needs to suit your body shape

Buckle Carriers (also known as soft structured carriers)

These have a a square or rectangle body panel, a structured padded waist band and structured padded straps. They are secured with buckles.

Pros:

Quick to put on

Supportive

Lots of different colours and fabrics

Come in a variety of sizes or are adjustable

Front and back carry options. Some also do hip and/or back to front/ facing out positions.

Cons:

The shoulder angle, waist shape and body panel fastening need to suit your body shape for a good comfortable fit, every brand has a different waist shape, shoulder angle, and body panel fastening

You need to adjust the buckle webbing between users

You need to adjust the buckle webbing between types of clothing, for example if you were wearing a coat or jumper yesterday but are only in a t-shirt today

Harder to swap between adults with different body shapes than less structured options

Can be bulky

Woven Wraps

These are long pieces of woven non stretchy fabric that you tie around your body.

Pros:

They fit all body shapes and sizes

Can be used in front, hip back, high back carries pop-able carries

Lots of tying methods to choose from which enables you to choose where on your body you carry the weight, shoulders, torso, hips, all 3…

Lots of beautiful fabrics and designs to choose from.

Supportive for all age of baby/child and all body shapes of adults

Easy to wash

Can be used in single, double, or triple layers of fabric depending on the weather

Different lengths available for those who don’t like too much fabric.

Cons:

Like tying shoelaces, there is a learning curve when starting out. However just like tying your laces after a few goes you no longer need to think about it.

Ring Slings

These are typically made from woven wrap fabric with two rings sewn in to fasten at the shoulder. Usually used for one shoulder front or hip carries.

Pros:

Very quick to put on

Simple to use

Great for breastfeeding

Brilliant for quick up and downs and short trips.

Can be used in front and hip carries, also back carries for a more advanced carry.

Spreads the weight over your torso well

Folds up small in your bag for when out and about with a toddler or in and out of the car

Cons:

One shoulder carry

Limited arm movement with the arm that’s on the ring side

Not great under coats

Not great for longer hiking trips of over an hour or two.