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Freedom Slings are made in Scotland. The company was started by a Mom of 12 who wanted to work from home. i believe she now emloys other Moms as well. They make a few different models. I am reviewing the pouch model (pictured here) as this is the only one I own. I would expect the basic Freedon Sling to be more like the Dr Sears sling which I will also review seperately.
The pouch sling comes in a few colour choices. Mine is stone and pale green, which is no longer available so the choices now are stone with red black or polka dots. You can reverse the sling to have either side on the outside. The sling itself is a padded pouch which comfortabley fits a newborn baby.
Advantages: I find the pouch much more secure feeling with a very little baby, and much easier to get used to using. It leaves both arms free, so you can do some housework, or play with an older child.
Disadvantages: Pouches do not fit all parents as theya re not as adjustable as an ordinary ring sling. While they can be used for an older child sitting up, they will not work as well for an older child laying down or feeding as a ring sling. They do not provide as much privacy for breastfeeding as a ring sling.
My opinion: I own both a pouch and a ring sling. Although a ring sling is meant to be suitable from birth, I just couldnt get the hang of it right with a small baby. I always felt like the baby could fall out. it also looked more comfortable for a new baby, nicely cradled in the pouch.
I found this sling a complete lifesaver with my youngest son. It meant i could still go out places, like the scinece museum with the olde child and he would be content all day to ride along. It allowed me to continue to have one on one time with the older child, which was very important to me. It also is brilliant if a child has trouble sleeping etc... I've read somewhere that western children cry an average of over 2 hours a day. Between co sleeping and baby wearing, my son never had much cause to cry and I would say averaged under 5 minutes a day of any type of fussing. Slings make for ahppy babies and happy families.
Babywearing in general:
Babywearing is not something new, but was the practice all over the world until the Victorian era brought in the pram, which became a symbol of social status. Many experts have expressed concern that western babies often spend to much time being moved from one artificial carrier or holder to another, from a swing to a car seat to a pram, without enough time spent in arms.
Babywearing is linked to:
Reduced incidence of colic
Reduced incidence of SIDS
Reduced Postpartum depression in mother
Early development of balance and muscle development
Early language skills as baby is always at face level and interacting more with other family members.
Provides stimulation which increases connections being made in the infants brain.
Promotes prolactin production, making breastfeeding easier.
Some baby wearing cautions: Never wear baby when cooking or handling anything dangerous. Babywearing on icy or dangerous surfaces can present a hazard to mother and child. Slings are obviously not a subsitute for child safety seats in vehichles.
More information on babywearing: