I have never been a big fan of baby carriers. I mean, I like the idea in principle, the idea of having the baby close to you at all times and reinforcing the bond between mother and baby, but the practical side...actually WEARING the thing is a nightmare.
With my first baby, I borrowed a baby carrier from a friend. I only used it the once as I hated it. I hated the restriction of movement that I had and the strain that the sling put on my back. I was also really worried that if I was to fall over, It would do the baby a lot of good!
By the time my second baby was born, I had noticed that a different type of carrier had come on the market, the sling. This type of carrier is worn across the body and is not rigid like traditional carriers. The Better Baby sling is basically a long strip of material, which fastens to form a loop, and has padded edges to protect the baby. Depending on the age of the baby, you can use the sling in different ways. For a newborn baby, you can cradle them closely in the sling, with the material providing a discreet shield when breastfeeding. For older children, the sling can be used like a seat, cradling their botty snugly as they sit up, keeping your arms free for other things.
I loved the whole idea of the Better Baby sling and duly paid my £30 and waited for it to arrive. I must admit, my heart sank when I realised it was just a padded strip of material. It seemed very expensive for what it was, and I'm sure that anyone with even basic sewing skills could whip up something similar for a couple of quid.
The sling comes with a video, as well as instructions on the different ways to carry the baby. I didn't really find it as natural as I had hoped, and had to adjust the sling a lot before I found a suitable position. Even then, I didn't really feel that the baby was very secure and was really concerned about the potential for accidents when using this product. It was only really suitable for carrying the baby short distances, such as to the local shops, or for carrying the baby round the house. I wouldn't have been happy using it on a big day out, as I think that both me and the baby would have soon felt uncomfortable.
One big advantage of the sling is that it allows really good privacy when breastfeeding, and you can feed in public without anyone realising what you are doing. This is good, as it is not always easy to find somwhere convenient to feed, or if male friends and relatives are visiting, you can still feed the baby without feeling awkward.
I found the sling easier as a carrier when my daughter was a bit older and could support herself better, although I didn't really use it as much as I had originally hoped. I got lots of admiring comments from people about the appearance of the sling, and on the plus side, I never felt any strain on my back or shoulders when using the sling.
In the end, I gave the sling away to a friend, dissappointed in how much it cost and how little use I had got out of it. £30 for a padded strip of material makes me feel like a bit of a mug. New parents, don't be sucked in by everything that looks like a good idea. Look for recommendations for people who have actually tried the product first. This product looks lovely, but just isn't all that practical.
I am writing this just to keep you all informed about how I am getting on with this sling. After my first child and the trials of using a Wilkinet (for a full explination read the review) I used dooyoo to try and decide which sling to buy. I opted for the Better Baby Sling. I bought it from NCT site on line - it sounded ideal - mainly due to the claim that you can EVEN breastfeed with it on! Baby no.2 is presently 4 months old. I admittedly haven't used the sling outside as much, as with my first child. This may be partly due to the fact I no longer have to rely on public transport, or live on the 8th floor with a dodgy lift to contend with! But in part is is due to me not feeling comfortable in carrying baby in the sling when he was small. When first born baby seemed to be really scrunched up in the sling - it did say this may happen in the instructions - but my baby's head always seems at an odd angle. The chest to chest upright position seemed better - and excellent for carrying collicky baby round the house while doing chores. Did take my 2 month old baby to see a play - I was nervous about this, thinking he may wake and disturb the whole audience. But thanks to the sling I was able to breast feed him discreetly, as soon as he showed signs of waking - limiting his cries to only a few seconds (which most of the audience found cute rather than annoying!) Now baby has better head control I have discovered that carrying him in the forward facing, upright, position is ideal for walks in the countryside. He sits nicely in front with his legs crossed, and I can easily pull up the fabric to guard him against any blustery winds blowing in his face (which he hates). Once Summer comes I can imagine trips to the beach will see this sling more used. The minuses:- I found it hurt my shoulder - where the rings are - if I carry baby for a a few hours. Can imagine this will get worse as he gets heavier. It do
es cause some strain to my back as weight is not centrally distributed - like with the Wilkinet - but then carrying children puts strain on your back!!! I think it would be a more comfortable sling to use for the smaller lady (I am a size 18+) and with some carrying positions I feel there should be a few more feet of fabric! I took a long time to work out how to wear this sling - in the end I ignored the instruction book and just went for the "what feels right" method. The pluses:- YES you can EVEN breast feed with it on - and discreetly. You can easily take the baby in and out - taking off the sling while my baby continues to sleeps is a BIG plus. It folds away quite small - so is handy to just throw in a bag on days away in case you need to take baby where buggies cannot go - like across fields and onto beaches! It is a lovely sling to feel close to your baby - as it feels like you are just cuddling them all the time. If I discover anything further - as time goes by - and baby gets bigger - I'll let you know!
I got a sling from the Better Baby Sling Company with my first Child and will definately be using it with my next ( due in a month). I had a Tomy front carrier at first but I found that this really pulled on my neck and shoulders. Jake was quite a heavy boy ( still is in fact) and I think that your back takes a real pounding in pregnancy and afterwards as your stomach muscles aren't really there to help take the strain. It's even worse if you have a section... Anyway I thought I'd give this a go - after all I'd seen the Women in my village in Africa carrying babies for miles in fabric slings and I have to say I never heard one of those babies cry. It's really comfortable, the padding on the shoulder really eases the pressure and I wore mine all day at times. If Jake fell asleep I could just bend forward, slip the sling off my head and lie him in the car seat or cot and use the rest of the sling to cover him up. It was great when I was shopping as there was no sruggling to get him in or anything!!. Later when he was bigger I used the front facing position a lot and he really enjoyed that. The other advantage was that his legs weren't dangling and banging against mine when I walked up steep hills ( we have a few of these in Yorkshire) It attracted quite a bit of comment at the time as he'd do things like sneeze or make a noise and people didn't even realise I was carrying a baby. It made a good sun shade too. There's loads of slings like this for sale in the States and I think they are just as common as the front carriers. There's meant to be other advantages for the baby to using slings - like being able to hear mum's heart and being closer to you rather than in a pram looking at peoples knees and tums!!
I bought this sling when my daughter was born, but I wish I had not. I could not get on with it. The sling comes with a video on how to use it, and how to make your baby comfortable. It has padded shoulder strap, and large bucket to pull trough so you can adjust the size. Once I managed to put it on and get comfortable, it was a matter of making my daughter comfy, and that was not so easy. i would say this is for the smaller baby, because mine was 9lb 2oz and she was not happy in this sling. I also found it gave me back ache, but then she was 9lb 2oz and I may have had it on wrong. The sling its self can carry up to 32lb's, and is fully machine washable. This may be ideal for some parents but I did not like it, and gave it up after a few tries.
i gave the better baby sling a thumbs up a while ago, but didn't have time to post my opinion of it...so here goes. with my first child i had one of those Tomy jobbies...all very comfy (to begin with, when child weighs no more than 9 or 10 pounds!) and straps everywhere, but with my second child i was, happily, introduced to the joys of the better baby sling.....So fantastic to feel your baby "next" to you, the sling being part of your relationship with the baby as opposed to being a "way of carrying the baby around". You can breast-feed, then you can move on to the dreaded supermarket etc without disturbing the babe, and, as i have found, the best possible thing is that you can continue to carry your child until they are much bigger - in my case my daughter was 18 months when i finally had to stop as she is sooooo big for her age. Point is, the sling is very adaptable, as the child can be carried entirely within it, or with their bum supported and legs dangling, until their weight, or your back (!) finally says NO!....so much more flexible than the market-leader brands that kill your shoulders once the child reaches 3 months! I loved it...and am now in the process of car-booting it, video (with full instructions included) attached...and hope it goes to a good new home.
I bought this off the net, as I was breastfeeding what seemed like continually, and needed a sling that I could feed with that would leave my hands free. It does, I must admit, look a bit hippyish (my husband was horrified when he first saw it!), but it's really versatile, and if you want a sling you can feed from, it's perfect. Because of it's versatility I used it far more than I've used other baby slings - despite it's hippy image. Even my husband has been forced to admit it's great! It also offers some discretion when breastfeeding in public. I would recommend it to non breastfeeders too.
Aims to cradle the baby close to your body in the most natural way to ensure a happy and contented baby. The baby is safe and secure and can adjust itself to the position it feels most comfortable in.