my favorite sling

There’s a type of baby that does not like to be put down.  Our DC1 was such a type.  (DC2 doesn’t seem to mind it so much).

The problem with a baby that doesn’t like being put down is that you do not have the use of one or both of your arms *most of the time.*  And it’s hard to do stuff when you’re used to having two arms.

A solution that doesn’t involve screaming or never getting another chore done is to buy a baby carrier.  I know a lot of people really love their Ergos, which now have an infant insert (back in the day they weren’t good for infant joints or something like that).  My sister got a ring sling for me (based on the recommendation of the woman working at the fru-fru natural parenting store), and I loved it so much I got one for DH as well.

The ring sling is simple and versatile.  It works at a lot of ages with a lot of positions.  I really like the company Zolowear.  They’re a bit pricey, but they’re really the Cadillac of ring slings.  They have a nice pocket for carrying your keys.  There’s a long tail that’s great for hiding while nursing.  And, perhaps most importantly, there’s a dvd with videos that explains how to actually use the ring sling.  (It isn’t really a priori obvious, so the dvd is really helpful.)  There’s two newborn holds (cradle and froggy) and a bunch of holds for older kids.  I liked froggy and the side-hold for DC1, but DH used cradle and different older-kid holds.

DC1 spent a huge amount of time in DH’s sling (mine also, but mostly DH’s).  Didn’t like the carseat or even the stroller, but loved being cuddled in a sling.  It would have been a lot more frustrating that first year without.  One of the best gifts we got.

So far we haven’t been using it as much for DC2.  Ze doesn’t mind being put down as much or being strapped in as much and dislikes being unable to see (so hates the cradle hold).  I am willing to bet when ze is older and tall enough to see in the sling that ze will like it better.  For now it’s best for carrying around a sleeping baby and as a nursing coverup for me.

So that’s my plug.  No reimbursement for it or anything (Zolowear probably doesn’t know I’m alive).

Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: . 21 Comments »

21 Responses to “my favorite sling”

  1. Que Sera Says:

    For newborns I really like my Moby. It takes awhile to put on, but I get the use of both hands and good back support. I would never have been able to get my older one ready for preschool without a hands free device. Though my little guy likes his head out even while sleeping, so I also use a sling and the Ergo infant insert. Can you tell I’m holding him all the time?

  2. bogart Says:

    Shouldn’t anything involving babies or baby gear be tagged a “deliberately controversial post?” ;)

    I tried a wide assortment of baby carriers (in quest of one that defied the laws of physics, which I never found. Darn it.) and did best with a tube sling (e.g. peanut shell), which I only discovered when DS was older (think 2.5 y.o. straddling hip, but cradled by sling not mama’s arm) and, earlier than that, a mei tai. Both were quite inexpensive — each around $25 (the mei tai off ebay, but as a handmade/craft rather than a recycle, not that I’m opposed to the latter but they can be harder to find).

    Among my numerous objections to the widely available options are the near-insistence on cotton (there are good reasons why we no longer make backpacking equipment or athletic wear out of canvas/cotton…) and the (somewhat related) difficulties involved in cramming many of the carriers into a purse. This was one of the reasons I much preferred the tube sling to a ring sling, as there was a lot less fabric to deal with (it probably helps that I’m of the “‘scuse me while I whip this out” school of BFing).

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      We found cotton to be good for our winter baby. That may be why our summer baby isn’t as crazy about the sling… but not about to buy a mesh one with the weather cooling down.

      Gosh darn it. I have that line from blazing saddles stuck in my head but as the opening lyric to a song I cannot find or remember. It goes ‘scuze me while I whip this out” then there’s some reverb, then it sounds like someone is changing the radio dial to news, then some music, then my memory stops. This is going to bother me ALL DAY.

      • bogart Says:

        Oof, sorry, and I’m afraid I’m no help on the song line. Bad!

        Yeah, mine was a March baby, so a bunch of walking was summertime, and the stuff-it-in-the-purse feature isn’t optimal with cotton relative to some (gasp!) nylons and microfibers. I do have a fleece tube sling, which was good for winter (except: black and thus not reflective, and yes, I did walk on the street in the dark with a toddler on my body, indeed I did). I actually also have a black silk sling (with a snap, like a backpack hip belt, suboptimal as it rubs and is hard to do up because of positioning issues), a good idea, but expensive (but perfect for those formal baby-wearing occasions!).

    • Perpetua Says:

      One of the things I always loved about the Ergo (besides everything) is that rather than trying to stuff in my purse, I can just wear it even if the baby for some reason isn’t in it (clicked in the backwards position), and it’s reasonably comfortable, like an ultra light backpack. Part of the point of the Ergo for me is there is no purse or diaper bag involved in most cases. The handy pocket holds my keys and some money/cc and that’s it.

  3. gwinne Says:

    I finally got the Baby K’tan carrier; it works like a moby for a tiny one (or a pouch/sling for a bigger one) but has none of the complicated wrapping. For me it works because it’s sized accurately; I’d tried a sized sling from Zolowear and it was still WAY too big for me to be safe.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I think my sling is XS and I’m short but not *that* short (usually I wear a S in things), so I can see that might be a problem for people even smaller than I am. Perhaps a result of zolowear being based in Texas. It’s nice being able to try things on before committing.

      I’ll put links to these different types of slings when leechblock goes off at lunch.

    • gwinne Says:

      I’m just over 5 ft (and 100 lbs).

      Texas–ha! Lived there for 4 years.

  4. Linda Says:

    When I was in Zambia nearly 10 years ago I recall seeing mothers carrying babies and small children on their backs in slings made from what looked like simply pieces of cloth they had folded and tied to them. Everyone looked very comfortable with the arrangement.

    Why do all these baby slings show people holding the kid in front of them or on one side? Don’t they still get in the way of you using your arms and hands if positioned that way? Why isn’t it OK to carry them on your back? I’m wondering why there’s a difference between it being done one way in Zambia and another way here.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Lots of people hold babies on their backs too. It isn’t as convenient for say, sitting down.

      Our babies ourselves talks about baby carrying in other indigenous cultures.. there’s some that carry on the front or the side that do infant potty training or nursing every 15 min! (So how they carry is connected with other things.)

    • bogart Says:

      I found getting the kid on my back, solo, difficult (ditto off). I’d guess if that approach were more widely used (here) I’d have had an easier time learning it; other cultures may also be less likely for this (getting the baby on/off) to be a solo problem (versus having someone around to help).

      I did find the sitting-down problem to be a big one. I used my carriers for things like traveling using public transport, so being able to hop onto and off of buses and sit down, stably, was important.

  5. NoTrustFund Says:

    I used a moby and ergo with #1 but with #2 I used a Bjorn we borrowed from a friend. Baby and I both loved it up until she was about 8 months. Now she still loves it but it kills my back after 20 min. I wish there was a more back friendly option where baby faced out. Although now she is almost 1 so I am not sure we’ll be investing in any more baby gear.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Can the moby be used that way? I’ve seen older babies facing out in them and I thought they were supposed to be reasonable on the back.

      I tried a bjorn once hiking and boy was that a mistake. Luckily my friend also had an extra sling.

    • bogart Says:

      I found the tube-sling-kid-straddling-hip thing very back friendly, and I was carrying a 30-lb 2.5 year old in it. I also had some success with the Mei Tai as an out-facer, but am not sure how gentle it was on my back … honestly cannot remember.

  6. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    They should make d00dlier ones, like with f*cken sports team logos and shitte!! All those weird abstract patterns look like f*cken shower curtains.

  7. InBabyAttachMode Says:

    Yay babywearing! I’m not a huge ring sling fan, I don’t really like the asymmetry of it. I have a bunch of woven wraps (so like the Moby but than not stretchy) and I wear BlueEyes on my front or back in them. Once you figure out how to tie them it maybe takes a minute to get him in there. We also have a Manduca (it’s like the Ergo but a different brand) that my husband likes to use.


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