Baby Slings

There are so many baby slings available that it can be difficult to choose one. Often the easiest way to figure out which slings work for you is to test them out. Feedback from other sling using families is always good though to get an idea of what a baby carrier is like to use over the longer term rather than a few short minutes in a shop.

If this is going to be a gift for new parents it is a great one. A baby carrier allows new parents to get on with daily living while still having their baby snuggled up close and feeling safe.

A few reasons baby slings are so useful include:

  • Soothe babies with reflux and colic
  • Both hands are free to use while still holding the baby
  • Much easier to use than a stroller in places with a lot of stairs
  • Easier to use in narrow aisles than a stroller

Ring Slings

Advantages of ring slings:

  • Quick to put on the parent
  • Quick to put the baby into
  • Easy to fold up and bring with you
  • Puts baby into a curved round space similar to being in utero
  • Helps rock fussy babies to sleep
  • Easy to wash
  • Cheaper than the soft structured carriers
  • Very wide straps which distribute the weight over all of the shoulder area

Disadvantages of ring slings:

  • They are only on one shoulder leading to pain over time if used frequently
  • Babies with reflux prefer to be more upright and less curved through their spine
  • The baby's weight is only distributed through the shoulder and not the hips making them less comfortable for the parent as the baby gets heavier


Advantages of wrap baby slings:

  • Many different carrying positions including upright facing in, upright facing out, lying down and back carry
  • In the upright carry they support throughout the baby's crotch and legs rather than all the weight through the crotch
  • Easy to wash
  • Very wide straps which distribute the weight over all of the shoulder area

Disadvantages of wrap baby slings:

  • Can be hot for both parent and baby in hot weather
  • Weight not distributed over hips of the parent so can be uncomfortable as the baby gets heavier
  • Can be difficult to learn how to use initially
  • The long straps can get a bit dirty while being put on as they drag on the ground (many savy wrap sling wearers actually put them on before going out in the car so that they don't waste time or get the sling dirty while getting the baby out of the car)

Mei Tais

Advantages to mei tai baby slings:

  • Very adjustable, can sit differently on the parent's body every time it's used ie. tied so it's higher or lower
  • More designs available for the fabric, parents can be a little more individual
  • Front, side or back carry positions

Disadvantages to mei tai baby slings:

  • Most (except the Catbird Baby Pikkolo) are unable to have the baby facing forward in the front carry position
  • Although some weight is distributed on the lower part of the body, the strap around the parents waist is not very structured
The Catbird Baby Pikkolo Babywearing Support Belt is compatible with most mei tai carriers. It transforms these carriers into a soft structured carrier and makes them comfortable for the parents of an older baby but also stylishly colored. This makes mei tai carriers the most versatile carriers on the market.

Soft Structured Carriers

Advantages of soft structured carriers:

  • Come as one piece, no need to buy a support belt to upgrade the weight bearing capacity
  • Very comfortable for the parent to wear with an older, heavier baby, distributing the baby's weight onto the hips in the way a good travel back pack does

Disadvantages of soft structured carriers:

  • Most need an extra insert for newborns with no head control which can be difficult to use with an unsettled newborn
  • Most can't be used with the baby in an outward facing position in the front carry (The Catbird Baby Pikkolo with support belt overcomes this problem)

Bjorn Style Baby Carriers

Advantages to Bjorn Style Baby Carriers:

  • Hold newborns very upright which is good for those suffering reflux
  • Easy to use
  • Quick to put on the parent
  • Quick to put the baby into

Disadvantages of Bjorn Style Baby Carriers:

  • Don't distribute any weight onto the parents hips so can be uncomfortable to use with older babies
  • Straps are fairly skinny and can't be easily moved to a different point on the shoulder when the muscles start to get sore

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