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by Jess Buskirk
Carrying a baby in a sling, also referred to as baby wearing, has many benefits. Baby slings keep your hands free while providing your child with a soothing environment that mimics the womb. Baby carriers make parenting a lot easier because they let you be close to your baby while keeping your hands free. Learning how to tie a baby sling takes a bit of practice, but doing it correctly will keep your baby safe and snug and will distribute the weight evenly across your back, allowing you to wear your baby for long periods of time. When shopping for carriers, consider the positives of using a baby sling. With our tips, you can learn to tie one properly and easily integrate it into your parenting style.
Many different types of baby slings are available, and each can be tied several ways. The most common baby slings are the cradle carry and the hip carry. The cradle carry is popular because it is perfect for infants with its excellent head and neck support. It is also a good sling to use while breastfeeding. The hip carry is great for children that are a little older because it allows them to look around and interact with the world while still remaining close to mom or dad.
The cradle carry baby sling is not difficult to tie but can take a bit of practice. To tie a cradle carry baby sling, fold the sling in half lengthwise and then hold it against your body so the folded side of the fabric is facing your shoulder and the opening is at your neck. Adjust the folded piece of fabric so it is draped over one shoulder evenly, with an equal amount of material in the back and front. Tie a knot at your opposite hip, slide the sling so the knot is at your back and spread the fabric out for support. Practice this method several times before you need to use the sling to give you the confidence to tie it for your child.
Placing your baby in a cradle carry sling will be simple when you follow a few tips. You might have someone help you with the process of putting your baby in the sling for the first few times. Place your child in her sling feet first until her feet and bottom are secure. Continue to support her weight and head until she is resting comfortably in the sling. This process will become like second nature to you over time, so don't worry if it doesn't come naturally at first.
The hip carry is similar to the cradle carry, making it an easy graduation when your baby is older. For the hip carry, tie the same knot as you do for the cradle carry, then rotate the fabric until the knot falls at your shoulder. The sling will now form a pouch at your hip. Hold your baby at your shoulder so his body is well above the sling's pouch and then slide him into the sling while bringing the pouch up over his bottom until he is sitting in it. His feet and legs should be free. Spread out the fabric so it is supporting his body from his knees to his shoulders.
If you want a little extra practice, try placing a doll into the sling before attempting it with your baby. Treat the doll as if it is your child, remembering infant head and neck support and accounting for weight.
You can keep your sling tied after each use to make the process easier, just be sure to regularly check that the knot is secure.
Don't put items into the sling with your baby, as there is just enough room in there for your little one.
Practice common safety sense when using a baby sling. Never use a stove or oven or handle hot liquids when wearing your baby and never wear your baby while driving.