It’s no surprise that newborn babies love to be held close and snuggled – but how do you get anything done when your baby wants to be permanently attached to you? Especially if they get very upset when you try to put them down, or if they have a problem like reflux to deal with where lying flat is very uncomfortable for them.
The answer is surprisingly simple – you need a baby sling. Of all the newborn ‘essentials’ out there, this is one that you definitely should consider if you haven’t already. It gives you the freedom to get up, move around, and enjoy the use of your arms for whatever you need to do next – all whilst knowing your baby is safely snuggled up and secure with you. Want to do some housework? Great, the sling has you covered… Want to go to the shops without having to manoeuvre the big lie flat pram around the aisles? A sling has you covered for that as well! Or do you just want to be able to eat your lunch (or cake/biscuits/take away, we won’t judge you here!) without having to do it awkwardly one handed? You guessed it – the sling is ideal for this too! In fact, a good friend of mine used to swear by her sling for going out for dinner in the early months – baby would sleep happily in the sling whilst her and her partner went out for a nice meal. It helped them keep up their date nights whilst their baby was very young and they weren’t ready to leave him with a baby sitter.
Choosing the right sling for you and your baby can be tricky though. There are hundreds of different baby slings and wraps on the market, all suitable for different ages of baby, and for carrying in different styles. Before you jump in and buy one it’s really important to check that it is safe to use for your little newborn. A lot of the structured and buckle carriers say they are suitable from birth, but you often need to purchase a separate insert to ensure baby is sitting high enough and that their little body and head are supported well. In contrast a stretchy wrap works well for a tiny newborn without needing any extra inserts to support them – but they can be a bit daunting if you have never used one before as there is so much fabric to wrap around you!
If you would like advice or help choosing a sling that is right for you and your baby, we are lucky enough to have an excellent sling library in Lancaster and Morecambe! You can try everything from stretchy wraps through to structured carriers, and if you pop in to one of their regular drop in meetings, the advice is completely free. You can also choose to hire a carrier if you want to try one for a little longer before committing to a purchase. The hire fees are really reasonable, and it gives you the peace of mind that you aren’t spending a fortune on something that might not work in the long term for you. They also offer a free stretchy wrap hire for newborns – perfect if you want something to get you through the first few weeks! Don’t worry if you can’t make it to one of the drop ins though – they also offer private one to one sessions so you can try a few different carriers and ask all the questions you need starting at just £15. More info on our local sling library can be found over on their website – http://www.morecambebayslings.co.uk or their facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/MorecambeBaySlings/
And excuse my messy hair, no makeup and very washed out selfie – but here are me and Freya enjoying using our stretchy wrap hire back in August this year. She was 6lbs in this picture and is perfectly happy and secure in her wrap.