What’s the benefits of Slings?
Last month visited the amazing Sheffield Sling Surgery for some babywearing training.
The Sling surgery is a warm and welcoming environment for all parents and they really know their stuff when it comes to baby wearing! I loved spending time with Dr Rosie Knowles & Kiri, as they were so kind and explained everything in such a useful way. This is what I found –
Why does baby carrying matter?
You may have heard that slings are fantastic for supporting your journey with your baby. However, what’s the real benefits of slings?
There are so many benefits to babywearing, and it’s not actually about having the sling itself, it’s about physically carrying your baby. Having your little one close, whilst giving you the freedom to move around can create a bond between you both. It can help you to hold your baby in a supportive way, that is more comfortable for you. It also allows you, to have that freedom to move, whilst providing you with hands-free support. Having your baby close, you can also increase your oxytocin levels which is known to support breastfeeding. Many parents have also said it’s helped them with their mental health and to create a positive attachment to their new baby.
That sounds great, but where do I start?
If you’re anything like me, you may have picked up a long piece of fabric and thought Eeeek!! Where do I even begin?
Babywearing can appear to be really overwhelming when you don’t know where to start. That’s why my first top tip would be to visit a sling library and here’s why: –
- Sling Libraries are the baby carrying experts – They know what sling would be appropriate for your baby based on their age and size so can help you choose a sling that is right for you.
- Variety of Carriers – Sling libraries have a variety of quality carriers, so you can try different ones from stretchy wraps to more sturdy looking buckle carriers. They can find out what you want your sling for and find the type of sling that best suits you and your baby.
- Baby Safety – They know exactly how the carrier should fit so it’s safe for you and your baby. They can teach you how to put your baby in yourself so it’s safe and secure.
- Fitting – They can ensure that your baby carrier fits you correctly, and show you how to adapt as your baby grows. They can fit the carrier to ensure that it’s comfortable and secure for you and your baby.
- Change it up – One of the great advantages of using a library is that you can swap them. If you feel the carrier isn’t suiting your needs. This could be when your baby grows you can go back and get fitted for another carrier. Carriers can go up to toddler age and can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. It’s also useful when the weather changes, as you may prefer a heavier/lighter weight carrier.
- Affordable – Sling Libraries are super affordable! Not only do you get that personalised service from someone who really knows what they are doing, but you aren’t committed to a carrier that you are only likely to use for a limited amount of time.
- Confidence – Finally going to a sling library really gives you that confidence, to wear your sling/baby carrier. If you know how to put it on correctly alone, you’ll feel comfortable and know that you’re baby is in a safe place. You are then so much more likely to wear it and feel confident in doing so.
But I’ve already bought a sling? What do I do now?
You can still get support from your sling library to help you fit your sling/carrier. They can help ensure that your sling’s safely fitted for you and your baby and that it’s comfortable. They understand all the benefits of slings. If it’s not suitable for you or your baby they will let you know and will support you in finding an alternative that suits your needs.
But are slings safe?
Yes! As long as you know how to put them on correctly. Again this is something sling libraries can really assist you with, but the top tips are below: –
Use T.I.C.K.S to support safety when using a sling
I – IN VIEW AT ALL TIMES
C – CLOSE ENOUGH TO KISS
K- KEEP CHIN OFF THE CHEST
S – SUPPORTED BACK
Your sling library can check and discuss the safety of babywearing in more detail so you are informed and feel confident.
So, where do I find out more information?
There are some fantastic resources for the benefit of slings and babywearing on Dr Rosie Knowles website Carrying Matters. She also has written a book on the subject called ‘Why carrying matters’ which signed copies can be purchased on the website.
If you’re not sure where to find your local sling library, you can check out a this website that gives a map to local libraries Local Sling Libraries
Did you know?…..I go through the basics of babywearing as part of the shine complete Antenatal Course. You can find out more about my Antenatal classes by clicking HERE.