Below are some answers to the more frequently asked questions from our customers. If you do have any questions not answered below please do email us as we are always more than happy to help.
Q: I am overwhelmed by the choice! Why do you offer so many different slings?
A: It is very difficult to recommend one or two carriers to all people all the time. Different families have different carrying needs, and while we would love to be able to recommend a single option we cannot always do so. Slings that are easy to breastfeed in are not always the best for carrying older babies for example. We have put together a section on choosing a sling which gives you an indication of what you should be looking for in a carrier – weight range, your physique and health and style are usually the main variables. We aim to keep the best of each type of sling in stock so that we always have a solution to your sling needs, but in the rare case that we think you would be better served by another seller’s products we will pass you over to them.
Q: I am concerned that carrying my baby will spoil him – the grandparents are telling me I’m making a rod for my own back!
A: Carried babies cry less and are less prone to colic than non-carried babies. From increasing the success rate of breastfeeding to reducing the incidence of PND, there are many positives credited to babywearing but the greatest argument in our opinion is that babies are actually designed to be close to their parents. If your baby is settled and happy tied to you, this frees you up to get on with your day to day life. Your baby won’t want to be carried forever; in fact, as soon as they become mobile they are usually more interested in their environment and want to get down to play! A child who discovers his own independence rather than having it forced upon him is usually more confident and relaxed. The new research on attachment and babywearing has mainly come out since our parents’ time and therefore common practices when they were raising our generation are no longer promoted. We know of many grandparents who are now converted babywearers themselves!
Q: My baby has reflux – how can using a sling help?
A: Keeping a baby upright rather than lying on the back can help stop the acid refluxing and vomiting that babies with reflux are prone to. We have survived two babies with pretty severe reflux and can say that as a whole these babies prefer to be carried in an upright carrying position (achieved with a soft carrier or a wraparound sling). As soon as the baby has settled after a feed you can put them in the sling. From personal experience I can recommend a fleece wraparound for their water repellant properties!
Q: What is the difference between a carrier like the Patapum and a Mei Tai like the Babyhawk?
A: The structured carriers are a modern take on the Mei Tai. They tend to have buckles and adjustable straps. They are often more comfortable for heavier children and their looks appeal to a wider range of parents. The Mei Tai are often prettier to look at and as they are strap based, much more versatile. They can also be used from birth without inserts. More information on the difference between tie-on and buckle carriers can be found on our blog.
Q: I’d like to be able to breastfeed in a sling – which one is best?
A: The best slings for breastfeeding are either ring slings, or wraparound slings. If you have a great fit with a pouch then you can feed in these as well. Hands-free breastfeeding is only to be done with caution and do make sure your baby has a clear airway at all times. Our blog has more information about breastfeeding in a sling.
Q: I’d like to try on some slings before committing to buy them but am finding it impossible to find more than the limited range in high-street shops – help!
A: Most slings available through ourselves and other online sling sellers are relatively new to the market. The boom in baby sling wearing has only happened over the past few years and most high-street shops are not able to source slings in the quantities they require. There are a few shops which carry a wider range of carriers – BORN in London and Bristol is one – and we are always happy to try and find you a local retailer. We are also rolling out an agent scheme so it may be that we have an agent in your area who can do a demonstration for you. Lastly, there is a website for finding sling wearers in your area called Sling Meet; regular meet-ups of sling wearers are organised and members are always happy to have newcomers join and show off their slings!
Q: Can my husband/wife and I share the same sling?
A: Some slings are one-size fits all – soft carriers and stretchy wraps. Woven wraps are a bit more size dependent but if you are roughly a similar build and size then most parents can share a 4.6m size. Ring slings are occasionally offered in more than one size but again parents of average and similar build should be able to share; the only difference in sizing in ring slings is the length of the ‘tail’ and most men tend to prefer this to be shorter. Pouches are less likely to fit both parents unless you are exactly the same size – it is very important both for comfort and safety to make sure you order the correct pouch size.
Q: I have a newborn baby and I just cannot put her down – which sling would be best?
A: Stretchy wraps are great for newborns and smaller babies, especially those that like to be carried a lot. They are often easier to use than most people think and have the benefit of being possible to leave on and popping the baby in and out – ideal for those frequent nappy changes! They also wash and dry easily, especially the fleece wraparounds.
Q: My older toddler likes to be carried, but only for shorter periods and I feel like I’m constantly picking him up and putting him down. Which sling would be the solution
A: A pouch sling is perfect for the ‘up and down’ child, as they are usually of a sleek design and can be left on (or popped in a bag or pocket) when not in use. Another good option for this stage is a Ring Sling which is also a one shoulder sling. (For more information on the differences between pouches and ring slings see this blog post). For a child you regularly carry on your hip another option is a hip carrier which support a child in the same position but is kinder to your back and arms!