- Cuddles & contact – you and your baby both need this for bonding and to feel more relaxed.
- To chat with your baby – this can aid her speech development and it includes her in your world, which many babies love. This can also help to keep your baby settled if this helps him to feel safe.
- To get stuff done – because sometimes you need both hands to get a wash done or to make sure you eat!
- Sleep – many babies settle pretty quickly in a sling, which means they get a much needed nap.
- To settle your baby – she could be happier and calmer in a sling. If she is unsettled because she needs a sleep, she’s had her vaccinations, she’s having a growth spurt, she has reflux or she’s a new, unsettled baby, a sling could make all the difference. Research by Hunkizer & Barr found that regular babywearing meant that babies cried 43% less during the day and 57% in the evening.
- To keep your baby close – this can make your baby feel secure, especially if you are going somewhere new or if he is experiencing a growth spurt and needs to feel close to you. Babies need physical contact – it lowers their temperature and their heart rate, giving them reassurance, making them feel safe and reducing their stress levels.
- Greater ease in getting around – using a sling means you can easily walk on the beach without dragging the pram around; in the countryside without worrying about taking the pram on rougher terrain; or shopping in town without having to avoid stairs.
- It’s better for your back than just carrying your baby – chances are your baby will want to be carried, rocked and soothed and this can lead to back and shoulder aches. Having a good sling can ease these aches by supporting your baby well and distributing his weight better.
- Brilliant bonding for dads – slings are a great way for dads to get out and about with baby, or to wear in the house to settle and soothe an unsettled baby.
- An essential if you have a toddler and a baby – using a sling means you can have a happier, more settled baby while also having your hands free to look after and play with your toddler.
“Babywearing for us was an absolute gift. I wish I’d known about it with my eldest two.”
“Bonding, connection, reassurance for baby, convenience”
“It’s the only place she will settle”
“If it wasn’t for the sling, she wouldn’t nap”
Any sling you use needs to fit you and your baby – I would recommend seeing the North East Sling Library to hire a sling or for a consultation with your own sling to make sure you are using it correctly.
The North East Sling Library has been helping parents in the North East carry their babies since 2011.