Are Baby Slings A Good Investment?

March 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Baby Gear

What many parents do not realize is that baby slings have been used for thousands of years in a variety ways. In ancient times, family members would make slings by tying animal skin or cloth around the waist. This way, as they worked the fields or in some other type of job, they could conveniently and safely, bring the baby along. At that time, baby equipment enjoyed today such as car seats and strollers were not an option.

Obviously, setting the baby down on the ground to work put that child at significant risk. However, a sling would keep the child safe and secure, while also providing a warm, comfortable place for the baby to stay. Additionally, if the mother needed to nurse, she could do so without much effort.

Although we now have the luxury of innovative design and technology for keeping a baby safe at home, while shopping, dining out, at the park, and so on, a baby sling can also be highly beneficial in many instances.

For instance, newborn babies are adjusting from being in a warm and safe environment of the womb and now are learning about the real world where there are new sounds, smells, and temperatures. Going through these changes is tough for the baby so parents want to do all they can to make the transition easier. While swaddling blankets are a great way to create the sense of security while sleeping, a baby sling offers the same while the baby is being carried around.

As the baby lies in the sling, he or she is being comforted by the movement of the parent. To the child, these movements mimic movements of the womb, which provides security. In fact, babies also benefit from being in a sling when the parent is not walking around but moving. The reason is that the baby is still close to the body where he or she can feel the warmth of the parent’s skin and hear the heartbeat.

Studies have been conducted showing that babies that are carried in a baby sling actually cry less than those that do not. For the baby, stress levels are dramatically reduced and with less crying, the new parent feels more relaxed. Having the baby so close creates a greater bonding between baby and parent, helping both people gain more confidence.

One of the greatest joys of using a baby sling is the special bonding time, which can be for mother and child, father and child, and even grandparent and child. In the case of a new mom that chooses to bottle feed, this added opportunity to bond is even more important. Babies need physical contact, especially in the first month of life while transition from womb to world. Using a baby sling is a perfect solution for allowing this to happen.

Then, the baby sling also makes it easier for the parent to multi-task. While the baby is sleeping in the sling, mom or dad can do things around the house. These slings come in a variety of sizes, styles, and colors. Typically, a newborn baby would be carried in a sling so he or she is close to the parent’s chest. However, as the baby grows, the sling could be repositioned so the child is now carried around on the back or hip. Today, many baby slings and convertible carriers work with the growing baby’s needs.

Now, for parents of twins, the baby sling would still work but only one baby could be carried at once. However, if one baby were sleeping and the other one awake, the sling would be ideal. Another possibility is carrying one baby in the sling while pushing a baby stroller with free hands. To ensure each child is given the same bonding experience, the babies would simply be alternated.