DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Dec 27 2007

Baby Slings (no not cannons)

by Ev S

Lately I’ve seen a lot of moms wearing their babies in a sling.  Maybe it’s because I’m expecting my second child and looking for ways to have more freedom of movement to chase my oldest.  He’s four and very fast.  So I started out asking moms what they thought about the slings and what type they were using.  Then I went on-line to see what was out there.  There is so much out there that I now have a headache.  I did find a few sites better than others. 

My favorite site is The Baby Wearer.  This site has reviews on different types of baby carriers and companies, and advice to steer you towards the type of baby carrier that would most suit your needs.  Because let me tell you there are several types of baby carriers! The Baby Wearer breaks the carriers down into 6 basic groups: Asian Inspired Carriers, Other Carriers, Pouches (I call them slings), Ring Slings, Structured Carriers, and Wraps. 

The two most popular slings/pouches at my branch are from New Native Inc. and Hotslings.  The moms rave about these slings.  The New Native already has the pouch for baby sewn into the cloth.  You really have to see it to get the idea.  They have an organic cotton option, which seems to be the most popular of  all their slings.  Hotslings is more for the moms who are fashion forward or just like lots of color in their lives.  They have beautiful and crazy cloth patterns.  They are pretty much a fabric tube that sits across your body.

Both New Native and Hotslings look pretty cool and comfortable, very important things to look for when having a summer baby.  So, I went online and was a little shocked at how expensive they were.  Essentially, they’re just a piece of material sewn into a big loop.  And if you’ve read my posts before, you know I’m cheap.

So I looked to see if there were any free sling patterns on the web.  I found a great site that actually linked to other great sites for sling patterns (all types).  Mamma’s Milk if you can use a sewing machine and read directions, you can make your own sling.  The directions don’t seem to be too complicated if you’ve sewn before.  But if you feel a little overwhelmed by the directions, like myself, you can always just buy a sling from them.  They also have colorful cloths that they use to make slings.  But Mamma’s Milk is about as expensive as all the other slings on the web. 

I’m still cheap!!!  So I looked on eBay, Craigslist, Amazon.com, and other “discount” sites.  Pay dirt!  Amazon was a few bucks cheaper than the home site for Hotslings, and they offered me free shipping.  eBay actually had a ton of slings on their site and I could find some reasonable prices.  Craigslist was a little hit or miss, but that’s normal.  I haven’t headed out to my favorite consignment or thrift shops yet, but that’s my next stop.  Wish me luck!

dc ebaugh January 1, 2008 at 8:29 PM

I have used a Sling/Pouch AND a Mei Tai, and both are great — the sling (from Rockin’ Baby Slings) is more difficult to wear for more than a few minutes, now that my son is 23 lbs 10 oz! The Kozy Karrier (Mei Tai style carrier I have) distributes his weight better. I’m actually selling my sling on Craigslist (check the Atlanta listings) if you’re interested.

Alison W. January 2, 2008 at 9:12 AM

The whole baby sling thing goes hand in hand with the attachment parenting philosophies of William and Martha Sears. The Library has several of their books in the collection including What Baby Needs and The Successful Child. As far as sling preferences go…since I have twins, I have tried all kinds of carriers in an effort to make transporting two kids more manageable. So far I like the Maya Wrap for quick trips and the Ergo Baby Carrier for longer trips or just around the house when one is fussy.

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