Monday, April 27, 2009

Slingin It

I discovered slings when Rylee, now 9, was a baby. I did not understand how to use it and consequentially it sat in the closet, forgotten.

When I was pregnant with Zoe, almost four I read about how experts agree that babies nestled close to the body develop a more secure relationship with themselves and the world around them. I asked my friend Cassie to make me a sling, this time determined to make it work. At that time I worked at a Curves and I was lucky to take Zoe with me. Zoe spent all day with me at work nussled against me in her sling.

This is Zoe at 7mths old at DisneyWorld.

After slinging two babies, I am convinced that it is the easiest way to keep a baby close to you all the time, thus insuring their security and as a result having a happy baby, and we all know that happy babies make for happy parents.

Consider this:

Babies who are carried often cry less. It's accepted that crying is something that babies do, and that is true to a certain extent. However, in cultures where babies are carried most the time and breastfed on demand, they cry much less. Of course, in many of these societies there are multiple family and village members available to help carry babies, but even if it’s just you and perhaps a partner at home, carrying your baby often will produce results. A 1986 randomized, controlled study by Hunziker and Barr showed that carrying an infant 2 additional hours per day reduced crying overall by 43%, or one entire hour.

Read more: "The Benefits of Babywearing: Five Reasons to Wear Your Baby in a Sling" -

There are at least three positions to sling a baby that I know of. One consists of the way I have Zoe in the picture above. That hold can be slightly modified by pulling the fabric tighter through the rings which brings baby up higher for nursing. I walked around town nursing babies and no one could tell.

Another hold is for older babies who can sit up. It feels like being carried on your hip, but parents have their hands free and baby isn't yelling "UP!" every few minutes. This is a LIFESAVER!

Finally, my favorite newborn hold is chest to chest. This works for older babies as well, but it's especially vital for newborns to be kangarood.

There are a variety of slings, I prefer the ring sling because it is so versatile. For more information and shpiing information, visit

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