Our leaders and members have experience with a wide variety of carriers, but there are five main types that we help with:
1. Ring slings. When most people think of baby slings, they think of ring slings. These popular slings adjust by pulling a tail of fabric through two rings. There are many different styles of ring slings, from the heavily padded to the totally unpadded, and from casual cotton to silk shantung. Here’s a link to the instructions, including video instructions, from MayaWrap, and we love the dos and don’ts on Zolowear’s troubleshooting page. Here’s a link to the YouTube video instructions from Sakura Bloom; here’s a link to the video instructions from Oopa Baby. Here’s a link to a printable page of photo instructions in .pdf format from Peppermint, an internet sling store, for the tummy to tummy carry in a ring sling, plus nursing in a ring sling and threading a ring sling.
2. Pouches. A pouch is a tube of fabric with a curved seam. It is worn over one shoulder like a ring sling, but there is no size adjustment to make after putting it on. Many people find pouches to be very easy to learn to use. Hotslings has photo and video instructions, as does Slinglings.
3. Asian-inspired Baby Carriers. Commonly called an ABC or a mei tai (“may tie”), this style of carrier has a body, long shoulder straps, and shorter waist straps, and works well for front and back carries. Kozy has great illustrated instructions.
4. Soft Structured Carriers. Some people consider these buckle-and-strap carriers to be a subset of Asian-inspired Baby Carriers, but we think their padded waistbands make them feel and function very differently. Here are The Ergo Lady’s instructions and tips for soft structured carriers.
5. Simple pieces of cloth. Many of our new moms are shocked and delighted by how easy and comfortable it is to carry a baby in a wraparound sling – a simple piece of cloth with no buckles, snaps, or straps, that’s infinitely adjustable and fits everyone. There are many different ways to tie a simple piece of cloth to carry a baby, depending on the length and width of the cloth and the body size and preferences of the person carrying the baby. Simple pieces of cloth include long wraparound slings (4 to 6 yards long) and shorter shawls (around 3 yards long).
How To Do The Basic Wrap Carry:
To do the basic wrap carry, you need a long wraparound sling, also known simply as a “wrap.” Wraps come in many lengths. Most people can do the basic wrap carry with a wrap that’s about 5 yards, or 4.6 meters, long. Here’s a link to link to a printable page of photo instructions in .pdf format from Peppermint, an internet sling store, for the basic wrap carry with a newborn, plus nursing in a wrap.
How to Make an Adjustable Sling With a Shawl:
This video shows how to use a twin sheet as a baby sling. First, fold the sheet in half the long, skinny way; this approximates a shawl. Then follow the steps in the video. After you load the baby as shown in the video, tighten the sling by pushing up on the slipknot and “lock” the knot by tightening it. You certainly don’t have to use a sheet to do this (and most people don’t). A short wraparound sling or Mexican rebozo works very well. If the slipknot still slips after you tighten it, your shawl doesn’t work for this technique. Don’t worry, there are other ways to carry a baby in a shawl! Here are some instructions from The Mamatoto Project.