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Baby carrier or baby sling

A baby carrier "front pack" or sling is a wonderful accessory during the first months. Your baby gets to snuggle up close, while you get a bit more freedom.

Your newborn baby wants to snuggle as close to you as possible during the first few weeks of life. Feeling mummy’s and daddy’s body warmth, hearing your heartbeat and smelling your unique smell is wonderfully snug and reassuring. A front pack or sling is a great solution. It soothes and envelopes your baby, rocking them gently as you move, and it leaves your hands free to do other things.

Your choice of carrier depends on personal preference and on what‘s fashionable right now. Whichever option you choose, make sure it’s easy to use. You don't want lots of buttons and straps that are difficult to manoeuvre on your own. Also, choose a carrier that’s easy on your back.

Sit baby facing your belly
In the beginning your baby should always sit facing your belly, high enough so you can kiss their head. Make sure their head is well supported. If you’re using a front pack, don't leave your little one sitting in it for too long in the early days. Babies can't change position unassisted, and long stints in the carrier can put strain on their back, legs and hips. A baby sling is more like a little hammock, and baby can stay there for as long as they’re comfortable.

At 3-4 months, your baby is ready to start facing out towards the world. Be watchful for signs of restlessness or anxiety. All those goings-on they can see can quickly make baby tired.

You can continue using a baby carrier for as long as your back can take it, or until you reach the carrier’s maximum weight.

A baby sling is a simple piece of fabric
Most baby slings are made of simple pieces of stretchy fabric, but some just consist of a piece of woven cotton. Whichever sling you choose, read the instructions carefully before you tie your baby into it. Several websites offer useful guidance.

What do you recommend – a baby sling or a front pack (‘baby carrier’)? Share your views here.

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