Saturday, February 16, 2008

My baby doesn't seem to like the sling. Am I doing something wrong?

Most babies like the snug, cuddling feeling of being carried in a sling, but some take a little longer to get used to it. If your baby is fussy in the sling, here are a few suggestions:

Move around immediately
Eventually you will be able to be less active with your baby in the sling, but at first, and if the baby seems restless, start walking as soon as you have him secured in the sling. The rhythmic motion will be soothing, and your baby will enjoy all the sights from his new perspective.

Give her a few minutes to get used to it
As with anything new, being in a sling can take some getting used to. If your baby isn't crying, but is just a bit fussy, give him a few minutes to adjust to being inside the sling. If he becomes very upset, take him out and try again later. This might mean in an hour, a few days, a week or even a month later. A baby who seemed to hate being in the sling at 2 months old may surprisingly enjoy it at 3 months old. I found with my daughter that positioning was what made the difference. She didn't like the cradle hold when she was newborn, but did enjoy the vertical position with her head only slightly covered for support. (I used my hand to provide all the support she needed until she could hold it up herself.) We still use our sling daily, and she's 17 months old.

Your baby will sense your tension. If you are frustrated with not being able to expertly tighten the sling, take a deep breath, or try again later when you are feeling more relaxed. It may be that just a change in position will make the difference with how your baby reacts to being inside the sling.

Hold your baby through the sling
Put the sling loosely around your baby. Continue to hold her with your arms. As she begins to relax, gradually tighten the sling until she is being completely supported by it.

Feed your baby
Your little one may be more accepting of the sling if she is being nursed.

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