Thursday, April 24, 2008

Positions for wearing a baby ring sling

The Cradle Hold
This hold is most popular for newborns, but can also be used with an older child or a nursing baby.

Pull the inner fabric up on your chest, creating a "pocket" for your baby to sit in. Place your child in the sling with his feet on the side with the rings. (slings can also be used with the child's head on the same side as the rings. Either way is fine; it all comes down to what is more comfortable for you and your baby.) When the baby is comfortably in the sling with his head either inside or outside the sling (again, whatever is more comfortable for your child) pull the tail of the sling to tighten it. You can make the sling fit more snugly by adjusting the top and bottom rail independently.

Vertical Position
After pulling all the material around your back tightly, put your baby inside the sling with his bottom resting on the bottom rail, his tummy against yours, and his head resting on your upper chest. Holding him securely with your left hand, pull the fabric around him tightly, holding all of the slack between your hand and the rings. Gently tighten the sling with the top rail covering or mostly covering his head. This is for a newborn carry; a baby with head control will not need his head covered by the sling but may still enjoy the vertical position.

Kangaroo Carry
This position works best with younger babies who have head control. Put on your sling and create a pocket as if you were planning to use it in the cradle position. Cross your baby's legs ("Indian Style") and place the baby inside sitting up with his back against your chest. While supporting your baby's weight, pull on the tail to tighten the sling.

Front Carry
Put your child in the sling facing sideways; he will be facing the rings. Be sure the bottom rail comes out to your child's knees. If your child is restless or tired, you can place his arms inside the sling. Tighten the sling until your child is secure.

Hip Carry
This is an excellent position for heavy toddlers because your hip is used to support your child's weight. Put your child in your sling resting on your hip with your child's legs straddling you. The bottom of the sling should extend out to your child's knees. The top of the sling should come up to his shoulder blades. This position can be used with the child's arms inside or outside the sling. Tighten the sling until your child is secure.

Back Carry
The back carry position is recommended for children who are at least one year old. Put your sling on with the rings too high (either on or behind your shoulder.) Place your child in the sling as far back on your hip as possible with his arms covered. Tighten your sling until your child is secure. Carefully slide your baby around to your back. Until you are familiar with this position it's a good idea to have someone help make sure your child is secure in the sling. The back carry position should only be used with a cooperative child.

As long as you and your baby are both comfortable, there really is no "wrong" way to use your sling. The more you use it, the easier it becomes, and the more indispensable it will be to you.

These positions can be used with The Baby Loft's LOFTSling

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