What’s the best sling for a newborn? There are a wide range of carriers and slings available which are suitable for newborn babies now. Finding the best for you can be tricky with all that choice! This blog will cover the main options available to you.
New to carrying? Why not download our free poster – 5 Main Types of Slings – to get an overview of the different slings available.
Newborn carrying is amazing, there is nothing like having a new baby snuggled against you, safe, secure and close. However, newborn carrying also comes with additional safety considerations so that we are ensuring their airway remains clear and their physiological position is respected.
The biggest safety concern around newborn sling use is ensuring their airway remains clear so they can breathe. Newborn babies have low muscle tone and cannot hold their heads up and lack control of the muscles in their trunk. This lack of muscle tone means that it is very easy for a baby to slump into a position which closes the airway and they will not be able to move themselves to open it. Ensure the carrier you choose supports a newborn and maintains their airways.
Newborn babies usually hold themselves in a curled up position. They have a narrow hip opening – their knees don’t spread widely from their bodies. Their joints are also still very soft and, as previously mentioned, they have low muscle tone. For these reasons we need to be respectful of the newborn’s physiological position, because opening legs too wide can damage the developing joint and baby won’t have the strength to move their own position.
Newborn sling options
You’ll be glad to know that the range of newborn slings and carriers available has expanded hugely in the last few years. Now, families have plenty of choice about what sling to use, and can start carrying from birth. Remember – there is no ‘best’ sling but when choosing a newborn sling extra care needs to be taken to ensure your choice is safe and secure!
Here are our suggestions for safe and comfortable newborn slings; there’s bound to be a good option for your family.
A woven wrap is the most versatile option. These last from birth and can be used until your carrying days are over. The same woven wrap can be used by any person of any size and tied in a whole range of ways.
Using a woven wrap with a newborn involves selecting an appropriate ‘carry’ – way of tying the wrap. Remember to avoid overspreading the hips, and ensure their spine is supported fully to keep their airway open. Great carries for newborns include front wrap cross carry with a twist under the bum, kangaroo and front double hammock.
We have a huge range of woven wraps available to hire
A stretchy wrap is one of the most popular and affordable newborn sling options. The option to pre-tie and pop baby in an out makes it a very practical choice, and like a woven wrap it can be used by anyone, any size without adjusting anything.
Using a stretchy wrap
To use a stretchy with your newborn ensure the wrap is tight enough to support their position fully and maintain their airway. To ensure a newborn’s narrow hip opening is respected in the first few weeks you may wish to use a pocket wrap double hammock carry. Once they are comfortably spreading their legs more widely the pocket wrap cross carry is an excellent option.
As an alternative to a long cloth stretchy you can also get stretchy carriers such as the Close Caboo which are pre sewn into shape. These are more expensive and less adjustable, but some people find them easier to get to grips with.
If you’d like to try a stretchy wrap why not try one for free? Select one from the CalmFamily free stretchy wrap hire scheme. We also have a range of stretchy wraps available buy, including the option to spread the cost with a payment plan.
Adjustable meh dai
Many meh dai are only suitable from approximately 6 months, however some are adjustable for newborn babies. Meh dai can be a great halfway house between wrapping and using a structured carrier. They have many of the benefits of using a woven wrap. Firstly they fit a wide range of people, secondly the fabric is highly moldable, and finally the long straps support varied ways of tying. We recommend meh dais made from woven wrap fabric for their soft, strong and properties.
To use a meh dai with your newborn select one with an adjustable panel to fit their size and position. Adjustable brands include the Neko (pictured), Storchenweige carrier, Hoppediz HopTye, Fidella FlyTai and Didymos DidyTai.
A ring sling can be a great and quick option for a newborn. They are simple, quick to use, and easy to adjust for different sized people. They need only one layer of fabric over the baby making them a cooler option than stretchy wraps for summer babies. Ring slings are suitable from birth and are a popular way to carry toddlers so they offer value for money. We recommend using rings slings made from woven wrap fabric. This fabric is the most supportive, easiest to adjust and creates the most comfortable ring slings.
Using a ring sling with a newborn means supporting their natural position in the fabric pouch. Carefully set up and tighten your ring sling to ensure a supportive carry.
We have an extensive range of ring slings available to hire.
Newborn sling options: adjustable buckle carriers
A buckle carrier can be a quick option to learn to use. Once you have learned to use yours they are quick to get your baby in and out of too. However, buckle carriers are less adjustable than the other newborn sling options we have considered. For this reason it is important to select one that fits you. The great news is the range of buckle carriers available has grown hugely and many are suitable for newborns.
The size of the adult carrying the baby matters when selecting a buckle carrier, not the clothes size so much as the frame. Petite parents can struggle to get some carriers to fit well, especially when carrying a small baby. If two parents of different size want to carry use a sling we suggest selecting one that fits the most petite adult. Larger framed adults can usually get a supportive carry in most buckle carrier options.
Buckle carriers vary a lot in how they fit people because of the structure. Different body shapes will find different styles of carrier comfortable. For this reason it can take a while to find what style of carrier suits, or you might find the perfect one straight away! They have different buckle placement, straps shape, strap padding, waist band shape, waist band padding, panel shape and size…. so many things can vary!
Newborn carrying in a buckle carrier
There are two ways buckle carriers adapt to fit newborns; by adjusting the panel size, or by using an insert. We usually recommend carriers that don’t require an infant insert, because they tend to be easier to ensure a supportive position. Our most popular options are the Mamaruga Zensling, Ergobaby Omni 360, Tula Free-To-Grow, Tula Explore, the Ergobaby Adapt, Beco Gemini, and Boba X.
The Beco 8 and Boba 4G use infant inserts to achieve great positioning. These inserts are booster cushions that are easy to learn to use.
These carriers usually fit babies for at lest 18 months making them good value for money.
Try or buy a sling or carrier
If you’d like to discuss your options in more detail, why not book a consultation with us? We can discuss your needs over the phone or via Zoom if you’d like to see demonstrations in more detail.
If you’d like any help at any point on your sling journey, why not get in touch by email, or call us on 01133 206 545 to book a FREE 15 minute phone consultation or a longer phone or video consultation. We can help you find the right sling for your situationRecommend0 recommendationsPublished in