When my friend decided that she would make another attempt to carry her younger daughter in a sling, she asked me which scarf is good for the beginning and what to look for in it. I told her, but at the same time I started to collect all the necessary information in my head and so I created this note for all interested.
Besides, even my friend said: “You need to write about it, because for every mum, who knows nothing about slings, it will be very helpful. It would be truly a lifesaver for them.” So here I am sitting and writing. I hope it will be useful for you.
Even if a parent decides to bind and carry his baby in a sling, he doesn’t have to spend a fortune on it. Buying second hand (the groups on fb are great in this respect), prices for a pretty good quality sling for beginners start from £30 to £40. A used sling is also broken in and might be easier to use. It will be softer to the touch too. Remember however, that the length of breaking in the sling will vary so I can’t guarantee this effect.
Nevertheless, I gathered some relevant information, namely, what to look for and what to remember when choosing your first sling.
Type of fabric. Weave
First of all, I will always advise woven scarves. Why?
Sling woven can be done with eg. cross twill weave. Depending on the basis weight it is thinner or thicker, but at the same time flexible and can be properly tightened. It is durable in terms of the weight of the person being worn and there is no difference between the inside and the outside.
Cross twill weave is made of strong cotton fibers, which are woven lengthwise and crosswise. Thanks to that, the sling is working on the slants and keeps its length, even during long and intense use. In addition, if the fabric is pulled out diagonally, it harmonizes well with the body of the child, to whom we give a specific position. Such a sling simply works better; it listens to and cooperates with us. As for the type of fabric, for the beginners best sling will be the 100% cotton without any additives. Why?
A cotton woven sling is predictable. This means that at the initial stage, it is easier to learn how to properly and effectively stretch the scarf. Plus, it relatively quickly becomes softer (as new slings are a little bit stiff). Cotton is also absorbent and breathable, so cotton slings will prove themselves in every season.
The edges of slings
For a beginner the best solution would be a sling, which has two different edges. This is due to practicality while learning how to bond – it is easier for a parent to guess, which is the upper edge, which one he should stretch and tighten. It is also important for the edges to be rolled and lined twice to prevent drawing the fabric around them.
Weight of the sling. Thin or thick?
If we want to tangle our baby in a sling (newborn and a little later), the best option will be slings with weights up to 200-250 g / m² (thickness of the fabric determines the so-called weight of slings, which is expressed in grams of fabric per square meter scarves ( g / m2).
But remember that the thickness of a sling and its weave is one thing. The most important technique is tightening. It’s true that the thin slings can move easily and seem easier to master, but quid pro quo. Such a sling must be carefully tightened, more precisely. It is also easier to lose the tension of this sling before tying up the square knot.
Length of the sling
Theoretically speaking, our body structure should not be important when choosing the length of a sling, but a binding, which we want to use. But I ask the parents to whom I am going to consult, what size clothes they wear, because a different length will be used by a dad who wears size L and a dad who wears size XXL clothes.
As for the bindings. Slings are usually produced in these lengths:
3.6 – 3.8
4.1 – 4.2
5.1 – 5.2
Universal size is 4.6. Considering the type and length of the needed sling, it looks like this:
Kangaroo Carry – is the least woven wrap absorbing bond. Recommended sizes of slings are 3.6 – 4.2.
Rucksack Carry – similar to kangaroo. Length 3.8 for petite people. The optimal is 4.2.
Front Wrap Cross Carry and 2X – optimal sling’s size will be 4,6-5,2, where Front Wrap Cross Carry requires a little less of a sling than 2X.
Polish version of this post is available HERE.