If you spend any amount of time in a baby store, you will see a multitude of different types of “slings” that are designed to allow a hands-free approach to carrying your infant. What are the benefits of using a sling?
- Slings mimic the womb environment
- Hands free for mom or dad
- Promotes bonding
- Discrete breastfeeding
Slings can help to provide some privacy while nursing, which allows more freedom.
The first month after birth is often referred to as the “fourth trimester” because babies are still developing at a rate similar to the womb. They have been enclosed in a small, warm space, with limited stimuli, and are now in a bright, noisy, open, environment. This most likely contributes to fussiness and possibly colic. Being enclosed in a sling can make them feel more secure and mimics the environment of the womb thus soothing your baby.
Having your baby in a sling can allow you to comfort your baby, while still going about your normal routine without having to deal with bulky carriers and strollers.
You infant will be happier while close to mom or dad, which fosters a good feeling for parents. The motion of the parent, as well as the shared body warmth and sounds of the parent’s heartbeat will calm babies. And we all know that parents are happy when their babies are happy!
The hardest aspect of the sling is finding one that works for both you and your baby. There are many options, and the best way to find one that works is to talk to other parents and if possible, try several different varieties before investing in one. The right sling can give you several months of having a happier baby and being a happier parent.
What are your experiences with slings? Pass on your wisdom by telling us your stories about wearing your baby has helped you. Or, if you have any questions about this article, or anything else, please feel free to Ask Dr. Tara !!