How to Buy a Baby Sling for a Newborn

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How to Buy a Baby Sling for a Newborn

Baby slings make it easy for parents to carry a newborn baby while keeping their hands free. Less technical than baby carriers, baby slings have been around seemingly forever. Centuries ago women tied swathes of fabric around their chest to carry their babies. Modern day baby slings are a tad more refined with their light padding, adjustable lengths, and flashy patterns, but they still follow the same design.

The parent wraps the fabric around their chest, forming a pouch that hangs down from one shoulder. The baby then goes inside the pouch where he or she can sleep while mom or dad goes about their daily activities. Buyers can find all kinds of baby slings for sale on eBay designed specifically for newborns, infants, and even toddlers. When selecting a baby sling, pay attention to its comfort, versatility, sturdiness, as well as how easy it is to use before making a final decision.

Understanding Baby Slings

Paediatricians recommend that newborn babies should be held as much as possible during their first months of life in order to bond with their parents. Babies especially like to be held against the chest where they can hear a heartbeat since it usually helps ease them to sleep. Unfortunately, parents have so many things to do throughout the day, that holding a baby all of the time is quite a difficult task. Baby slings make this easier by allowing the parent to carry the baby across the chest while leaving their hands free.

Baby Carriers

First time parents can be unsure about baby slings. They look different from traditional baby carriers, which feature backpack-like straps and a compartment in the front that holds the baby. While these carriers certainly do the job, they hold the baby in the middle of the chest. In this position, the baby cannot breastfeed. Therefore, many breastfeeding mothers prefer using a baby sling or baby wrap to hold their baby. In the sling, the infant's head is usually cradled against the breast, making feeding easy.

Slings and Wraps

Both slings and wraps look similar. They are long pieces of fabric that the parent wraps around their shoulders and chest, to create a pouch in the front or back for holding the baby. Slings are worn only around one shoulder while wraps cover both shoulders. Most slings usually have a buckle or strap at the shoulder.

Growing With Baby

As the child grows larger, parents can experiment with different positions. The newborn cradling position is perfect for breastfeeding. Once the baby gets strong enough to hold his head up, parents can adjust the sling's position, allowing their child to sit up. Slings can also hold larger infants on the parent's hip or back. While most slings can hold children up to 35 pounds, most parents stop using them once a child reaches 15 or 20 pounds. At this point, a child is simply too heavy to carry comfortably on a single shoulder.

Selecting a Sling

Baby slings do not come in one size fits all, and even the same sling will fit differently on each woman. Try on a baby sling first to see how it fits. This is not always possible when shopping online, so check out the seller's return policy before committing to the purchase. Many sellers have an upfront offer to exchange slings in different sizes, or give a full refund for a sling that does not fit.

Sling Size

Size is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a sling. Some manufacturers such as Maya or New Native, offer slings in small, medium, and large sizes. Other companies, including Moby, have a one size fits all design. Petite women usually have the most trouble with one-size designs because the fabric is too long. It makes them feel hot and is not comfortable to wear during hot summer days.

Buyers should base the size of the sling on their height when shopping online. Once the sling arrives in the house, try it on to see if it fits. Getting the hang of wearing a sling can take a little time. The front pouch should rest comfortably across the chest, not down around the abdomen. The strap should fit snug against the shoulder. Extra fabric should not hang down too low so that it gets in the way of daily activities. Place the baby in the sling and try walking around for a few minutes. It is important that the baby likes the sling too.

Fabric

Slings come in all different fabrics, from organic cotton to luxury cashmere. The most important thing is to choose a machine-washable fabric. Parents are busy enough as it is without having to resort to washing their baby sling by hand. Buyers who live in warmer areas should probably stay away from heavier fabrics like wool, and opt for light, breathable cotton.

Colour is also important when selecting a sling. The most basic colour is black since it works with almost any outfit. However, for buyers wanting something a little different, there is a wide selection of coloured slings to choose from as well. Some handmade options even come with unique designs, and these make great baby shower gifts.

Sturdiness

For safety reasons, buyers need to select a sling that is incredibly sturdy. If the sling uses buckles or snaps, these should always be securely fastened and not be able to slip off the shoulder. This can be difficult to tell online, so spend some time trying the sling on and pulling on the buckle or snap. The fabric weave itself needs to be durable. There should not be loose ends or warped weaves, as this can cause the sling to tear.

Comfort

Buyers want the sling to be comfortable. After all, nobody wants to wear a sling that is going to dig into their shoulder or make them sweat in the summer. Again, it is difficult for many online buyers to gauge how comfortable a sling is going to be just from a picture alone. Many manufacturers add padding around the shoulder so that the fabric does not dig into the skin, but not everyone likes padding. The best option is to order a sling from a seller with a return policy and try it on at home. Spend a couple hours in the sling with the baby in tow. If it fits nicely and feels comfortable, then keep it. If there are problems with the sling, simply send it back.

Ease of Use

Some slings are easier to use than others. Adjustable wraps, for example, take a lot of getting used to, especially with all the different positions. Again, the best way to gauge how easy it is to use is to try it on. Buyers should test how easy it is to adjust the length of the sling. Breastfeeding moms can attempt to feed their baby while wearing the sling. Take the baby in and out of the sling a few times to test it out. These are all daily tasks that wearers must perform, so it is best to purchase a sling where they can be easily performed.

Buying Baby Slings on eBay

The main benefit of buying baby slings on eBay is that buyers can find a vastly superior selection. Top name brand slings compete side-by-side with handmade slings woven by enterprising mothers. Parents can spend hours just browsing through the collection of baby slings, and the most difficult decision is trying to choose between them all.

Searching for Baby Slings on eBay

To start searching for baby slings, type in 'baby carriers' into the search box. This opens up all results for baby carriers, including slings and wraps. If you are only interested in slings, then type in 'baby slings'. If you would like to try a baby wrap, then type in 'baby wrap'. You can also narrow down the results by the condition of the item.

Searching for 'used baby carriers' only returns results for pre-owned items, many of which are available at extremely low prices. If you are not interested in used items, then search for 'new baby carriers'. You can also try searching by sizes, such as 'medium baby sling' or 'small baby sling', in order to get highly accurate results.

Conclusion

Baby slings are a wonderful way for new parents to bond with their baby. These baby carriers keep the infant placed securely against the chest, allowing the mother or father and child, to spend time close together. Breastfeeding moms in particular love the convenience of using a baby sling since the position of the sling puts the baby's head right against the breast.

Slings can be a little confusing at first, but once new parents get the hang of them, they are easy to use. Decide on the right sling based on its size, fabric, sturdiness, and comfort. Buyers need to also give the sling a test run to ensure that it is easy to use for their baby. When buying slings on eBay, ensure that the seller has a good return policy so there are no problems, in the event that the buyer has to return a sling that does not properly fit.

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