Using a baby sling has many benefits for both you and your baby. By wearing your little one, you keep your hands free so that you can go about your normal daily activities while keeping your baby close.
This promotes a close bonding experience between you and your precious baby, allowing you to become more aligned with your baby’s movements, attitudes, and moods.
Once you have purchased a baby sling that is suitable for your body type and height, you need to know how to use it with your newborn baby.
Read on to find out how to use the sling and other important considerations.
Leg and Hip Positioning
Your newborn baby will feel far more comfortable in the baby sling if you tuck his legs into the wrap. When your little one was in your belly, he was curled up, so when he is still a newborn, he is most comfortable in that position.
Within a few weeks, you will find that he will get more comfortable with stretching his legs out and keeping them out of the sling.
If you are concerned about his legs and hips when in the sling, just bear in mind that you will still be taking him out for feeding and changing, so he will get plenty of stretching time in.
Many new parents are worried about what the best way is to support their newborn baby’s head. There are a few ways to do this in a baby sling.
If your little one likes sleeping facing forward, roll a muslin or scarf and place it in the front panel to support the back of your baby’s neck. Make sure that it does not push your baby forward to compromise his breathing.
If your baby prefers sleeping with his head to one side, place his cheek on your chest with the shoulder strap behind his head for support.
How to Use a Baby Sling for Newborn
1. Fold the sling
Before trying different wrapping methods with your baby sling, you first need to learn the correct way to fold the sling and then secure it. Start by folding the length of the sling in half so it is half as wide and twice as thick. Do not twist your sling – you want it to be as flat as possible.
2. Wrap your sling around your stomach
Place the folded sling around the top of your stomach with the knot. Check that the middle of the sling is placed around your stomach.
3. Cross the sling across your back
Criss-cross the ends of your sling around your back so that the opposite ends come across each shoulder and hang in front of your chest.
4. Cross the sling across your chest
Take each end of the sling and cross them over your chest as you did with your back. Tuck each end under the fabric at your waist.
5. Cross the sling across your back again
Criss-cross the ends of your sling around your back again. If the sling fabric is still very long, you can repeat step 4 and 5 again.
6. Secure your sling
Bring the ends of the sling around your waist and tie the ends together with a knot. Smooth any creases and crumples.
Always keep the sling tight – too much material and your baby will not be properly supported, or his head may rest his chin on his chest, which could compromise his airway. However, ensure that it is not too tight either.
This will restrict the air circulation around his face. You must be able to place two fingers between your baby’s chest and chin.
Your baby should be placed high enough on your chest that you can kiss his head without leaning down.
Never iron or cook with your baby in the sling due to the increased risk of accidents and injuries.
Be careful when walking with you baby in the sling, as his head could obstruct your view of the floor in front of you. This is especially important when using stairs or when walking through doorways.
Keeping your baby near to your body is very important for closeness and bonding. Baby wearing has become increasingly popular in the last decade, and for a very good reason – the bond between mother and child does not end once your baby is born.
Your newborn baby still craves being held close. Baby slings keep your baby close, but they also free your hands so you can go about your normal activities.