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Baby Slings: How-To Guide

Wearing Your Sling:

Play Movie: Windows Media Real Video

All sling wearing starts the same, no matter what hold you are going to do.
Start by folding your sling in half.

Put your arm through the opening on the side away from the open edges.

Slide the pouch over your head down onto your shoulder. The open edges should be next to your neck, and it should open on the top. The seam should be in front of you. For the tummy to tummy, cradle and kangaroo carry, position the pouch seam across the center of your body. This seam provides the deepest part of the pouch and is where the bulk of your baby's body will always be. For the hip and back carry, this seam will be along the side of your body.


Newborn, Cradle Position:

Play Movie: Windows Media Real Video

Position the pouch so that the bottom of the seam is near your belly button. Hold your baby with your one arm and open the pouch with your other hand. Place your baby in the pouch in a "sitting" position, rather than a "laying" position so that your baby's bottom rests on the inner seam near or above your naval and your baby's head is high on your chest. This is a snug position for your little one. Remember to keep a portion of the sling between you and the baby but most of it can be in front of the baby. The front of the sling can be pulled up to help support the baby's head if they don't have head control yet, or if they fall asleep.


Kangaroo Carry:

Play Movie: Windows Media Real Video

As you become comfortable with your Pouch and as your baby grows, you may prefer other positions such as sitting cross legged. The seam of the pouch should be positioned across the center of your body. Hold your baby in front of you with their legs crossed. Insert them, butt first, into the bottom of the pouch. Your baby's feet should be crossed in front of her stomach/chest. Pull up the fabric in between the front of your body and your baby's back, high up on your chest.


Wearing your baby on your hip/tummy to tummy:

Play Movie: Windows Media Real Video

This is the position you will use for the longest period. Lower your baby into the pouch with your baby's legs straddling your hip or straight on facing you for the tummy to tummy. Your baby's butt should rest on the inner edge of the pouch. Make sure the lower edge of fabric is thoroughly covering baby's butt and thighs, with the lower edge of binding in the crease of his knees. His calves and feet will be sticking out of the bottom of the pouch. Then pull the upper edge of fabric/binding up his back and under his arms. Some babies like the fabric pulled over their shoulders-this works well for discrete nursing. In order to keep pressure from the binding off of your baby's legs, please ensure that your baby's butt is being worn several inches below the crook of his knees. It also helps to "fold" the sling back down over your shoulder. This helps keep the top rail tight and secure around your baby (see picture). The only difference between the tummy to tummy and the hip carry is the position of the baby on you.


Wearing your baby on your back:

Play Movie: Windows Media Real Video

Once your baby is securely in the hip position (see above), you may slide the pouch and baby around to your back while you bend over. I kind of bounce it around to the back. I get the baby far on my hip and then slide them behind my arm. Pull the top rail of the sling up around the baby's back to make the secure. Older children may want their arms out. I always keep them on one side of my back and get the back the same way. Slide them back till I can reach and bring them forward.


Other Notes:

Nursing Horizontally: Place your baby in the sleeping/nursing position, opposite of what you see in the cradle carry photo. The baby's head will be where the feet are in the picture. This way the head is lower, more closely aligned with your breast. Your baby will probably need to stick his feet out of the pouch to accommodate his length, as he/she grows. Ensure the lower edge of binding is wrapped securely behind his knees with his butt lower than his legs. Nursing vertically: Place your infant or toddler in the tummy to tummy position. Your child will find it comfortable to bend his head forward into the pouch to nurse as you help by tilting your breast upward. Once baby is older, you can also nurse with baby on your hip.

Helpful Hints:
Once you get the baby into the position it helps to "bounce" them down into the sling. Usually I just give a little tug on the outer edge. A little bounce in your legs helps secure them down into the sling.

Folding the top rail of the sling back down over the outer edge of your shoulder helps make the sling tight against the baby's back (see back carry picture for a good example or hip carry).

Practice makes perfect…..I found that as I used the sling more and more I got quicker and more efficient at getting the little one in and out. I also found that just trying new ways to fold the sling back over my shoulder made me more secure.

Remember your little one is your responsibility. Some sling carries work better with different ages and different physical capabilities. Back carries have less supervision and therefore are often better with an older child with head and back support.



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