An Idiot’s Guide To Babywearing

Anyone recognise this model? 🙂

I am often asked why I came up with SnugBaby. Quite simply, I needed a comfortable sling, that could cope with my demands – easy to use, looked good, would last a while, husband could use it, and it could be washed!

When I had my first son, I admit I had never even heard of babywearing. We were given a structured front carrier, which we used for the two weeks we spent on holiday in Florida, when he was 12 weeks old, and then it was consigned to the cupboard. When we had SnugBoy#2, however, it was clear I needed to be able to keep him close, and happy, and look after SnugBoy#1, then 2 years old, aswell. I tried a sling, liked the concept, but the one I tried wasn’t very comfy. So I made my own, shaping it how I wanted it, adding padding, changing bits and making it my own. Babywearing was about to make my life a whole lot easier.

But, I hear a lot about people not knowing enough about babywearing to be able to make the choices they need to in order to have the sling they want. I am attempting to answer some of the more common ones here.

Do slings have age limits? Most slings, carriers, wraps and mei tais are suitable from birth, as long as they have a supportive headrest. If they don’t they may only be suitable from an age when baby can support their own head (usually around 4 months). The upper age limit varies from sling to sling, even within types. If they are tested to British Standards (and remember, not all are, so it’s worth checking) they will have an upper weight limit – which is usually anywhere between 12kg and 18kg. This is usually reached anywhere between 2 years and 4 years.

 Are they easy to use? Any reputable sling will come with instructions, to help you get to grips with them. Some look easier than others, but they all have their advantages and disadvantages.

What about the different carrying positions? Some slings can be used in many different ways – on your front, hip, back, lying down, facing out. Different positions take different amounts of practise, but after a few goes, most people find them all pretty straightforward to do. I find mei tais a great compromise between ease of use, and versatility.

Can I share it? Many slings are suitable for parents to share, with varying degrees of ease. A pouch sling is sized, usually by lady’s dress sizes, and is not usually easy to share between parents. Buckle slings and ring slings can be shared with some adjustment, whilst wraps and mei tais are easily shared, with no adjustments needed.

So, which is the best? That depends on what you want it for. If you want something that you can easily pop baby in and out of, with no tying and untying, don’t go for a wrap sling. You would be better with a pouch. If you want something comfortable for long periods, a two shoulder carrier, such as a mei tai, would be great. You need to think about what you will use it for.

But isn’t it a bit, well, hippyish? Well, I guess it falls under the “natural parenting” category, but for me it is all about convenience. Parenting is hard, and anything that makes my life as a mum easier, has got to be a good thing in my book.

So, for me there are loads of reasons to use a sling…


  • I can go places that I can’t go with a pushchair.
  • I can hold my eldest son’s hand at the same time as keeping SnugBoy#2 close.
  • I can easily walk the dog – hold the lead, walk across fields, and not run her over with a pushchair.
  • I can fold the sling up and pop it in my bag, and only get it out when SnugBoy#2 gets fed up of walking
  • I get to spend a lovely time chatting to SnugBoy#2, and he gets to see something other than knees.
  • SnugBoy#2 is safe, and close to me – especially important at busy holiday times, as it means there is no chance of me losing sight of him!

If you have any questions about slings, mei tais, carriers or wraps, please ask and I will do my best to answer them all for you.

Visit the the Snugbaby website where you can see more, including some fantastic videos which show you how to use a sling . You can find Claire herself on Twitter and Facebook and she is always ready to offer advice and answer questions (even my 30,000 didn’t seem to be an issue for her!).

* Yes, the lovely model in the picture above is none other than Claire Lancaster from CheshireMum.

From Virgin To Keen Advocate! #babywearing

With Kieran I didn’t get the whole babywearing thing. We had a carrier from a top brand which was all plastic bits and adjustable straps and quite frankly a faff! Slings and whatnot seemed a bit hippy-ish so I veered away and can’t say I felt like I missed out.

The Aphrodite Deluxe Baby Sling ÂŁ65.99, comes complete with a tote bag for storage & full instructions.

Perhaps because I am older and Taylor is my second child, I wanted to try again. When Claire from Snugbaby offered to send me a baby sling I thought “Why not” and before I knew it, it was here. Now what? I have this beautiful plastic-less sling and a baby. Simple one would think but I just couldn’t get going with it. It was the weather you see, Taylor was so young he needed to be wrapped up and encased in his pram, then it was his snowsuit – it made the sling hard to put on because he was too bulky. All excuses. It was more about confidence or my lack of confidence. I decided to stop piddling about and give it a go. With the sling came a wealth of information on safe use and how to use the sling and a handy video shows you step by step how to tie it.

I gave it a tentative go… I liked it! And more to the point, so did Taylor! Outside, no raincover, close to me but still able to see around. I got to the end of my drive, past the end of the street and home. It just didn’t feel “right”. Back inside I took some pictures and emailed Claire with them and my worries. Very quickly I received an indepth reply, with handy hints for making sure baby was secure, that I was comfy etc and following these tips, and with a few practices in front of a mirror I was ready.

First trip was the mile long walk to Roy’s walk on the first lovely spring day we had to “pick him up”, Kieran and I strolled hand in hand, talking about his day at school and what he’d done whilst Taylor, wide eyed, coo’ed and smiled. It was fantastic – a mile there and a mile back and because of the way the sling supports Taylor and me, I didn’t feel like I’d been carrying any weight if that makes sense? Two mile endurance trip – easy!

The second real test was the scariest – the school run! Anyone who has ever done a school run knows how self-conscience you can feel! So going with Taylor in a sling (I haven’t ever seen anyone carrying on the school run before) was pretty scary but I enjoyed it so much on our walk out that I decided to stop being a wimp, Taylor snuggled and my head high off I went. I got a lot of attention, but not the kind I was half expected. No “You’ve tied that wrong” or “That doesn’t look right” but “That is gorgeous! Where did you get it?”, “How lovely to see Taylor up and awake, he is usually asleep in his pram!” and “That looks so much nicer than the X branded one I got which was all plastic connectors and what not – is it comfy?”. So many questions and positive remarks. I found myself, in the school yard, yammering away about the benefits of babywearing, how to use the sling and how much we both enjoy it. Victory!!!

Now I realise I’ve wasted precious babywearing time, but no more! When the weather permits we will be out and about, Taylor upright and soaking in all the sights and I can’t wait for the summer when we start walking again, up in the North Yorkshire Moors, having picnics and adventuring – because with the sling, I am free to go where I like.

Babywearing comes easy to some, it didn’t me, but seeing the fantastic pictures on and having the support of Claire to work through my niggles has been great and Taylor & I can enjoy our closeness, alongside the convenience that BW brings.

Thank you Claire and Snugbaby! You’ll all no doubt be hearing more about my BW adventures, so keep tuned, but in the meantime please check out the Snugbaby site for easy to understand info on the benefits of babywearing, slings and more.

You can catch up with Snugbaby on Twitter and can join the Facebook page to be kept up to date with news and offers.

**Please note, I was sent a sling to try and keep, and review if I wanted to, if I decided not to I was given instructions for how to donate the sling to a baby charity. This is my honest and open representation of my experiences of Snugbaby & babywearing.