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Slings, wraps and carriers

Carrying a baby is often a simpler option than using a pushchair. Young babies like the closeness of mum or dad and you can often get places when carrying a child that would be off limits to a pushchair.

Why use a sling?

A baby will often settle better being close to you. A sling satisfies their need for physical comfort and security. Many experts believe that this is so important and they recommend ‘babywearing’ as the norm. It will also give you both hands free – especially useful when travelling or looking after siblings.

There is a wide variety of slings and carriers available, designed to suit newborns or older babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers . The key points to consider must be safety and comfort for you and your baby. Other considerations include when and where you hope to use the sling, for example round the house, breastfeeding, travelling, shopping, or dog walking, and whether you want one sling to be shared between parents or siblings. Some slings are designed to carry a baby from birth right up to four years old with adjustments made to accommodate their growing size and developmental needs.  Other slings are designed specifically for the first few months, or for older children!

Different types

Stretchy Wraps:  These are long pieces of stretch jersey cotton, which you wrap around your body and pre-tie, before placing your baby inside. They are very convenient as you can pre-tie the wrap and take your baby in and out of the sling thought the day, supportive and snuggly as the fabric moulds to your shape. Ideal from birth to approximately 6-12months.  

Hybrids: These slings are made from similar stretch jersey, but come in two parts and often have rings to adjust them. Suitable for the first few months.

Ring Slings:  A length of woven fabric that is tightened through a pair of rings to form a loop diagonally across your body. The baby or toddler sits within the pouch formed by the fabric in different age appropriate positions, usually on your front or side. They can accommodate different sized wearers and children so could be used with babies and older toddlers.

Woven Wraps:  These are pieces of woven fabric, usually cotton, which are tied around yourself and your child. Unlike the knitted cotton jersey used in stretchy wraps which often contains elastane, woven wraps don’t stretch.  They can take a bit of practice to learn how to use them, but they are very versatile, and available in a wide range of beautiful designs. They can be used to carry babies and older children on your front, side and back.

Soft Structured Carriers: Simple to use and convenient when out and about, buckle carriers are a popular choice. These carriers consist of a buckled waist band and shoulder straps which clip into the panel where the baby sits. There are many designs ranging from very lightweight unpadded versions, through to more structured and bulkier carriers. Many can be used on your front and back. Ensure that you buy a wide based carrier to support your baby’s hips. Some can be used from birth to pre-schoolers.

Meh Dais: These tie-on baby carriers are a mix between the softness of a woven wrap and the convenience of a buckle carrier. They have a panel with wrap or padded straps for the shoulders and waist which you tie around yourself.

Pouches: These simple loops of fabric are quick and simple to use, and very compact. They are worn across your body like a ring sling, with older baby or toddler sitting inside the pouch on your front or side. They distribute your child’s weight evenly around you so you can stand and walk straight. Sized to fit the wearer so can’t be swapped between parents, but will last from 3 months to 3 years.

Carrying aids: Hip seats can be convenient for carrying older babies and toddlers for short periods of time, but are not hands free as you still need to have one arm to support your child. The natural way to carry an older child is to sit them on your hip. But this distorts your back and it can be difficult to keep the child in position. A hip seat extends your hip so you can stand straight. This is a particualrly good way of carrying a toodler who first wants to walk and then is too tired!  A hip carrier addresses one of the root causes of adult back pain, by providing a firm shelf for the child to sit on and supporting their increasingly heavy weight from underneath. Instead of twisting the spine, the parent's back stays straight and the child is tucked into the chest, providing comfort and security for both adult and child. 

Visit your local sling library for expert babywearing advice and to try a range of slings and carriers. Find your nearest library at www.slingpages.co.uk


  • Lifft Stretchy Wrap
    By Lifft
    • Incredibly comfortable for baby and you
    • Encourages bonding with your baby
    • Simple and safe to use and wear all day
    • Suitable from birth and great for feeding
    • Made in the UK, from British made 2-way stretch cotton jersey
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  • Hipseat
    By Hippychick
    • Use from six months
    • Simple and practical to use
    • Comfortable to carry heavy toddlers without damage to your back
    View Product
  • The JPMBB PhysioCarrier
    By Je Porte Mon Bebe
    • 4 seasons Thermo-Fit 
    • Physiological position for baby from new born to toddler
    • Extra thick & vented padding on the belt and suspenders
    • Rear mirror for back carrying
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  • BASIC BabyWrap.
    By Je Porte Mon Bebe
    • French terry, jersey, cotton and elastane/Spandex for maximum softness
    • Fast and convenient!
    • From birth
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  • The Original Babywrap
    By Je Porte Mon Bebe
    • Knot once before installing baby inside the wrap
    • Use in various positions without untying
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  • Ergobaby OMNI 360
    By Ergobaby
    • Newborn to toddler
    • Face out or face parent, hip, and back
    • Hip-healthy “M” shape
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  • The AmaWrap
    By AmaWrap

    •  100% natural cotton fabric 
    •  Ergonomic design
    •  Same day dispatch
    •  Large variety of colours 

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  • Adventure Belt By More-2-Explore
    By More-2-Explore
    • New in 2017
    • Hands free system
    • Keeps children safe
    • Gives children independence
    • Ages 2 +
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  • The Little Wrap Without a Knot
    By Je Porte Mon Bebe
    • Simple, quick, lightweight
    • New knitted fabric
    •  Small cushion protects baby
    • 2 positions
    • Reversible
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