Babies love being close to their parents, which is why baby slings are becoming increasingly popular. Not only do baby slings often help soothe fussy infants, they let you carry your baby hands-free, so you can do chores around the house, eat with both hands, and play with older children. Baby slings are also great for taking your baby places that might be hard to navigate with a stroller. When picking out a baby sling, you'll need to compare a range of factors, such as sling type, material, and ease of use. Our quick guide has everything you need to know to find the best baby sling for your bundle of joy, including our top product picks. We love the baby sling from Boba because it's easy to use and super comfortable for baby and parent.
Considerations when choosing baby slings
You'll find various types of baby slings on the market. The most common varieties include wrap slings, soft-structured slings, and ring slings.
Wrap slings are effectively one long, slightly stretchy piece of material that you wrap around yourself and tie up to create a carrier for your baby. It takes a bit of practice to figure them out, but they're inexpensive and extremely versatile.
Soft-structured slings look like wrap slings when they're on but are far easier to use. On the downside, they're less versatile as you can only configure them in one way.
Ring slings are usually made from fabrics without any give to them. They're fixed in place using two rings, making them quite simple to put on and adjust once you get the hang of them. They're easy to nurse your baby in, too.
It's common for baby slings to be made from natural materials, such as bamboo and cotton. Natural materials are more breathable and less likely to irritate your baby's delicate skin. Baby slings with some stretch to the material generally also contain a tiny percentage of spandex.
Ease of use
It's important to choose a baby sling that you find easy to use. If it's too complex to put on the sling, you'll be less likely to use it. Wrap and ring slings are simple to put on once you get the hang of them, but you'll need to devote a bit of time to practicing. Soft-structured slings are much simpler.
What's great about baby slings is that the majority are highly adjustable. Since you wrap them around yourself and tie them, you can adjust them to fit any body size. Any excess material you can just tie up or tuck in.
Most baby slings give you a range of colors to choose from, so you can pick a hue that you like. Some even offer a wide range of patterns, such as plaid or rainbow stripes.
Baby slings generally range in price from around $30 to $100. Although you can find some great options in the $30 to $40 range, they tend to be simpler, such as wrap slings. At the top end, you'll find more structured options and slings made from organic materials.
Q. Are baby slings suitable for newborns?
A. You can find baby slings suitable for newborns, but you'll need to check the minimum weight requirements. Some slings claim to be suitable for newborns but can only be used with babies who are eight pounds and up, for example, so they aren't suitable for smaller newborns and preemies.
Q. Can I choose which way to face my baby in a sling?
A. Yes, some baby slings are extremely versatile and allow you to position your baby either looking inward toward you or outward to face the direction in which you're moving. However, it's worth noting that you shouldn't face babies outward in a sling until they reach six months old and are able to support their own heads.
Baby slings we recommend
Best of the best: Boba Baby Wrap Carrier
Our take: A well-made wrap-style baby sling that can accommodate children from infancy up to 35 pounds.
What we like: Made from a soft, stretchy cotton and spandex blend. Highly adjustable to fit parents of all sizes.
What we dislike: Can be tricky to use at first.
Best bang for your buck: CuddleBug Baby Wrap Sling
Our take: This versatile wrap sling is made from soft, breathable fabric and is a pleasure to use.
What we like: You can use this baby sling to carry your baby on your chest or back and facing inward or outward. It's comfortable for both parent and baby.
What we dislike: Fabric may be too warm for summer use in some areas.
Choice 3: Mamaway Ring Sling Baby Carrier
Our take: This 100% cotton ring sling is available in a wide range of gorgeous colors and patterns.
What we like: Quality fabric. Easy to adjust, even while wearing it. Pocket design for simpler carrying.
What we dislike: Doesn't come with clear instructions.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds
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