A kangaroo’s pouch allows the mother to carry her joey with her, safely and unobstructed. That is the function of a baby wrap! It grants the parents a chance to bond with their infants by holding them close, and at the same time, freeing their hands to do other work as well.
Baby slings allow the babies to be snuggled up to their parents, feeling their warmth, while being carried around by them. This permits the parents to continue with their activities without having to leave the baby behind or lying down, alone and separated from them.
As per health practitioners, carrying a baby in a carrier, for a few hours every day, burns up to 310 calories.
A Canadian study conducted in 1986 concluded that wrapping up babies around a parent’s body keeps the infants from crying more, especially in the evenings. For a colicky child, baby wraps are particularly useful. It keeps the baby straight, which helps in keeping the baby’s digestive tract functioning properly.
Slings also assist in leg and hip development of the infant. Also, it provides ample support to the baby’s neck and the backside of the head.
BABY WRAPS AND SAFETY
It is essential to wrap the baby in the sling correctly, with his back and neck properly supported. Also, it is important to ensure that the infant has space to breathe. While wearing, the angle of the sling and the position of the baby should not be uncomfortable for either the parent or the child.
Lastly, the baby wrap should be tied securely around the parent in such a way that it does not dislodge from its intended position.
There are certain key points that the parents need to keep in mind before buying a baby wearing and using it:
- The sling should be bought in accordance to the baby’s weight.
- All wraps come with instruction manuals that should be read very carefully before attempting to use the wrap.
- It is advisable for the parents to practice with a doll first.
- Ensure that it does not cover the baby’s face at any time.
- Adjust the wrap according to the baby’s position, comfort, and your comfort.
Differentiating wraps, slings, and carriers
Though they all work as a connecting tool for a parent and the infant, there are small distinguishing factors too.
Baby wraps are usually one big piece of cloth that can be wrapped and arranged around the baby and the parent any way they like.
Slings are mostly for carrying a sleeping baby. That is why they are worn over one shoulder. It can be secured with a ring or a buckle.
Carriers are typically used for children who do not need support for their necks. They are square in shape with having four straps. They are the simplest to wear and remove, of all.
HOW TO CHOOSE A BABY SLING
There are a few important things regarding the baby carrier that need to be considered by a parent looking to buy one, like the quality of the material, the sling’s design, and its adaptability, size, and care instructions.
The baby carriers are made in several different types of fabrics, breathable and thin cottons to warm and thick cloth. The sling chosen should be appropriate to the weather and not be uncomfortable to the baby’s sensitive skin. For keeping the baby cool, companies are using cotton, organic and even bamboo to make the carriers.
Silk material is in vogue today to keep the babies warm. Besides the fact that they a soft, classy, and lightweight, it doesn’t get spoiled easily due to either fire or water. The only negative would be in terms of the fact that silk cloths are slippery. Hence, the parents should be extremely cautious while using baby slings made of this material.
The design and pattern of the baby wraps differ from brand to brand. Some provide auxiliary support in the shoulder, back, and seating area. Others furnish a product that is height and weight adjustable that can be used as the baby grows.
Then there a few that utilize a ring or a buckle to secure the wrap, or a type which just needs to be tied across the waist. There are a few carriers that have a complex system of wearing and securing the baby around the parent and a few that can accomplish that in a simple manner. The choice of the parent regarding the wrap depends on the frequency of use and the comfort level for the parent carrying the child and the child himself.
The next deciding factor is the flexibility of the baby wrap. The parents need to decide what positions in which they will be carrying the child, the age of the child, how will they be holding him, support required, etc. The baby sling chosen should be able to accommodate the specific requirements.
Several slings for babies come in a fit-all option. And in others, the size of the carrier has to be adjusted according to parent wearing it. There are some products where the same sling can be adjusted accordingly, while in others this might not be possible.
Therefore, it is imperative that the closed sling should either be according to the comfort of the parent carrying the child or open to changes. Too loose or too tight a wrap can create a safety issue for the child.
The last but significant factor in choosing a baby wrap is the material’s care conditions. The selected sling should be easily cleaned and dried. Most today can be machine-washed as well.
Parents should ensure that the fabric they have chosen should not shrink or stretch after one wash, making the carrier unsafe for the baby. Wash instructions come with the wrap and should be followed diligently to increase the baby wrap’s durability.
There are a lot of positives and a few negatives for a parent to consider when buying and using a baby wrap. The choice of a suitable wrap depends entirely on what the parents are looking for in terms of usage, comfort, safety, and pricing.
They should carefully consider all the available options before making their purchase.