A glossary of baby slings, part 1

baby-slings25There are so many baby carriers to choose from, it can feel a bit daunting to know where to start. Add to this the various types of baby slings, the acronyms and we have some very confused parents. Here is a quick glossary to baby slings. We hope this helps

Asian carriers, Asian inspired baby carriers (ABC) – There is a lively tradition of baby carrying in the Far East. Each country will have a different variation: Mei tai (China), Onbuhimo (Japan), Podegi (Korea) for example. Many baby carriers available today are ‘inspired’ from these traditional baby carriers and adapted them to the needs of Western mothers. The Napsack baby is an Asian baby carrier.

Baby backpack – this wide term refers to the baby carriers which are most suited to back carries. It doesn’t mean that they can’t be used for front carries but they are particularly easy to use on your back. The Ergo baby carrier is an example of a baby backpack.

Babywearing – Babywearing is another word for ‘baby carrying’. Imagine baby slings being so comfortable that you could ‘wear’ them for hours, just like a coat and carry your baby in it as much as he needs/wants to.

Back carries – Back carries refer to all the positions where the baby is carried on the parent’s back. Most baby slings are suitable for back carries although some might be more suited than others. Soft carriers, like mei tai, or baby backpacks are easy to use on your back.

Braiding – Baby wraps are much easier to use when the fabric is soft and ‘floppy’. Some wraps are soft straight out the packet, others will need time and use to soften. To speed up the softening, you can sit on the wrap or braid it: knot it over and over until the fabric softens. Also true for some ring slings.

Calin bleu – A brand of baby wraps made in the UK. Calin Bleu specialises in light and soft baby wraps, easy to use and suitable from birth to toddlers.

DYI slings – Making your own baby sling can be fun. Many mums can make their own baby sling. For your safety, make sure you follow the sling sewing instructions carefully. Choose good quality material and rings (Slingrings.com are the best). For a wrap, a simple piece of cloth suffices. For a ring sling, a pouch, a soft structured carrier or a mei tai, you will find dozens of sling sewing instructions online.

Stay tune for the rest of baby slings glossary…