When you begin to explore your babywearing options, you might find that in addition to a soft-structured carrier like Tula or Ergo, you want a more portable option as well. Most of the moms in our Cotton Babies Mob Group stated that they enjoyed having more than one carrier to choose from. A sling or wrap will be easy to tuck into a car door pocket, or diaper bag for easily portable baby wearing options. Here are the benefits of a sling vs wrap to help you make the best decision for you and your baby.
Benefits of Slings
- It is easier to put the baby on slings. It is also easier for users to wear and take off the device.
- Frees your hand to do various tasks like eating, using the phone or the computer, etc.
- It is affordable. You can even make your own. And it is can be made of breathable material, which is good for the baby.
- Most moms love them because it is easier to pack, doesn’t take much space in your bag.
- If your baby has colic, it makes it so that your infant is upright, so milk and stomach acid stay in the baby’s stomach and gas travels up and out.
- Wearing baby slings makes the baby and mom/user happier. It’s a bonding tool as they are always close together, always in contact, feeling each other’s heartbeat and warmth, which is healthier for both.
- Makes breastfeeding easier.
Potential Limitations of Slings
- Prolonged use may cause shoulder or neck pain.
- Best for newborns and smaller babies only. As they get older, of course, they get heavier.
- Unlike other baby carriers, it is not structured.
- You might find slings that have rings or tie, might cause discomfort to the user.
- Works best with a sleeping baby or one that isn’t as active.
Favorite Slings to Consider
Sakura Bloom Linen – This gorgeous wrap comes in a variety of colors and is made of lightweight linen fabric. Ideal for newborns to 35 pounds.
Tula Wrap Conversion S/M – Gorgeous prints and colors available, this sling is sized to fit smaller body types without too much excess fabric. Recommended up to 35 pounds.
Tula Wrap Conversion XL – This sling is designed to fit a wider variety of sizes and body types. With 100% cotton material they are easy to clean and care for.
Moby Wrap Ring Sling – The sling version of my favorite wrap, the Moby ring sling is designed for babies up to 45 pounds, giving you a good option for bigger babies.
Beachfront Baby Slings – These super lightweight slings are perfect for outdoors on a hot summer day. Listed as able to use up to 30 pounds as it is designed to stay lightweight even when it’s wet from a pool or beach.
Benefits of Wraps
- It can be worn multiple ways, giving you options according to which position is more comfortable for the wearer.
- A wrap is literally worn and forms to the wearer’s body which means it will always fit, no matter who uses it.
- It has better support for the baby, thus, they tend to do better for active babies and work for a longer period of time.
- You can choose from a wide range of categories. Stretchy, gauze or woven, each have their own pros and cons.
- It’s been around for ages, which is why it’s a proven baby carrying tool. We innovate its design for longevity and durability but ultimately use designs very similar to those that have been working for mothers worldwide for hundreds of years.
Potential Limitations of Wraps
- Wraps have even less structure than slings as they can be worn in multiple types of holds.
- It can be a tricky to put on your first time using it and usually takes longer to put on than the sling.
- Wraps max out at about 35 pounds so if you have a chunky infant they may outgrow it.
Favorite Wraps to Consider
Tekhni Wovens – Available in multiple sizes and gorgeous colors both printed and solid. They give a good support and durability while still being breathable.
Moby Wrap Organics – This is my personal favorite because of the organic fabric and the ergonomic shoulder/back support. Recommended to 35 pounds although the fabric will support up to 45 pounds.
Slings and wraps can be an important tool in the baby wearing arsenal. I found that the ability to have wider straps over my shoulder and to evenly distribute the baby’s weight made wraps the best choice for me. I have a good friend who loved her sling though and could often nurse the baby without ever taking her out of the sling at all. So as you can see, your personal preferences, strength, back sensitivities, and desires can play a role in whether you want a sling, a wrap, or both.
Do you have a favorite sling or wrap you like to use?