Why do parents use slings?


Slings are a popular choice now and there are so many to choose from now, to meet all our different needs. Things have moved on since I had my first baby 12 years ago when the Baby Bjorn was seen as the only option. I didn’t carry my youngest much but I knew more by the time I had my second baby three years later, I bought a sling and it was a lifesaver. I carried her when we went out – with stares from lots of people and comments about the whereabouts of my pram – and it meant I could look after and focus on my eldest girl.

I also used the sling around the house – to play with my eldest daughter and to make dinner. The last time I used it was when she was about 2½ – she was poorly and wanted to be attached to my hip. On went the sling, off to sleep went she, dinner was cooked, the wine was poured, a meltdown from every member of the family was diverted and a happy woman was I!

So when and why do mums use their slings?

On holiday right now and the streets in Pireaus would be treacherous if it weren’t for my trusty slings! Getting about and keeping the wee man close, makes me happy and him contented

 I mainly carry Eleanor on the school run and have done since she was tiny as I find it easier than fighting in and out with the buggy. My Connecta came in very handy when we were on holiday…loads of steps down a cliff to the beach….no problem!

Mainly to be hands free in the house so I can do housework! Also it’s easier to walk the dog with Olivia in her sling rather than get the pram out. She loves being held close and is a lot calmer than if I put her in her crib/chair (and she gets smothered in kisses)

When – all the time. When they were little they used to virtually live in the sling, we’d shop with them in it, walk, climb mountains, you name it! I used to do the housework with them in it, even now Cole will still go on my back so I can crack through some ironing. Why? Because I would have gone mental without it!. Seb was seriously unputdownable as a baby, I wouldn’t have been able to get out and about with using a sling. I’ve never needed to find out if Cole is unputdownable because I’ve carried him close right from the start. Oh and when you have a second baby, being hands free is essential to chase the older one!

Because buggies don’t like fields, the unlimited cuddles, secret kisses and jokes shared just between the two of us. And it usually guarantees sleep too.

While doing the nursery run & shopping – much easier to have both hands free

When my baby was smaller he used to cry and cry to be out his pushchair so I used to get him out and carry  him and I’d push the empty pushchair…so it always came in handy to have a sling. Also when going for country walks my husband uses it, I believe this helps build a bond and give a real physical and emotional closeness between them

Whenever we are out of the house with the baby – I don’t really own a buggy/pram suitable for a newborn/baby

I use the sling for Ada to sleep – she currently doesn’t like the buggy. Also it’s just easier for being out and about – no queues at lifts because we can use escalator and I can hold my other daughter’s hands too. She loves being the same height as everyone so if she’s not sleepy she loves socialising.

Whenever we’re out and about. I use the pushchair if I’m going to need access to me e.g. trying on clothes or I need somewhere to be able to put him whilst I sit down and there’s not likely to be a high chair. I love having him so close so I can hear him chatting away. He sleeps in the sling but very rarely in the pushchair or car now as he’s too nosy. I did use a sling when he was small but wish I’d used it more!

My first son was a real crier and I used to carry him in sling to send him to sleep.

I used the sling with Eloise pretty much all the time out of the house – we had no pushchair. Why? I just found it immensely easier. I could still hold Zoe’s hand and it was easier to put Eloise in the sling for the school run than take a pushchair out. I loved being able to go where I wanted in town rather than having to think about lifts and could I access somewhere. I see mums carrying newborns into the playground in car seats which look so heavy and I am amazed because they’re often the same ones telling me that sure my baby was too heavy to carry!

Both my husband and myself use the sling when out and about, I also use it when cleaning the house so I have both hands free. My baby also likes to see what’s going on so it’s a bonus because she’s close to us and content in it.

We went for a long walk over the rockpools today – couldn’t have done that with a buggy!

My sling is brilliant for getting my overtired baby to sleep. There are no worries about lifts etc, when out and about. It is the cuddliest, easiest way to cope with a newborn plus a toddler – a totally brilliant sanity-saver!!!

My son is a silent refluxer, he hates being on his back and he doesn’t entertain the pram. However he loves the carrier! Plus, it’s great for winding, also he’s very nebby so loves being able to see everything, I get to have my hands free, it’s making me fitter (lugging around a 15lb child will do that) and I love being so close to him with lots of kisses and cuddles, and he falls asleep in it. What’s not to love?!

I used a sling from day dot with both children – they are warm, secure, calm and happy and I could get on with stuff! It was also really easy to have a sneaky breastfeed with nobody noticing!

I use mine to get my daughter to sleep, she just can’t keep her eyes open in it! I always have it when we’re out in case she’s unhappy in the pram and wants a cuddle so I can keep hands free. I also use it at any groups I take my oldest daughter to – the baby is close and I have hands free to help the toddler

I use mine all the time instead of a pram – no battling against crowds, trying to find a lift, struggling with doors. He likes being able to see what’s going and “chats” about it.

 I didn’t use a sling much with my first, but discovered the joy with my second. So much easier to run after a toddler with a newborn securely strapped to you. We used a mei tei on our European road trip and used it alternately with the buggy and both daughters (6 months and 3.5 years) on planes, trains and at Disneyland! I loved the freedom it gave us, particularly in busy places

I took my sling EVERYWHERE!!!!! If I had the buggy out (single or tandem) and one of them got tetchy or cranky, I’d put them in the sling and they’d be quite happy and nod off with a cuddle!!

I used to wear it to carry my baby around while I chased after my toddler in soft play frames! I used to put them in it while I was cleaning or cooking if they were crabby or over-tired. If they were asleep and I wanted to go to the supermarket, I’d slide them into my sling, they’d stay asleep for the whole trip and then stay asleep as I put them back in the car. I can’t imagine bringing them up without a sling!

I use my sling a lot! When exploring on the floor has reached it’s sell by date – we sling! We sling most places when out! I have no wheeled vehicle for this poppet!

We love our sling – great for cuddles and naps on the go or when there’s jobs to do together.

I use a sling daily – for walks, the school run, shopping, housework, if he is tired or grumpy or colicy and it gives me free hands for the 4 year old.

Whenever I need my hands and he needs a cuddle! And also during walks, shopping… wherever you’d use a buggy. So so useful.

I currently use a sling with my toddler, at those moments when she suddenly decides she doesn’t want to walk. It has been very helpful on holiday.

I sling with my 8 month old as often as possible. To go to the shops, to go for a walk, whatever. LOVE IT. 🙂

Sling Information 

To find out more about choosing and using a sling with your baby/toddler, the North East Sling Library is for you. Rachel hires out different types of slings and she also runs drop-ins so you can try them out. As a babywearing consultant, Rachel possesses a great deal of knowledge as well as experience and passion about baby wearing.

Rachel runs drop-ins in Durham and she is launching a new drop-in in North Shields, which will run on the third Wednesday of every month at the Birth & Baby Basics Cafe – Rachel will be there next week.

I want to end with a comment from a friend… 

A woman was laughing at us when we were in the supermarket the other day because Cole was giving me high fives over my shoulder and giggling. She said “it’s not often you see babies enjoying shopping, probably because he’s so close to his mummy”


Next week is all about sleep – getting some and coping without it

About Janine 659 Articles
As an experienced and qualified practitioner, I specialise in pregnancy, birth and parent support - my aim is to listen, inform, support and reassure when needed. I have worked with parents since 2002 and I set up Birth, Baby & Family in 2011 to provide good information, different voices and links to the best products and services for families.

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