The debate about the benefits or dangers of a sling has been going on for several decades. However, most doctors are convinced that the use of a properly selected plastic carrier not only makes life easier for the mother, but helps the baby to develop harmoniously.
Just a couple of decades ago, mothers of newborns could only dream of such a comfortable device as a sling. Then, in order to move with the baby around the city, it was necessary to take a bulky uncomfortable stroller and try to drive with it through narrow doors or climb the stairs.
Such a simple device as a sling made it much easier for women to walk with a baby, because now you can enter any room without fear of steps, uncomfortable ramps or heavy doors. However, simultaneously with the appearance of slings, heated debates arose: does it harm the baby and how the fragile body of the child tolerates being in several layers of tissue. There are quite a few supporters and opponents of using this device, and each side has its own "iron" arguments.
And what is the opinion of the doctors and do they advise mothers to wear their little wards in a newfangled sling?
And how it was before
Representatives of humanity appeared and continued to successfully develop on the planet long before the invention of baby carriages on wheels. What did mothers do to free their hands for work and at the same time constantly look after their baby? Quite simply, they tied the child to themselves with a piece of durable fabric, often woven themselves.
Different regions had their own rules for carrying babies: in ancient Asian countries, a child was placed in a textile pocket behind the mother's back, in Africa, children were tied to their backs with a cloth. And among different peoples of the Eskimos to our time, mothers carry children in a special pocket of fur attached to their clothes.
Probably everyone knows the old expression "bring in the hem". But not many people know about the ancient meaning of the word "hem". In those centuries, the hem was not considered the edge of the dress, as it is now, but a wide apron, which was sewn from durable linen and worn over a traditional sundress. After giving birth, the young mother carefully put the baby in this apron, and tied its ends in a knot around her neck. Pretty familiar construction, isn't it?
Considering that many generations of children have spent their infancy in vintage semblances of a sling, perhaps its harmful effects are slightly exaggerated?
The positive properties of the sling
According to the reviews of most mothers who use a sling from the very birth of babies, this item gives them a lot of benefits and comfort. The baby is always there, it is easier to watch him, you can even feed the baby, covering with the free end of the scarf. But do pediatricians find advantages in using a sling and what nuances you need to pay attention to when placing a baby in it:
- The obvious advantage is that the baby is pressed against the mother's body and can hear her familiar heartbeat and breathing. There is a feeling of security and calmness, so necessary for a tiny person. Plus, rhythmic walking movements soothe the baby and help them fall asleep faster.
- Seeing the world around him not from a closed stroller, the baby will be able to adapt faster and will be calmer to perceive possible stimuli;
- According to surveys, children whose mothers used a baby sling for walking grow up to be more active and sociable;
- When using a sling - a backpack, the child's hips are wide apart. This is an excellent prevention of hip dysplasia:
- Smooth rocking when moving helps the baby get rid of colic.
Doctors agree that it is necessary to start carrying a baby in a sling gradually, about 10-15 minutes in a room.The maximum allowable time for a child to be in the device is 3-4 hours, this time is enough for a walk or a visit to the doctor. But at home it is better to take the child on the arms more often or to arrange it next to you on the couch, this way the contact between the mother and the baby is better maintained.
Important points of choice
Having decided to purchase a sling, you need to take a responsible approach to choosing a model. The most optimal would be a preliminary consultation with a pediatrician, who will be able to assess the child's health and decide whether the use of a tissue carrier will harm the baby. Sometimes the doctor may prescribe an ultrasound of the cervical spine and brain in order to exclude a possible pathology in which it is undesirable to use a sling. The doctor will also be able to advise on a sling model that is suitable for age and explain how to properly position the baby in a textile scarf or backpack.
Especially a lot of questions arise when choosing a sling for a newly born baby. While the child is very small, the main thing is to provide him with comfort in the supine position. For this, a sling is suitable - a scarf or a sling with rings, the careful use of which is suitable even for premature babies.
The main task is to ensure an ergonomic position of the child, reliable fixation of the head and a rounded back. While the baby cannot hold the head, the sling rings will help to ensure its comfort, securing the fabric as the mother needs. When choosing a sling, age should not be the main criterion; it is important to pay attention to how competently the carrier provides the child with an optimal position.
For walks with older children (from six months and older), you can try on a sling with a sedentary position of the baby. Correct posture: vertical position of the child, when the pelvis is set aside, the shoulders are pressed to the mother, the legs are bent at the knees and divorced at a comfortable angle, the knees are above the priests, and the back is smoothly rounded from the shoulder blades and below. This position does not give an unwanted load on the spine, you just need to make sure that the mobile baby does not deviate much from the correct posture.
Features of popular models
In total, more than a dozen different models of slings are known, but only three are popular in our country, the most comfortable and convenient, according to most pediatricians.
- The usual sling is a scarf. A strip of durable fabric approximately 60 centimeters wide and up to six meters long. Sizes can vary so that mothers of different sizes can find the right option. The fabric should be strong and elastic, while it should fit the baby's body well. If the scarf is wound correctly, a "pocket" of fabric is formed, in which the child will be securely and securely fixed. Mom needs to take into account that in the summer it will be hot for the baby in a sling made of several layers of fabric, so you can choose clothes for him according to the temperature outside.
- In a ring sling, two rings are used to form and fix a "pocket" through which both ends of the fabric are passed. This model is more convenient to use than the previous one, but the mother needs to watch carefully so that the baby does not slip out of it. Also, many mothers noted that due to uneven load on one shoulder, back pain or a feeling of fatigue may occur.
- May - sling is a rectangular piece of elastic material with long shoulder straps sewn on the sides. The lower drawstrings are fixed at the waist, while the upper draws are attached around the neck. A cozy textile nest is formed in which the baby can be seated. It is better to have the child facing his mother, so he will constantly feel protected, and it will be easier for a woman to observe his position. Of the minuses of this model: it can only be used for children who are already confidently sitting.
When choosing, it is worth trying on several models from different manufacturers in the store, perhaps wearing each baby for 10-15 minutes.After all, no one, except the child himself, will be able to appreciate the comfort of the novelty: being in an uncomfortable position, the baby may even cry. You can only buy the model in which the child feels calm and relaxed.