There are two basic slings out there. The ring sling and the pouch sling. You can find slings made out of just about any type of fabric you can imagine.
Pouch slings are usually very light weight and fold up compact enough to fit easily in your purse of diaper bag. This makes it a great candidate for airplane travel if space is tight.
As far a slings go, pouch slings are really easy to figure out. There are a multitude of brands and many beautiful fabrics to choose from.
A long infant lying in a cradle position has his spine supported and good blood circulation to this whole body. Pouch slings allow you to hold baby in 4 different positions – cradle, belly to belly, sitting up facing out and on the hip.
If baby is heavy, you can’t carry baby in a pouch sling for very long unless baby is old enough to sit up on your hip. You won’t be able to use it on your back.
With a wiggling child, a pouch sling doesn’t isn’t secure enough to keep your child in place.
With a sling, I don’t usually have free use of both my hands especially when bending over which one does a lot of on the plane.
If you have help on your travels from another adult who is a different size, a pouch sling won’t fit everyone’s body size. Recently, there have also been some concerns the safety issues with slings.
Native Sling ($60): Literally a pouch requiring no folding. Fabrics are mostly neutral with some that are organic. Make sure you check the sizing chart before purchasing one.
Peanut Shell ($55): Requires a little bit of simple folding. Comes in a wide variety of beautiful fabrics. An adjustable size sling is now available.
Hotsling ($40-50): Similar to the Peanut Shell, also comes in a variety of fabrics including some organic fabrics. An adjustable size sling is available.
HugaMonkey ($30): Simple pouch slings with just a few solid colors to choose from
Best baby/child carrier for: Quick in and quick out situations Acting as a back up sling that you can carry in the diaper bag
If you search around, you can find some ring slings made with beautiful drapes of fabric and when you find these, they look quite elegant.
They can fit any body height and width pretty easily because the rings make the sling size adjustable. This also means that it’s easier to tighten the ring sling so that baby feels a little more secure against your body than with a pouch sling.
If you loosen up a ring sling, it works really well for feeding baby discretely even when walking around. I learned this skill while exploring the ruins of Macchu Picchu.
Even in cold weather, the adjustable length makes it easy to fit over a bulky jacket.
The ring sling also allows you to carry baby in various positions – cradle, belly to belly, sitting front facing, and on the hip.
It takes most people a little bit of time to figure out how to use a ring sling.
Most ring slings are a little too bulky to fit neatly in a diaper bag or hand purse.
Like the pouch slings, when bending over, you often still have to support baby with one hand and they don’t work very well with an uncooperative or wiggling child.
Much like the pouch sling, when baby gets heavy it kills you back to hold baby in a ring sling for long periods of time in any position other than on your hip.