The whole point of renting a sling or carrier is to find out whether or not it suits you, your child and your lifestyle. Whilst we do out best to help you find a good match, ultimately the choice of what to hire is down to you and you can't get it right every time.
We cannot offer refunds for any costs associated with renting slings or carriers under any circumstances once the hire has started. All rental and postal fees an non refundable as soon as the sling is posted to you. Just think of the money you have saved by hiring rather than buying!
If you let us know what you didn't like about it, we can help you find something else that suits you better to try.
Some buckle carriers will enable your child to face out. This is recommended only from four months upwards, not for sleeping in to protect the airway, and only for short periods of time.
This is because of the reduced opportunity your child has to see and interact with the adult carrying them, as well as the reduced hip support from the narrow base needed to allow forward facing. Some adults find it less comfortable to carry a child facing outwards because the child's weight is carried away from the adult's centre of gravity.
As much as possible, the position your child is in when in a carrier or sling should mimic their natural position. This may change depending on your child's age and even if they are awake or asleep. It's very important to understand that awareness of the position of your child in a sling or carrier is not just important when you are putting them in, but its something to be monitored regularly as you go about your day carrying your baby.
Younger children tend to naturally hold their bodies in a J shape with their back gently rounded. As they get older they tend to 'straighten out' but this process can take longer than you'd expect, with many children still having a natural curvature to their spine until around 18 months old.
Your child will probably feel most comfortable and secure with their weight being supported from below and the ability to have their arms close to their face if they so wish. A position that it is useful to aim for is one where the child's pelvis is tilted, their back allowed to naturally curve and their knees and elbows bent.
As beautiful and precious as our children are, when you are trying to make sure that you are comfortable when wearing a sling or carrier - you need to think about them like any other weight! Keeping your child close to you and high up near your chest will usually feel more comfortable for you than carrying your child away from your body near your stomach or lower back.
Probably the secret to getting a comfortable carrier or sling is to find one that distributes your child's weight as widely and evenly as possible. In most cases a carrier or sling that distributes weight to both shoulders and your hips will be more comfortable than one shoulder and/or carriers that don't offer hip support.
Padding can offer more comfort for the wearer, but be aware this isn't always the case. Sometimes something thin and floppy which moulds to your body will feel nicer. Wrap straps (those made of wrap fabric) are usually wide and cup your shoulders to further distribute weight.
If you have a mei tai or buckle carrier the waist and shoulder straps should touch your body throughout the length of the strap . If the carrier hangs off you or gapes then you may find that it pulls on your body where it does make contact.
If you find one or both of the shoulder straps of your buckle carrier tends to fall down, then you possibly need to tighten or move the chest strap upwards.
If you have had a C-section or have any other issues such as back or neck pain it is usually OK to carry your child but you may need to choose a carrier or carry that avoids this area. Please use your own judgement and contact a medical professional if you are unsure.
As your child gets older they will usually very readily tell you if something is up, but its a little harder when they are smaller for them to tell you if they are uncomfortable.
- Make sure your child is adequately hydrated.
- Consider their clothes - each layer of sling is one layer of clothes, snow suits are not generally recommended for children in carriers or slings. Check your child's temperate by feeling just below their vest line, hands and feet will always feel cooler.
- Choose a carrier or sling than enables your child to be supported along their bottom and both thighs all the way into their knee pits. Tilt their pelvis so that their bottom is lower than their knees.
- When small, under 4 months, make sure that your child's knees are no further apart than their pelvis. After this, the space between their knees can be wider but be careful not to overspread their legs. This is when their calves are not able to be free to hang vertically.
- If there is extra fabric, its usually more comfortable for your child to have it bunched in their knee pits rather than around their neck
- Choose a position than allows your child's spine and neck to stay in a straight line.
- Enable your child to bring their hands to their month if they want to.
- Make sure any fabric over your child's body is smooth with no twists or knots resting on your child, especially on their spine.
- Your child may find it uncomfortable if their head lolls when asleep. Tilting their pelvis usually solves this issue.
- If your child has their cheek towards your body they may find their neck becomes sore if they are always facing the same way. Try to encourage your child to alternate which cheek faces you if possible.
Babywearing is extremely safe. It has been practised across the world for centuries by many people, in many carriiers in many different ways.
The most important thing to consider when looking at safety in slings is you child's airways - is there room to breath? There should be absolutely no fabric covering your child's face at all. This includes sleeping hoods and hats - make sure they cover the head if needed, but not the face. Also - consider your child's position - is their chin on their chest? If so, they could find it difficult to breathe, so its recommended that you change positions immediately. For this reason I don't recommend horizontal cradle positions, instead an upright position is preferred. If carrying your child on your front, their head should be positioned somewhere between your breasts and your chin. If you don't have breasts, then somewhere below your chin is fine. That way you can see where you are going! If you are carrying your child on your back, ensure you are able to monitor their breathing by feeling their breathe on your neck or being able to see them by glancing over your shoulder.
Essentially there are two ways to make sure your child stays safely in a sling or carrier - ensuring that they have adequate support below them with no room to slip through and making sure than their back support is high enough that they are unable to lean too far and flop out.
Finally, be aware of external hazards such as tripping over things or bumping into things beside or above you. Remember, tripping or falling with your child in a carrier is likely to result in a better outcome for you and your child than if you were carrying them in your arms as you often have hands free to protect your child and or break your fall.