Thank you to Holly Nelson from Chic Papoose for this guest post.
Please download the Chic Papoose safety card for instructions on safe pouch wearing.
Babies are born to be held. There’s no way around it. It is one of the most treasured and memorable elements of life with a new baby. Once grown, what parent doesn’t yearn for that whole-body hug from your child’s baby-self, just one more time; the profound weight of their entire being resting in your arms, the smell of their head, the soft pulse of their heartbeat. It’s heaven on earth. Pouch slings originated in antiquity to assist parents in this very natural and necessary element of parenting.
Baby slings are not intended to provide some kind of magical independence for you as they sleep unseen inside. Slings are designed to help take the pressure off your arms and back while holding your baby and allow an arm to be free to eat a meal, read a magazine or send an email-all while remaining aware of your child’s presence. Parents who remember those early days of parenthood know how much those simple freedoms mean.
Sometimes it’s hard to put your baby down. Modern parents arm themselves with swings, strollers and bouncers yet babies still want to be held. If the child is colicky, this desire becomes more intense. Holding your child is part of our human programming and satisfies many instinctual needs, this is a scientific fact. All modern baby soothers seek to emulate this vital need.
A pouch sling provides access to the elements of this longing to be held, that other baby “holders” simply can’t. Your smell, the cradle of your arm around their body, your heartbeat and the natural rhythm of your movements; all other soothing products have spent untold dollars trying to strike this natural balance of movement, sound and smell. But, to a baby, there’s just nothing like the “real thing”.
No one is saying that a pouch sling replaces the need for all the modern trappings of baby care. The bouncer, the swing, the car seat bucket, they all serve their purpose, but when nothing else will do for your child, you will find yourself thanking your lucky stars for that pouch sling.
All baby carriers can provide these benefits, but there really is nothing as easy as a pouch to soothe a newborn or carry a toddler in a pinch. It’s the carrier everyone can use. Slip one over your head, put your child in and you’re ready to go. When traveling with a toddler, it’s indispensable. It comes off and on in seconds for security and boarding and stows in a bag or purse without taking up any space.
Children are slow to outgrow the desire to be held and as they mature (and get heavier) your pouch sling will become your favorite “go-to” carrier. Six month olds love to sit forward “kangaroo style” watching their older siblings soccer games. Older children (up to 35 lbs) are happy in a hip carry for a quick jaunt into the grocery store. How many of us have watched an energetic, independent toddler run through the zoo, only to cry until they’re held on the way out?
The 2010 controversy surrounding baby carriers started with a bag style sling, a completely different product. Over engineered to the point of resembling a woman’s purse, the bag sling’s design employs several elements that make them unsafe, especially for newborns. Pouch slings are the simplest approach to wearing your baby, no frills, no buckles, straps, rings or snaps.
A properly designed pouch sling is designed to carry your child in your arm, at a “kissable height”. And, like any baby product, use with newborns always requires special considerations.
So rather than throw the pouch sling out with the bag sling – understand they are not the same.
You will always need a little help holding your child and a pouch sling will make your first years with baby a bit freer, a little easier, and a whole lot simpler. Enjoy your baby’s fleeting desire to be held and add a pouch to your carrier repertoire for an easy, time-tested way to carry your child.
Follow these guidelines for a safer newborn carry in a pouch sling.
S – Supported spine
A-– Arm cradle
F—Face up, face visible
E—Elevated carry position ™
Chic Papoose – We help you hold the one you love ™
Melanie Mayo-Laakso is the Content Manager for Mothering.com. Mothering is the birthplace of natural family living and attachment parenting. We celebrate the experience of parenthood as worthy of one's best efforts and are at once fierce advocates for children and gentle supporters of parents.