Disclaimer: I was gifted the Amawrap in oyster grey in exchange for an honest review.
The Art of Babywearing
If you think putting on a baby sling looks daunting, that’s probably because you don’t have a baby.
In my pre-baby life, pretty much everything baby-related looked daunting. Changing nappies looked daunting. Dressing a baby looked daunting. Navigating a pram looked daunting… You get the picture.
Now fast-forward to my post-baby life and all these things have become second nature! So don’t stress, mamas-to-be, you’ll soon (and quickly) get the hang of it.
Baby slings aren’t so much complex contraptions as they are lifesavers, with multiple benefits for mum and baby.
Babywearing, as it’s called, is one of the best ways for mum to get out and about as well as get things done in the house while keeping baby close.
That closeness is so important in those early days. Not only does it encourage oxytocin and bonding in mum, keeping baby close to your chest also helps regulate baby’s heartbeat and temperature.
Since babies spend most of their time laying on their backs, the upright position helps avoid flat head syndrome and can be beneficial for colic and reflux babies.
Click here if you’d to read more about the incredible benefits of babywearing.
Baby Sling vs Baby Carrier
What’s the difference?
A baby sling or wrap is typically made from a soft, stretchy fabric that wraps around your body while keeping baby close to the chest.
While a baby carrier is more like a rucksack, made from stiffer material and often with multiple positions for babywearing, such as front, back and hip.
Most baby slings are for newborns up to infants aged 3 years (approx 15kg), whereas a baby carrier can be worn a litter longer, taking babies up to 20-25kg. Due to the softer fabric of the sling and ability to wear baby skin-to-skin, it is often the preferred choice for newborns and young babies, starting with carriers a little later.
As babies grow in weight (which they do incredibly quickly), some people may find the design and sturdiness of baby carriers more supportive for heavier babies and longer walks. As slings are more lightweight, many find them more convenient than carriers for use inside the house or for quick trips out. Either can be worn by both mum and dad.
A final consideration is the size they take up, for example when storing under the buggy! A carrier takes up a lot more space than a sling, which can be folded down small. It’s always a good idea to bring a sling or carrier with you when out with the pram. So depending on how much space you have or will need, that may dictate whether a sling or carrier is the better choice.
Which is best?
Due to their different features, I find that for my baby I need both!
A baby sling is the closest thing to being back in the womb, with your baby skin-to-skin on your chest listening to your heartbeat. For that reason, baby slings are definitely best for newborns.
Baby carriers, on the other hand, have the advantage of being able to wear baby in different positions as he grows. Once baby can hold his head up by himself without needing support (recommended from around 5 months old), he can now sit facing out and see the world as you travel together.
Amawrap vs other baby slings
Compared to baby carriers, the differences between the various baby slings on the market are much more subtle. Still, there are a few important things to consider when choosing the right one for you, such as fabric, design, style, and brand.
Key features of the Amawrap:
- No clips, buckles or buttons. It is simply a piece of specially designed fabric that wraps around your body and ties in the back.
- Comes in 12 different colours and prints with a separate matching bag for storage or transport. Although the wrap is long, it folds really small!
- Made from 100% natural cotton, the one-way stretch makes it stretchy enough to place baby inside while still offering support.
- Amawrap is made in the UK by an independent company created by Shabs, to read more about her story click here.
- It is an award-winning product, receiving multiple silver awards and bronze in the MadeForMums Awards in both 2018 and 2019.
- Tried, tested and recommended by Miss Portmanteau!
How to Wear the Amawrap Baby Sling
Amawrap Founder Shabs has prepared this step-by-step video to guide you through putting on the wrap for the first time.
After watching the video, I found it very straightforward to put on and figure out how to use. However, it’s really important that baby is sitting in the sling correctly, so it’s worth taking advantage of Amawrap’s one-on-one video support, where they can also help answer any questions you may have.
As Shabs explains in the video, you start by grabbing the tag in the middle, then run your hand down the length of the fabric, circle it around your head, and let go. Do the same for the other side, tucking both lengths under the front part. Next, cross the lengths over your stomach and tie them together in the back. Easy, right?
Tip: Putting on the wrap is easy, it is how tight to tie it that takes a little practice. Remember that the fabric will stretch!
To place baby inside, lift baby up onto one shoulder and bring the inner-most fabric piece up and over his arm and leg so that it rests under his bum. Drag the fabric across so that his bum is properly supported and his legs are in the M position. Now do the same for the second side, so that both lengths are now supporting his bum. Lastly, bring the final piece of fabric up and over so that it can support his body and head.
To take baby out, pull the big length of fabric down as before and untuck his legs. Now reach inside to hold baby under his armpits and simply pull him up and out. Undo the knot in the back, fold and store.
The Amawrap is sold through their website, click to shop!
Check out Miss Portmanteau’s new blog category: Mum & Baby!