Sling as newborn gift

Slings, or baby wraps, are becoming increasingly popular gifts for American parents. Baby wearing has been popular in other countries for centuries. Baby wearing has gained popularity due to the research of Dr. William Sears and his theory of attachment parenting. According to Sears, infants carried in this way tend to be calmer since they can smell, hear, feel and see their caregiver. Even if parents don’t adhere to this theory, baby wearing is a very convenient hands-free way of transporting a newborn.

When purchasing a sling, first look at the safety features. Some slings consist of one large piece of fabric that can be tied in various ways for different carrying styles. This type of sling may not be the best gift for a parent not familiar with baby carrying. Other slings have the same carrying concept, but are more user-friendly with snaps, buckles, belts or straps to fit the wrap more securely. Slings come in regular fabric or stretchy. Since slings are adjustable, they can be used for newborns up to toddler size. For newborns, the sling comes around the parent’s waste and is wrapped over the shoulder. The newborn cradles in the middle of the sling snuggled closely against the parent’s body. Parents have their hands free to grocery shop or do housework. This position is also a discreet way for breastfeeding mothers to nurse their newborns.

Slings used to be very difficult to find. They can now be purchased at any major retailer. Depending on the style you choose, prices range from $35 to $65. Nordstrom carries very stylish baby slings for $65. Looking at this product online may be a good place to start since you can actually see pictures of the various styles, patterns and colors. Use the query terms “baby wrap” or baby sling,” and you will see many online retailers for this product. For more ambitious gift givers, you can even make your own sling. There are detailed instructions for making “no sew” wraps at www.wearyourbaby.com under the heading “Make a Wrap.”