Slings are the ideal hands-free way to carry your baby from birth until between one and two years.
A sling keeps baby close to you so great for bonding and gives you more chance to get something done by giving you back two hands, while baby is carried round with you.
Some babies settle more quickly in a sling, and many enable you to breastfeed at the same time. If you walk everywhere as I do, you don't need to take a buggy everywhere you go.
There are many different styles. I used a pouch sling (pictured). I found it easy to put on, comfortable, and quick to get baby in and out of.
A good place to find out more is Big Mama Slings, with enough information to help you choose without being overwhelming. If you want more detail, or to ask opinions from others, try The Babywearer, full of forums, sellers and images.
You can even make your own. A free pouch sling pattern is available here if you have a little sewing experience. Other patterns can be found back at Big Mama Slings (above).
Or why not have one tailor made? I ordered mine from Drew Baby Designs and can't fault the service or product.
Etsy is a good place to find other makers who will create on especially for you. It was a fun and heartwarming experience to choose the fabric I wanted and have something made to measure by another mum.
If you baby or child fusses and doesn't seem to want to be put in the sling follow his or her lead. It isn't for all babies, or not all the time. Wait until they do feel ready.
Read up on the pros and cons, such as making sure baby doesn't become dependent on the sling for getting off to sleep; and knowing the ins and outs health wise. Correct carrying positions and posture are vital, and make it more comfortable all round.
Don't forget, slings are for dads too!