Introduction to Sling

Sling, a versatile piece of fabric or material designed for carrying infants or other items, has been a part of human history for centuries. In this article, we’ll explore the origins, types, uses, benefits, and safety considerations of slings, along with some tips for choosing the right one and even making your own.

History of Sling

The history of slings dates back to ancient civilizations, where they were primarily used for carrying infants or goods. Ancient artworks and historical records depict various forms of slings being utilized across different cultures and regions. Over time, slings evolved in design and functionality, adapting to the changing needs of societies.

Types of Slings

Traditional Slings

Traditional slings typically consist of a single piece of fabric that is wrapped around the caregiver’s body and provides a secure pouch for the infant or items being carried. These slings often rely on tying techniques for adjustment and are known for their simplicity and versatility.

Modern Slings

Modern slings come in various designs, including ring slings, pouch slings, and structured carriers. Ring slings feature adjustable rings that allow for easy customization of fit and carrying positions. Pouch slings are pre-shaped and offer simplicity in use. Structured carriers resemble backpacks and provide additional support through padded straps and buckles.

Uses of Slings

Historical Uses

Throughout history, slings have served as essential tools for caregivers, allowing them to carry infants while performing daily tasks or traveling. Additionally, slings have been utilized in warfare and hunting for carrying weapons or ammunition.

Contemporary Uses

In modern times, slings continue to be valued for their convenience and practicality. They enable caregivers to bond with their infants while engaging in activities such as shopping, hiking, or attending social events. Slings also promote breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact, which are beneficial for both the infant and caregiver.

Benefits of Using Slings

Ergonomic Benefits

Slings distribute the weight of the infant evenly across the caregiver’s body, reducing strain on the back, shoulders, and arms. This ergonomic design promotes proper posture and minimizes discomfort during prolonged carrying periods.

Psychological Benefits

Carrying infants in slings fosters a strong sense of closeness and attachment between the caregiver and the child. The physical contact and proximity provided by slings contribute to the infant’s emotional development and sense of security.

How to Choose the Right Sling

When selecting a sling, several factors should be considered to ensure comfort, safety, and functionality.


Slings are available in various materials, including cotton, linen, silk, and blends. It’s essential to choose a breathable and durable fabric that is suitable for both the caregiver and the infant’s skin.

Size and Fit

The sling should be appropriately sized to accommodate the caregiver’s body and the infant’s weight and size. Adjustable slings offer versatility in fit, allowing caregivers to customize the carrying position to their preference.

Carrying Positions

Different slings support various carrying positions, such as front carry, hip carry, and back carry. Caregivers should consider their comfort and the infant’s age and developmental stage when selecting a carrying position.

Safety Tips for Using Slings

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper sling use and maintenance.
  • Ensure that the infant’s airway is clear and visible at all times while in the sling.
  • Check the sling regularly for signs of wear and tear, and replace it if necessary.
  • Practice safe babywearing techniques, including proper positioning and support for the infant’s head and neck.

DIY Sling Making

Creating your own sling can be a rewarding and cost-effective project. Here’s a basic guide to making a simple ring sling:

Materials Needed

  • Fabric (approximately 2 meters in length)
  • Rings (specially designed for babywearing)
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Cut the fabric to the desired length and width, considering the caregiver’s size and the carrying positions.
  2. Hem the edges of the fabric to prevent fraying.
  3. Fold one end of the fabric over the rings and secure it with stitches to create a loop.
  4. Thread the opposite end of the fabric through the rings to create a pouch for the infant.
  5. Test the sling for comfort and adjust the length as needed.

Sling Brands to Consider

  • Ergobaby: Known for its ergonomic baby carriers and slings designed for comfort and support.
  • Baby K’tan: Offers a variety of wrap-style slings suitable for newborns and infants.
  • Tula: Provides a range of structured carriers and ring slings with stylish designs and ergonomic features.

Sling Accessories

  • Sling Rings: Durable rings designed for use in ring slings to adjust the length and fit.
  • Sling Pads: Padded accessories that provide additional comfort and support for caregivers.


In conclusion, slings are versatile and practical tools for caregivers, offering numerous benefits for both the infant and the caregiver. Whether used for bonding, convenience, or ergonomic support, slings play a valuable role in modern parenting and caregiving practices.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Are slings safe for newborns?
    • When used correctly and following safety guidelines, slings can be safe and beneficial for newborns.
  2. Can slings be used for toddlers?
    • Yes, many slings are designed to accommodate infants and toddlers up to a certain weight limit.
  3. How do I clean my sling?
    • Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific cleaning and maintenance guidelines. In general, most slings can be hand-washed or machine-washed on a gentle cycle.
  4. Can dads use slings too?
    • Absolutely! Slings are suitable for caregivers of all genders and can be adjusted to fit different body types.
  5. Are slings only for carrying babies?
    • While slings are commonly used for carrying infants, they can also be used for carrying other items such as groceries or small pets, depending on the design and weight capacity.