Newborns and small babies to 6 months plus can be carried in a laying down position. This reclining position offers your baby full head, neck and spine support, gently following your baby's natural body contours and keeping baby's legs together which is important while your baby's pelvis is soft and still forming. See this article Infant Spinal Stress for information on why slings are the best baby carriers for babies backs. For instructional video clips of using a pouch sling with a young baby go to our links section.
Older infants with good head control who can sit unassisted can be worn on your hip. This is beneficial for healthy development of the pelvis and hips of a baby at this stage. There is no need to remove your baby from the sling to slide them into a reclining position for naps or breastfeeding with head support. While the front and back positions are the easiest on your back, the weight of your baby in the hip carry is still well distributed across your torso. For instructional video clips of using a pouch sling with an older baby go to our links section.
Putting on an Earthsling in a hip carry
TODDLERS AND CHILDREN
The back carry is popular for use with heavier children as it is kind to the wearer's back. Confident baby-wearers with practice can learn to use the back carry with a younger baby. The back carry leaves the most space in front of you, is safer when cooking in case of hot splashes as well as being very comfortable for both carer and baby.
To use the back carry follow the directions for the hip carry and carefully slide your toddler around to your back. It is simply a matter of sliding your baby back around to the front when you want to breastfeed.
There are many variations on the positions described here. You may like to try using the front carry with your baby sitting cross-legged facing outwards or facing you (called a Kangaroo or Buddha carry). It is simply a matter of trying different ways of wearing your sling to find out which positions suit you and your baby best.