Guest Author - Julie Renee Holland
Pouch slings are great beginners way to baby wearing and they are often a mainstay for experienced baby wearers too. Basically, a pouch is a tube of fabric that is folded in half to create a pouch to hold your baby. A delightfully simple concept, these baby carriers are often referred to as "native" style. The pouch style carrier is actually a modern invention. The word "native" actually refers to the first commercially available brand of this style of carrier, the New Native.
Pouch carriers, like all baby carriers, have their fans as well as those who don't like them. There are a number of advantages to pouch style carriers.
* They are simple to use. No buckles or adjustments anywhere.
* They are light weight and take up almost no space in your diaper bag.
* They are affordable, with most brands well under $60 for even the fancy fabrics.
* They go on easily, just slip it over your arm and then over your head to wear it like a sash.
* Because of their affordability, you can keep an extra in the car or buy a fancier sling for dressy occasions.
There are also some people who hate these carriers. Here are a few of the points made by their detractors:
* They are not adjustable, so you will need one for each adult unless you are the same size.
* Some people feel more secure with their baby tied to them with a wrap or tightened in with a sling, making it easier to use two hands to take care of other kids, shop, or clean.
* Nursing in a pouch sling is not as discrete as with a ring sling since there is no tail to cover baby.
* Pouch slings only go over one shoulder, so they may not distribute weight as well for those with back problems (if you have a back problem you may wish to look at the Moby Wrap for the best support.
Pouch slings are usually made from one layer of fabric, but they can also be made reverible with two layers of fabric so you get a little better support and more wardrobe options. Slings come in thousands of patterns so be sure to choose one that mathches your personal style. Although this is a "baby" item, these baby carriers are really a part of your wardrobe so choose one that fits your style.
Choose a pouch sling that is made from sturdy fabric. Cheaper slings are often made from lightweight quilting fabric that is not meant to carry the weight of your baby. Check your pouch sling often to be sure the seams are holding up well. If the seam starts to fray it is time to get a new pouch sling. Your baby's safety must always be top priority.
To measure for a pouch sling you want to measure across your body from the top of one shoulder to the top of your hip on the opposite side. Just pretend you are measuring for a beauty pageant sash. Each manufacturer has slightly different guidelines for sizing, but most will allow you to return a sling that is the wrong size.
Pouch slings can be used for many different types of carries and good ones come with instructions. You can also find instructions online if you need more help.
View some pouch sling options here.