How long can my baby spend in a sling?

Should they only be in the sling for short periods of time? This is a question that parents frequently ask.

The short and the long answers!

A dad carrying a baby outdoors

The short answer is, there’s no time limit – carry them for as long as your both happy.

The longer answer is, babies have a biological need to be near a parent. Being carried has lots of advantages; it keeps them close, helps regulate their temperature and heartrate, it soothes and calms, helps them sleep and improves bonding.

Their position in a wide-based, ergonomic sling is also great for physiological development and is the position they will adopt naturally. If you watch a young baby on a changing mat they often pull their legs up into the spread squat that we try to achieve in a sling. Any carrier or sling that reaches into their knee pits and supports this spread squat will help with healthy hip development. Carrying a baby can also improve their balance, build their core muscles and advance their communication skills.

When you think about our development as a species, members of the tribe would have carried babies in their arms. They would not spend long periods lying down the way they do now. That’s not to say that modern inventions like prams and cots aren’t incredibly useful, and often necessary in our lives today. But, if you’re happy to carry them then don’t worry about overdoing it, you’re just doing what comes naturally.

Young babies are often in and out of carriers anyway, for feeds and nappy changes. As they get older they’ll be happy to spend more time on the floor playing or just kicking their legs, which is another important development stage. So be guided by what you’re both happy with and enjoy the cuddles.

Find our more about carrying your baby safely in a sling.

If you’d like any help or advice using your sling, or to hire a sling to try you can book an appointment.