FAQs & Answers
At Calin Bleu, we're passionate about baby wearing, helping parents carry their children as long as they wish. We are always happy to answer your questions.
If you have any questions about any aspect of baby wearing, choosing your sling, using it, finding a comfortable fit, please contact us.
When can I start back carrying?
The answer is simple: as soon as you feel comfortable.
Most parents using a baby sling for the first time will feel more comfortable waiting until about 6 months when the baby has sufficient head control. Others will prefer to wait until about 9 months when the child learns to “cling on” to you, making it easier to pop them on your back. You need to feel confident that your child will be able to hold their head up enough to keep a clear airway.
If you've used slings before – especially if you've carried another child on your back before – or you have someone else to guide you, you can start earlier.
It is possible to carry a newborn on your back, using the rucksack carry, however we would advise this only for very experienced babywearers or if you have the help of a babywearing consultant/advice at a sling meet. Besides, they grow up so fast that it's worth enjoying the front carries while they are still small!
When can I start hip carrying?
Most parents move on from front carries to hip carries once the baby can sit up unaided. It feels the most natural and it's normally around the age you would instinctively carry them on your hip even without the help of a sling.
However, some children are happy being carried on your hip (or on your front slightly to the side) earlier. Babies can be curious of their surroundings, want to look around without necessarily wanting to be carried facing forward.
The hip carry is also more comfortable for both parent and baby than facing forward and holds the baby in a more physiological position.
Make sure the baby's legs are wide apart, still in a frog-like position and that the wraparound sling holds the baby tightly against your body.
Won't I spoil my baby by carrying her so much?
There is no getting around this fact: Your baby needs you, you're the most important person in the world to them. For many months, the baby doesn't even realise that he is a separate being from his mother.
By carrying them in a sling every day around the house, while you carry on your daily activities, you provide them with the presence and attention they need. Being so close to you allows them to observe what you do, that way learning their new surroundings and what will be expected of them when they grow up. They are at the centre of the activity, but they also learn they're not the centre of the world.
Won't my older child be jealous of the attention the little one is getting?
A newborn baby requires a lot of attention from his parents. Mummy is usually tired from the pregnancy, labour and birth and the lack of sleep. Breastfeeding takes time. So with or without a sling, a newborn requires a lot of attention from you.
Carrying the newborn in the sling will allow you to care for the little one while having your hands free for older siblings. By breastfeeding in a wraparound sling, you can have your hands free to read a story at the same time. You can also carry the little one while going to the park, pushing the swing, taking them to school or helping them with their homework.
I suffer from back pain, can I still use a baby sling?
It's difficult to answer in general and without knowing exactly what you suffer from. I would recommend checking with your GP, an osteopath or a chiropractor. The pregnancy, labour and birth can leave tensions in your body that a few sessions with an osteopath or a chiropractor could really improve.
That said, in most cases, you can continue to “baby wear”.
There are a few things to keep in mind:
Choose a sling and carry which spreads the weight between both shoulders, your back and your hips. With wraps, the wrap cross carry is a good example. Avoid one shoulder carries.
Move to back carries early on. Many parents find carrying a child on their back more comfortable. Again, choose a carry with good weight spread. Make sure the child is carried high and held close to you (click here to view the rest of our comfort tips).
Build up your strength slowly. Start by carrying your baby for 10-15 minutes the first time around, see how you feel and extend the period gradually. Baby wearing can sometimes feel like when you start a new type of exercise, you use muscles you might not have really used before and they need time to adjust.
Be patient. You've observed these few tips and you're still experiencing pain? The first thing to check is that the sling is properly tied. Get in touch with us, send us a photo of your carrying your child and we might be able to give you a few comfort tips.
My partner is much bigger than me, do we have to buy two baby slings?
It depends what type of baby sling you choose.
With pouch-style sling, sizing is important and if you and your partner are different size, you will need two slings.
With ring slings and mei tai, you could use just one sling if you're not too dissimilar in size. With the ring sling, the tail will be shorter or longer. With the mei tai, one parent might have longer straps and need to tie them one more time around the waist.
With wraparound slings, both parents can use the same wrap even if you are very dissimilar in size. There are so many ways of tying a wrap that you will be able to find a carry that uses more or less fabric and suits each parent.
I've put on a lot of weight in pregnancy, I can't afford to buy 2 slings, should I wait until I loose weight to buy a sling?
The advantage of wraparound slings is that even though there are two sizes, you can always find a carry to suit your size.
So you could either choose the buy the size L. You will be able to use it from birth for all types of carries, including the wrap cross carry which requires the most fabric. Once you've lost weight, you could either hem it or just twist it one more time around your waist, offering extra support.
Or you could choose the size M. If you're above size 16, it might be slightly too short for
carries like the wrap cross carry or you can use the simple wrap carry. And once you've lost weight, go back to the wrap cross carry. If at that time, you're ready to back carries which use less length like the rucksack carry, you will enjoy having a shorter wrap. Many parents experience that the more they use their wrap sling, the less fabric they need.
What are the pro/cons of a wraparound sling?
Of course at Calin Bleu, we love wraparound slings and we hope to share our passion for this type of baby sling.
Wraps are extremely comfortable and spread the weight evenly between both shoulders, back and hips. They are an excellent choice if you suffer from back pain or will be carrying the baby for very long period of pain. They are also versatile: you can carry the baby lying down in a hammock position, upright facing you, upright facing forward, on your hip or as a back carrier. If you and your partner are very different in size, you will still be able to use the same wrap.
At Calin Bleu, we also specialise in light wraps, they are easy to care for. They are all machine washable and dry quickly. They are all soft from the moment you buy them so you don't need to “break them in”. It is still recommended to give them a quick wash before you use them to let the fibres regain their stretch.
Wraps can have a bit of a learning curve, mainly because of the length of fabric. However, every time we give baby wearing demo, people's reactions is always “oh, it's not as difficult as it looks”. It takes a few days to get used to. Read our top tips for a first time baby wearer and get in touch with us if you have any questions.
My baby suffers from reflux, will a baby sling help?
Probably. Lots of parents of reflux babies have found that carrying their baby in a sling really helped cope with this difficult period. You can hold the baby upright for much longer periods of time, you can even feed or breastfeed the baby upright.
My baby cries hours and hours a day, I've been told a sling will help, is it true?
Yes, it can help. Carried babies cry less.
It can also worth investigating why he or she is so uncomfortable.
Seeing a cranial osteopath might bring some relief: pregnancy, labour and birth can leave tensions in the baby's body. The osteopath will be able to bring more balance in the body.
Homoeopathy can also be helpful, check possible food intolerance...
Some babies also need more time to adjust to the outside world and need to be held for long periods of time. Imagine coming from a dark world, with muffled sounds, gently rocked by your mum's walk, with the reassuring sound of her heart, fed continuously throughout the day and night... Carrying the baby in the sling allows the baby to find some of those sensations and transition more easily into a bright and noisy world.
I can't find a comfortable fit with my wrap, do you have some ideas on how to make it more comfortable?
We have prepared some comfort tips for you.
These few questions could help you be more comfortable.
How long have you had your sling, is it fresh out of the packet or did you wash it and tried a few times?
Have you tied the sling tight or is it slightly loose?
Is the baby high enough and in the right position? His bottom should never be below your navel, his legs wide apart in a frog-like position and the knees higher than his bottom.
Have you made sure the fabric isn't twisted but well spread out, not too close to your neck?
Which carry are you using? Could you be using a position that doesn't suit you: hip carry, facing forward?... Have you tried using another carry?
Would you be able to send us a photo so we can give you a few more tips?
Are there some safety precautions I need to keep in mind while I carry my baby in a baby carrier?
Yes, just like at any moment of your child's life. Your baby sling allows you to have your hands free but your baby still needs to be supervised.
Read the manufacturer's safety instructions carefully and use your baby carrier accordingly.
Check the sling for wear and tear before every use.
Check the baby's position in the baby carrier, make sure their airways are unobstructed.
Remember that a baby carrier is not suitable for sports apart from walking, gentle yoga.
Be extremely careful around sharp instruments or hot things, beware of hot drinks, watch out what they can grab while in the sling, esp for back carries.
A baby carrier is also not safe to use as a car seat.
I'm expecting my first baby in a few weeks. I would like to use a wraparound sling but I wonder - is it possible to tie the wrap in a way that supports the baby's head in the upright carry?
Yes, absolutely and thanks for reminding us that the step by step instructions needed to be updated.
You can now see how to spread one of the fabric straps over the baby's head (scroll down to the bottom of the page). It works well with newborns and even with older children when they fall asleep.
Small reminder: one layer of cotton fabric will not be sufficient to protect your baby's skin against the sun in the middle of summer, use plenty of sun screen or a hat.
We have also added another photo showing how you can push the two straps to the sides if you feel your baby is warm. This will leave only one layer of fabric over his back.
You can also roll a folded muslin cloth or a small rolled washcloth into the top 'rail' (hem/edge) of the horizontal pass of the front wrap cross carry. This gives excellent head support while enabling you to keep the side passes unspread in hot weather. If that's not clear do ask and we can send photos.
I've been carrying my 6-month old daughter in a mei-tai for a couple of weeks around the house. I wore her out in our local town the other day and ended up with quite bad lower back pain. I was only walking for about 10/15 mins. It was very similar to what I experienced in late pregnancy. Am I doing something wrong? Could it be the way I'm carrying her? Should I be switching to back carries? Jo, London
I've had it happened to me a few times. There are bad hair day and bad sling days. I would have the impression that I had tied the wrap just the same way and yet it felt uncomfortable. It's possible that it was tied slightly tighter than usual or looser. It's also possible that my child was holding herself as she normally does in the sling ... usually that happened on the day she fell asleep straight away for a long nap!
If you feel uncomfortable, the first thing is to re-tye the baby sling.
If it's not better, rest a day or two and try again.
Then maybe your baby sling isn't quite as positioned as it could be. If you can get someone to take a photo, we could give you some pointers. Sometimes, it doesn't take much. Your baby could be slightly too low, or you didn't notice the fabric was bunched up.
Then not all carries suit everyone. Some children also have a preference for one or the other. It probably has to something to do with our back shapes, baby weight/height and baby's preference. So you could try another carry and see if it feels better.
At 6 months, you can definitely start learning back carries, they are really comfortable when baby grows heavier. Most vendors of mei tai would have back carry instructions on their site. You can also get another mum to help you at your local Sling Meet.
I bought a Calin Bleu purple gauze wrap from someone else and when I saw it I was not quite sure if they had sent me the correct wrap, as I'd seen some used by other mums in the recent Slingmeet and they seemed to be more transparent and much more crumpled. I wonder if it's only because it's new and that it would become even softer and crinkled with use. The label does say that it is made of cotton. Have you ever made any purple non-gauze slings? Thanks! I'm wary of using the sling although I'm dying to, just in case that it's been delivered wrongly! Cynthia
The Calin Bleu cotton wraparound slings have evolved over the years. The fabric used to be hand-dyed, leaving it with a crinkly effect. It meant that the customer had to set the dyes before using it.
In 2006, we moved to different dyeing process which makes the fabric softer and flatter. There is no need to set the dyes and the colours don't run, even the darker colours.
The wraps are custom-dyed for Calin Bleu, the dye residues are filtered so that nothing harmful is rejected in the environment. We also check with the supplier that none of the components used can be harmful for babies.
The fabric itself didn't change, it still has the same "give" to mould around your baby and you comfortably.
You might have also noticed that the hems are slightly different. Hems are very important in wraparound slings, especially light wraps like the Cool Wraps to ensure that they don't create any pressure points. We have kept researching the most comfortable options resulting in some changes.
My son is 8 month old, I've been carrying him in a baby sling since birth but I'm finding him really heavy now, is that the end of our baby wearing experience?
A lot of parents report that around 8/9 months, they don't find carrying their babies as easy as before. Carries that were working well for them before become less comfortable. Then it seems to get better.
One possible answer is that babies at that age are getting quite heavy but they still have to acquire the clinging skill that baby monkeys have from birth. Human babies acquire this clinging skill around 9 months, human babies are actually born "premature". Many parents say that once their child reach that stage, they start "helping" with their carrying, resting their legs on your hips, clinging onto you while you wrap the baby sling and generally speaking, start feeling lighter.
A bit like when you're carrying someone asleep, they feel heavier than if you're carrying them while they're awake.
Don't give up. Take the opportunity to explore new carries, if you've been carrying him on your front, start learning to carry him on your back. Make sure he is carried high, with his bottom no lower than your navel and his legs wide apart, resting on your hips.