Body contact between the baby and the parents is very important right after the birth. It is the best time to establish a close bond and to easily integrate this into everyday life, a baby sling is ideal.
An elastic sling is the best choice for newborns and premature babies. Elastic slings are cuddly soft and nestle perfectly to you and your baby’s body.
They are very comfortable to wear and can easily be tied, but more on that later. For this reason, they are particularly popular with fathers and newbies.
What makes an elastic sling so special?
The production of an elastic sling makes it particularly elastic in the transverse direction, because the slings are made from jersey fabric. Other substances or mixtures of substances are much more solid.
Usually the towels are made of 100% cotton. In the meantime, however, there are also many manufacturers who also rely on mixed fabrics for elastic slings. In addition to cotton, particularly popular materials are silk or virgin wool.
Due to the soft and elastic jersey fabric, the elastic sling feels particularly comfortable and newborns in particular feel very comfortable in it.
The length of such a sling is in most cases around 5 meters. Manufacturers often only offer one size. In some exceptional cases, however, it is possible to choose between different lengths.
The width of the sling varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. In most cases, the towels are around 70cm wide, but as already mentioned, there may be deviations depending on the manufacturer.
The useful life
From a certain body weight onwards, elastic slings are simply no longer recommended.
At a certain point you notice very clearly that the stability is visibly decreasing and you have to tighten more and more often. For most wipes this point is reached at 7-9kg body weight.
However, it also depends very much on the quality of the cloth. If the slings are a little thicker, an elastic sling can still be used for the baby weighing more than 10kg.
It is important that the sling can be tied tightly. If that is no longer possible, then it is time to look around for an alternative.
Tips and tricks for usage
The biggest advantage of an elastic sling is that it is super easy to tie. Therefore, it is also great for beginners.
The cloth is simply tied around the body according to the enclosed instructions, then you put the baby in.
It is often said that the baby can then be easily taken in and out. I would advise against that, however, as the stability suffers every time it is lifted in and out. It is better to tie the cloth anew each time it is lifted out. Correct tightening is a matter of practice, especially for those who are new to carrying, and it gets faster and faster over time.
In order to achieve good stability, only binding techniques should be chosen in which three layers of the fabric are placed around the baby’s back. This means that the number of binding variants is of course lower, but for the beginning the two that I will introduce to you in a moment are definitely sufficient.
The cloth is always tightened so tightly that it offers good stability and the child rests firmly against the body. Correct binding is also a matter of practice in this case.
The right posture in the cloth
Correct posture in the sling is very important for the baby to develop healthily.
Care should always be taken to ensure that the baby’s back is rounded and that the legs are in the all-important spread-squat position.
The spread-squat position means that the legs are aligned like an “M”, with the buttocks lower than the knees.
Types of binding for elastic slings
As already described, there are two bindings that are particularly suitable for elastic slings.
Pre-tied means that the cloth is tied around the body and positioned in place without the baby. At the end the child is only put in and the sheets of cloth are placed over the baby.
Wrap cross stretcher
The cross-wrap variant with an elastic sling does not actually differ from the variant with a woven sling.
What should you look out for when making a purchase?
It is important to pay attention to the quality. This can be very different from manufacturer to manufacturer. The cloths can be very different in terms of elasticity. A cloth should not be too elastic, otherwise the stability is lost more quickly.
It is best if the elastic sling has a hemmed head edge. As a result, the fabric does not wear out so quickly at this point and provides additional hold.
A sling made of elastic material shouldn’t be too thin. If the cloths are too thin, you can quickly reach their limits. The cloth wears out faster and it then has to be tightened very often, as the feeling arises that the baby is sliding deeper and deeper.
It is not a problem to buy a good used sling. However, it is advisable to make sure that it is not used too much. Because unfortunately it can have lost some of its stability as a result.
With some elastic slings, the width becomes narrower towards the end of the sling. This makes tying the knot easier at the end of the tying process.
Advantages of an elastic sling
The elastic sling is definitely the best way to carry premature babies and very delicate newborns, as it is very soft and cuddly.
Due to the possibility of pre-binding, it is also well suited for beginners. Parents who are just a little more cautious and rather insecure at the beginning are also well advised to use such a cloth. Even the dads usually get along much better with it than with woven slings.
Due to its elastic and soft material, the cloth gives a particularly good feeling of security and babies feel very comfortable and they do that from the first moment. Other cloths often have to be worn “softly” first.
An ergonomic posture is always given in the elastic sling. Provided it’s tied properly. The back is rounded and the baby sits in a squat spread position.
Elastic slings are sometimes much cheaper than woven slings. Of course, that depends on the manufacturer and the quality of the wipes.
Unlike baby carriers, the sling fits every parent as it adapts perfectly to the body.
With the pre-tied version, the baby can simply be taken out of the cloth and put back in again. However, this is only advisable if the elastic sling has not lost too much of its stability.
Disadvantages of an elastic sling
Unfortunately, due to the elasticity, the wearing comfort is no longer so comfortable from a certain body weight. The heavier the baby, the more the sling slips down while being carried. It is recommended to only use an elastic sling up to nine kilograms. However, if it is also comfortable and suitable for you and your child, there is nothing to prevent you from continuing to carry it with an elastic sling.
With frequent use, the elastic sling simply loses its stability, it wears out. Of course, that depends very much on the manufacturer and the quality of the cloth. This is particularly noticeable with very thin cloths.
The long ends of the towel often lie on the floor when tying. This is not always beneficial outside. However, since the cloth can be pre-tied at home, the problem can be avoided.
The tying techniques must be practiced so that you feel safe and the baby sits in the sling with the correct posture. Tying tightly must also be practiced so that the best possible stability is guaranteed.
Since an elastic sling always has to be placed over the baby in three lengths, the binding options are very limited.
I am definitely a fan of elastic slings. It’s a really great start when the parents want to wear them in a scarf.
The price is also a good argument. Buying such a sling is a good idea, especially if you want to test wearing it for yourself first.
Due to the super soft and elastic fabric, an elastic sling is perfect for the very little ones and gives a wonderful feeling of security.
And if you really like wearing an elastic sling, it is not a problem to simply switch to a woven one later.