I babywear a lot. Most days in fact. It has become a huge passion of mine and I am a self confessed sling addict. Pretty patterns, soft materials, wraps, buckles, rings… the works. I started my babywearing journey when my first born arrived and 3 babies later we are still doing it. There is this strange misconception that becoming a sling-mum means that you MUST be a hippy, have multi-coloured hair and label yourself as a ‘true Earth Mother’. OK, I may fit the bill for at least 2 of those pointers. But seriously, anyone can do it! Multi-coloured hair preferred, obvs.
For those of you who are a babywearing novice, in short, the act of babywearing simply means to carry your baby in a sling on your body. At home, at the shops, on the school run but not to the pub after 7pm. Babywearing is great for bonding, helping ease acid reflux, breastfeeding and getting the house work done- hands free! The benefits seem endless and it’s so easy to get into (and very addictive indeed). Partners, including hunky men, can almost certainly also partake in babywearing. and definitely when doing the housework. topless. It’s called skin-to-skin and is very beneficial for baby (and our eyes). It’s almost the law.
I saw Tom Hardy wear his puppy once. Beautiful sight.
The Lifft Sling Review
Here’s a quick video of the sling in action. All of my thoughts (in-depth) about the sling are below!
Well, that was awful. I hate doing videos. My camera sucks, and my house is messy. Anyways…
From little squishy baby right through to a tired-legged toddler, the Lifft sling promises comfort. The biometrically tested sling ensures the wearer distributed weight, keeping their spine straight and less back ache. Encouraging good posture, Lifft ensures years of comfort for child and adult (adult not in the sling- if that wasn’t clear). The design is unlike anything I have ever worn before. A simple tube of material, with no buckles or straps and is easily thrown over a shoulder with ease. It looks unusual but works so well. Worn on your hip or front, the Lifft is versatile too.
Very easy to figure out. I simply chose what hip I wanted my 21 month old (Ivy) to sit on and placed the Lifft over the oppose shoulder. Ensuring that the material wasn’t bunched or twisted, and lowered Ivy in. It’s key to get a good ‘seat’ under her bum, by grabbing the lowest edge of material and pulling it up between her legs, using her weight to hold the material in place. It is very important that baby is held tightly, for safety. The last thing we need is a baby slipping through the sling or leaning back and falling out- not a good advert for baby wearing and rather embarrassing. Bring the highest point of material across her shoulders, keeping her tight to you. Then to simply tighten the material, grab the material the sits across your shoulder and fold over. Like magic you will feel the sling tighten and bring baby closer to you. And that’s it!
I did have to adjust the tightness a few times, I put this down to being on an active walk around town with lots of bending (mainly picking up things my toddler had thrown all over Poundland floor). But it was very easy to do, with no ‘faffing’ and minimal thought. Totes looked like the true pro that I am.
The sling looks lovely. Not the prettiest in my mahoosive collection, but certainly nice enough to wear on a fancy family day out. It’s not bulky and sits very flat across my body. Wearing in winter is easy too, just put baby in the sling first and then wear your coat on top. You can buy special baby wearing coat, but I’m happy to wear my coat open or zipped up to Ivy’s bottom. Just make sure baby doesn’t get too hot!
The material feels soft and strong and did not rub mine or baby’s sensitive skin. The sling has a subtle patterned panel on the front, which is gender neutral (something I love to see in slings) and meant my husband was more than happy to wear it. I bet Tom Hardy would wear it too… but would the puppy agree? The pattern itself doesn’t stick out a mile and can only really be seen when having a close up look. The pattern is in a handy place too, as it shows exactly where baby should be sitting when in the sling. Handy little feature.
The only real negative point I could find was that when the sling is tightened across my shoulder, it didn’t give the shoulder much room for movement. I did struggle to reach up further than my chin. Not great when you need to reach for something (or bring a G&T to your lips *edit* I would never recommend babywearing and drinking at the same time).
I don’t think the sling would be overly great with tiny babies but from around 3 months of age, when they are holding their head up, the sling would be great. Lifft themselves state that the sling is suitable for babies from 3 months and above 8lbs.
The sling is listed as a pouch sling, which in all fairness I am not a fan of for a few reasons, which I shall not bore you with today. But as a side carrying sling, I think it is perfect!
I like to be able to easily feed while wearing a sling, especially when my babies are small and want feeding so often. Pesky growth spurts! The Lifft is so easy to feed in with minimal adjustment. Ivy had a comfortable latch and I could continue with my daily business and feed at the same time with ease. Brilliant!
She did flash a nipple at the school gate though. Not the sling’s fault!
As I mentioned above, I think the sling would suit babies from around the 3 month mark. Lifft themselves also recommend waiting until baby is 3 months to use a Lifft sling. This is perfect though, because I always recommend using a soft stretch wrap for the first 3 months, and once baby gets to 6 months they are too big to put into a stretchy wrap anyways, so transition to a Lifft sling would be brilliant.
The sling can be used with children up to the weight of 35lbs (around 3 years of age)- so you have loads of time to use the sling over the years.
And when your kids have grown out of the Lifft sling? It makes a pretty amazing miniskirt.
When not in use?
The sling makes an excellent breastfeeding cover, if that’s your thing. Just take the sling off and place over baby. I’m a huge breastfeeding advocate and personally I don’t think covers are needed, but if I makes mum feel confident to feed out of the house then, yay!
The sling folds very small and easily fits into a changing bag. Because the material isn’t bulky I don’t feel like I am carrying yet another bulky piece of equipment around with me. It takes up minimal space and is possibly one of the best ‘grab-and-go’ slings I have in my collection.
The full range of Lifft slings can be found on the Lifft online store and there are lots of pretty patterns to choose from. The Lifft sling costs £49.95.
*I have previously spoken about my experiences of the Lifft sling in the December 2016 issue of Mother & Baby magazine, and a Lifft sling was sent to me in exchange for an honest opinion of the sling.
RULES FOR SAFE BABYWEARING
When you have your baby in a sling, it is very important to follow some simple rules for safe practice. Don’t forget T.I.C.K.S
T- Tight. Babies should be held tight against you when in the sling, like a nice firm cuddle. If any material is too loose, baby could slip down into an unnatural position which can restrict breathing, pull on your back and allow baby to fall through the sling.
I- In view at all times. You should ALWAYS be able to see your baby’s face by simply looking down. Never allow the slingor any other materials to cover your baby’s face.
C- Close enough to kiss. Your baby’s head should be close enough to your chin as comfortable. If you have to strain your neck to kiss them, then they are too low.
K- Keep chin off chest. A baby should never be curled up that their chin is forced onto their chest. This can restrict breathing.
S- Supported back. In an upright position, baby should be held comfortably against the wearer so that their back is supported and in its natural position. Baby shouldn’t slump. To test if baby is slumping, simply place a hand on baby’s back and gently push. The should not uncurl or move closer to you.