The elastic band, a sea of possibilities
Perhaps you heard about it at the birth accompaniment course, or a friend may have recommended it. One thing is certain: it is difficult for you to approach babywearing without having heard of the elastic baby carrier.
The babywearing slings for carrying (or transporting) newborns are perfect solutions for carrying babies around by enveloping them in a soft embrace. They guarantee a comfortable and safe support for carrying the little ones around.
Babywearing elastic bands: what are they?
The babywearing elastic band is a very long rectangle of fabric about 4.50-5 m long and about 50-70 cm high. It allows you to make a ligature that recalls the uterine environment. This is why it is suitable for containing and pampering a newborn from the first day of life, welcoming its primary need for contact.
Some companies produce slings of longer lengths which may be useful for larger people, or for those wishing to carry 2 twins at the same time.
Their type of weaving is called jersey, which consists of a stockinette stitch fabric.
Babywearing elastic bands: what are they made of
Baby swaddles are renowned for their enveloping properties and their softness.
Most of the baby wraps are made of thick cotton certified oeko tex standard 100 and/or from organic farming. They may contain or a small percentage of elastane (known as spandex). Versions also available in bamboo or viscose.
Models of elastic bands for newborns
The One-Way elastic bands have elasticity only in height (one way = one direction), consequently they are less elastic than the two-way sisters. They can be pre-knotted but also adjusted after placing the baby, like a rigid sling to ensure a super personalized binding on the dyad.
The Two-Way piston rings have an enormous elasticity potential, being elastic in both directions (two way = two directions) . They pre-knot snugly but also need to be pulled tight to ensure optimal support.
Elastic baby carriers: at what age to use them
The minimum and maximum weight for its use is shown on each elastic band. However, this weight refers to the tests that have been carried out to guarantee the resistance of the product within a weight margin, which the company guarantees for correct functioning.
In any case, baby wraps are not suitable for small children of all ages.
Generally speaking, we talk about using slings for babies weighing no more than 6/7 kilograms, but that's not really the case. In practice, it is necessary to consider the goodness of the binding, the type and quality of the band. We can therefore have mothers who feel uncomfortable with a load of 5 kg and intend to move on to something else, while others who are perfectly at ease with 10 kg.
Therefore, there is no ideal solution, but a series of solutions among which it is necessary to choose the one most suited to the needs of one's own little one.
For premature babies or with special needs, the best thing is to work with the doctor who looks after the baby, also in collaboration with the babywearing consultant.
Baby sling: how to carry newborns
The main advantage of the elastic band is that, compared to other supports, allows you to make pre-knotted ligatures from which to put on and take off the child without need to redo the binding every time. This can make the life of a neophyte carrier mother so much easier that she can concentrate on doing the ligature without worrying about the newborn. It can be equally useful for those mothers who often travel by car and need to move the baby from the seat to the seat and back on again. Leaving the binding intact becomes in fact very comfortable.
In Italy it is difficult to see a baby in an elastic band in a position other than that belly to belly. However in other countries it is common for babies to be carried in other positions as well: facing the world, sideways, on the back and in the lateral recovery position.
The Pocket Wrap Cross Carry is the binding of choice, but that doesn't mean that other bindings can't suit different needs. Each binding has its own mechanics and therefore, based on the individual characteristics of the newborn and/or lifestyle, you can opt for other bindings such as the Front Wrap Cross Carry or the Double Hammock in front.
How to breastfeed with a babywearing elastic band
Breastfeeding with an elastic band is possible as long as it is done in compliance with the safety parameters. It is also advisable to give the right space to both breastfeeding and babywearing in the phase in which total concentration on the part of the mother and total serenity on the part of the newborn is needed.
To breastfeed with the elastic band, if you wear a triple support, you can try to loosen the flaps by pushing them downwards from your shoulders. Or you can remove the baby from the sling and place it in a semi-reclined position between one or two flaps, nursing the baby while supporting it with your hands.
Elastic band in summer: it can be worn when it is hot
Can babywearing be worn in summer when it's hot?
Here too the answer is quite subjective. For example, you will find those who tell you that beyond May the elastic band can no longer be used! Nothing more false!
First of all, there are those who live in areas where the summer gets 40 degrees in the shade and those who live in areas where 25 degrees is the maximum even in August. Then there are personal perceptions of the heat. It is certainly advisable to pay particular attention to not making the baby suffer from the heat, therefore we prefer the shade and morning outings when it is not too hot. Did you know that when the bearer sweats while wetting the newborn, the sweat lowers the baby's temperature?
It is part of the adaptive thermoregulation mechanism that has always accompanied and protected us.
Elastic baby carriers: is babywearing safe?
Whenever a mother carries a baby around in a swaddling, she is seized with worries such as:
- Is my baby breathing?
- Can I let him go or does he risk falling?
If you answered yes to these two questions, you are already halfway there! Especially for newborns, however, the rules apply TICKS
Tight – Adherent to the body. Band and baby carrier should be tied tightly to be comfortable and prevent the baby from collapsing inside with the risk of affecting the air passage.
In view at all times – Always in view. You should always be able to see your baby just by glancing without having to move the backing fabric.
Close enough to kiss – At kiss height. Your baby's head should be as close to your chin as possible and you should be able to kiss it.
Keep chin off chest – Chin away from the chest. At least one finger should be placed between the baby's chin and chest to ensure that the air passage is free.
Supported back – Supported back. Adherent bodies and back supported in its physiological position helps to keep the passage of the
What to do if the baby doesn't want to be in the sling?
Sometimes the great desire to carry your baby in a sling collides with the sad reality of a baby who just doesn't want to be in a sling: he cries, screams, squirms, gets nervous! First of all, don't panic: don't give up on the second failed attempt! In the meantime, let's see together what the possible problems and solutions to them may be. Here are some problems that may arise with the elastic band:
It's too hot! We cannot forget that the band, however "light", is still an extra layer of fabric, and which often contains a more or less high percentage of synthetic material such as spandex. The solution in this case may simply be to strip your little one of one or two layers of clothing.
I also recommend avoiding tying the little ones with the coat on, which loosens the tying and creates a situation of overheating especially when passing from external to internal temperatures.
The binding is badly done and uncomfortable. It is not easy to learn how to set up a correct swaddling right away, especially if the baby is crying. I am a great supporter of self-taught babywearing but often the tutorials that we find on the web are unclear with respect to some passages at best, at worst done badly by people who are poorly trained in the subject. In these cases, consulting with a babywearing consultant can really bring the added value needed to have a positive experience.
In the meantime you can ask yourself 5 questions:
- Is the neck adequately supported but not constrained?
- Are the little hands within reach of the mouth? Can you explore and suck them?
- Is the fabric taut and neat on the baby's back?
- The seat goes from hollow to hollow of the baby's knees
- Is the baby's pelvis rotated inward with the knees higher than the bottom of the bottom?
- Performing these checks every time can make the difference between a grumpy baby or a sleepy baby!
It is not about the right binding, position or support for him/her. Sometimes it is just the support used that is not appreciated or the slur does not leave enough visual. It is therefore necessary to evaluate what to change, for example if changing the binding or the position improves things.
Semi-structured baby carriers: what are they?
Finally, what about the semi-structured bands? Those made in shirts, with rings and other adjustment systems? As I said before, to each his own!
If such a band can help a family to embark on a babywearing journey with serenity, welcome. However I feel that an unstructured elastic band can really fit the dyad perfectly, while semi-structured supports have limitations in terms of adjustment. In short, it will be you and your baby who will adapt to the band and not vice versa as I think is desirable.
Babywearing bands - Advice to help you
Do you need help?
If you lack that certainty in feeling competent when tying, don't underestimate the added value of an individual or group consultation to be accompanied by a professional trained to teach you the technical, safety and available basics for empathic listening and post counseling support.
Do you need help? Do not hesitate to write to us at shop@millemamme. org or call us at 3318618145