I get asked this question a lot, which is understandable given my line of work.
But it’s a bit like asking “what’s the best shoes?”
Well, what would your answer be? Presumably a lot more questions like
What do you need them for?
What size are your feet?
How often are you going to wear them?
Or really it would be shoes that are comfortable, fit you and are suitable for whatever activity you are going to be doing in them.
Baby slings are a bit like that.
How old is your baby?
How long do you expect it to last?
Who is going to be using it?
What positions do you want to be able to carry?
What’s your budget?
Everyone has different shape bodies, differing ability to reach straps, differing spatial awareness.
There’s also what you want to use it for?
Walking the dog
Chasing after older children
For help with a baby who doesn’t want to be put down in the house?
To help with feeding
For the school run
Although there’s many slings out there that claim to be suitable from birth to toddler, it’s actually very hard to meet all of those requirements without something missing.
Some birth to toddler slings you only start to get a good fit from 8-12 weeks when baby is a bit more sturdy.
Others you get a great fit on a newborn, but then they’ll grow out of it faster.
Or something in the adjust-ability makes it uncomfortable for you to wear.
And don’t get me started on the brands that claim newborn to 3 years old. This claim is only made because of the weight limit the carrier has been tested to. That doesn’t take into account the size of the child.
So, what’s the best sling? Well, as Ben Goldacre would say “I think you’ll find it’s a bit more complicated than that”