All the variety of slings fall into 3 major categories
1. One shoulder carriers
- Easy in, easy out
- Gives you upright and vertical positions
- Very comfy hip carry
- Good for nursing
- Fold up to almost nothing
- Ring Sling is adjustable and can be shared between parents
- Spreads the weight over one shoulder, that will get sore if word for a long time
- Longer learning curve
- Back carry is possible but not the most comfortable in the long run
- Pouch is not adjustable, if sizing is not correct the pouch will become uncomfortable or impossible to wear
2. Simple piece of cloth
This includes rebozos, short wraps and full-length wraps (the most versatile of the whole bunch).
They can be stretchy (knit) or non-stretchy (wonven).
- Super dee duper versatile (millions of wearing positions)
- Spread weight over both shoulders in most positions
- Woven wrap will last you from newborn to toddler to child stage
- Knit wraps are very forgiving and will feel comfy even with less than perfect wrapping
- Longer learning curve
- Some wraps may feel too warm in hotter climates
3. Asian inspired
Mei-Tais, Onbuhimos, Podageis. I would also include back pack style carriers in here. They are just fancy mei-tais with buckles.
- Spread weight over both shoulders
- Easy learning curve
- Wide selection of pretty panels
- Adjustable and most will fit both parents
- Hip carry is possible in some but not the most comfortable
- No horizontal carry
- Not to comfy to breastfeed an infant in, but older babies do fine
So, what sling is right for you? Don't ask me, I haven't a clue. I do know one thing though. They sure are exciting to try out and your baby will love it. When you find the one that's "Your" sling, you WILL know it.
They're like shoes, you just can't have one pair. Wraps are like your walking shoes. They're intimadating at first to lace and tie but once you get the hang of them they're comfortable and versatile. They'll be comfortable for longer periods of time. Asian inspired carriers are great for back carrying. It's a fancier walking shoe. One shoulder carriers are your flip-flops and they get you in and out fast. With flops though, you certainly wouldn't want to walk in them all day long.
I hope that I have enlightened you to a fascinating, normal method of carrying your child and one that will build a bond that will last a lifetime.