Babywearing International of Hampton Roads

Keeping caregivers and children close since 2013

Carry of the Month: Pouch Sling Tummy to Tummy

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Please read our disclaimer before trying this carry.

We see pouches at our meetings all the time and they do not get enough credit. They are wicked easy to use if you get one that fits properly and if you understand how they work. A lot of them are quite thin and would work excellent for the summer or just for slipping in the diaper bag in case of an emergency. They’re also an inexpensive option and would be a great carrier to leave in the car in case you forget a carrier from home.

Some popular brands are Hot Slings and Seven Slings. We see these two brands often and they’re both great pouches. Both of their sizing information is located on their websites but I’ll show you a little bit in this tutorial on what I find makes a great fitting pouch as well.

I think it’s good to mention quickly that these slings are often confused with bag slings. Bag slings such as the Infantino Sling Rider was recalled in March of 2010.  Here’s a link to the recalled carrier. If you think you have one, they have information on how to return it and get a new carrier.

The black pouch may be too big for a newborn, but perfect my 3 year old!
Here’s a quick bit on how I think a pouch (for a newborn) should fit. I have found that it’s best to measure starting at your shoulder to your *natural* waist. I see a lot of manufacturer’s recommending you measure to where your jeans would sit but for a tiny newborn, this could sit them way too low. The black pouch is significantly too large for me but you see the bottom of the grey pouch comes right to my natural waist which would keep a newborn up at kissable level and right on my chest. There are times when you’d want to size up. An infant over 6-9 months may need a bigger size. You’ll for sure feel when your infant is outgrowing your pouch. 
 So real quick tutorial here. I start by laying the seam of the pouch along my arm. This one had a tag right in the middle so I grabbed that and then pulled the rail that was sitting in my hand into the pouch. Now, if your sling has padding on one side and you’re wearing a newborn, the padding should be on the outside when you fold it into itself. For a toddler or older baby, it’ll go on the inside where it will sit under your baby’s legs. Then just slip it over the desired shoulder with the rails of the pouch facing up. Situate the pouch so that the seam is right in the center of your body. The seam is a very important part of a pouch. It has a nice curve and it’s where you want your baby to sit. 
Now separate the pouch by pulling the rail of the pouch closest to your body down. Put baby over your shoulder while reaching under the pouch to grab baby’s feet, slowly slide baby into the pouch while pulling the top rail up to their shoulder. Then start to adjust the fabric so that it meets each of baby’s knees and their legs are free. You may keep your baby’s feet in if you feel it is more comfortable for the both of you. Just be aware that there shouldn’t be any weight on baby’s feet or ankles and that they should be in a natural froggy position.

So here’s a little bit on fitting and position. In the first photo, you can definitely see my baby’s knees are in a natural position with her bum lower than her knees. She isn’t over spread or wrapping around my body. The carrier keeps her nice and high onto my chest with her airways open and I can monitor her breathing and face at all times.

The last step here is just to take the top, exposed rail of the pouch on your shoulder and pull it down over your arm. This is “capping” your shoulder and really takes out all that slack you had on the top. A little slack on top is normal so this is a great trick to getting rid of it. If you find your (older) baby likes their arms out and you don’t have a lot of slack, you do not have to do this last step but it important there is little to no slack in the top rail with a newborn so they have plenty of head and neck support.

I sincerely hope this tutorials helps you view the pouch a little better and you learn to love it especially for this summer heat!

You can email questions to our Education chair at
Education (at) BabywearingHamptonRoads (dot) Org any time. 
Photo tutorial not doin’ it for you? No worries. Check out Babywearing International of Hampton Roads’s YouTube channel for more information and tutorials!

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