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Not just a pretty pattern

Introducing Katherine from Ipswich and Colchester Sling Library talking about the different baby carriers available and what to think about when choosing one.

Do you know how many different materials are used to make carriers?

The most popular ones are cotton, canvas, corduroy, linen, hemp, silk and nylon but there are more. When choosing a carrier you might want to consider this as a thick material may not be good for a hot summer and silk in winter with a muddy toddler isn't ideal - although silk is a very strong fibre and is good in a woven wrap or ring sling.

Recently there has been an influx of full buckle carriers on the market that are suitable for newborns without the need for an insert. These seem to offer every feature that today's consumer desires, but is it really what you need? At around 4 months old most babies can fit into carriers such as the Connecta, Sleepy Nico and Lenny Lamb and at around 6 month popular brands such as the Tula and Ergo should fit (all dependent on the size and weight of the baby).

With a price tag that could have you spending over £100 you might want to look at a few before you make a choice.

The market leader when it comes to full buckle carriers often changes, but for a long time the Tula has had a huge following mostly down to the range of patterns available - with some sought after ones being re sold high above the retail price.

We are very lucky to have some of the best carriers made here in the UK and several more around Europe; Connecta, Integra, Oscha, Sleepy Nico, Lenny Lamb, Manduca, Rose and Rebellion, Madam Goo Goo and others made by smaller companies such as Wrapahula and Rock Solid Slings. 

A good carrier can potentially last you 12-18 (perhaps more) months so you will want to be sure that it is comfortable for you and your baby and will last the duration, so do some research and if possible visit a Sling Library to try a few.

Careful when buying online, there are several brands of carrier that have been copied and many fakes are now on the market, especially on ebay and similar selling sites. If it is too good to be true, it probably is!  Also be cautious when  purchasing from overseas as there may be import taxes added. 

You can be guaranteed that all carriers on offer at a Sling Library have been through stringent testing and will be of good quality.   

Choosing a carrier is a very personal thing and many people are sold on a pattern and who can blame them when there are some many lovely ones. Some companies offer you the options to choose the colour, fabric and pattern.

Sleepy Nico are a firm favourite for their fabrics, workmanship and an affordable price tag.


In my personal experience, tastes change and your beloved carrier may not be flavour of the month for long.  Fret not, the resale market for carriers is huge with many carriers sold for close to their retail price, this makes it easy for you to swap and change whenever the mood takes you.

Happy shopping and remember Sling Libraries and qualified consultants are there to help you so be sure to ask lots of questions.



Ipswich and Colchester Sling Library



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