Should You Choose a Baby Wrap or Sling?

When it comes to carrying your baby, there are a variety of options. Baby wraps, and baby slings are rising in popularity for the sleek and simple look, but what are they and which one would you choose? 

Let’s dive in!

What’s the difference between a baby wrap and a sling?

Differences Similarities
Wraps are secured by tying into a knot, while slings are secured with a set of rings.

A stretchy newborn carrier wrap can only be used for newborns up to 6 months of age. 

Most hybrid wraps can be used from newborn up to 1 year of age. 

Woven wraps and ring slings can be used with newborns, infants and toddlers.

Front carry only with stretchy and hybrid wraps. Front, hip and back carry positions with woven wraps and ring slings.

Each is a long piece of fabric that wraps around the wearer.

Each is used with newborns.

Both are compact, fold up nicely to fit inside a diaper bag.

Not the most supportive or best for backs for long-term wearing.

Most are made out of soft, lightweight and breathable materials.

Each carrier type can be used with twins.


Types of Carriers and How to Wear Them

What are the different types of baby carrier wraps and how do you use them?

Baby wraps are great for the fourth trimester bonding with your new baby. They’re versatile and designed for comfort for both the baby and the wearer, as they’re supportive and made out of lightweight, breathable materials. Wraps are perfect for keeping your baby cozy and close during the newborn phase.

Stretchy Wraps

Stretchy wraps, like our Aura Wrap, are popular because they are incredibly soft and incredibly easy to pack in a diaper bag for any adventure the day might bring. Once you get used to how to wear a baby wrap, it becomes like second nature and some people choose to leave it on for the day instead of retying multiple times. Stretchy wraps only offer the front inward carry position and you’ll typically need to graduate to a more supportive carrier once your little one hits about 1 year old.


How to Tie the Aura Baby Wrap Carrier

+++ tips for tying a baby wrap


Hybrid Wraps

Our hybrid wrap, Embrace, gives you the coziness of a stretchy wrap with the ease and support of a soft structured carrier. We might be partial, but it’s one of our favorites. With this hybrid wrap you can use front inward carry and front outward carry (when developmentally appropriate) and it’s just as compact as a wrap so you can take it with you everywhere! Easy to take on an off, even easier to make newborn snuggles a breeze, Embrace Newborn baby carrier comes in two different fabrics, a variety of colors, and supports you and your newborn through their first year.


Why would you want a baby ring sling and how do you use one?

Ring slings are a really fun fashion statement and another type of carrier that, although the learning curve is initially tricky, once you get the hang of it, it’s very easy to use. Baby sling carriers are lightweight and breathable, and another compact option for traveling. You can wear babies with a front inward carry, hip carry, and even a back carry! Many of the common complaints are regarding the bulkiness around the shoulders and the lack of back support, which is why we recommend using ring slings for short amounts of time to protect you and your little one.

Ring sling baby carriers can be adjusted to fit wearers of all shapes and sizes and can be used from birth to toddlerhood. Contrary to stretchy wraps, ring slings offer a wider variety of carry positions – front inward carry, hip carry, and back carry. 

The hip carry option in particular is great for:

  • Toddlers who like to be held and get down (on repeat)
  • Modest, hands-free breastfeeding

What Ring Slings are Best Used For and When Not to Use Them

Ring slings are great for cuddling and breastfeeding and quick trips like running to the grocery store, holding baby brother or sister at the park while big siblings play etc…They are also convenient for travel because they can fit in almost any bag when folded.

However because they lack back support for the wearer, they are not recommended for hiking or longer wears. 


How to Use a Ring Sling

>How do you choose a baby wrap or sling?

When it comes to choosing Ergonomic baby carriers, it all comes down to your personal preference. And most importantly, the safety of you and your baby. Both baby wraps and slings are a great, inexpensive tool to have in your parenting tool belt and eventually, it’s possible to switch it up or add a more supportive carrier down the line. 

Here are a few additional things to consider when choosing between a baby wrap or sling:

  • Age of baby
  • Newborn-only or buy one that’ll last from newborn to toddler
  • Design
  • Price point
  • Your body type and injuries/back and shoulder pains
  • Lifestyle
  • What are the main reasons you want a baby carrier (i.e. keep baby close, have free hands to get things done, use in public and not use a stroller, etc.)?
  • What are your must-have features?

A babywearing product is one of those must-have baby items. While each baby carrier type comes with its own pros and cons, only you know which is best for you and your baby. So use the information provided, ask other moms you know who have used a baby wrap or sling and then trust your mom’s intuition on which carrier to choose!

Vittoria Allen

Vittoria is a writer based in San Diego. A lover of good food, slow living, and a good novel, she shares her life with her husband and two daughters trying to squeeze out the beauty in every moment.