Advantages Versatile, fashionable, practical, comfortable
Disadvantages Takes a bit of practise
I won't go into too much detail about the benefits and joys of baby wearing/slinging as all this information can be found by searching Google. However, I can highly recommend this sling instead of the more conventional baby carriers available on the high street.The Kari-Me is the only wrap-around sling I have used but I am very happy with it. I chose this sling instead of the Hug-a-Bub wrap-around sling which is very similar because it was cheaper but looked the same and had the same benefits. I bought the old style Kari-Me in purple. The new style has finished edges.
The Kari-Me is unique because it has no buckles or straps, is comfortable for both baby and wearer, can be used from newborn to toddler, has different carrying positions including back carry and compliments breastfeeding. It is also lightweight and ideal for travelling (comes with it's own matching carry bag).The sling can seem quite daunting when you first take it out of the packaging due to the length of material but it is very easy to put on once you get used to it and practised (a teddybear or dolly is helpful). The instruction booklet that comes with it is very comprehensive along with instructional videos which can be downloaded on the internet. Because of the nature of wrap-around carriers, it can be used by anyone of any size making it ideal to share the babywearing.
It is very comfortable to wear as it spreads the weight of the baby evenly across your back. The baby feels very secure although I do feel that her head bobbed around a little when walking fast. I do feel confident wearing the Kari-Me 'hands free' ie it is ideal for when I need to push my older son in the buggy but I feel that I need to support baby's head when bending down. The fabric is really lovely and soft and stretchy and I think this sling is particularly ideal for a newborn and very versatile (although I have not attempted the back carry). It is also possible to nurse discreetly whilst wearing the sling. Another great advanage of the Kari-Me is that you can put the sling on in advance and pop the baby in and out as necessary although you will find that you will need to tighten it every now and again to get a good fit. The only reason I did not continue to use this sling past 6 months is because I found another carrier I preferred to use to carry the baby on my back. But I would strongly recommend it for the first few months instead of using a pushchair.I also like this sling because you can still wear normal clothes/coat with it unlike with a ring sling for example. In the winter, I wore a giant-sized coat and did it up around the baby in the sling! The sling is also machine washable and dries quite quickly on the line.
I don't think this sling would be suitable for anyone who feels self-conscious about non-conventional looking slings because I can guarantee you will be stopped in the street by admirers. But it is totally worth the money spent to keep baby close to you and keep your hands free.
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