Many parents use slings and kangaroo backpacks to carry their babies. Thanks to these devices, the mother can calmly do household chores or walk while the baby snores at her side. But while baby slings and kangaroos perform the same function, they are very different.
Key differences between baby sling and kangaroo
We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the rating of the best slings according to experts.
A sling is a ring or a strip of fabric with which you can strap your baby to yourself and fix him in any comfortable position: on the hip, stomach or back.
Kangaroos are more like backpacks. They have shoulder straps, fixing straps and a firm back. Some models are equipped with a wide belt, which helps to better distribute the baby's weight on the mother's back and lower back. Kangaroos allow you to place your baby vertically, and special backpacks for newborns – horizontally. These are popular and convenient carriers, but in many respects they are inferior to sling.
Most kangaroos fit the baby on the mother's back or stomach in an upright position. In this case, the baby can be turned both to face the outside world and to the mother. This is where their advantages end.
The firm back of the backpack does not allow you to fix the baby in a natural position and creates excessive pressure on the spine. In addition, when the baby is in a kangaroo, his legs hang down a lot, forming the letter 'P'. The baby's weight falls on the perineum and the lower part of the spine, the legs dangle and interfere with the parent's walking. This position is not only uncomfortable for the baby, but also dangerous. It can negatively affect the formation of the skeleton of the baby.
Slings allow you to place your baby in any comfortable position: 'in a cradle', on the back, hip or stomach. They also provide the most correct position of the baby, in which his legs are located relative to the pelvis in the form of the letter 'M'. Due to the fact that the child sits in the sling like a frog, his weight is evenly distributed on the lower spine and bottom. In addition, the M-position reduces the likelihood of developing hip dysplasia, in which the femoral head extends beyond the acetabulum.
Since the carrier does not have a rigid frame, the fabric tightly wraps around the baby's body and presses it to the mother. Thus, the baby is well fixed, he does not 'dangle' in the sling, like in a kangaroo, and his spine is not pinched anywhere (provided that the carrier is worn correctly). This means that the load is evenly distributed and the formation of the musculoskeletal system is normal.
Comfort for mom and baby
In a kangaroo, the baby is not tightly pressed to the mother, so its weight is felt stronger. In addition, most models have narrow shoulder straps that cut into the shoulders and sides of the mother. More expensive carriers are equipped with a wide belt that relieves the back and shoulders and distributes the child's weight optimally. Cheap kangaroos do not have belts.
At high temperatures, it is hot for a baby to sit in a carrier, and in winter, a baby dressed in warm clothes cannot fit in a kangaroo.
But despite this, the kangaroo is a very comfortable carrier that can be quickly and easily put on.
Not all models are comfortable to wear. For example, slings-scarves cause difficulties with winding for beginners with a sling. In addition, long ends and knots of garments can get in the way and smear while walking. When using some models, the load is on one shoulder, so the slingomama cannot carry the baby for a long time.
However, slings are better than kangaroos, they distribute the baby's weight on the mother's shoulders and back, do not cut into the skin and fix the baby well. In addition, the baby sling can feed the baby directly in the sling, covering herself with the long end of the product.
In winter, the sling can be worn under a slingokurt and over your outerwear, and in summer you can choose a model made of natural 'breathable' fabric, in which the baby will be comfortable and not hot.
Carriers, which ensure the vertical position of the baby, can be used from six months. Kangaros with a horizontal position are suitable for babies in the first months of life.
The sling must be matched to the age of the child. For example, 'scarves' are designed for babies from birth to 2–3 years old, May slings – from 4 months, and ergonomic backpacks – from six months.
What to buy: sling or kangaroo
It is better to use baby slings for carrying babies. They support the optimal development of the musculoskeletal system and correctly distribute the load on the baby's spine, as well as on the mother's back and shoulders.
If you want to simplify the process of putting on the carrier as much as possible, pay attention to the ergonomic backpacks (baby carriers). Such models ensure the correct position of the baby and fix the back well.
In the following articles, our experts tell you how to choose the right ergo backpack, the secrets of choosing a sling, and the main expert of our project will answer the question – which is better Freik's pillow or Pavlik's stirrups.
Attention! This material is the subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a purchase guide.