Dear Sling Lady,
I recently had a beautiful baby girl born at 33 wks. Her gestational age would be 37 wks today. We brought her home from the NICU after 16 days. She never had any respiratory problems and is doing great! I’ve read that wearing my baby is great for preemies but I am concerned about her airways. What type of sling do you recommend? She is about 5 lbs exactly right now. Thank you!
Hi Jessica, congrats on the birth of your baby! You must be so excited to have her home with you and doing well.
I am so glad you are planning to wear your baby. Research has shown that “kangaroo care” (wearing baby next to your skin) has proven physical benefits for premature babies. It also helps all newborn babies to sleep more and cry less. Moms who wear their preemie babies also feel more confident in themselves as parents. Click here for some more information on the benefits of Kangaroo Care for preemies.
One of the most frequently recommended carriers for a preemie is wraps. Wraps with some stretch in them are a bit easier to use when you are just starting out but it is important to tie a stretchy wrap very snugly so that it provides good support for your baby’s back. If you are already experienced with wraps, I’d recommend a woven wrap as even more supportive than a stretchy (but a tad bit harder to use when starting out).
Baby Carrier for Premature babies
It is highly recommended that you wear your premature child as much as possible.
Kangaroo care, the practice of wearing your baby next to your skin for hours a day, has been demonstrated to improve outcomes for premature infants. Click here for more information (and links to research articles) about the benefits of using a sling or baby carrier with your preemie.
*Please note, these recommendations are general guidelines only and should not be used in lieu of a doctor’s advice. We cannot know your baby’s individual condition or needs, so please consult a medical professional prior to using any baby carrier.
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Our top recommendation for babywearing a preemie is the Wrapsody Hybrid Wrap.
This wrap is super adjustable and very comfortable for wearing for long periods of time. It’s actually possible to use a stretchy wrap instead of a shirt in hot weather! Only the upright, facing in position is recommended for very small babies
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This kangaroo shirt works for mom and dad. It is soft and easy to use, you don’t need to take off the shirt every time snuggle up with your little one.
*Note: “use in a seated position only”
Here is a page that links to all our recommended carriers for preemies: https://www.carrymeaway.com/pages/Baby-Slings-Preemies.html
I’m not a medical professional, so I do recommend that you show your sling to your pediatrician for approval. Also, here is an article written by a nurse about proper positioning of your newborn in any type of carrier.