You asked

How do I select a suitable baby sling?

Pouch slings are baby carriers made from stretchy material such as wool or cotton. Essentially, a pouch sling is a folded piece of material with two ends sewn together. This forms a pouch with a shoulder sash. The baby is normally positioned near the parent's chest at the front. This allows for eye contact with the parent and ensures that the child is safe. Pouch slings are easy to put on in a hurry and can be compacted by folding. The light weight, low price and convenience make this a popular method for baby carrying. It is not possible to adjust the size, so they need to be fitted and the correct size chosen when buying one.

Ring slings comprise of fabric that is threaded through two hoops. The sling is positioned over one shoulder and fastened by adjusting the tension of the fabric in the rings. The ring system allows for easy size adjustment and rapid fitting and removal. The material that hangs from the rings can be used as cover for privacy when breast feeding. Because of the uneven weight distribution, parents tend to alternate shoulders, or use versions that have padded slings. These types of carriers are only suitable for smaller babies and can become uncomfortable when a child gets bigger.

Wrap slings are the most difficult kind of sling to fit, but are better in terms of custom fitting. The weight distribution is superior, since the load is spread across both shoulders and around the waist. The wrap sling is simply stretchy woollen or woven fabric that is systematically wrapped around the wearer's upper body to create a snug carrying pouch for a baby. Woollen slings are better for heavier babies. The wrap sling is versatile in other ways too: it can be folded up and used as a changing mat, or as a blanket for a baby.

Bag-style slings work very much like large handbags. They have adjustable straps and the baby is carried in a shaped pouch. There have been product recalls of some bag-style slings and they are not regarded as the safest means of baby transport.

More questions

A travel cot is the perfect accessory for the family that loves to travel, and will be an essential piece of equipment.
A Moses basket or crib can be a good choice for parents who want to share their room with their baby for the first few months, or who want a portable option in addition to a cot.
There are several types of cot mattress available, and which one you choose will depend on your budget, and your specific requirements.
There are many different types of bedding available and you don't really need much to keep your child comfortable – the choice over which type to use rests on personal preference and convenience for you.
Any push chair you buy in a store, online or second hand, must comply with standard safety regulations.
The terrain you walk on, your transport and storage needs and the comfort of the push chair are all important factors when choosing a push chair.
The three main types of pushchair have different suitability, depending on how where you plan on using them and what kind of transport you use.
There are a few different types of high chair and various accessories you can buy, depending on what your requirements are.
Very often parents worry about their child getting too cold while travelling in a car seat; this can lead to over-compensating for the cold and making the child uncomfortable.
Baby slings are the cheapest, lightest type of baby carrier and are available in a couple of styles.