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The Best Baby Slings to Help You Bond With Your Baby

And keep your hands free.

Baby slings have been essential parenting gear for a few millennia, at least, and there are many good reasons this simple, perfectly engineered piece of baby-carrying technology has survived generations of other innovation. A baby sling or wrap — whether it’s designed for a newborn or a toddler — helps you bond with your baby, while keeping your hands free to do other things around the house or out in the world.

When using a sling, use your common sense and practice a few times to avoid common mistakes, says expert Dr. Benjamin D. Hoffman, the chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention.

“With slings, the head can be completely obscured by the sling and unfortunately horrible things can happen. Be very conscious of the airway and head and neck,” he says. 

The advantage of the sling is many – they’re super-easy to clean and don’t take an engineering degree to strap on. Also, the proximity to dad keeps the baby secure while pop’s rocking walk can soothe the most colicky of kids. Besides its convenience, baby-wearing promotes intimacy between papa and child. And, it’s flexible: A dad can carry the infant in a variety of positions, nestling close to the neck, belly to belly with the baby upright, the cradle carry with the baby semi-upright or, for older kids, off the hip. Plus, it easily fits into a diaper bag

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See more: Best Baby Carriers For Dads

The baby sling is an economical back-to-basics choice for nurturing dads. We’ve slung around, seeking the best options, to give you hands-free mobility while hanging around with your kid.

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The Best Baby Slings

This isn't a sling per se, but it's a wonderful way for dad to bond with his baby. He just puts his newborn into the pouch, and off they go. There's no learning curve. He puts on the shirt. Slips the infant inside the giant pocket. And they're ready to roll. It's second only to skin-to-skin contact. This is only suitable for baby weighing 7 to 15 pounds. Meaning, newborns only.

This is a truly flexible baby sling, because you can carry your baby in multiple positions: A newborn snuggle, outward-facing, and inward-facing. Above all its other many great features (like the breathable panel), we love this sling's back panel that distributes weight evenly while you're toting your tot around.

This sling is ideal for newborns because it has an integrated neck-support pocket, which also increases baby's comfort. This baby sling, suitable for babies that weigh from 7 to 33 pounds, is lightweight and breathable. It has a removable zippered pouch for your keys and phone, and there's a layer of padding beneath the rings for added comfort.

The is a classic easy-on, easy-off ring-sling with fatherly flair, and it fits babies who are 8 to 30 pounds. Mesh with your child with this lightweight water-friendly ring sling that’s great for wading at the beach or pool. Carry them in a variety of positions, including on your hip or side, so you won’t throw out your shoulder. As good as it is in the water, it’s just as comfortable walking around the theme park. You can use it every day, and you can get it wet, because it dries fast.

If you have multiple kids, or want room to grow and more time with your toddler out of the stroller when you adventure outside, this is your wrap. Made from 100 percent cotton, this sling's handsome in sophisticated stripes or solids that aren't confined by the usual blues and pinks. And it’s super flexible, allowing you to carry the kid belly to belly, or schlep them happily on your hip bone – and it’s functional from newborn 8 pounders to 35 pound toddlers.

Looking for a baby carrier that’s as comfy as an old T-shirt, and comes in a variety of colors to suit the tastes of the active dad? Try the CuddleBug! It’s simple, easy to clean, inexpensive and comes in a plethora of colors. And if you have a fussy or colicky baby who yelps the second you put them down, and then is an angel when held, this is the answer. It's good for newborns up to kids weighing 35 pounds.

Ease, flexibility and a great price — who could ask for anything more? This one fits a newborn up to a child weighing 35 pounds. This is a sling that’s gentle enough for a woman — but comes in sizes that suit men — up to an XL that fits men who wear jacket sizes 47 to 52. It fits like a stretchy T-shirt and is available in three unfussy sporty stripes. And you can be up and out of the house with the bambino in two minutes — it’s that simple to wear.

This sling is easy to tie, and is a blend of cotton and spandex, so it doesn't sag or lose its shape. Like other slings, it's good for newborns up to kids weighing 35 pounds. The belt-and-buckle-free bestselling Boba comes in 10 colors including basic black for those formal baby occasions. The one-size-fits all makes this a no-brainer for dads and it comes with simple instructions to safely tuck in that bouncing baby until you hear those sweet snoring snuffles. Babies love it.

If slings frustrate you, this is the one to get. It's a wrap, with an easy-on design. The fabric on this baby sling is soft and stretchy, and it fits babies weighing 8 to 25 pounds. The baby sling has an adjustable back support to evenly distribute weight.

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