Instructions for semi-reclining newborn position

Instructions for the semi-reclining
newborn position with a ring sling

By Kristy Dallas Alley

One of the most common problems people seem to have with putting small babies in the sling is finding a way for the baby to be cradled without being all the way down in the fabric. Recently, a good friend of mine had her second baby, and I was able to "borrow" him to brush up on my newborn-slinging technique. When he was about two weeks old, I hit upon this method for consistently getting him into a cradled position that still allowed him to see out. If your baby is very small, it may take another week or two before you can do this, but in general I find that it works with very young babies.

Step 1
Start with the rings as high as possible on your shoulder without them being on top of the shoulder, and the pouch a little more loose and low than you might normally.

Step 2
Hold the baby so that the side of his body is against you, facing away from the rings. Fold him into a seated position with his legs straight out in front. It's important to get the baby into a seated position first if you want to avoid having him lying down completely inside the fabric of the pouch.

Step 3
Maintaining the baby's position as much as possible, lower him into the pouch. Pull the outer edge of the fabric up and around the baby's lower body. As always, make sure there is fabric coming up between you and the baby, so that he is seated in a secure pouch.

Step 4
Still supporting the baby's weight with your other hand, tighten the outer edge of the sling by pulling on the inner edge of the tail. If needed, you can pull all of the tail to bring the baby up a bit higher, but you will really have to support the baby's weight to accomplish this. It's best to start with the depth of the pouch close to where you want it.

Step 5
If you feel that the baby's head is even with the rings, or if you have a very small baby, you may want to use the tail to pad the rings and provide additional support behind the head and neck. Jiro is almost three months old here, but we've been able to do this position since he was just two weeks old.

Step 6
This is how things should look when you're done, but a younger baby may be slightly less upright. If you are short-waisted like I am, the baby's lowest point may come just an inch or two below your waist. That's ok, as long as the baby and sling are secured close to your body, not loose and swinging around, which will pull on your back.

Check baby is secure
To make sure the baby is secure, lean forward. The sling should not swing out away from your body. You can see that nothing really moves at all when I lean over.

Happy baby!
As you can see, babies like that trick, and they love this position because it allows them to see out while still being cradled comfortably. Thanks for being a great model, Jiro, and thanks to your Mom for loaning you to me!

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