Incredibly popular with some parents, slings (also known as wraps) can confound even the most determined parent with their complex assembly and adjustments. The Baby K'tan (*Est. $50) is an exception. It eliminates the extra fabric of most wraps but still holds the baby closely swaddled to the parent. The baby can be carried in at least five positions -- step-by-step illustrations are in the owner's manual -- and it even accommodates newborn twins.
Unlike most carriers, the K'tan is not adjustable for different-sized parents. But owners love it as a travel carrier, since you can just fold it up and toss it in a diaper bag, unlike the Moby Wrap (*Est. $40) , which is bulky and can fill an entire tote. The Moby Wrap is also very complex to wrap and tie, and some parents say they never get the knack of it. But once they do, moms love its ability to allow them to nurse discreetly.
The Maya Wrap Ring Sling (*Est. $75) also enables moms to nurse hands-free, but like the Moby Wrap, it can be hard to adjust, and some parents say they never feel their baby is secure enough to let go with both hands. Also, there are a number of complaints of back pain and shoulder strain with both the Maya and the Moby. Some experts say this is due to incorrect installation and positioning because the two wraps are so hard to figure out.
It's vitally important with slings and wraps that the baby is properly positioned to be sure they have a clear airway. Follow all instructions that come with your sling or wrap carrier, and if you have any doubts as to whether or not you're doing it right, don't use it.