Many questions on this site reference baby slings, but none of them really explain what they are or what the benefits of using one are (as say, compared with other carriers like the Baby Bjorn). When we were shopping for baby stuff, baby sling was on the list (along with a lot of completely unnecessary stuff) and in all truth, I fore-went the baby sling, thinking it just another contraption for some company to make money on.
I would never have experienced the joys of using one, if it had not been for the fact that my grandfather's new wife bought me one. I know I came to consider it an essential blessing, but never really studied its actual benefits/pitfalls.
My sister, and two of my sisters-in-law fore-went using one, despite my experience with it and all three of them looked at me like I had just walked off an alien space ship when they first saw baby and I wearing it, so I thought it might be helpful to ask:
What is a baby sling and why should I use one?