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How to rock a sling like a real man

Mary Fetzer is a freelance writer and marketing consultant with a marketing degree from Penn State University and 15 years of international business experience. Mary specializes in writing about parenting, children, pregnancy, college, h...

Be a man — Wear a baby

It's time to man up, put on that sling, bond with the baby and impress the ladies.
Man with baby sling

Moms wear fancy scarves and shawls and whatnot, so carrying a baby in a sling looks easy and natural on them. Dads, on the other hand, like to travel light. If they can't fit it in a pocket, they probably don't need to bring it.

The baby is here now, however, and he or she requires more than a pocketful of stuff. Sure, you'll get to show off your manly muscles by toting the big baby items — things like the baby carrier, stroller or pack 'n play — but you're also going to have to sport some pretty girly things, such as diaper bags and baby slings.

Are you confident enough in your manhood to pull it off?

The sling defined

Dads, it's important to understand exactly what a sling is. It's not something you carry, like a briefcase or gym bag. It's something that you wear.

And the way you wear the baby sling is of utmost importance. Don't be fooled by the name: you can't just sling it over your shoulder, like a quiver of arrows. A sling resembles a pashmina (look it up) and enables you to hold your baby close to your body without using your hands!

Made for a woman, strong enough for a man

Without question, the sling was designed with moms in mind. Nonetheless, it is an excellent way for dads to bond (and help) with baby, too.

"Being a dad is a form of being a man, and one can be manly wearing a sling as long as he's confident," says Nat Gertler. "Having a reasonable sling helps — my wife made our slings from denim rather than something that looks all frilly or mom-ish."

Sling makers understand your needs, Dad, and have developed slings that are suitable for men.

Bigger sizes. Match the sling to your suit and make the baby part of your wardrobe with the Seattle EllaRoo wraparound baby carrier. The wraps come in gender-neutral colors and big, manly sizes. The large wrap, for example, accommodates men over 6 feet tall and 180 pounds. ($115, WrapYourBaby.com)

More masculine patterns. Flying Peas has a camouflage baby sling! In addition to the fabulous pattern, the sling — which comes with vital wearing instructions — boasts secret pockets for keys and credit cards. How cool is that? ($35, FlyingPeas.com)

Celebrity dads rock baby slings!

Chad Lowe and daughter Mabel Painter

Chad Lowe and
daughter Mabel Painter

Christopher Jarecki and son Bear Blue.

Christopher Jarecki and
son Bear Blue

Ian Ziering carries his newborn daughter Mia Loren

Ian Ziering and
daughter Mia Loren

The benefits

Don't be like this guy.

"Nope. Not doing it. Not wearing a sling," says dad-to-be Joey,* who's earning zero points with his baby mama (and every female in America). "Slings are designed for women like that Blossom actress. If I wear one, my kid might try to breast-feed!”

Apparently, Joey believes that this is the only baby sling available on the market.

*For his protection, Joey's real name and image have not been included in this article.

The benefits of wearing your baby on your chest are numerous and include:

  • You will develop a wonderful bond with your child.
  • You will earn major points with your baby mama — and she'll be less exhausted come bedtime.
  • You will be able to eat, scratch yourself and use the TV remote, all while holding the baby.
  • You will receive overwhelming positive attention from every female you encounter.

Beautifully blonde and single Natasha summed it up perfectly. "A man holding a baby is even hotter than a shirtless guy in tight jeans and cowboy boots."

Read more helpful tips for Dad

Daddy day care essentials
Dad's guide to diapering
Dad's handbook to common kid disasters

Photo credits: Homero Tercero/WENN.com, Michael Wright/WENN.com, WENN.com
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