Provided that baby slings are used correctly they are completely safe to use. The golden rules for safety, especially when carrying a newborn in a sling are:
Stretchy wraps are great for newborns and smaller babies, especially those that like to be carried a lot. They are often easier to use than most people think and have the benefit of being possible to leave on and popping the baby in and out - ideal for those frequent nappy changes! They also wash and dry easily, especially the fleece wraparounds.
If you are prone to back problems you should choose a sling which will distribute the weight as evenly as possible across both shoulders and your torso. Structured carriers are also good for people with back problems as they distribute the weight onto your hips very effectively. For front carrying you should make sure that the sling is adjusted so that your baby is held nice and high on your chest and close into your body so that the weight is not pulling on your shoulders. If you have back problems please be sensible. We would advise you to consult your GP or a qualified professional such as a physiotherapist or chiropractor if you are concerned about your back. If carrying is painful, listen to your body and try to give yourself a break.
Yes, breastfeeding is possible in almost all types of carrier, though some make it easier than others. Whichever type you choose, babywearing makes breastfeeding convenient, comfortable and easy. As with all activities carried out during babywearing, it may take a little practice to get the positioning just right, but with a bit of perseverance it is possible to breastfeed even while you are moving around.
Most slings are washable, but always check the manufacturer’s instructions.
There is nothing to say you can’t combine slinging with using a pushchair if you wish. If your baby is used to both, then it covers every eventuality.