If you've used Udder Covers, then you may have received an email from their new sister site Seven Slings, asking you to try out their new baby pouch sling, for just the cost of shipping. Well, I can never pass up a deal, so I shelled out the $11.95 for shipping--which is robbery, since I'm sure they didn't spend more than $5 to ship, probably less than that--plus another $3.50 for "size insurance"-they will foot the bill for return shipping if the size you choose doesn't work. I HIGHLY suggest paying for this if you decide to go with their product. The sizes run just a teeny bit small, and don't even think about drying the sling after you wash it 3 times to get the "factory" smell out of it.
I have been a long time loyal user of Hotslings, who, as you probably know, closed their doors recently. I have used Hotslings from the newborn stage up to toddler (I actually put my 40 pound 3 year old in one recently and carted him around the house for a while), so I think I am a pretty good judge of what a comfortable, long-use sling is. I have used Hotslings for hours on end, in complete comfort for me and baby.
Well, I will let you know right now that the Seven Sling does not come close to a Hotsling. There is no leg padding. Even with a good fit, the fabric will cut into your child's legs. Now, my (almost) 6 month old didn't fuss or complain about it, but his little chunky legs were creased and red from the fabric digging in. And I had several stress points--points that dug in across my back. And this is with a very good fit. If it was a little small, I would expect that. But it's a good fit, and still I had sore spots.
The fabric itself, while completely awesome looking (I got the Northern Lights print), is very thin in comparison to the Hotslings that I have. Makes me think that over time, with lots of washing and wearing, the fabric will develop stress points, and weak spots. So, probably not a sling that will be able to be used from one child to the next, or passed on to a friend after you are done wearing. Also, and this might just be a personal pet peeve, there are threads hanging all over the seams that need to be cut off, and the stitching is very erratic--not in straight lines, some bunching of threads on the crooked hems, etc. That is just aesthetic, I checked the main seam and it appears to be strong. So yes, the fabric is pretty, but the stitching is hideous.
With my Hotslings, they suggest machine wash and hang dry, as does the Seven Sling. I have had no problems with tumble dry low with my Hotslings, so figured I would give the Seven Sling a shot at the dryer (anything to soften up the material; it's very scratchy). It shrank. Probably an entire size. Thankfully, with the little bit of Lycra that is in the fabric, it can be stretched out, but definitely don't machine dry these. You'll just have to hope that the fabric softens with use, or use fabric softener in your washer.
I don't recommend Seven Sling. There are so many better made, more comfortable slings out there that spending $40+ on a sub par sling is just silly. If you have never used a sling and can get this for super cheap (under $5, or free!) then go ahead and try it out. It would probably be okay for newborn-4 months or so, but after that, I would want something that is more comfortable, for both me and baby.