Pros: Craftsmanship, styling, grows with baby, compact size, baby loved it!
I've tried several different styles of infant carriers and slings, and the Hotsling is by far the BEST one I've ever found. I own three of them, and I buy one for every expectant mom I know.
The Hotsling is a non-adjustable, pouch-style carrier. This means you slip it over your head, and it rests on one shoulder, across your chest, to your hip. The "stretch" actually refers to the 3% spandex (97% cotton) material that has a slight "give", kind of like stretch jeans. This stretch helps the sling conform to mom and baby and provide good support and comfort. There are 7 different sizes and a size calculator to help find the right one. There is a tiny bit of padding on one edge of the sling. This is to protect baby's legs from red marks while in the hip position. The padding is not bulky, nor cumbersome. Hotslings are small enough to fit in diaper bags - super convenient.
The same sized Hotslings grows with babies. 0-4 months, a cradle hold is recommended. It's a horizontal position, with baby tucked inside. It's great for nursing, and the sling provides complete privacy. 4-8 (I think) months, a kangaroo position can be used, with baby cross-legged and looking out. 6+ months, or as soon as baby holds his/her head up well, a hip carry can be used. This position is awesome and gives baby a great view. For longer walks, or if you need more arm freedom, you can slide baby in the sling around your hip and onto your back. If baby is a leaner, Kristen (Hotsling founder, owner, and operator) shows tricks like the shoulder flip on her website.
Awesome! Same-day replies to emails. Two-business-day shipment time to San Antonio with regular shipping method. Easy size exchange, and even a personal phone call from the owner to resolve a question. Hotslings has the best service of any internet company I've ever dealt with.
Top-notch. Fabrics are beautiful - both trendy and classic patterns - with excellent feel and wear. Through all the washings, I've had only very slight fading and no fabric pilling at all. Seams are all sewn down, no raw edges. Excellent craftsmanship.
My daughter loved Hotslings even more than I did. She had reflux and therefore needed to be held upright most of the time. Hotslings were a life-saver. A sling would always calm her down when she was fussy. After she got older and saw me pick up a sling - even just to move it - she would start bouncing up and down and clapping her hands in anticipation of being put into the sling.
I had to stop using my Hotsling way before I wanted to, due to chronic back problems. Once my daughter reached about 20 pounds (about 14 months), any type of carrier caused me to have back spasms. I miss the closeness of having her near, and she seemed to miss it, too. As stated on the website (www.Hotslings.com), a toddler will usually outgrow the desire to be held before outgrowing the Hotsling. They're rated up to 35 pounds, which is probably more weight than most mommies can handle.
I have two stretch cotton sateen Hotslings and one Solarveil Hotsling. FYI - the Solarveil sling is also an awesome choice. It's made of Solarveil material, which is a lightweight, strong, gauze-like material that dries quickly when wet. Two layers of material blocks like 80-90% of UV rays. I loved it for summer outings in San Antonio and could even wear baby right into the pool. If she fell asleep, I used the sling to cover her stroller - the material blocked the UV but let the breeze through.
I always received compliments and inquiries when wearing a Hotsling. I can't say enough about this great product. It was the best baby product I owned, and I can't wait to use them with #2.