Five years ago, whilst pregnant with my third child, I got talking to a sling librarian about cloth nappies. I told her quite cheerfully that I didn’t carry my babies, because “they were just too heavy”. Having had an 8lb8oz first child, and a 10lb8oz second child, I felt I was entirely justified in this statement.
She smiled at me “what carrier do you use?” I answered that I had tried to carry them, in a cheap harness-type carrier and my back hurt after 20 minutes. “It’s not your babies that are the problem,” she said, “It’s your carrier. Come and see me when baby arrives.”
So, I went to see her when my third child was 8 days old. I had a three year old and a 6 year old. I had a school run, a play group drop off and one “those” babies. You know, the ones that cry all the time, won’t be put down and don’t sleep. She fit me with a Calin Bleu fleece stretchy sling. It was the first week of January, it was -2 degrees celsius. The sling saved my sanity. I could pop my tiny little bundle of angst into the warm fluffyness, and walk the other 2 kids to school, I could get on with jobs around the house, I could stand swaying in front of the telly willing him to go to sleep.
When my hire period was up, I found my own stretchy. Then a woven sling, when I wanted to back carry some months later, I switched to buckles, then half buckles as I carried my every growing child. At 3 and a half he discovered a scooter, and I didn’t need to carry him quite so much, and by 4 our baby wearing journey was over.
My love of slings was not. I now help run a sling library and parenting support CIC – Parenting North East, am a School of Babywearing trained Consultant and act as a brand ambassador for Lillebaby UK, as well as retailing a variety of slings. My aim is to help other families find the joy, comfort and ease of carrying children with a decent carrier, one that supports both parent and child. I want parents to find the benefits of babywearing – reduced crying, better sleep, and shopping without hunting for lifts (not forgetting having 2 hands free to Facebook and coffee 😉 )
If you are not already carrying your little ones, I urge you to find your nearest sling library (here’s a place to start sling library map) and try a few on, or drop me a line about the slings I stock and I’ll do my best to help.
I wish I’d discovered slings with my first child, and not my third, but I am still really, really glad I did.