When my little girl was a few months old, I saw an advert for a babywearing dance class at our local play cafe. It looked like so much fun but up to that point, I’d only managed to carry my daughter in a carrier for about 20 minutes before my shoulders started screaming and my back began to ache. I know now that it was down to an ill-fitting, non-ergonomic carrier, but at the time, I almost didn’t go along to the class. However much I loved to dance, I thought that babywearing wasn’t for me. How wrong I was!
After a short chat with a sling consultant (during which she also gave me some pointers to try and make my own carriers work for me), I ended up borrowing a super carrier for the class and going on to buy the same one (an Action Baby Carrier) as it was so good! That was a turning point for me, the lovingly chosen travel system rarely saw the light of day after that and Honey could mostly be found chatting away on my front in her carrier.
When we found out we were expecting our second baby, babywearing was on the cards from day 1. At just a few hours old, our son had his first snuggles in our Vija Designs UK skin to skin tops, he loved being so close to my husband and myself and with a toddler running round the place as well, it enabled us both to be hands free from the off! This time round, we invested in a babywearing raincoat, a babywearing hoody and babywearing all weather covers. All of these enabled us to wear our son any time, anywhere. When our son was around 18 months, we moved on from baby carriers to toddler carrier,s which have a wider and taller panel to allow older children to be worn comfortably on their parent/carer’s front of back. I absolutely adore wearing my son, we have so many amazing cuddles and chats and I’m free to hold my daughter’s hand, carry the shopping or cook the tea.
As well as wearing my own toddler, I love talking about babywearing, slings and carriers with other parents and often volunteer as a peer supporter at our local sling library, Cheltenham and Gloucester Sling Library. Two local sling consultants, who give up their time to help families safely try out a whole host of different slings and carriers, run the library. Hopefully, families will find one that suits their needs and then they can either hire from the library or make a well-informed purchase elsewhere. The consultants spend time keeping up to date with the latest safety regulations and investigate new carriers on the market, using library funds to purchase stock to keep the library fresh and current.
To me, babywearing means cuddles, convenience and chats. If you’re not sure whether babyweraing is for you or if you’d like some help with your sling or carrier, I urge you to get in touch with your local sling library or consultant. It was the best thing I ever did and I now have an endless supply of lovely, slingy memories with both my babies.