If you’re a fashionista in a panic you’ve missed a key trend for next season don’t worry!
Babywearing is a way to transport an actual baby. Like pushing a pram except instead of wheels you use your legs. Totes amaze!
Wearing your baby means no swearing as you try to ram your pushchair through shop doors but also nowhere to hide the 6 bottles of wine you have bought.
When I wrote What Does Your Pram Say About You? I deliberately left out slings because everyone knows that wearing your baby in a sling says one thing:
I am a tie dye wearing hippy with hairy armpits.
Now I know this is not the truth I have happily worn both my children and let me tell you my armpits are perfectly hair free.
But it seems that wearing your baby does project a certain image. Whilst wearing my son in New York I was asked if I was into, like, attachment parenting?
I replied yes we were quite attached to our children, more so the eldest as the younger one could be a bit of a pain at times.
Wearing your baby is like walking around in a lovely big cuddle, a cuddle that sometimes ends up with one of you being sick whilst strapped to the others chest.
As you can see there are positives and negatives to the whole babywearing thing: This is what I have learned about slings, wraps ‘n ting.
Maybe you live in a big palace and you are currently sitting taking tea in the drawing room whilst your Butler reads my blog out to you (I do hope he’s doing a passable Yorkshire accent).
Saving space is not high up on your list of priorities.
When our daughter was born we lived in a tiny first floor flat.
There was nowhere to store a pram except for in the front room. Up 2 flights of stairs. Either in front of the door (Health and Safety nightmare) or in front of the telly (OK stick it by the door).
That is the main reason we bought a sling.
Because we didn’t want anything obscuring our view of the telly.
Bad Point: They can be tricky to put on.
In fact the first few times can be very frustrating.
But then I found it challenging changing my sons nappy at first after having had a girl before. It took me weeks to work out how to stop him urinating in my face.
Wearing a sling is tricky to get the hang of but at least no one pisses in your eyes.
Good Point: They keep you and baby warm.
When it’s cold there is nothing better than a tummy toasted by a sleeping baby.
The other week we went for a bear hunt through the bluebell woods in a bitterly cold spring downpour. I was lovely and warm with my son strapped to my chest snoring and dribbling into my bra.
Bad Point: They can keep you and your baby too warm.
One of the worst trips out ever was when I took my children to a routine doctors appointment via the park on a blistering summer day.
Hot and sweaty I ended up in complete meltdown when my daughter fell off the slide and my son started to overheat. I ended up pouring a bottle of water over us both to cool down.
I arrived at the Doctors looking like an entrant in the world’s most disturbing wet t-shirt contest (is there any other kind?) with a hot, wet baby and a toddler with bleeding knees.
It taught me an important lesson.
Never try to get anywhere on time with children whatever your transport. Oh and always wear waterproof mascara when you have small children – you never know when you are going to cry.
If you use public transport slings are a great option.
The sling was a life saver when we caught a long haul flight that didn’t have a sky cot. With a baby and a toddler. (Yes I do want some kind of award and possibly counselling.)
Bad Point: You will get vomited and pooed on.
There’s no escaping this I’m afraid (unless you have one of those babies that never throws up and starts using the toilet at 6 weeks).
Vomity breasts are pretty much a daily occurrence.
It’s wise to avoid strapping a baby to your chest if you know ‘The Big Poo’ is due anytime soon.
You know the ones I mean.
Every now and again teeny tiny babies do a poo so forceful it explodes out of the nappy through the vest and the sleepsuit and onto the walls.
If you see that face whilst carrying your child brace yourself for impact and try clear the immediate area.
Good Point: Really useful when you have more than one child.
Slings are brilliant when you have two children, especially if you haven’t managed to train the eldest to follow simple orders yet (see I still have hope).
Parking the baby asleep in a pram whilst you play with your child in the park/ playgroup/ soft play is a brilliant idea.
Everything is possible when one of your children is asleep.
I was going to do so many wonderful things with all that time when the baby was asleep.
Why does the baby not sleep?
For most of the day (and large parts of the night) both my children insist on staying awake and being entertained. It’s good to have use of both arms even if they are just flailing around in desperation.
Actually I’m not sure about this.
As with most things there are times when my children were more into the sling than others.
Same with the pram.
Who hasn’t had to force a screaming rigid child into a pushchair? But no one ever tells you their child doesn’t like prams.
Good Point: Great when baby has a cold.
Within two weeks of being born Eeh Bah son had been showered with a million sloppy germy kisses from his big sister.
To no one’s surprise he developed the cough of a grown man and spent the next few weeks sitting and sleeping upright in the sling whilst I gently tapped his back working up all his phlegm on to my chest.
Obviously this is not a comprehensive list, just my thoughts – we used a sling and a pram and found both had their place.
I don’t as a rule usually advocate buying stuff for babies. I would rather spend my money replacing all the pre-baby clothes currently pissing themselves laughing at me every time I open the wardrobe.
But I found buying a sling to be money well spent especially when baby number two came along.
And when the wheels wear out you get to buy new shoes!
(Don’t tell the fashionista’s they’ll all want one.)