If you read my last post about babywearing you’ll know how passionate I am about it. It is the inspiration for this blog as I exclusively babywear (I don’t own a pram). I didn’t even get a chance to talk about the slings I’ve used! I did so much research when pregnant and learned all about TICKS (see my previous babywearing post if you are unsure what this is). But I don’t think I had even touched the surface of babywearing! I knew I should get an ergonomic carrier but had no idea which one to choose. I didn’t want to make the wrong decision!
When my husband and I were at The Baby Show we looked at a few different stalls which sold baby carriers. There was one we tried, I can’t remember the brand but the person working on the stall who showed us didn’t seem too confident in what she was talking about and made it look quite complicated. I think it was some type of full buckles carrier but she wasn’t making a lot of sense! We ended up buying a papoozle from Tots Bots. It looked like the type of carrier I had seen and liked the look of (which I would later learn is called a stretchy) but was a bit easier to put on as it had a buckle at the waistband instead of having to wrap the whole thing around you (which again seemed a little complicated to me). My husband really liked the look of this one too. I practised putting it on with a stuffed sheep. I felt confident doing it and couldn’t wait to use it with my baby!
I brought the papoozle with me to the hospital and got to use it the day after Tulip was born (see Tulip’s Birth Story). I also carried her out to the car in it (as you’ll know from my post about car seats, I don’t like carrying car seats around so wanted to start as I meant to go on). I managed to go for a 10 minute walk when Tulip was 2 days old but didn’t feel I could walk and carry her so my husband got to wear her from early on too. In the next couple weeks we went for many more walks where I carried her for over an hour!
We were told the papoozle could be used from birth and it did work well enough. However I did sometimes feel Tulip was slipping a bit and I felt it was a little bulky, especially with the lovely weather we got right after Tulip was born. I had been following the facebook page for SnugiWraps since before Tulip was born. I can’t remember where I first heard of them but I looked at all their reviews and watched their videos for how to put it on and thought “I could do that”. So I ordered one and my sling obsession began! It was thinner than the papoozle and easier to get tighter for a newborn. I started wearing my SnugiWrap everywhere I went! My husband wore Tulip in it a few times but preferred the papoozle.
As anyone who has had a newborn will know, sometimes they just want to be held. But sometimes you also need to do things such as the dishes. Or, as with my baby, sometimes they calm down a lot quicker when it a sling than just held in your arms. I have a feeling this was partly because I was calmer when I was wearing her than when I was just holding her. The problem I found was if I was by myself, I had to put Tulip down to get the stretchy on so she would scream and scream until I was able to get it on and pick her back up and sometimes I wouldn’t do a very good job because I was trying to go quickly. It’s also quite difficult to adjust a stretchy once the baby is in it. Getting her in and out all day long was becoming tiresome and I wanted something that was quicker to get her up and down.
I started looking into ring slings. When I’d seen them before I for some reason thought it wasn’t something I’d ever want. But looking at them more they looked like a good solution for getting Tulip up and down quicker at home. They are a long piece of fabric with two rings attached to the end. The other end of the fabric threads through the rings and the baby goes in with the sling over one shoulder. The fabric is usually woven and you can get some beautiful patterns. I opted for a second hand ring sling by Lenny Lamb. I had heard about them through my extensive research and from various sling facebook groups I was a member of. I don’t seem to have picture from the other side but the rings are on my other shoulder. In the picture below, I wore it around the zoo all day. I would not wear it all day again as it did start to pull on my shoulder but it is brilliant for the quick ups and downs I originally got it for and trips around the supermarket etc. And it’s so pretty so would definitely be my sling of choice if I were going to a wedding or another special occasion (I might need to find a matching outfit though!). You can do a front carry (as pictured) or a hip carry with a ring sling. Hip carries are good when the baby wants to look around more as it’s easier for them to see things and they are at your level so get to see all you see. I have also seen back carries with ring slings but I think that takes some skill. It did take some practise to get the hang of a ring sling but I do love it now!
My sling obsession was not satisfied there (as any babywearing obsessive will tell you, it never ends). I ventured to a sling library as I wanted a full buckle carrier but they can be quite pricey so I wanted to try some out first before buying. I first borrowed an Ergo but really had my eye on the lovely patterns you can get on a Tula, so I borrowed one of them next. Both these carriers have the straps go over your shoulders like a backwards backpack (the best way I can describe it). I had tried on some where the straps cross over your back. While some people like this, I couldn’t get the cross over ones to sit right on me which just shows it really is best to try before you buy! I fell in love with the Tula and ordered my own soon after borrowing the one from the sling library.
I love my Tula but of course I can’t stop there. I have yet to buy any more but I have been borrowing woven wraps from people and practising my wrapping skills. I can see myself getting many more in the future!
I’ve noticed I seem to have my hands under Tulip in all these pictures. But don’t be fooled, they are very much hands free! I think it’s just something I automatically do when posing for a picture so my hands aren’t dangling down by my sides!
Another babywearing post over and I still have so much to say so this certainly won’t be the last!
Babywearing is great when your baby wants to be held but you want to work on your blog!