If there is anything I regret from those newborn days with Leo, amongst a few other things, it is not persisting when it came to using a sling. I will ashamedly admit this to you now, as a first time Mum I thought babywearing was weird. I know, I’m sorry! I just didn’t understand, you have only just given birth and got your baby out of you, maybe you’re breastfeeding all the hours of the day too and yet in those moments you can reclaim your body back for yourself you’re choosing to strap a baby to your chest? I just didn’t get it. Fast forward two and half years, I fell pregnant again, realised the errors of my ridiculous judgement and decided to give babywearing a try when my second son arrived 9 months later. Alex is now 15 months old and babywearing has been such a life saver, so much so I still find myself reaching for the sling now, even though the boy is walking!
I absolutely adore babywearing (toddlerwearing now I guess) and am so glad I decided to shut up miss judgy pants and give it a try. When Alex was a newborn and I first started experimenting with using a sling I had not a single clue what I was doing and there were moments I almost slipped back in to the mindset that babywearing was a massive waste of time. BUT with the help of a few really useful and informative resources and people I persevered; I mastered how to wrap with a stretchy and how to get a big baby strapped into a buckle carrier and it was all possible thanks to these certain people. Want to know who they are? Well, I am all for making the lives of new mamas easier so here is a list of useful resources for those of you that are new to babywearing – I hope it helps!
Useful resources for parents new to babywearing
1. Facebook groups – There are loads of Facebook groups out there full of advice, reassurance and tips for those of you just getting started with using a sling. I had so many different parents help me when I posted a cry for help when Alex was a couple weeks old and I couldn’t figure out how to use the wrap I had been given. There was no one telling me I was doing it all wrong, instead a thread of supportive and useful comments followed and I was able to wrap my son safely and confidently from then on. In the groups people are often selling and swapping their slings so they are a great place to hang out if you are looking for something you can’t find on the high street or a good deal. My favourite babywearing Facebook groups are:
Slings and things – FSOT and advice
Affordable baby slings for sale or swap
2. YouTube – What can’t you find on YouTube these days? Type in the search ‘how to use a’ and then the name of your sling and you will be met with loads of videos of kind and helpful babywearing mums showing how it’s done. Even now Alex is 15months I still sometimes head to YouTube, I haven’t quite figured out how to get him up on my back by myself and I always feel more confident if I do it along with a video tutorial.
3. Local sling library – When someone first suggested a sling library to me I didn’t have a clue what they meant, I was honestly picturing a building full of books about slings (yes I know, idiot). A sling library is a place where you meet with a babywearing consultant who is armed with a massive stash of slings. You get to choose the ones you like the look of, are shown how to tie them and then guided by your consultant as you try them out yourselves. If you find something you like you just pay a small deposit and can take the sling out on ‘loan’ for a number of weeks (sometimes even months). My cousin sent me a Close Cabboo wrap when Alex was born but I just wasn’t getting on with it, I went to my local sling library and borrowed a Kari Me stretchy wrap and suddenly babywearing got a whole lot easier. YouTube and Facebook groups are great but if you want hands on guidance and face to face advice then I can’t recommend visiting your local sling library enough. If you are not sure if there is one in your area then a quick google should tell you where you can find your nearest sling library or ask that Mum you see at baby group who’s always got her little one in a wrap – I bet she will know.
If you are thinking about babywearing when your little one arrives then I really hope you have found this useful. Also, if you use the hashtags #wearallthebabies , #babywearing and #keepthemclose on Instagram and Twitter you will be able to find a whole community of babywearing parents who are more often than not really happy to help out anyone who is new to babywearing.
Happy carrying, I hope you enjoy your babywearing experience and prepare for the snuggliest cuddles you can ever imagine.
Do you use a sling with your baby? Do you have any useful tips to share for any new parents reading this? I would love for you to share them in the comments.
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