I love babywearing, well, I guess I should call it toddlerwearing now as Alex is definitely not a baby anymore. I was ignorant to how useful wearing your baby in a sling is when I had my first child, I was part of the naïve ‘you’ll make a rod for your own back’ camp. I know, I was stupid. Babywearing does the complete opposite, your life as a mum isn’t hindered by carrying your baby in a sling, it all becomes so much easier! Don’t believe me? Well, here’s a list of five things that are so much easier thanks to babywearing.
5 tasks made easier by babywearing
1. Getting your baby to sleep – how many hours of your life have you spent pacing up and down trying to rock your baby to sleep? Or wasted petrol to drive them around until they nod off or pushed them in their pram for what feels like days, for them to eventually drop off to just wake up the second you wheel the pram through your front door? Naptimes are so much easier with a sling, babies love to hear your heartbeat as it reminds them of when they were living in your tummy and the feel of your skin against theirs is so soothing. Instead of feeling frustrated and exhausted trying to get your baby to take a nap, you can get on with other things while they snuggle up to you and drift off and you still have both your hands free too.
2. Making food – Ever tried to peel a potato with a baby balanced on your hip? Or tried to make a cup of tea with one hand? It’s not easy, new parents quickly learn how to do things one handed but I am pretty sure that most of us prefer to do tasks that require two hands with two hands! With your baby happily in a sling, you can easily make yourself a sandwich, make preparations for your dinner and even make a cup of tea if you’re careful. Cooking while babywearing is not advised, especially if using a frying pan, as hot fat can spit out of the pan and injure your child. However, I have chucked a tray of chips into the oven before, cooked pasta and steamed some veg in a pan with Alex in the sling. I think as long as you are cautious and sensible then preparing and making food with your little one snuggled up close is ok. The alternative can sometimes mean you are unable to eat that evening because your baby won’t settle unless they are sleeping in your arms.
3. Walks – There are definitely times a pram tops a sling when going for walks, if you are in the playground with an older child for example and they need your help climbing to the top of the climbing frame or want to sit on your lap going down the slide. Prams were not designed for some places though and if you are an outdoorsy family, like us, then I would say a sling is essential. Prams and sand do not go well together, the wheels can easily get stuck in soft dry sand or sink in sludgy wet sand. By using a sling you are eliminating all of this hassle and baby can easily go wherever you go. If you want to go for a walk into the deepest part of the forest then you can with a sling, you don’t need to worry about the pram wheels getting trapped behind roots sticking out of the ground or the path not being wide enough for you to fit through,
4. Shopping – Be it clothes shopping, Christmas shopping or the big weekly food shop in Asda, babywearing definitely makes it easier. Navigating a pram around the small crowded aisles of your favourite High Street clothes shop can be an absolute nightmare, as can trying to find a trolley with a seat the perfect size for your little one. Sometimes supermarket trollies don’t have seatbelts, which is really dangerous and a massive inconvenience if your baby is just figuring out how to climb. Using a sling is a great way to also avoid a meltdown at the checkouts as it is very likely your baby will have dropped off by then or, if not, they should be happy enough just having cuddles. By using a sling you don’t have to spend half your day queuing up for the lift in the shop, you can just take the stairs or escalator along with all the people shopping sans baby. When shops are busy, trying to get about with the pram can feel impossible, sometimes people can be rude and not kindly make space for you to pass or you can end up having to awkwardly apologise to someone as you have accidently run over their foot. Slings are perfect for taking your baby to the shops, the only downside is you have to carry all your shopping yourself without the handy little basket that lives under the pram.
5. Looking after two children – I can not stress this last point enough, if you are expecting your second child then a sling really is an essential and should definitely be on your baby shopping list. I could not have coped without my sling when Alex was born. Things are different second time around, you can’t just go with the flow, you have another person to look after as well as a baby this time and when the older child needs your attention, it’s hard to give them it when you have your hands full with the baby. When you use a sling you can still play with your older child, make them some toast, get them a drink, brush their teeth, chase them around and most of the stuff you used to do before baby came along. If you are breastfeeding, some slings are designed so you can feed your baby in them and this is so handy when your baby needs some milk but your older child wants you to play play doh with them or go for a walk around the garden(and all the other things busy little kids like to do!). Having a sling also meant I didn’t have to buy a double buggy, if Leo was tired he could sit in the pram and I could put Alex in the wrap – no tantrums from him and no fuss from the baby.
Yay for babywearing!
Are you pregnant and considering trying out babywearing? Or are you an avid babywearer, got anything you would add to this list?