When families first start investigating the world of babywearing, they often question how much they would actually use a sling or baby carrier. They are worried that it would just be another piece of baby gear sitting in the cupboard gathering dust.
Well, here is my day today, so you can see just how much easier busy family life can be when you wear your baby.
The morning started with me trying to complete my pre-course work for the Peer Support Course I am attending tomorrow. I am really looking forward to the course, run by Babywearing UK (formerly the School of Babywearing).
Although it is 10 years since I bought my first sling, and I have notched up I don’t know how many hours carrying my own children and enabling others, and I am always learning new things from lots of lovely mamas, it will still be a treat to spend a whole day just playing with slings and learning in such a professional and supportive atmosphere.
After about 15 minutes of me being on the laptop, my 16 month old decided that she had had enough of playing with her trucks, so we took down a woven wrap with the idea of practising a new carry position.
Generally, I prefer front carries (whether in a buckle, Mei Tai or wrap) but as she is big for her age, it is starting to get to the stage where back carries would be very useful. As it is nearly 6 years since I last really wrapped a child on my back, I want to get some practice in.
However, she had other ideas; what she wanted was a big cuddle and a feed, so I popped her in a fwcc and was able finish tidying up from breakfast, unload the washing machine and pack the nappy change bag, while she nursed. As she fell asleep in the sling, I cracked on with some housework and a bit of Facebook time before heading out into town, still in the same fwcc.
I like to walk into town carrying my daughter rather than using a pram as it is great exercise (up that hill, carrying 2 stone of toddler) and even if I do get the bus, it does mean I can swan in front of prams caught up in the 2 buggy rule, especially delightful when it is raining.
Our first stop was Mothercare, to chat to one of the staff members about an exciting project that we have planned. I can’t really say much yet, but it will certainly involve introducing lots and lots of expectant and new parents to the joys of babywearing – so watch this space!
On the High Street, we stopped to listen to an amazing busking group, waved to a rather beautiful purple fishes wrap and chatted to another mama who said she had stopped babywearing as her back was sore, so we discussed a few other carriers that may be better for her.
After some shopping in town (so much easier to walk up and down the escalators rather than faff with buggies in lifts), we bought some lunch and popped into the Hub on the Green.
This was meant to be a time for a quite relax and a chat but L had other ideas and poor Joey had to rearrange the furniture to keep the Hub safe. Then I was introduced to a lovely pregnant mama who had been given a stretchy wrap as a present, so cue an impromptu sling demo and then also chatted to 2 other mums who were worried about buying a fake Ergo.
All the while being treated to I’m a Little Teapot on a cbeebies plastic whistle. This was captured by Joey so I am sure it will be making the rounds in support of the rather fabby Tea Cosy Competition.
*This wasn’t filmed today but it is so fab, I wanted to share it with everyone – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W96EInMyLIc *
After putting L back into the wrap, it was off to Dinkies to meet Emma from The Real Wild Forest School who is keen to set up a regular Sling Meet in Crediton.
It was lovely to catch up with Emma, who I haven’t seen really since she kindly came and helped out at the Devon Real Nappy Project stall at Respect in the summer, and her totally beautiful daughter.
After a gossip about life in general, and the amazing growth of her Forest School (the holiday clubs and birthday parties are particularly popular apparently), Emma showed me some of the wonderful slings she has been making, a talent I just wish I had.
We then got down to discussing the serious business of slings and Emma’s plans to put Crediton on the babywearing map – it is wonderful to meet someone buzzing with such enthusiasm and ideas, it will be a pleasure to help out in any way I can.
More details to follow, but it looks as if there will be a regular monthly Sling Meet in Crediton on Fridays from now on.
After a bit more of a play, time to put L back into the sling and head on up to school, giving her another feed in the sling on the way – there was no way she was going to settle down to nurse in the play café but she was content to once she was in the comfort of the sling. Just as well really, as we were cutting it a bit fine, so if I hadn’t been able to feed her on the hoof as it were, she would not have been able to have an afternoon feed.
Quick wave to a babywearing granddad that I see a couple times a week, then pick older child up who was very excited after a “Fizzy Friday” full of meerkat fun, a quick hop on the bus back to Fore Street to pick up new shoes from one of our favourite Exeter Independent shops, Chuckles.
L was rather delighted with her new acquisition, though the smallness of the shop did make rewrapping a bit of a challenge and then the final leg home, walking down the steps under Exe Bridges and taking the shortcut through the park that wouldn’t be possible with a pram.
As we were late home and had such a busy day, L was a bit tired and grumpy while I was cooking so wanted to be picked up. I popped her on my back in an Ergo and we soon got through this danger zone that can so easily disintegrate into tantrums.
All in all, L was in the wrap for around 4 hours today (plus 15 mins on my back while cooking) and I know that I would have found it much harder, if not impossible, to get all the housework, shopping etc done if I didn’t carry her.
In addition we get to have so many extra cuddles, chats, kisses and special moments together that I just can’t imagine not carrying her for several hours each and every day.
My only regret for the day? New boots – that was far too much walking in them and I have the blisters to prove it.