19 Sep 2012
The magic sling
I’m a big fan of my Bugaboo Bee – it’s light, manoeuvrable and Minnie seems more than happy being wheeled round in it watching the world go by. But there’s no denying that dragging a buggy around, including into shops or airports, isn’t going to be the most practical solution the whole time.
I’ve had a couple of slings and baby carriers, including a BabaSling and Baby Bjorn, stashed away in a drawer for months, waiting for Minnie to get big enough to actually go into them – although they’re nominally from birth, they specify 8lbs plus and as blog readers will know, it’s been a slow journey to get to this point.
But as she’s very unwilling to settle during the day unless she’s on me or out in the buggy, it’s really limited what I can do. I love a few relaxed hours in front of the TV with her napping in my arms, but as the weeks pass, I’m getting more and more ready to get on with all the other tasks that build up and which I can’t easily do one-handed.
So I’ve been hoping a sling could be the best solution for around the house as well. First, a friend sent me her ‘tie-your-own’ Sa Be sling, which can be used with any size as there’s several positions – in fact, it comes with a series of instructions and images, and she advised me to start by practising in front of the mirror with someone to help. Although we did manage to get Minnie wrapped in, the huge lengths of material meant I felt a bit swamped and swaddling myself in a blanket in summer wasn’t desperately appealing.
Then, out in the park with one of my NCT friends, we spotted a woman wearing what looked like a very simple sling and made a beeline across the grass to ask her which one it was. It turned out to be a Tricotti, available from the NCT although I found several being auctioned on eBay, and is made of two hoops of material which you wear crossed across the body.
Again there’s different positions you can try – I found instructions online – and different sizes based on your own clothes size rather than the baby. Minnie complained rather vociferously as I ineptly manhandled her in, but as I settled the second stretch of material around her, she went quiet and fell asleep almost instantly.
I’ve tried it a couple of times now, and although I’m still not completely convinced she’s in properly (even when I start with her head over my heart, she seems to wriggle down until she’s almost horizontal as if it were a hammock) and I’d still be a bit nervous of taking her out in it, it’s worth every penny as she sleeps happily there for hours on end.
Arranging the material crossed low down on your back is supposed to distribute the weight evenly over your whole back and hips too, though I seem to keep fiddling to keep it in place to stop my back taking the strain.
Hopefully with more practice, it’ll get more comfortable – and before too long Minnie should be at the right weight to test the other options gathering dust in the drawer.
Image: samantha celera/Flickr