Hands Free Hugs
When I was pregnant with Otis I often wondered how I would get anything done. If I was meant to sleep when the baby was sleeping and provide meaningful play time when they were awake then surely there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day for laundry? (I should say this wasn’t exactly worrying me too much, more of a curiosity of how to keep a basic level of calm amidst the chaos of a newborn!) I had a baby who only slept on me…or in the car. Those precious snuggles were incredible in the first few months but I soon realised that I actually needed to get a few things done for my own sanity.
I remember seeing a facebook post about our local Sling Library and their stretchy wraps for newborns scheme - it was a lightbulb moment. We could still get all the snuggles and I could put some laundry on or make the bed or pop something in the slowcooker for dinner. Win Win! I’ve never looked back. Stretchy wraps for a newborn should be compulsory! They are so comfortable, easy to use, most babies love them and you can have a moment of freedom from the sofa! I’d totally recommend finding your local Sling Library to get advice on the right sort of sling, how to babywear safely and then try not to get sucked into the inevitable vortex of woven wraps and slings!
However, my love of babywearing grew to a new level when I found “Dance Like a Mother” a babywearing mama dance class. What joy! A group of fabulous mamas ready to bust some moves and sprinkle some sleepy dust for those babies to fall asleep whilst we got our groove on. Meeting incredible friends and taking part in incredible experiences (prime time Saturday evening slot on ‘Strictly come Dancing’…OK a quick 5 second snippet… but the day out to Blackpool and hours of rehearsals were worth it for the brief TV stardom moment!) If you are around the Manchester, Salford, Warrington area then definitely check out DLAM for your nearest group. You’ll not find a more welcoming, supportive group of women who adore babywearing and can put your worries at ease – plus I am the most uncoordinated person I know and I still managed the routines, there is hope for everyone!
Micah is 10months now and I mostly wear him on my back. He is a chunky boy. But I still get all the feels when he falls asleep on my chest. Peace at last! Our “go to” sling is our Integra – a super handy, lightweight buckle carrier that can be worn with baby on your front or back (it’s not a forward facing carrier though). I have found it so handy to keep in my baby bag for those moments where a pram won’t cut it – or at the airport when we head off to visit Granny and Granda.
The pricey option is a woven wrap, pricey but so beautiful. Snuggly from newborn and able to hold a toddler (so I’m told, but my back couldn’t quite manage Otis these days, so I can’t give my opinion on that!) My absolute favourite was my Girasol Earthy Rainbow – be still my heart! Soft and snuggly and a rainbow beauty. This is when your local Sling Library really comes into its own. Just hire one! Try them all if you don’t fancy picking one online and glean from the experts advice on size and style. There are so many different ways to tie them to show them off in all their glory.
All this pondering of babywearing is making me broody, I need to sign off now. (!) But hopefully, if you haven’t tried a sling you might consider it and if you’re a veteran baby wearer I’d love hear why you love it so much too!
Bring on the “hands free hugs”!
Ps. Yes I did dress my baby up as a bag of popcorn for a fancy dress DLAM class - we won!