all wrapped up

Monday, September 22, 2014

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A little ode to babywearing – one of the few parenting tips I offer to any new/expectant parents I meet.
Not that I know all the answers, but because the stretchy sling I bought before Orla was born was possibly the best parenting decision I have made.

The other mamas I know using slings & wraps all say the same thing, too: this is a life hack – a parenting hack – that makes those early months so much lovelier & easier. I feel passionate and a little bit irate that it isn’t more commonly shared; if midwives helped us tie our fresh little newborn’s in, every mama could leave hospital confident & safe, with two hands available for eating toast and using the loo!
An automatic ‘snooze switch’ for your newborn that allows you to cuddle *and* drink tea simultaneously? Hello miracle invention.

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So even though she’s walking now, and fiercely independent, I often still tie her in & wear her close. When she’s tired, when she just wants to snuggle (‘Ahhh, Mammy!‘ means she wants me to pick her up for a cuddle.) She’s not nearly so heavy to wear as she is to carry.
The cobbled streets & steep hills of our new home would stay unexplored without our woven sling and a ton of youtube-knowledge; even Paris without a pushchair was a breeze.

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My instafriend Ali is launching her own range of beautiful modern wraps, & we spent an afternoon up on the moors shooting these pictures. Read her story over at Ali Dover and be sure follow her over on her instagram.

I’d love to hear some other mama’s experiences of babywearing – what worked, or didn’t work for you?

21 Comments

  • Amanda

  • November 07, 2015

We used an Ergo from when Little Dude was a year old. At two and a quarter, he’s still happy to be worn, everyone asks if he’s too heavy now, but wearing is so much easier than carrying, I think because the weight is spread so evenly.

  • Sara

  • October 10, 2014

Ah, that sounds so perfect! You must be fit to carry up and down those stairs all the time though – our new house is at the top of a steep hill & I’m realising my fitness levels are going to have to improve! haha!
Off to find your insta! xx

  • Sara

  • October 10, 2014

oh, gorgeous butterflies! Poor Tula and his tired yegs <3 xx

  • Sara

  • October 10, 2014

oh, another time, eh? 😉
I can defo relate to the ‘not wanting to be restrained’ – Orla definitely has her moments of that. Does X tend to walk places or do you use a pushchair too? Orla will walk a bit but suddenly decides she is too tired… x

  • Sara

  • October 10, 2014

Hello! So nice to cyber meet you too 😀 Ah, 15 months is not so long ago for us! You’re in for the most fun these next few months! xx

  • The Daydreamer

  • October 06, 2014

Hello Sara and nice to e-meet you! I just found out about your blog via A Quiet Style and I am happy to be here. I am still using the sling with my 15-month old daughter – we enjoy being together and discovering the world while holding tight 🙂

  • Nicola

  • October 03, 2014

We’ve gone through a few different carriers in our 19 months of carrying, and are now using an Ergo. I wouldn’t be without it in certain situations, for sure! My mei tai was an absolute blessing in the early months as X wouldn’t sleep in the pushchair so I took it everywhere with me for nap time. I must say I don’t carry her so much these days – she just won’t put up with being restrained! I do still fancy a ring sling though – maybe for another time…

  • Louise

  • October 01, 2014

Still wearing oscar at 4 in my beautiful Tula butterflies. He gets to rest and snooze as his hypermobiloty makes his ‘yegs’ tired and I get sneaky cuddles

  • Rida

  • September 30, 2014

Ooh! I’m on instagram too if you want to spy on little pics of my darling Z! (ridasj) x

  • Rida

  • September 30, 2014

Hehe! No it’s super handy advice! Thank you…shall keep it in mind for sure!
(Sorry for the delayed response!)
I’ve been babywearing a lot these past few days as Z has become so much more fussy and she enjoys being close to me and happily looks around when we go out on little walks around the neighbourhood. Xx
P.s – we live in an apartment on the 2nd floor of an older building so it’s a godsend in that I actually leave the house without heaving a pushchair up and down the stairs! Phew! X

  • Sara

  • September 25, 2014

Now *that’s* a ramble

  • Sara

  • September 25, 2014

No rambling at all – I share your excitement! I love the caboo – we use Close pop-in nappies & I’ve always wanted the carrier to match! Haha!

Re: pushchairs, Paris really isn’t geared up for them. We saw very few people with one and I’ve no idea how anybody would get one on the metro with all the steps & tiny turnstyles! I was nervous about it too, but I found a few places online in Paris that rent pushchairs (& other baby stuff!), so I decided if it turned out to be a disaster I would just do that! I never needed to, though. 🙂

The other bit of kit that was essential for Paris (& probably most of Europe) is a booster seat. Though everywhere was super baby-positive, they don’t have high chairs, kids menus & baby changing like we’re used to. We bought a booster that is a bag, and straps onto any chair which meant Orla could sit at the table with us and we could eat with both hands!

I’ve never been to Portugal but I’m sure you’ll have the most amazing time! Travelling with a baby is a totally new & fun experience! 🙂 xx

  • Rida

  • September 25, 2014

My wee one is twelve weeks today and we love our close caboo! So easy and quick to pop on and pop her in and out as she’s also getting to that wriggly stage! She’s happily looking around at everything too! And it’s great to hear about Paris being doable without a pushchair! We are planning on going early next year and were wondering whether to just along it or take pushchair too! We are off to Portugal in November and now you have me wondering whether we should take the pushchair at all! That photoshoot it gorgeous! I can’t wait to brave a woven! We tried a Connecta and loved it! Sorry for the ramblings 🙂

  • Sara

  • September 25, 2014

Ahh! One of my good friend’s had a little one with a dairy allergy & reflux too – such a challenge! I can see how a sling would have been a total lifesaver for you both!
Orla did go through a phase of hating being worn too, and she still needs to be in the right mood. Sometimes she loves it though, so I would say if you’ve already bought a replacement, it might be worth revisiting it every now and then just to check Dottie hasn’t changed her mind again! 😉 xxx

  • Sara

  • September 25, 2014

Yes! Oh Stacey, you’ve inspired me to try baking with Orla in a hip carry today. I imagine we’ll both wind up covered in cakemix, but that’s part of the fun right? 😀 xxx

  • Sara

  • September 25, 2014

Oh I love this – especially picturing your journey through the woods! I suppose the babybjorn maybe did you a favour in getting started, but it’s easy to see how they put parents off babywearing after a few months, isnt it? 🙁 xx

  • Sara

  • September 25, 2014

Ah, the caboo is so great! Orla definitely went through a phase where she was too wriggly & busy to want to go in a sling. I found she was happiest on my back during that phase, and just moved her to my front when she needed a sleep. Hope you find something that works for you both soon – tying a screaming baby to yourself is not worth anything! x

  • Emma

  • September 23, 2014

I totally agree, Dottie had silent reflux from a dairy allergy, and until it was diagnosed, in a sling was the only way she would sleep, without it I wouldn’t have been able to do anything at all. Once she grew out of it, I took a while to get a new one, by which time she refused to go in it without screaming, which is such a shame, I wish I had sorted a replacement sooner. Ali’s ones are beautiful, if I had seen them, I wouldn’t have delayed!

  • Stacy

  • September 23, 2014

You nailed it Sara! Baby wearing is a must. Not only does it comfort our little ones, it offers us Momma’s some well deserved snuggle time. Olive does not let me bake unless she is up in my arms, so my ring sling is the perfect solution to allow me both hands and keep Olive in on the action. Just like you said – They feel much lighter in the sling than holding on without it!!! Well done!

  • Sarah Knowles

  • September 23, 2014

So lovely. We used a baby bjorn when bub was first born as we got it for a fiver at a nearly new sale and thought it was a bargain. After 3 months though he hated going in looking inwards and it felt so disconnected having him face out (not to mention painful as he got bigger!) He’s 9 months now and we’ve just bought an ergo baby and I love it. Its so comfy I can hardly feel him on me, but he faces inwards happily and we can have lots of conversations and cuddles. It’s made the 2 days he goes to a childminder so much better as we can spend quality time together on our journey through the woods. Love it!

  • Milda

  • September 23, 2014

So lovely! Caboo carrier was one of the best things I bought following my baby’s birth. However, he’s not nearly 4 months and doesn’t like being in the sling anymore 🙁 But I keep on trying! Luckily we have a sling library nearby with a great choice of carriers.

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