Your Carrying Story – Holly
When our daughter was born she was tiny, beautiful and extremely reluctant to be put down! Although we had both been keen to carry our baby for reasons such as skin to skin time and both-hands-free convenience, we ended up with a baby who was incredibly unhappy for her early weeks in the bouncer, playmat or pram so none of these things got more than a few minutes’ use during the newborn phase, though we were often to be found out and about carrying the baby in a sling and using the buggy to carry everything else!
Fortunately a friend had introduced me to Vija kangaroo care tops when I was pregnant and we had also been lent a Moby stretchy wrap by our godson’s family so they got us through the first few weeks. Slinging became especially important to my husband as a way to bond with the baby – by the time he got home from work each evening I was extremely ready to not be wearing the baby for a bit but he was excited for snuggles with his daughter so this was a time we both looked forward to!
When she was six weeks old we spent a happy day watching England beat Australia at Edgbaston (having balloted for the tickets months before for my dad’s birthday thinking we wouldn’t really get them, but then realising the day was actually easily doable with a sling!) – we attached her firmly to her grandfather using the Moby wrap and I enjoyed the match while the baby slept contentedly. My dad was less relaxed at first and kept a tight hold on the sling until England got a wicket, at which point he leapt up and threw both arms into the air! After a panicked moment he realised the baby was still perfectly secure.
Having realised there was a whole world of slings out there that we didn’t know much about, I popped along to our local sling library when the baby was a couple of months old. We tried wraps which I couldn’t get the hang of and ring slings which made me feel wonky but we both fell in love with meh dai, especially the Fidella Fly Tai with its padded shoulders and adjustable panel. (I have been told I have also hired most of the buckle carriers in the sling library now as well… I like the speed of getting them on, especially useful for back carries when out and about around London or in less accessible places like old castles and steep cliffs).
At the age of almost eighteen months our sleep-refusing baby still naps best in a sling so I am often to be found bouncing on our birthing ball (not much use during labour for me, but invaluable once the baby was out!) watching trashy TV and relaxing for a bit with a snoozing baby on my front. For us, slings have made parenting our high needs baby enjoyable rather than something to be endured. We cannot imagine how we would have coped without them, and will be forever grateful that we didn’t need to.
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