We get lots of people who come into the library lots of different circumstances, and lots of people who aren’t sure if using slings/carriers is ‘for them’. Luckily we’re entirely adaptable to any circumstances, we’ll find the route that is right for you. Laura came inot the library not sure if we could help but hoping we could, I’m massively chuffed that she sent me this to use! (Also what she says in the last paragraph, yep, she’s right, they are!)
When I was pregnant, I dismissed babywearing and slings as being hippy rubbish (well, rubbish wasn’t really the word I thought, but I’m sure you can substitute one it that’d be closer to the actual word). So after giving birth via a rather last minute and dramatic section, I was feeling rather smug that at less than 3 weeks old I’d been pushing my son around town in his rather gorgeous pram (albeit slowly and for short periods of time).
At 3 1/2 weeks old he changed from being a gorgeous little boy who loved sleep (bliss) into a devil child who screamed constantly and who needed cuddles and holding around the clock just to be able to sleep. Literally, my husband and I would split the night between us and be awake with him all night.
My one baby class that I was doing to get me out of the house was baby massage. I turned up to that weeks’ session feeling very frazzled, having cried to my husband on the phone on the way because I was so tired and hungry (hadn’t eaten in a day and a half) and one of the ladies there told me I NEEDED a sling, that if baby would only sleep being held upright they are a godsend.
As luck would have it, the sling library came to the PAC 2 days later, so I trundled my tired and frazzled self back into town and shuffled shyly in, standing apart and just watching. I ended up sobbing my heart out to some of the ladies working in the PAC, staying for hours just because there were sympathetic ears here that I wasn’t getting at home, being shown how to use a sling, then trying it on a doll before trying it with my baby and then refusing to take it off! He was calm. it was a miracle. I opted for a long term (3 month) rental which was surprisingly affordable and haven’t looked back.
It turns out my baby had reflux, which was what had turned him into a devil child who hated sleep – apparently he still loves sleep but acid being where it shouldn’t be was keeping him from it. For the first couple of nights I just walked around the house, but he was asleep, it was easier than sitting up feeling useless with a crying baby. Then, after we’d got in at the Drs and got his medical condition dealt with he slept lying down!
Babywearing has given me a piece of my personality back: I’ve done homemade christmas presents again this year (they weren’t as ambitious as last year but still looked fabulous) because in that first week, walking around the house I decided to do something useful. My husband puts him in the sling and plays on his computer for a couple of hours, giving me some time to myself. And it’s way easier than dragging a carycot and chassis out of my boot in the rain! (especially when I stare longingly at the parent and child parking spaces that are all occupied, if they are available at all).I put baby in a sling to go to the drs – he started crying in the waiting room. He stopped when I got up and started walking around (so I wasn’t a hysterical first time mum in the Drs office).
And walking around tesco *other supermarkets are available* with him in the sling means I can actually do a full food shop without worrying if one of the trolleys that I can put his car seat in, or one with the really uncomfortable looking infant carriers are available. There’s no time limit to him being in the sling the way there is in the car seat, either.
My posture is better than it was when pushing a pram, so contrary to what my mum said, it isn’t bad for my back. He has my body heat on his front and 3 layers of thick fabric across his back, he doesn’t get cold (but has some fabulous Christmassy booties and hats to protect his extremities).
Babywearing is just for hippies? Actually, I’m beginning to wonder if slings aren’t a little bit magic!