Every Friday, we will be sharing products / gadgets / websites / books & other cool stuff that mamas love. These things have made parenting a teeny bit easier in some way or other. Check back every week to see what fellow mums have to recommend... from one mama to another. :)
This week, Steph who blogs at Roo & Red shares with us her love for Baby Sling Carriers. Steph is the mommarazzi to two little spice girls nicknamed Roo and Red, which is what her blog is named after. "Roo and Red" is a chronicle of her everyday adventures with her daughters and her fledgling photography business. It's a happy space, and she hope to pass on their wanderlust, rose-tinted lenses, and “look-to-the-bright-side-of-life” vibe through loads of candid images and simple anecdotes.
I don’t subscribe to a specific parenting style. Put simply, I’m a firm believer of doing what makes sense and finding practical ways and means to juggle the madness of everyday. So when I first wore tried a sling to wear my first baby, I simply thought “This makes sense."
It’s light. Simple to use. Nimbler than a stroller or pram (especially when you’re taking public transport). And the little ones love being in it. I’ve heard of some babies who are not comfortable in a sling, but thankfully, both of mine were born kangaroos.
It can be used as a modesty shield when breastfeeding. Many times, I’ve fed anywhere I can sit, as the sling affords me the privacy I need. Perhaps it’s selfish of me, but I also love the feel of my little ones falling asleep in my arms and pressed against me as they sleep and dream.
I do love going out on little adventures and explorations with the little ones, so portability is key for us. When Roo was a couple of months old, almost on a daily basis, and I’d walk from Somerset to the National Library, and plonk myself down with a selection of great books with her in my arms, sleeping and waking and feeding to the sound of my heartbeat.
When I had Red, Roo and I would pack her in a sling and try out random restaurants near home and meet up with visiting friends for touristy adventures. Even while the little ones are attached to me, I can eat with both hands during lunches and dinners with friends.
Wearing a baby is like being pregnant again, except the baby’s already out, and you can put the baby down (or pass her to someone else) when you need a break. Grin.
Another thing I love about the sling is that it also doubles up as a pillow or a blanket whenever I set them down to sleep in random surfaces in restaurants or playdates. :) It does get dirty pretty quickly this way, which is why we have at least two, which we regularly alternate with.
There are many different types of slings. I have three: a pouch, a ring sling, and a simple sarong cloth from my younger days. Most good quality cotton cloth can work as a a DIY sling as long as you know how to distribute the weight across your back, shoulders and arms. Personally, I love my self-made sling as well as the pouch sling. My gripe with the ring sling is that the ring tends to bruise my shoulders. But different strokes for different folks…
You can refer to instructions on how to use them here:
Pouch Sling - http://www.slingsandbabythings.com/pouch_sling_wearing.php
Ring Sling - http://www.babyslingsandcarriers.com/babysling_instructions
Traditional Selendang - http://carrymemama.blogspot.sg/2007/09/hip-carry-with-selendang-tied-with.html
Of course back then, my little ones weighed from 2kg to 12kg. Anything beyond that, and it becomes backbreaking. It really depends on your personal limit. Thankfully, by the time the little ones hit that weight range (around 2ish YO), they are more than happy to run around on their own, and oftentimes, insist on it.
I don’t think I would have survived their babyhood and toddler-hood years with as much ease, fun, and versatility if not for our adventure-tested slings. Now that they are bigger and Red has hit 2 years of age, it has become more a blanket/scarf for the little ones when they’re cold in the mall. I still carry Red in it sometimes, but I can’t last more than an hour now with her 12kg lead-weight bum. Most of the time though, it’s now just a toy that reminds them of our exploration adventures, and the fact that their mommy used to be able to carry them the whole day. Used To.