“Baby wearing” is being talked about quite a bit these days and might even be fast becoming one of the “cool” things for new moms. But it’s definitely not a new phenomenon. Far from it. It’s just a fancy term given to different tools that allow the mum (or the dad) to keep baby close, and keep hands free to get stuff done. In this piece, I will talk about a very specific tool for baby wearing – the sling.
I came across the sling by chance soon after my baby was born. A friend liked a Facebook page, and the extensive Facebook browsing all moms these days do led me to the sling. I fell in love instantly. The simplicity of it, the usefulness of it and, most importantly, the beauty of keeping my baby close to me – everything made sense and I knew I had to get one. I chose a ring sling as it didn’t look too complicated and at the same time, would keep baby directly in contact with me.
I started using the sling when my son was about 2 months old. The ring sling’s flexibility lends itself well to support both a wobbly newborn and a jumpy toddler. I use the Soul slings, and can vouch for them, but there are several affordable brands available in India now. Cotton and linen slings offer good support for the baby, but they take a while to “break in”. This means that a few washes later, they get softer and more pliable, and thus easier to manipulate. So your sling only gets easier with every use.
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I can safely say that the sling has been even better for us than I imagined. The more I use it, the more I appreciate it. In the earlier days, when you are carrying your baby around a lot, the sling is a back-saver. It distributes the weight of the baby over a large portion of your upper body, and is thus much easier. My baby was often found snuggling happily inside my sling, and I was the doting mother who couldn’t get enough of him. I felt so close to him as I kissed his forehead and could feel him snug against me. And when we had a cranky baby who refused to settle down or fall asleep, the sling was my best friend. I would walk around with him in my sling, gently patting his little tushy, and he was peacefully asleep in minutes.
As my son has grown older (he is almost 10 months old as I write this), we have found more and more uses for the sling. It is our answer when he refuses his stroller in the mall. Or when he is fussy when we are visiting friends. Or when I just want to pop out for a quick walk with him. I have gotten better with practice, and take only about 20 seconds now to put the sling on, stuff baby in, adjust the seat tight, and be all set! My husband is also a big supporter now – he went from being an amused spectator to an ardent believer. We now never leave the house without the sling!
The cover image in this post are copyrighted by Out of Focus Pictures#childsafety