Friday, 19 December 2014

Babywearing love

One of my new loves is 'babywearing'.  I had a baby carrier with Lucas (a short-lived experience, but more on that later) but I had no idea it was an actual 'thing' and I've stumbled across a whole new community discovering this.

Nursery drop offs, walking our dog, etc were becoming a bit of a nightmare -  trying to keep hold of my energetic four year old while manoeuvring a pram.  I was also getting tired of the pram being an extension of me (even though I love our trusty Bugaboo) so a sling for Charlotte seemed like a good option.

When we had Lucas we dived in head first and bought a Tomy baby carrier because we needed one, didn't we???? and  a friend of a friend had one and loved it.  Lets just say it was not for us, in fact we used it once, maybe twice before throwing it down in frustration, never to be looked at again until we packaged it up to sell on Gumtree months later.  It was so fiddly with lots of straps and buckles -  definitely not easy to use and definitely not something I could ever see myself mastering on my own, without a lot of practice.  Poor Lucas was tossed about in it like a sack of potatoes while Mark and I tried to figure out the contraption.  So disappointing!

This time around I did my research and found a carrier I am literally in love with and enjoying using so much.

Finding our perfect carrier started when I and stumbled across a network of babywearers on Facebook.  They were so helpful advising me on the pros and cons of different makes - what to avoid, what to look for, etc.  I had no idea these communities existed and that they held local meet ups where you can try different makes and styles of baby carriers.  What a fantastic idea, to be able try before you buy, especially when carriers can be quite pricey and every baby is different.

So after dropping Lucas at nursery one Friday afternoon off Charlotte and I went to our local sling meet where we spent the afternoon trying on lots of different carriers, chatting with experienced babywearing mummies and drinking lots of tea.  Most of the brands we tried were ones I'd never heard of, so it was a real eye-opener to know there were other options to the mainstream ones I was familiar with.

Both Charlotte and I fell in love with the second one we tried on.  The Tula.  We wandered round and round the community centre room with it on and the smile on Charlotte's face said it all.  She was so happy and content looking around and clearly very comfy too, as was I, which sealed the deal.  The next job was to convince my very sceptical husband that this should be our next baby purchase.

After some persuasion and a lot of "You should see how much Charlotte loves it" Mark gave in, although I'm sure he understandably thought it would be as much of a disaster second time around as it was first time.

 I spent ages eyeing up all the pretty fabric patterns on the Tula website and finally decided on the 'Billow' print.  A simple, but striking black and white print which I absolutely love.  It arrived within a couple of days and in Charlotte went straight away.  I proudly showed Mark just how easy it was to put on and Charlotte's face just beamed.  Was Mark starting to come round to the idea???  Yes, because the next weekend he casually put it on, popped Charlotte in and out they went with our dog Roxy for a walk.

One of the main reasons I love it so much is that it's so easy to put on yourself.  No stress for me and none for Charlotte.  One clip round the waist (with an added safety loop) and one buckle behind your shoulder blades, which is easy to reach and snap together.  That's literally it, you're done.

I also love that the material is strong, so your precious bundle is all safe and secure, but unlike a lot of carriers I'd previously tried, its not bulky so you're really able to have your baby in close to you and feel like you're just cuddling them as you walk along - bliss!

It also has some nice little touches too, like a pouch on the waist belt just big enough for your phone, keys and some money.  How handy and easy to reach, even with baby in the carrier and it means you don't have to worry about a bag.  It also has a little hood feature which snaps on and up over baby's head.  You can use this to shelter them from the wind or the sun or even as support for their head if they fall asleep so they don't do the 'nodding dog'.  I also love that around the leg holes there is super comfy padding which means the material doesn't rub or cut into Charlotte's delicate little legs.  The straps that go over my shoulders are also really well padded which makes it comfy for mum (or dad) too.

Another reason I chose the Tula over the more mainstream carriers is because of its Ergonomic design (here's the science bit).  When Charlotte was born she had some problems with her hips.  They're completely fine now after a lot of care and attention in her early weeks but I still take a real interest in things that are better for my little one's developing bones.  The Tula has a wider base which makes them sit in the 'froggie' position - much better for their hips.  This was a big selling point for me.

A Sunday afternoon walk in our breathtaking local countryside is a favourite of our family and babywearing just makes it that bit more enjoyable and means our route isn't restricted by a buggy.  Lucas can choose the bumpiest farm track or the muddiest path and it's fine.  Each time I've worn it Charlotte is asleep within minutes.  She is so comfy and cosy and really snuggles in which I can't get enough of.

We've rented a house in the countryside with some friends for New Year and the Tula will definitely be coming with us.  Its just so handy and loved by us all, most of all Charlotte.

What's your babywearing experience?


1 comment:

  1. Our baby is 8 months and we still use a carrier when needed. He definitely prefers it to there pushchair though we use both depending how far we are going. We got a Stokke to replace our bjorn which I've found fits us botht better. Also had a sling when he was tiny which I loved