My neighbour introduced me to baby wearing. She lent me her Baby Bjorn one day after I had complained I couldn’t get anything done because my baby just would not settle.
It was quite a success so I then got my own Baby Bjorn but I soon discovered I couldn’t wear it for long periods of time without it digging in to my shoulders…
It wasn’t until a friend of mine had her little boy and got into baby wearing herself that I became more aware of all the different types of wraps and carriers on offer.
There are Asian Style Carriers (Mei Tais), ring slings, pouches, stretchy wraps, stretchy hybrids, woven wraps and gauze wraps, all available in a huge variety of colours, fabrics and patterns. My friend had about 7 different sorts of carriers. Surely one would suffice?
But then I too became bitten by the baby wearing bug…
I bought a Moby Wrap on her advice. Basically a wrap is a long piece of stretchy material which you wrap round yourself and pop baby into. At first I couldn’t figure it out until my friend came over and showed me how to do it. I found it so much more supportive than the Baby Bjorn, why oh why had I not discovered this before?
I also had a cheap Mei Tai carrier which my friend showed me how to use and that was it: I was hooked! In a matter of days I had acquired two secondhand Mei Tais, a Babyhawk AND an Ellaroo!
They are an absolute godsend as my second child hates being put down. I can wear him for hours on end and he loves it and often falls asleep. He prefers to be carried than to go in the pram.
My favourite type of carrier is the Mei Tai. This is a rectangular piece of material with straps. Two short straps to go around the waist and two long straps go over the shoulders, cross over at the back, then go round the baby’s back.
These come in a range of colours and designs and some even come with a cute pixie hood. Usable from birth onwards, some makers do larger versions for carrying children up to 5 years.
The wrap is essentially just a long piece of stretchy material that you, err, wrap round yourself and pop baby in! These are incredibly comfy and cosy for small babies. Also you can put it on and you don’t look too silly wearing it with no baby in.
These slings both lend themselves very well to long days out and weekends away. I am planning to take a wrap and a Mei Tai to the festivals we are attending this year because I feel it will give us more freedom. I am also looking to hire a HippyChick HipSeat from my local sling library for my husband to use with our 3 year old as she at the age where she wants to walk but gets tired easily.
Baby wearing at festivals
I would definitely recommend looking into buying a sling if you are planning on attending a festival with a young baby. You will be able to get around quicker and won’t be as restricted as to what you can do. It’s almost impossible to get into a small tent with a pushchair.
I would also advise finding out about your local sling library, they will be able to help you find the right sling for your specific needs and will be able to show how to use them safely and correctly.
For more information about baby wearing, take a look at www.naturalmamas.co.uk/babywearing
Other posts by Jess: Pregnant Festivalling and Festival Pregnancy Fashion