5 Essentials For...Babywearing (The Mothers Room Guest Posts)

If you are new around here, Hi, I'm Becky and if there is one thing I love its a list! With this in mind I created the 5 Essentials For, a guest post series for parenting and lifestyle bloggers. This week Vivienne shares her top 5 essentials for baby wearing. I didn't really know much about baby wearing when my monsters were small so I hope this list will help any parents thinking of starting their own baby wearing journey.

5 essentials babywearing

Viv is a writer, sling consultant, photographer and mum of 2, fuelled entirely by tea and cream buns. She can be found writing about birth, parenting and life over on her blog, The Mothers Room. You can follow them over on Facebook.

Babywearing has so many positive benefits for both you and your baby. From the practical (having your hands free), the physiological (helping your baby to regulate their temperature and breathing), to the emotional (increasing the production of the love hormone, oxytocin) and so many more that they would need a blog post of their very own. But I’d love to share with you 5 essentials for babywearing that will help you carry your baby with confidence

1. A sling library/sling consultant 
The wealth of baby carriers available to parents is vast, and often overwhelming. Visiting a sling library or sling consultant can help you find the right carrier for you and your little one. Slings can be like wedding dresses - what suits one person won’t suit another, and sometimes what you think you will like isn’t the one you end up with! Being able to try a broad selection and hiring them to test drive at home, gives you the opportunity to really find out what you need, without the expense of purchasing multiple carriers, which may or may not be suitable. You can find your local library or consultant on www.slingpages.co.uk 

2. Your local babywearing group/online group
 Finding your ‘tribe’ – like minded mamas who know exactly what it’s like coping with a baby – can often be hard in our modern society. We work late in to our pregnancies, often lack local family support and don’t have the same network of help that previous generations may have. But there is a ready made community of friendly babywearing mums out there, who will be more than happy to talk to you about slings, meet up for cake dates, head out in to the fresh air for sling walks, and generally welcome you with open arms. Ask your sling library or sling consultant what babywearing related activities there are locally, and if there is a babywearing Facebook group for your area, and make connections!

3. Wind, water and weather proofing
It’s inevitable, living in the UK, that you may be faced with inclement weather at times, in fact, most of the time. But this doesn’t mean you can’t carry your baby! With a little bit of forward planning, and appropriate gear for the weather, then you can babywear all year round. I love this article from Sheffield Sling Surgery on winter babywearing (http://www.sheffieldslingsurgery.co.uk/2014/11/10/snowsuits-scarves- slings-and-safety/) along with this gear guide, (http://www.slingfling.co.uk/blog/babywearing-in-winter-gear-guide ) both of which should give you plenty of reassurance and inspiration for the seasons ahead!

4. Supportive partner and family 
Learning to carry your baby can be a little bit of a learning curve, especially with wraps and such like, so having the support of your partner while you get to grips with it all makes a world of difference. And hopefully, with the enthusiasm and love that you have for it, they will be keen to try it out too. Let them experience first hand just how lovely it is to keep your baby safe and close to you, while having a spare hand to do chores/eat cake, and see them appreciate your new addiction. You *might* unfortunately hear silly comments like ‘you’re making a rod for your own back’ by carrying them all the time from well meaning family members, but be secure in the knowledge that a securely attached baby will have the confidence to fly solo in their own sweet time. My daughter pretty much lived on my chest for the first year of her life – now I can’t blink without her running off 10 miles in front of me, so determined is she to do everything by herself.

5. Your child
Obvious, I know. But you can carry your baby from the moment you feel well enough after birth, right up to toddlerhood and well beyond. Keeping your child close isn’t something that has a time limit. The sling you start off with may not be the sling you finish with, but there are options for everyone, no matter where you are in your carrying journey. I carry my 2.5 year old nearly daily, and my nearly 5 year old will still ask for a ‘wrap cuddle’ when he’s feeling blue, because he remembers how comforting it was when he was small. Wrapped together, our hearts beating and bodies warm against one another, it’s a soothing experience for our children and us, feeling that aforementioned love hormone oxytocin doing it’s amazing job If you’re keen to try out slings and carriers, but aren’t sure where to start, get the details of your local sling meet or consultant and drop them a line. Good luck!

Can you think of anything not mentioned here? Or do you have 5 more essentials? If you are a blogger or reader and want to share your 5 Essentials for anything, then get in touch by emailing me at oneluckymummy2013@gmail.com and use 5 Essentials in the subject line. 

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