I started using my fabric sling a few weeks after Baby Jasper was born as a means of getting things done in the day whilst still being able to comfort him when he was tired or upset. Fourteen weeks in and surrounded by all the paraphernalia that accompanies the arrival of a new baby, the sling is one of the few items that I could genuinely not be without.
After a bit of practice tying the sling and wearing Jasper in it a few times I soon realised that this was where he was happiest and would take long contented naps on my chest. I wear Jasper in the sling every day, around the home as I do the laundry, wash the dishes, brush my teeth, send emails, enjoy a peaceful cup of tea, steal a few moments to read a book, and prepare and most crucially of all, eat my dinner with two free hands. I also take him in the sling when I go to the supermarket, wander around museums, meet up with friends and visit relatives. Strangers will often come up to us and remark on how peaceful and snug he looks, the kindest of all being a lady who approached me in the supermarket car park and reassuringly said, “that’s exactly where a baby should be – well done, you’re doing a great job”. Words like these and research stating that baby-wearing promotes mother-infant attachment, encourages wellbeing and reduces fussing and crying, along with the sight of Jasper’s tranquil face confirm for me that this is indeed where my baby is best off.
For more adventurous days we also have a carrier, this really came into its own on a recent walking holiday in the Lake District. Both my husband and I enjoy wearing the carrier and find it really comfortable, and when he is not napping in it, Jasper can experience new sights and sounds of the outdoors. Using the carrier we could go on walks that would not have been possible in the buggy. It felt as if we were reclaiming a slice of our pre-baby lifestyle back as we took Jasper for his first hikes on the fells and around the lakes.
The sling and the carrier feel like a natural and instinctive way to care for my baby throughout the day. I love being able to smell and kiss Jasper’s head, hear his little sounds, and rub his back as I wear him on my chest; he feels so close, and it is as reassuring for me as it is for him.