With a heavy heart last night I packaged up our Ergobaby sling to send to the lady who bought it from me online. A brown padded envelope with an address in Cork. I put it into a bag, inserted a little card with it and sighed deeply as I secured the envelope shut. We’d had some good times that sling, Laoise and I.
I always loved the idea of a sling and bought the popular baby-shop brand while I was pregnant first time around, but my eldest hated being in it, and I only used it a couple of times, and almost always with him facing forwards, (which I have since learned is not good for babies).
My second baby wasn’t a fan either, so I didn’t even try very much. The sling was uncomfortable on my back and shoulders so I couldn’t wait to get it off me. Technology moved on and by the time Miss L arrived everyone was raving about “ergonomic” slings. I had my mostly unusued BabyBjorn shoulder killing contraption so I wasn’t interested. Sure this sling lark was mostly for hippies anyway I thought.
And then I started doing school runs, taking the buggy in and out of the car four times a day in the spills of rain, chasing small boys. I had lots of breastfeeding time on my hands to google so I did some research. Friends swore by them. In the second week of the school term I sold the sling that I found uncomfortable (very cheaply, and with warnings to the purchaser!) and bought the last Ergobaby Stowaway in the shop I went to. I just had to have it. I reassured myself (and my husband) that even though it was expensive it would hold a lot of its value, and if I didn’t use it I could always sell it on.
And then it arrived and we fell in love with it. Laoise snuggled in tight when I put it on, she looked all around from the safety of my chest, the bobble on her bunny winter hat tickling my nose as she moved her head from side to side to keep up with the action. I found myself joining “Babywearing” Facebook groups and recommending slings to friends.
I was sold. We climbed mountains (OK, hills), went shopping, danced at Electric Picnic, went to matches, went on a boat, went to Titanic, all with Miss L secured to my chest. There was more world open to us with the sling, we could go places that buggies couldn’t, very important when there were big brothers to keep up with. She sat happily on my front or Daddy’s back. The boys asked for slings for their teddies as they were “so handy”. The whole family was completely and utterly sold.
I didn’t know about this other world of “legacy wraps” and “dips” and “SSC’s” and “conversions”. I was happy with my easy to use Ergo, but I was curious. I watched women “wear” twin newborns and post photos, it made so much sense. If only I’d stuck with it first time around and realised that all I needed was a more comfortable sling. (In retrospect it’s probably for the best as I can imagine myself drooling over limited edition wraps in fairy-tale patterns for hundreds of euro).
I am a convert. I’ve sold the sling that converted me, but before you feel too sorry for me, I sold it to justify and fund the purchase of a toddler sling. We’ve a few more mountains to climb before those small legs are long enough to do it all by themselves (and the pattern is really pretty).