I was a complete sling novice until I was about 40 weeks pregnant! My sister in law took me to our local sling library, The Sheffield Sling Surgery for me to have a look and try some on. I was really nervous at first but the team of expert volunteers and Rosie, the lady who runs the library, made me feel really welcome. That was the start of our sling journey!
I tried a few on – so funny trying slings with a huge baby bump and a weighted doll posing as a baby! But I loved it! I chose a Hana stretchy wrap and skipped (ok, waddled!) out, desperate to use it. I had to wait a few weeks until Harry was evicted via c section but as soon as I was home I was wearing him in the Hana. It was brilliant – Harry felt weightless. Ben loved it too and one day when I was having a rest, I could see him outside with Harry in the sling, hanging out washing and speaking to work on his hands free! It really made things easier.
Harry also struggled with colic and reflux and the sling was brilliant as it kept him upright and he could still sleep. It was a game changer!
As Harry grew bigger, we went back to the Sling Surgery and tried some buckles. We hired a Sleepy Nico carrier and we were hooked. It was the perfect next stage sling after the Hana stretchy.
We loved the Sleepy Nico so much, we ordered a custom design one only 1 week into our rental as I couldn’t bear the thought of giving the rental back and not having a Sleepy Nico!
Angeline at Sleepy Nico was brilliant and helped me choose different fabrics and other colours that would coordinate for the straps. She was amazing and really helped bring my ideas to life. Our sling is so bright and cheery, we get stopped all the time and have only ever had positive comments.
When the sling arrived it felt like Christmas morning and Harry was in it straight away! It just makes our life so much easier. Food shopping before Harry was big enough for the trolley was near on impossible without using a sling. Now we use it for all sorts – nipping into a shop, being able to use escalators instead of lifts, for country walks, when I need to get jobs done and Harry would be climbing the walls, for wet days where the pram would be soaked and the wheels muddy. It’s great for sleepy moments, great for awake and nosy moments and just a massive part of our parenting journey.
Some people used to say using a sling will make Harry clingy and too used to being carried and I suppose that was also in the back of my mind. But I’ve been carrying Harry since he was born; he is now 9 months old and could not be less clingy. He loves his own space, likes to do his own thing and is extremely independent. When I arrive at nursery he crawls straight off to go and play – I had nothing to worry about.
I’ve visited the Sheffield Sling Surgery several times since I bought my slings – mainly to accompany friends who want to try slings. I even joke I should be on commission as 7 of my friends have bought a Sleepy Nico and 4 are in the process of choosing theirs! It’s easy to spread the word about such wonderful products when they genuinely do make a difference to you. And I couldn’t recommend the Sheffield Sling Surgery highly enough. If you are considering a sling – go to your local library to try them on. You can get expert advice and guidance, try them on and rent one to really use it in practice and see how it works for you. It’s just brilliant.
This month Hana Baby Wrap and Sleepy Nico Carriers won joint silver in the Gentle Parenting Awards ‘Best Carrier for babies under one’ category. As these are our two slings I was delighted, it just highlighted what a big different these slings make to people’s lives.
Now when we go anywhere, it’s not just me sling spotting, my husband Ben points them out too!
Sheffield Sling Surgery, run by Dr Rosie Knowles: http://www.sheffieldslingsurgery.co.uk/ https://www.facebook.com/sheffieldslingsurgery @rosieattheslingsurgery
Sleepy Nico Carriers, run by Angeline Braidwood: http://sleepynico.com/ https://www.facebook.com/SleepyNico/ @sleepy_nico
Hana Stretchy Wrap: http://www.hanababy.co.uk/ https://www.facebook.com/hanababywrap