Thursday, January 21, 2010

Slinging praises

I don't often share personal photos on my blog, but I figured what the hell! I love this picture of me and Missis, she will look very different in a few months anyway.

Missis is now four months old. She spends about 40% of her time in a sling or being fed, and 40% in our bed with us (being fed!), the other 20% is made up of being held, played with, or playing by herself/with her brother on the floor. She, like her brother before her, ABHORS being put down, unless it is her choice, and it's not one she makes often. So I carry her. I've just learned a few weeks ago how easy it is to put her on my back with a stretchy wrap. (a MAM eco babywearing set, with matching hat and booties, so cute, borrowed from slingmeet in orange, see above, then bought my very own :-) and dyed it purple, see above!) She loves riding on my back. Sometimes, when I had her on my front, she would push away and want to see what was going on. (I believe a baby should never be carried facing outwards, it puts too much pressure on the pelvis, and I suffer with a pelvic disorder). I was worried she didn't like being carried! But I've since found that a front carry is a sleepy position, and a back carry is for nosy babies. I carry her high, and she peeps over my left shoulder while I chop onions, or bath Boy, or hang out washing. I'm really at a loss to think what exactly I would have done (other than leave her to cry) without the sling while I look after a toddler too. In fact, that applies to looking after myself too. Making myself meals or drinks, brushing me teeth, going to the loo. I really don't know how people manage without slings, especially if they have more than one small child. Surely not all babies that don't get carried in slings are "good"? (Than awful word used to describe lethargic, quiet, complacent infants). If I didn't use a sling, Boy would quite possibly have to have all his naps and meals whenever it suited Missis (i.e. not very often) and I would have to wait until HID got home from his 12hr working day for me to have a wee or something to drink or eat. Either that or let her cry, something I cannot stomach unless absolutely essential. (i.e. 3 mins crying while being carried in the sling while I put Boy down for a nap, then I can feed her. And crying while being held by someone who loves you, and crying in a dark room alone are totally different things). What do people without slings DO with babies? How do they do other things? In the early days, I even used a special sling that I could wear in the shower so I could get clean without putting her down to cry. Now she's happy to sit in a bouncy chair for 5 mins while I chat to her through the glass door.
All this being said, I find it unbelievable to remember that I only borrowed my first sling when Boy was FOUR MONTHS OLD, the age Missis is now, who has spent hours upon hours in the sling. And Boy was even MORE high need than Missis. Well, perhaps Missis is just as high need as Boy was, but it's much less noticeable because we don't try to fight it by putting her down, we just take her with us. I really didn't enjoy Boy's newborn days. It could have been the rocky recovery from the birth, but it could have been the relentless carrying, even at night, and total neglect of my own needs for a baby that, even as 6 months old, woke every 2hours or less. When we started to carry him everywhere, he started to chill out. How did we cope without carrying him when he was tiny? It is really crazy to look back now. I rely on my slings so much.

I love helping out at my local slingmeet now. The lady that runs it is very pregnant and poorly at the moment, so some of us older members (all of whom either now have new babies or are expecting them within 6 months time) sort of run it when she's not able. Today was particularly busy! Lots of new ladies came needing help, demonstrations and wanting to borrow slings. We lent out 2 wraps, 3 mai-tais and a pouch! Missis was star demo baby, in & out, up & down, back, front and hip. I even popped Boy up on my back to demonstrate how long you can enjoy carrying for. I was pleasantly surprised I could still do it after a 6 months break!

post-script: while I was dyeing my sling purple, I amazed myself at my own genius by deciding to do the ultimate in recycling Boy's old baby clothes without dressing my gorgeous girl head to toe in blue. I popped a few stripey vests, a white cardigan, some beige cord pants, some blue baby-leg-warmers, and some striped trousers and even a few pairs of socks! Apart from the cardi, which is a dissapointing lilac, the rest look great! I'm so chuffed. Boy had a gorgeous dungaree set with a blue&browm striped vest, which Missis can now wear and look uber funky and girly at the same time!! They are not in the picture as she's wearing them :-)

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At 2:01 pm , Blogger Michelle said...

Lovley pic of you and your little one and the sling and clothes look great. I wore one of my twins for a while but I could never get on with the double slings, so I did not keep with it. Mich x

At 8:53 pm , Blogger Mummy365 said...

I love this post, you can tell you are really passionate about slings. I had the same problems with my son who cried constantly and woke every two hours until 8 months. I tried baby bjorn, but might give these a go with my next one (whenever that may be) x

At 9:47 pm , Blogger Laura C said...

That photo is adorable! What a cutie! The sling sounds great. I bought one with full intention of using it but to be honest, my little girl is happy playing herself or with her brother. I'm sure that will change soon enough!

At 9:11 pm , Blogger allgrownup said...

Mich:I don't get double slings either!!
Mummy: dp it! lol, you really must
Laura C:Thanks! some babies NEED slings. some just like them.


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