As Zoe’s children have grown, so has her family’s love for babywearing. In fact it has become so much a part of their everyday life that Zoe now works as a carrying consultant, offering workshops and consultations on all aspects of carrying and sling use in and around the Surrey Hills area.
In this post she tells us about how slings – and especially the Connecta – have made meeting everyone’s needs that little bit easier.
All of our children have been carried in varying amounts as our needs change as a family.
Our first child was born in 2008 and we didn’t know much about slings but bought a (narrow based) carrier as we lived in London and in a flat so we thought it would be useful from a practical point of view. This became uncomfortable as she grew bigger so we stopped using it. I happened to see someone using a wider based sling (a soft structured carrier) with an older child and asked her about it when home and bought one online! I hadn’t realised other types of slings or carriers existed until that moment.
When we moved out of London, I volunteered with the local NCT branch and met someone who also loved to carry her child so we decdied to set up a sling library to help others find slings that worked for them.
With our second baby, Mai was at preschool every day which we walked to and involved steps so it made sense to use a sling so I bought a stretchy sling to use. We then moved onto our soft structured carrier at around four months, by fifteen months or so the sling wasn’t comfortable for me to use and we had Connectas in our sling library. We liked the toddler carrier so we bought an organic denim one and didn’t look back!
Living where we do in the Surrey Hills we are often out enjoying the views and using slings mean we can go anywhere pretty much! We still use this with him now at aged four when legs get tired or he needs a cuddle. Even Nanny gets to carry Charlie using the sling as it is easier than piggy backs.
When we were expecting our third baby in 2016, I saw a Woven Wings conversion Connecta and fell in love so I bought it for the new baby as I felt he or she deserved their own sling! I knew this baby would be carried the most, with a school and preschool drop offs/pick ups to do daily!
Using slings has become how we parent, they give us flexibility, they give us closeness, they give us freedom.
When Jude was born in January 2016 he was almost immediately in a sling! Life is busy with three children. Also it was a useful tool to help Charlie adjust to having a sibling as we could carry him too. Mai, 7 when Jude was born, has loved carrying her little brother using a sling and it is safer too as she doesn’t have to support his whole weight in her arms.
One great thing about the Connecta is how small they can fit due to crossing the straps. When others look after Jude they know he is happy in the sling and this helps him to settle as it is familiar to him. Tandem carrying with two children is simple with the Connecta as it is quite slim with no padded waist band, although as both boys continue to grow it is a good work out!
It means we can hold two children’s hands, or an umbrella when it rains, it means we can be meeting more than one child’s needs at a time – as well as even our own sometimes too!