How I got started with baby slings…

As an outdoors sort with a horse to look after I knew that a pram might be useful in town but probably impractical on the potholed tracks and in bumpy fields that I visited daily.

I went to a mum and baby group and got chatting about needing to get a carrier. They had a big crumpled box with some baby slings in but confessed they didn’t know what they were or how to use them. I took one away and got reading on the internet.

At ten days old, and post c-section, I had a go with my first sling and the love affair began but it took a little work.  I often still struggled around town with the pram, getting stuck in shop doorways. Carrying my newborn in a baby sling would have been so much easier.  As I got more confident I tried more options, ring slings, mei tais, buckle carriers but I always seemed to come back to the woven wrap.

Seeing other mums using a sling

I bumped into two ladies wearing their babies in town and approached them to find out if there was a sling library locally or a sling meet and was told that no, there wasn’t but there was talk about it.   In March 2014, when my first daughter was 8 months old we met Ali from Cariad Babywearing. A friendship was born and soon after the first informal Aberystwyth Babywearers Sling Meet was organised.  Ali was undertaking training to be a consultant and I was keen to get on her workshops and master some of the carries that I’d been struggling with.

After a consultation in my home I understood entirely the benefit of getting some one to one help. Learning in my own home without the liveliness of a meet meant I could repeat things several times until I had that lightbulb moment when it totally clicked. I will never forget the feeling of liberation when I mastered my first back carry with a long woven baby sling confidently.

Happy mother with baby in a sling and horse in the photo

Keeping baby involved in my world

Being able to carry my baby in a sling was an enormous lifeline for me. It’s reputed that babywearing has a positive effect on reducing Post Natal Depression (also known as Post Partum Depression). Whilst I can’t say definitively if this was something that affected me I know that being able to carry my little girl on my back and undertake a 3 mile walk every day to spend time with my horse was incredibly helpful.

Having my baby involved in my world gave her so many opportunities to interact with nature and the animals from my perspective. We picked countless berries, looked at so many leaves and chatted all the while.

I have such happy memories of listening to her hum the tune of twinkle twinkle little star in my ear, over my shoulder, long before she had words to sing it.