In another realm of the blogosphere, Adventures In Babywearing is having a fun little contest to win a new baby sling. A stipulation of the contest is that you link to the company donating the slings, so here goes: Nonni&Boo. I had trouble getting the pictures on their website to load, so I will admit that I am not sure exactly what it is I stand to win, but I do love Love LOVE my baby carrying accessories, so I am happy to write a post about my experience...well, my second post on the topic actually...here's the first.
When I had my first baby (pictured above) I was a basket of raw emotion, and admittedly, not all of them were good. I felt very useless sitting around all the time just holding my baby in my arms. (So naive I was! That's probably the most important thing I could have been doing at that very moment!) It is shocking really how such a tiny baby can make your arms/shoulders/back ache after all that holding.
When I finally got my wits about me after about 10 weeks of moping, I started doing some research on baby carriers. I found several very helpful sites with information that really spoke to what my heart already knew about the importance of holding your baby as much as possible...for the baby's sense of security, for the mother's ability to sense when she needs something. One of my favorite sites was Mamatoto. I especially liked the pictures explaining how to use each of the different styles of carriers.
Ultimately, with my first I decided on a ring sling. When I looked for one to buy, I found their prices to be outlandish for the simplicity of them. I decided I could definitely make my own and got the pattern and the weight-tested rings (this was very important to me) from SlingRings. I learned that for the best result, you should choose a fabric that doesn't have a "wrong side". I love brightly colored batiks and they worked perfectly! Sara, in the picture above is wearing her doll baby in my first sling that I carried her in from about 10 weeks until about 2 1/2 pretty much every day.
When Rachael was born, I couldn't wait to bring out the sling! It was such a lifesaver with Sara and an absolute necessity with more than one child in the house. My beloved sling did have a drawback though. While I did have use of both hands, since it only goes over one shoulder, I couldn't use both arms equally. This proved to be a major challenge while chasing a toddler! I picked up a BabyBjorn for cheap at a thrift store but felt that it wasn't quite right for me. I didn't use it for longer than a month or so. After the recommendation of a friend and an opportunity to try her carrier out in person, I *invested* in a BabyHawk carrier. I do not use the word invested lightly--it was very pricey in my opinion. However, with two small children, what little time I thought I had was officially gone for good (or for at least 18 years) so I resigned myself to buying instead of making. Now that Rachael is walking, I find that I most use it when we are out and it's only practical to have the 1-kid stroller. (I think I have a collection of strollers to rival my collection of baby carriers!)
All in all, I love all of my carriers for different reasons...I can't wait for the opportunity to use them again!