I never “wore” Oliver (is that how you say it? ;-). I am quite selfish when it comes to my spaces and my personal time: since day one, Oliver slept the whole day in the pram, and at night I put him in his Bednest cot next to my bed. I liked it, it made me feel like my own self again, like my body was finally mine again after nine months of pregnancy. And that was good for my mental health, too.
After two years, Emily came around. I tried the pram solution by buying the Stokke Sibling Board for Oliver. At the beginning it worked like magic: Emily would sleep in the pram bassinet, Oliver would travel on the board (although he did not look very comfy!) and everybody was happy.
When the Board was old news, though, that magic soon vanished: Oliver wanted to walk, and it didn’t feel safe anymore! Sometimes he’d run off ahead of me, but the pram wouldn’t allow me to stay at his pace and I looked hysterical trying to make him stop by yelling his name over and over; or if I needed to grab him quickly, I’d leave the pram without having the time to put the break on. NOT safe!
That’s when I started thinking of alternative solutions: 1. With Oliver I had the Babybjörn which I liked, but I now have a beautiful carrier by a small German company called Ruckeli that I can’t wait to start using when Emily doesn’t feel so small anymore. 2. We didn’t want to buy a double pram (partly not to spend extra money, partly for the inconvenience of driving it on Marbella’s narrow sidewalks, and partly because I didn’t want to give up my beloved Stokke Xplory, despite all its little faults!).
We found a solution!
One day, my friend Petra came to the rescue and gave me the Kari-Me sling, a long, stretchy piece of fabric (made of super soft cotton with a 5% of jersey that makes it stretchy and very resistant) that somehow becomes a baby carrier. Without even knowing it, she was also giving me a life style. And I loved it!
The first time I tried it, I instantly knew it was the right solution: Emily was safe in there, Oliver could hold my hand while walking (not willingly, but still ;-) and I could run after him if he decided to take off. I felt safer, and much more relaxed.
It’s easy to put on and it becomes part of my outfit
I thought it would be very difficult to wrap on, but it’s really not: once you understand how it works it’s very easy. I put it on in the morning and I don’t need to take it off until I get in my pjs at night, it’s actually become part of my daily outfit (and being black, it goes with everything!).
Emily sleeps the whole time in it (it’s surely the closest feeling to being back in the womb, no wonder she loves it!) and I can do almost everything, from laundries, to tidying up, to changing Oliver’s nappy, to participating in Oliver’s dance classes…
The only thing I’m yet to master is feeding her while in the sling, I guess it’s the next level of the carrying mum degree ;-)
Initial worries didn’t turn out to be a problem
When I started using it, I was worried Emily rejected the cot. It turned out it wasn’t worth worrying about (like everything motherhood so far!). At night she kept sleeping well (she wakes up every three hours, feeds and goes back to sleep); during the day, truth be told, she does sleep long stretches of time in the sling—near mummy’s warm body she can sleep even fours hours straight!—and very short ones in her cot, but let’s be honest… you can’t have it all, can you? As I’m writing this, 4pm, she’s asleep in her cot!
I think I'm converted!
Despite the fact that having Emily always on me when we’re out and about makes me feel pregnant all over again and that I miss feeling my own person, I have to admit I like to carry her, it’s very natural to have her close to me at all time, and it’s a very practical life style, perfect for an active mum like me.
Do your homework first: a bit of essential theory ;-)
I’m not an expert and I don’t even know how long I’ll wear Emily or if I’ll prefer to finally give into buying a double pram. What I do know is that before starting wearing their child, parents should study a little bit because a wrong posture can cause problems in the future. So here’s a few rules:
- When the baby is in the sling, if you look at yourself in the mirror sideways, her body should be in a C position.
- Her legs should be in a M position, wide open and with the butt lower than the knees.
- Wearing your child looking forward (for her to see the world) is not good because her legs hang and her posture is not right. Almost all carriers let you do it, and anybody is free to do it, but experts and paediatricians warn against it.
- Last but not least, they say the Kari-Me goes until 15kg. I think that any stretchy fabric loosens with time, so I think it shouldn't be used when the bay is heavier than 8-9kg: at this point I think a woven rigid wrap would be better. In the comments, some mums who have carried their babies for a long time recommended this one (thanks!).
Are you a carrying mum or do you prefer the pram? If you have two children, what was your experience? What carrier did you chose? I’d love to hear from you!