When I was pregnant I read every blog and forum I could find to help me sort out which baby products I would need and which I could go without based on the reviews of women who had purchased them – I didn't want to fall in to the trap of reading the catalogues or the bounty magazines that all told me I MUST have this and that and then never use it, especially with the $1000 challenge I had set myself. On almost every list of “I couldn't live without” products was a baby sling, and one in particular featured more heavily than the others – the Hug-a-Bub.
After reading the reviews and checking out the website I decided I had to have one NOW even though I would have been barely four months gone. Trying to keep to budget I sourced one second hand for just $50 (the RRP is $120 for the version I got – I am a bargain hunter extraordinaire!) and watched the DVD instructions for tying it like I was studying for an exam. I wondered if I would ever get the hang of it and be able to tie it as quick as the woman in the video, who pointed out she was doing it slowly for instructional purposes.
Carrying your bub around in a sling is known as baby wearing and is actually quite controversial, with people either loving or hating the idea. Since I bought a sling you can tell which category I fall in to. Some believe that carrying your baby with you all the time will spoil them and you'll end up with a monster but research shows that “babies worn in slings are less clingy and tend to initiate separation much earlier than babies less frequently held. It allows them to be AT the centre of activity not THE centre of attention, which is a wonderful environment proven to stimulate brain development and cognitive learning.” What's not to like about that? I figure that women all over the world going to work in the rice fields carry their kids while they work, and I'm pretty sure in the early days women carried their children to avoid them becoming a tasty little snack for a Sabre Tooth Tiger – and they turned out just fine.
In the past few weeks I've been wearing Tricky in the Hug-a-Bub and I have nothing but glowing praise for it. In fact, I've got it on now because he was being ultra fussy – within a few minutes of being in it, snuggled in close to me, listening to my heartbeat, he was fast asleep. It even allowed Hubby and I to go out to dinner to a restaurant so tightly packed with tables and chairs there would have been zero chance of manoeuvring our pram around – it also meant Tricky slept the whole time and we enjoyed a lovely meal without worrying we were disturbing anyone else with a crying newborn. A lot of women I have spoken to have lamented that their old life disappeared as soon as they had a baby – no more dinners, no more outings. I realise that the old days of just jumping up and going white water rafting without notice might be gone (I've never done this anyway, so for me it's no great loss), but with a sling we're able to take Tricky around with us and he is content to just observe the world, safe in the arms of Hubby or myself.
Are you for or against baby wearing? Leave a comment below with your experiences.