Since Jonah was born, there has been one item that has been the staple in my sanity. The one item that gets the title of “baby gear I cannot live without.” It is something that I have multiple versions of to keep in multiple places, lest I be caught without one. This golden item is: My sling. Oh the wonderful gift from heaven that gave me free hands once again! Jonah was a very needy new born. I was also a very needy new mommy. He did not like to be put down, and I did not like putting him down. We were the perfect pair, really, except when my husband started to notice all of the laundry piling up, dishes getting crusted over, and the dog complaining for walks. I was also being bombarded with phone calls from friends “Why aren’t you responding to my emails???” Um, because that takes two available hands!!!
The first time I tried the sling, it was a little awkward. My sister lent me a ring sling that was homemade by one of her friends. I slipped it over my shoulder just as she taught me, made sure the ring was in the right position… Okay, now fold the fabric like so… or like so? Put the baby in…. I look like a fool! That was honestly my first remark as I looked in the mirror. But, I had to walk the dog. I needed to get out of the house. I still felt awkward, but I took a deep breath and stepped out the door with my puppy trailing behind and my baby in my pouch. A jogger stopped by to oogle at the baby. She asked how old he is. That is when I had that moment that all new mommies have. The “wow, I’m a mommy” moment. The “This tiny guy is so dependent on me, because I’m his mommy” moment. I think that it’s because it was that moment that brought me those feelings that I am so attached to slinging Jonah. I don’t know if it was in fact the sling that brought it about, or if it was just the first time an outsider had noticed and asked me about my baby, but either way I bonded with the sling at the same time that I was bonding with Jonah.
Since then I have made several adjustments to the way I wear Jonah. I have bought several slings including a padded ring sling, a hot sling, a baby bjorn carrier (for my husband) and some mommy-made slings. Some of them are long lengths of fabric that are secured by two rings (giving them the name ring sling) and some of them are simply tubes of fabric that are fitted to create a “pocket” for baby. In the beginning, I wore only a ring sling, and Jonah rode facing out like a baby kangaroo:
or sometimes he rode cradled:
As he got older (more…)