Yep, I’m the one you see out and about with her baby strapped to her side with a piece of fabric, looking like she’s all ready to pick some cotton in the fields.
I’ve used a Maya Wrap sling with 3 of my 4 kids, courtesy of my lovely doula and friend Jenny, and there are lots of other kinds. Here are 10 benefits:
1. Exercise. Try strapping 22 pounds to yourself and walking around SeaWorld all day long and tell me you don’t get into shape. If you need to do something like mow with your baby on your back, check out a Mei Tai-style sling. My friend Tresa makes them.
2. Tranquility. We all know I can’t stand crying babies. Instead of letting Eva cry in a contraption, I pop her into the sling and it’s silence of the lambs.
3. Productivity. Instead of fighting your baby to make sure she is laying down for all naps, throw the kid in the sling and make dinner, clean house, read my blog, etc.
4. Multi-tasking. It frees up your hands, like a BlueTooth, or whatever those annoying contraptions are called. This way, you can “handle” your other kid(s).
5. Versatility. It doubles as a leash. Also, the tail of the sling can cover your baby when it’s cold, and go over the top of his head for protection from the sun.
6. Safety. We’ve all seen kids standing up in shopping carts at stores. It’s an ER visit waiting to happen and, trust me, there ain’t no George Clooney there. And think of all the my-stroller-went-rolling-into-the-street stories you’ve heard.
7. Bonding. No, not bondage. Jeez, dirty-minded readers. Using a sling is a good way to bond with Daddy (who doesn’t have hips, so Baby slides down his side all the time) and other caregivers.
8. Economical. A helluva lot cheaper than a stroller. But I still own a single AND a double stroller, by the way.
9. Cuddly. Being on top of your kid all the time may not be YOUR thing, but it’s what I personally waited 30 years for. I dig feeling Eva’s little sleeping head against my chest and being able to kiss on her so easily.
10. Lower chiropractor bills. Raise your hand if you hate carrying your baby in a carseat! Even the new ergonomic handles still are torture on your back. Also, a sling takes pressure off your arm and distributes the baby’s weight more evenly over the top half of your body.