the slingy bits

Carrying our children in slings is a really important parenting tool for us. When Andrew was born I didn’t know about the wide variety of slings available if you find the world of babywearing beyond high street shops. We were given a Baby Bjorn carrier which I used until he was a few months old when I found it too uncomfortable, and later I learned that the narrow base doesn’t put the baby’s legs in the optimum froggy position. He hated lying down in the pram, which only got used for about 6 weeks. We also used a framed back carrier when he was an older baby and toddler, as it was more convenient for us than the buggy on days when Tom and I shared childcare and had to swap in the middle of the day, and on days when Andrew needed dropping at the childminder who had limited space to store our buggy all day.

When I was pregnant with Joel, and knew I’d have two under 2 for a while, I was motivated to look at transport options for baby and toddler. We lived in a small flat at the time, and all double buggies were either too long (inlines) or too wide (side by sides) to turn through the narrow hallway into their bedroom for storage. I went along to a few sling meets in Cambridge, and discovered that slinging the baby and pushing the toddler in a single buggy was a totally doable option with a comfortable sling. I bought a Moby stretchy wrap, and never looked back! Joel spent so much time happily in there as a baby, meaning I not only had great transport, but a tool which made my life easier by giving me hands free time to look after two under 2. As he got older, I bought various slings to carry him at different stages until he was 3 and a half – we stopped when I was pregnant again and couldn’t manage it any more. These included the brands Tula, Kokadi, Girasol, Rose & Rebellion and Madame GooGoo. It was also handy to be able to swap and change the boys between buggy and sling once Joel was a toddler, so Andrew got some time being carried again and Joel in the buggy.

When I was pregnant with the twins, but before I knew they were twins, I hadn’t planned to get a pram again being as we’d barely used one with Andrew and never used one with Joel. I have to admit, one of the first things I thought about after the initial shock of the first scan showing two babies was what am I going to do about transport now? But after some more research online, and finding a twin sling Facebook group, I decided that carrying twins in a sling was also totally doable, especially with my previous experience standing us in good stead. I didn’t rule out the possibility of getting a pram or buggy – either a double for both twins or a single for one twin pushed and one twin slung – if we found we needed one as life went on with twins, but I felt we could start without one and see how we’d go. At the time of writing this they are 6 months old and have only ever been carried everywhere. I have mostly used woven wraps for single and tandem carries, starting with both twins on front and progressing to one front and one back from about 3.5 months, and tandem hip carries for quick trips. This includes all school runs, local shop trips, outings, park trips etc.

Tom has also come to enjoy carrying our children. He has preferred soft structured buckle carriers over wraps because there’s less of a learning curve involved when he doesn’t spend as much time with the kids as I do. We bought a Twingaroo carrier when the twins were 4 months old, which he finds excellent for tandem carrying. He has also found with all the kids that slinging around the house in the evening is a great way to bond with them whilst also being able to get things done around the house, and all of them as babies have been calmer in the inevitably unsettled evening time when carried.

I haven’t written that much on this blog about our slinging, there’s just been the odd post like this one (babywearing), this one (toddlerwearing), and this one (preschoolerwearing). But I have devoted an entire Instagram account to documenting our twin slinging adventures in pictures…..

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