Right, first things first an admission. It is currently 4.37am as I write this, and I am fully aware that the quotation I have used in the title of the post doesn’t really make any sense in the context of what I am saying. However, it is way too early in the morning/late at night for me to be constructing elaborate Shakespearian puns so I hope you will forgive me for just taking this quote and using it without proper due diligence.
Anyway, on to what I really want to say, which is to discuss the pros and cons of baby slings from a dad’s perspective, and ask for some advice from you, ‘the Internet of parents’.
First of all, let’s discuss the process of choosing a sling. This is not easy. First of all there is the range of designs and styles. There are hundreds of the things, and they are all different, offering multiple elaborate ways to carry your little one – on the hip, front facing, on the back, upside down… Essentially however you want to lug your baby around, there is a sling on the market for you. This sounds great, but the challenge is that each one feels totally different, and until you have tried them all you have no idea which one will be comfortable. The NCT offer a ‘sling library’ in some places, where you can supposedly go and try various options, but in our experience this was not the best as the choices were very limited… Meaning essentially sling choice is a bit of pot luck…
But then comes the next problem… The cost. Slings are expensive. Of course, as part of the baby marketing machine they are going to cost a pretty penny, after all, these are another essential, so the continually refreshing captive market makes this a perfect goldmine for the manufacturers and retailers However, despite the cost, a good sling is a wonderful thing for a new daddy.
Slings are great as when effective they essentially give you (an albeit small amount) of your freedom back. I am lucky enough that my son likes being in the sling with his daddy, meaning that on a Saturday morning for example I can let his mum have a lie in, strap him onto my chest, and pretty much go about my normal morning routine (which essentially consists of listening to records, drinking coffee and tinkering with my fantasy football team – I know, I am a stereotype!).
Even better than this though, is the fact that he will sleep in the sling – which can be a real blessing. When he is getting a bit grizzly on a weekend and won’t nap, essentially all I need to do is stick him in the sling and walk around for a bit, and hey presto, sleeping baby. In fact, this was so effective that a few weeks ago we had a barbecue and I popped him in the sling as I tucked into a few burnt/raw burgers, and he want so fast asleep that for an hour or so I literally forgot he was there (please note: I am by no means advocating wearing a sling when tending open flames, at all times I kept him a safe distance from the grill… Honest!)
However, this also brings me on to the problem that has inspired me to write this blog at 4.30am on a Friday morning…
Currently my son is fast asleep on my chest, and I don’t know what to do now! If I put him down he will wake up, but if I keep him in the sling that involves me staying standing/walking for the rest of the night, which as you can imagine might become rather exhausting. I have already clocked up around 3000 steps on my Fitbit marching round and round the lounge in the last hour or so, which is great from a fitness perspective and far better than joining a gym, but does not necessarily feel like a sustainable option. So, with this in mind I thought I would take to the Internet to see if anyone has any advice on how to effectively extricate a sleeping baby from a sling and deposit him in a cot without waking him.
Do get in touch and let me know any advice or tips… Don’t worry, I will be right here… Walking round the lounge.