Sunday, October 3, 2010

It's International Baby Wearing Week!

Greta and I have both loved using our slings for our baby no. 2s. For both our first babies we had a go at front packs - I can clearly remember using it for a quick 4pm walk around the block to calm no. 1 down at the start of the witching hour. And we both used them highly successfully at airports, going through the waiting lines and customs, etc.

But to be honest I never really got into them for use every day, because firstly, they had so many straps and secondly, five years ago, they were not very good looking and were made of that synthetic waterproof material that doesn't breathe. (Today, they are great! Lots of natural materials. My husband loves his backpack).

By baby no. 2 I think I'd become so much more relaxed about holding my baby and carrying her around a lot - in fact with such a busy life I have really enjoyed carrying her around when I can, as it means I have more touch-and-feel few moments of "yes, baby, I'm here, and paying you attention, despite doing a million other things".

And I'm also now obsessed with patterned 100% cotton fabrics too, so I started investigating fabric slings. I've found that today there are several lovely New Zealand businesses making gorgeous slings out of 100% cotton fabrics, stretchy breatheable fabrics, and Mobi Wrap, Little Kiwi Baby, Unido, Dulce & Zoet, Black Bow, Bellaroo...and lovely Australian imports too like Peanut Shell.

When bubs was still little, I had a go at making the style of "cap shoulder" slings, and made three for myself (to match different outfits!), one for Greta, and a few for other kindy mums. These are a couple of pictures of my slings.

If you don't already know about it, there is an amazing group called SlingBabies ( ) who have reviews and 'how to instructions' on all types of slings, including how to measure and wear them properly to keep your baby comfortable, and safe.

When no. 2 gets too old to be carried, I am planning on turning the fabric from my slings into a cushion cover or a purse, for her glory box :)

This week is the start of International Baby Wearing Week and I'm aware of at least two initiatives Kiwis can join: the inaugural "Australia and New Zealand Babywearing Week", a Babes in Arms initiative sponsored by Ergo Baby, is in full force on facebook, generating long lists of sling events happening all around NZ and Australia and donating to charities. And in Auckland, Slingbabies is supporting "Auckland Sling Walk 2010" around Mission Bay, on Oct 16th. Check them out!


Five reasons to try out a sling during International Babywearing Week:

1: It is invaluable when dropping off and picking up no. 1 from kindy - I use it everyday still with no.2 at 11 months old - it keeps her nicely up high to view what's happening and also out of the paint!

2: It takes two seconds to pop on when you run into the mall to go to the Post Office - no dramas getting the pram in and out of the boot.

3: It's an invaluable breastfeeding cover in the early days, and you can still do your chores with them rocked to sleep by your walking during that newborn witching hour (come on, you know they won't sleep in a cot at that time, so just get on with it!)

4: It supports your back and spreads their weight evenly- I've NEVER had back pain with no.2, when with no.1 I had fortnightly chiropractic appointments.

5: You get more 'hands on' time with your precious no.2, when time is a luxury :)


  1. with #1 I used a front pack, a nice macpac one, but #2 was heavier quicker so I used a natures sway sling, with #3 I made a ringsling, it was ok, but needed a different shoulder system, so with #4 I made a pleated shoulder and love it, and hence Black Bow was born... I love my mei tai too which I made after seeing the gorgeous Kozy of a friends.

  2. I could never get the frontpack to work for me while baby was facing in, so I have found a sling much more versatile, plus it is very nice to always have people telling me how happy and comfortable he looks :)

  3. Hi there. Thanks very much for sharing about the Auckland Sling Walk on your blog. I'm the event organiser :0) The button you've copied was made for exclusive use by Slingbabies. However there's a square button that you are most welcome to use that has 2010 Auckland Sling Walk on it. You can find the button in the photo album on the Auckland Sling Walk facebook page. We are very excited about the event - this is the second year it has been held. If you're in Auckland I'd love to see you there!

    I love natural fibres too and import the fantastic Kozy Carrier, Manduca and Storchenwiege. All are made from natural fibres with organic options available too. Much nicer to wear than synthetics!

    Helen :0)

  4. Hi Helen, I have fixed this now can you check I chose the right one - there looked there were three up there? I didn't know about your new company or the Kozy til you and Demelza posted - yay more to research! I am booked into a market for the day of the walk, but thought I would send my hubby with the backpack for Miss 1 while Miss 4 can walk.... x

  5. I did the front pack and then the backpack.... where oh where were slings 10 & 7 years ago, I would've absolutely loved one of these, and the two you have pictured look very stylish.


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