A Suspicious looking toffee by Hannah Brown
Why do I babywear? My babywearing journey so far….
Why do I babywear? A question I am asked a lot.
I use slings with both E and C. I have used one since E was around 12 weeks old and we went on our first family holiday. I loved the freedom it gave us to go out without a pushchair and have my hands free plus the snuggles are just 👌🏼. I started with an NCT Caboo which I bought from eBay. It’s made from a soft stretchy material which is perfect for newborns.
E was around 5 months old when she started to feel a bit heavy in the Caboo so we went along to Colchester sling library where we tried some buckles. This is also where I met my wonderful mummy friend Katie, who let me try her Tula. I was sold. I went home and ordered a Tula. When it arrived we used it pretty every day and Colin used it too.
I went back to the sling library the following month where Katherine showed me how to use a ring sling and woven wrap. I have a love hate relationship with a ring sling even today. I hired the ring sling (I forget which one it was now) and a size 7 Lenny lamb roses. I used the woven lots and I soon ordered my first woven wrap which was a size 7 Girasol irridescence diamond weave. It was brand new and in hindsight this was a rookie error. I didn’t realise at this point that wovens needed breaking in to become soft and easy to wrap with and this wrap was a beast. It took a lot of breaking in and a lot of dodgy top rails but now it’s my favourite, cushiest wrap.
When E was around 6 months old I had a decline in my mental health and was diagnosed with Postnatal Depression. There, I said it. Postnatal depression. A subject not talked about often enough and still taboo for many. When I was feeling low having E in a sling close to me really helped.
At around 7 months we moved onto back carries mostly with the Tula but we did have a consultation with Katherine on back carrying with a woven wrap.
Once I learnt to back wrap more wraps came into my stash.
In the May of 2016 myself and Katie completed the peer supporter course to enable us to help out at sling meets with showing other mums and dads how to use slings. I was in the early stages of pregnancy with C at this point and I knew without a doubt that I would babywear with her from the start.
I had hoped to continue wearing E throughout my pregnancy however my health was not good and I was unable to. Although I couldn’t wear her, E still found comfort in one particular wrap and napped with it regularly. The wrap is a firespiral Magenta Kaleidoscope and to this day it is her wrap and no one else is allowed to use it.
C was born in December 2016 and she was in a stretchy from around 4 days old. We quickly moved onto woven wraps. Snuggles with a newborn in a woven wrap is just heavenly. At 13 months old we still use the Tula a lot and also wraps. Babywearing means I am hands free to run after E and to sit and play with her when C needed to be held. I don’t think I could have gotten through the early days of parenting two children without a sling. It meant that I could have C up high away from a boisterous E. After a traumatic pregnancy with C and births with E and C it also helped bond with them both and reassured me by having them both near.
I still help out at sling meets and adore spreading the babywearing love 💗
And so it begins…..
Well what can I say. My first blog. I should probably introduce myself. I’m Hannah. I’m mummy to E and C and wife to Colin. Or colon as many know him due to the stupid autocorrect on my phone. I am a keen crafter and crochet addict and a lover of babywearing, scandi kids clothes and wooden toys.
Now you might be wondering why my blog is called a suspicious looking toffee. Well, one dreary January morning I am woken up by E climbing into bed with me and C. Colin had already left for work and C was still snoring so me and E had cuddles for a bit. C woke up and I pulled back the duvet to get us up and downstairs for breakfast to discover what looks like a poo in the bed. Skids and all smeared across Colins side of the bed. Myself, E and C had all had a stomach bug over Christmas and new year so my first thoughts were that Colin had gone down with it and well… shit the bed leaving me to clear it up probably thinking he was being thoughtful leaving me and C to sleep for a bit longer. So I am sat on my bed, horrified and E and C are beginning to take an interest in said poo in the bed. So obviously I sit and take a photo and send it to my friends horrified that my husband has shit the bed leaving me to clean it up. I also call Colin and ask him fairly hysterically if he shit the bed. He says no but doesn’t sound sure and is obviously questioning himself as to whether he has indeed shit the bed. So messages and photo sent. The OMG 😱💩 replies start coming in and I am sat, still looking at the poo wondering the best way to clean it up. So I put my big girl pants on, take the girls into the bathroom and get some loo roll to remove the poo before I strip and disenfect my bed. I start to remove it from my sheets to find it is rather sticky and well stuck to my sheets so I do what anyone would do and give it a tentative sniff. It smells sweet and to my relief I discover the colin had fallen asleep on a toffee and smudged it across the bed and hence the suspicious looking toffee was born.
Hannah E and C x
The Wonderful world of Woven Wraps
I would say that 90% of the pictures I have of me carrying my youngest are using a Woven wrap, having owned probably over 50 different ones in around 4 years!
My love began when Sebastian was around 4 months and I soon discovered exactly how addictive a hobby babywearing could be, and how different one wrap could be from another.
With so many different brands, styles, sizes and materials it can be totally over whelming, but totally worth it!
I remember receiving my first ever wrap, a Natibaby red Hemp balloons 7. I really had no clue.. my wrap was too big and the material was beastly. Needless to say it didn’t stay very long and I was soon on the look out for my next purchase.
From that I learnt that I needed to do some proper research in to the brands and different materials to find the one to suit me, there were so many groups with people happy to answer all my newbie questions that I soon figured out that a size 6 would be the best size for me to start with and a cotton wrap is all I would need to support my young baby. With this in mind my next purchase was a Didymos Black Geckos. This wrap turned out to be perfect and with it I mastered many different carries and went on lots of adventures, it is amazing when you realise all the places that aren’t accessible with a buggy but with a baby on your front or back you can climb castles, swing on swings and walk along a sandy beach.
Over my years of using woven wraps I think I have tried most blends available and many of the different makes, with my needs changing as my baby grew into a toddler and pre schooler to finally requiring more substantial options like Linen and Hemp ( this is where the lovely Red Hemp Balloons would have come into its own). It certainly took me lots of practicing and quite often with Geraldine the Giraffe rather than my baby! Using a woven wraps can take time and patience to learn but for me there was never anything as comfortable, supportive and snuggly for me and my baby/toddler/pre schooler. I would advise anyone wanting to try one out to head to a local Sling Library for some advice before delving head first, go and feel a few different wraps and find out what size would be best for you, give it a try and hopefully you will fall in love as I did.
Here are a few pictures of my favourites
To Carry or Not ?
That is often the question…
At the Ipswich and Colchester Sling library we believe that there is no better thing than carrying your baby, and for many of us it has continued into toddlerhood !
Research has shown that there are many benefits to mums/dads and babies and that carrying your baby is essential to their development. Babywearing can encourage bonding, reduce crying, soothe babies with reflux and colic and for many parents it can increase how confident you feel and your ability to respond to your babies needs. The evidence suggests that using a sling can reduce post partum depression, this is in part due to the increased oxytocin release. There are many more positive reasons to carry your baby and at a Sling library session, workshop or one to one consultation we aim to find the most suitable carrier for you and your baby. With over 200 carriers we pride ourselves on offering a proffession yet personal experience.
The Ipswich and Colchester Sling Library has been operating since April 2013, it is fully insured and has 6 fully trained Babywearing consultants and several peer supporters all offering their time free of charge at sling Library sessions. There are 2 sling meets and month in Ipswich and 2 in Colchester, we offer workshops and one to one consultations in all surrounding areas.
We are very pleased and excited to have joined Suffolk Babies and look forward to helping many more parents to carry their babies. Sling meets in Ipswich are on the 2nd and 4th Mondays 12.30-2.30 On offer from June are ‘Stretchy wrap workshops’ after sling meets at 3.30 -4.30 these workshops are £30 and included in the price is a stretchy wrap (Boba or similar). They are aimed at pregnant mums and babies up to 6 months, you will leave the workshop confident in your skills to use the stretchy wrap and assured that you will have follow up assistance should you need it at any sling Library session. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07547641573 for more information and to book your space, places are limited to keep the groups small so early booking is advised. You can find us on Facebook ‘Ipswich and Colchester Sling Library’ and we also have the ‘Ipswich Babywearing Group’ which is a great group for support and advice.
We look forward to seeing you at a Sling Library session soon !