Getting the sling of it

Even before I was pregnant, I assumed I would be a touch earth mama. Most specifically, I had a vision (or fantasy) of myself walking down the downtown mall of Charlottesville, babe in sling, holding a chai latte and running errands. Okay, so maybe it’s more eco-yuppie than hippie chic, but you get the idea. I avoided registering for an infant-friendly stroller and purchased the ergo carrier for my husband, as I would only even need my trusty sling to tote the small one.

Unfortunately, up until last week the small one was having none of this sling thing. Since he was a small to normal sized newborn (7 lbs), my NoJo sling looked huge and I purchased a pocket sling that I planned to use once my c-section scars healed up enough that I was allowed to lift things (about 2 weeks), just to be on the safe side in terms of not destroying my internal stitches (that, and it’s not like I was going anywhere at the time).

The first attempt (at around week 3) was met with abject wailing. You see, we’d been swaddling the small one at night and I think he’d become quite a fan of having his legs straight what with all the being balled up in the womb and all. So when I tried to wedge him into the sling cradle-style, he proceeded to pike his little legs such that I couldn’t possibly squeeze him in comfortably. I was defeated, and after a few more failed attempts over the following week, I resigned myself to putting the sling away until his neck was strong enough that we could try him sitting up, kangaroo style.

Last week, I decided to break out the big guns and try the NoJo out, mostly because while the child is not yet a full 2 months, he is already filling out his 3-6 month clothing and my back was starting to hurt. The NoJo has the benefit of a padded edge, so it works like a cushion for him to lay his head against (unlike the pocket sling, where he ends up with a crease in his check from the fold). It worked! Once I got him wedged in, made sure his legs weren’t sticking out at odd angles, and started walking the house, the small one settled in nicely, looking around quietly and generally being content.

That weekend, he even fell asleep in the sling at a holiday party.

And this week, most of his morning naps have begun in the sling (like now, while I type this very post). I’m even beginning to master the asleep in sling to crib maneuver, but it still needs perfecting.

If only it weren’t so cold (and rainy) outside, I could go grab myself a latte.


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