When our littlest ‘Bobbin’ was small we’d use a wrap or carrier every day, sometimes for practical reasons like shopping trips or school runs and sometimes we’d carry her solely for emotional and comfort reasons; because life can be especially overwhelming/exhausting when you’re small!
Over the last few years our ‘uppies’ have become very infrequent, her wonderfully strong legs and fiercely independent personality serve her very well which makes me very happy.
I do however still use a ring sling as a scarf (or have it in my bag) for day trips/long car journeys ready for any falls/grazed knees, tired legs or car breakdowns etc, though it’s rarely needed as luckily we’ve always been very fortunate in those areas of life *touches wood*.
The times when we have been grateful to still have the babywearing/child-carrying tool in our parenting tool box is in times of illness or distress! I started out my carrying journey thinking carriers were only useful for the first few months of a child’s life, but I cannot count the amount of times it’s saved the day!
Even as we’ve stopped using them frequently the last couple of years we’ve gone through a couple of periods of night terrors and the ability to scoop her up while she was still fast asleep (but distressed) and carefully wrap her on my front in a very messy (but perfectly adequate for the job) Front Wrap Cross Carry. For us personally it’s always been a fantastic aid, as soon as she feels the support of the fabric around her she calms down instantly and stays fast asleep meaning we can transfer her back to bed. Possibly because she’s always been carried so maybe the familiarity is comforting, every child is different though. When she’s poorly and distressed it can be very handy to be able to pop her on my back so I can still prepare dinner or get stuff done but without feeling torn between the ability to comfort AND still be functional.
The inspiration for this post though comes from a very rare request to be carried today which for me thinking about how useful it can still be.
Tomorrow we have a bit of a testing day ahead of us, our littlest Bobbin has an eye operation and is having a general anaesthetic for it. It’s not major surgery and we know that she will be really well looked after but we’re all a little bit anxious and it’s a bit of a trigger for my husband and I after our shared experience of birth trauma/hospitals. But, we have our ‘game faces’ on and by this time tomorrow we’ll be through it!
So when Bobbin came into the bedroom carrying her current favourite rainbow ring sling from my consultancy stash this morning and wanted a cuddle who was I to say no?
We had a fairly brief cuddle and made each other laugh, shared some thoughts about tomorrow and told each other we’d all be okay. Then off she ran in search and of her favourite Studio Ghibli film and her toy bunny and I went back to my HUGE pile of washing feeling very grateful for my ability to tighten a ring sling with a wriggly five year old in it!
Needless to say it’s definitely going in the hospital bag tomorrow even if it’s just used as a comfort blanket!
Do any of you still carry your ‘big kids’ from time to time? If so what are your favourite methods!
Love and babywearing hugs