1. How to carry everything else? Babywearing/over the body bags
Taking a baby anywhere, even for a short trip, normally means taking a change of cloths or two, nappies, wipes, snacks, drinks as well as all of your normally things (keys/phone/purse...). To store all of this and still be able to carry it I use over the body bags. You can even get baby wearing specific bags which can be made of (possibly matching) wrap fabric and often feature extra long adjustable straps.
2. Quick slings/carries
As your baby leaves the squishy newborn phase and gradually enters "interested in the world baby" and "busy toddler" phases we are often asked for slings or carries which are super quick to put on or tie and don't drive you mad as you need to let your toddler come up and get down over and over again! So my favourite wrap carries for bigger babies and toddlers are a Kangaroo carry (front carry, done with a size 3) and a reinforced ruck (back carry done with a size 4). I also love love love a good ring sling. One which is sturdy and supportive and tightened well can be a fantastic option for a baby who wants to look around a bit more and a toddler who wants to be up and down. Buckles too are really great for when you want something super fast and easy. The most popular buckle carriers in the library at the moment are the Tula's (they come in standard size - from about 3/4 months and a toddler size) and then the Sleepy Nico.
When the weather is mild it's easy to baby wear without too much thought. But as soon as we have lots of rain, or heat, or the very cold baby wearing can be harder. It's not impossible though. I've written about the heat here and the cold here. Remember that each layer of the sling counts as a layer of clothing and that simply buy being close you and baby will be warmer. So layers of clothing (or in the heat a lack of them) are crucial to be able to control baby's temperature. My favourite weather flexible carrier at the moment is the Moby Aria which has a handy mesh panel for the summer and then a button on warmer panel for the winter. Genius!
4. Storage of slings
Where to keep your lovely sling(s)? My day to day sling lives over the banister at the bottom of the stairs! I would recommend if you have buckles keeping them inside rather than left in your car so that there is less of a fluctuation of temperature which can make the plastic of the buckle more brittle. For a wrap it's great to store it braided especially if it is new and in need of softening as this will help, and it looks super pretty!
5. Washing of slings
Most slings are pretty easy to care for (with the exception of a wrap with something like wool in it). For most buckles, following the manufacturers instructions and washing at no higher than 30 using a gentle washing liquid and NO fabric softener, with the buckles closed together is best. For a wrap, again check the care label (some fabric wraps need special care) and NO fabric softener or anything with optical brighteners in it. Line dry flat and a gentle steam iron will bring it back to full softness.
6. Shopping bags - how to go shopping?
I gave up clothes shopping in actual shops when I had my second baby! But that may not be the most helpful advice! Lots of baby wearers use shopping trolleys to carry the shopping around in while still being able to baby wear.
7. Tandem baby wearing
It is possible to carry two children at once. Careful thought as to which slings to use and lots of practise and it becomes a very handy thing to be able to do. For example if you have two newborn twins options are both in one stretchy, or in two ring slings. When they are bigger (6 months) one on the front and one on the back in to buckle carriers or even two wraps (or one) is also very doable. If you have a newborn and a toddler it is also possible to tandem wear. Smallest baby on your front and then the bigger toddler on your back. Carol is a magician at tandem wearing so if you would like some help come along to a sling meet and she can help you!
8. Most flexible sling
Sometimes you need different slings for different reasons. For example, if I was to go for a long trek I would use a sturdy buckle carrier or a long wrap. But if I knew I was going to be doing lots of ups and downs I would use a ring sling. However, if you asked me what one sling could "do it all" it would be a woven wrap. A size 6 is my base wrap and means I can do a front wrap cross carry, a double hammock back carry and also a study hip carry. A buckle which has straps you can cross over such as a Manduca and a half buckle or a Mei Tai can also both be used as front, back and hip carries.
We want a sling to provide good head, back and neck support for baby at all times. That being said I wouldn't recommend bending over and forward to pick something up with a baby being worn either on your front or your back. Instead get practising your squats!
For more information come along to a sling meet or book a 1:1 Consultation!