It's a funny thing how you evolve and change as a parent. When I first had Finn (now 8), I used a Baby Bjorn for like two weeks, maybe, and the rest of the time I lugged him around in his carseat because I felt like it was too cold to carry him in the baby carrier anymore. The carseat was SO heavy, it was cumbersome, it hurt my arm, I just plain hated it. But I just did not think to have a baby carrier, and by the time warmer weather rolled around he was on the move so baby carrying seemed to be out of the picture. Over the years I have used a bunch of different baby carriers, all with limited success. Some were great for nursing the babies when they were small, but not so good once they got a little bigger. Some were good for bigger kids but not good for smaller babies. I just didn't find one that clicked with me. I was intimidated by the wraps that looked super complicated to me and some of the carriers I tried weren't very easy to put on by myself. I also wanted something that I could roll up and stash in a bag without it being too bulky, and something that was machine washable. Comfort for the baby was of course up there in importance, as was being able to nurse in it easily without drawing attention to myself either.
Enter baby #4. Having four kids you need to find a way to get them all in one place at one time comfortably, and that can be tricky. Our trip to Lake Placid last week was a perfect example. The three older kids (8, 6 & 3) all snowboard or ski, and since the younger two were free at the ski mountain we wanted to give them as much time on the mountain as possible. The catch? It was freezing. Like -20 freezing. So we had to get creative. Before we left I popped into The Bundle Store to check out her selection of Sakura Bloom silk slings, like a wall of brilliant colors in her cute little shop. She showed me how to use it, how I could nurse the baby in it, showed me how to adjust it and I was on my way with fingers crossed that it would make life on the go with four a little bit smoother.
Let me set the scene for you. Sean took the 8 year old to the mountain in the mornings so they could go on the bigger runs together, leaving me with the 6 year old, the 3 year old, the baby, and their ski and snowboard gear. I needed to get the kids there a few hours later after it warmed up a bit with the baby, and possibly a bag. Four boots, two skis, two helmets, two goggles, four mittens, two kids, one baby. So I bundled the baby up in her cashmere pants and wool balaclava, put her in the sling and off we went. I must have been quite the sight hauling this gear and corralling the two walking children up the snowy hill to the bunny hill lodge all while the baby is in the sling with my scarf over her head.
But, the baby was nice and warm snuggled up against me and my hands were free to haul the little snowboard and skis over my one shoulder and retrieve a wayward mitten or two as we made our way, and once the kids were safely delivered to Papa on the mountain I was free to sit in the lodge and nurse her in the sling while we watched through the big window so we could all be together.
Stuff I loved about the sling? The fact that it was so easy to use. The double layer of duponi silk is strong and durable, can carry a baby from newborn through toddlerhood, and has a nice grippy texture that stays secure in the ring while also being easy to adjust (it's not slippery like you might imagine silk to be). You can easily adjust it on the go, let the baby get a little lower to nurse, pop her back up a little if she wants to look around. You just slide it over the hand you want to be more free and it's ready to go, and the same sling can be adjusted for anyone, tall or short, big or small. The silk breathes really well and will be perfect in the summer months as well. You can spot clean it for little messes or machine wash it for bigger ones, so it will last as long as your child will fit in it, making it a solid baby to toddler item investment (and I guarantee you will have girlfriends eager to take it as a hand-me-down when you are finally done carrying).
The biggest plus was how easy it was to nurse her in it and that I no longer have to make sure I have a nursing cover, because I am a huge nurse in public (while under cover) person since we are on the go so much. The "tail" of the sling just flips over their head but is so breathable that it doesn't get hot or stuffy for them, and since it is the same color as the sling it doesn't draw attention like my bigger nursing covers would, it's actually a more discreet way to nurse in public and usually Talley will just drift off to sleep after nursing, still in the sling. I have also quite successfully pulled off the sling to bed transfer many times now.
Wearing Talley on my hip on either side is my preferred way of using the sling but I am looking forward to exploring the other options with her, carrying her on the front and the back. She seemed super comfortable in it and it was also comfortable for me, for once my back wasn't killing me after carrying her around for a few hours.
Overall, the Sakura Bloom silk sling is a style statement. I got it in the vermilion color and it is a vibrant red/orange that goes with pretty much anything I wear. I got compliments on it left and right in Lake Placid, even the 20 something guy at the checkout in the ski lodge remarked on how cool it looked and how happy Talley seemed to be in it. I wore it pretty much all day even when Talley wasn't in it because it felt more like an accessory and even without a baby inside it the sling wasn't cumbersome, it was just like wearing a big scarf. I actually build my outfits around the sling, it's like my favorite accessory now. The bold vermilion shade gives me a pop of color to any outfit, and especially when I'm wearing just a yoga pants and t-shirt type outfit it gives me a little extra boost.
If you're thinking of getting a Sakura Bloom silk sling, I highly recommend two things. First, pop into The Bundle Store and try one on. Amber will help show you how to use it and they have a TON of really great colors (it was actually quite difficult to choose a color, there was a silvery one that I ALMOST got, and a deep inky colored one that was so hard to pass up). Second, find them on Instagram here. They share the most beautiful photos of moms (and dads) and babies in their slings, it is one of my favorite Instagram feeds. Happy baby wearing everyone! xoxo