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Rockin’ Baby Sling Review
Posted September 10, 2015 by Bethanie Lunn
I’ve been wondering for a while now if there is a way to get out and about with my little one without taking the buggy. Our current stroller can be a pain to put up, take down, get through doors and generally get about with (please send me your stroller reccomendations!). But we love to get outdoors, not least for the fresh air and to escape cabin fever, but to keep fit…and so I looked into slings.
I saw plenty of styles for babies and gigantic backpack-style ones for toddlers but the metal frame scared me and I couldn’t imagine finding that easy so I thought I’d give Rockin’ Baby* a try.
Rockin’ Baby slings are made of 80 inches (203cm) of soft breathable fabric, often 100% cotton, so you can use them for covering up when breastfeeding too if you so wish. There’s also a deep zippered pocket in the fabric to keep an extra nappy or three, bottle or even keys if needed. This won’t be felt by your little one, it is actually in the length of the fabric that trails down your body at the front and can’t be confused with the part they sit in.
The useful pocket and ring above
The two metal rings have been tested to hold up to 700lbs (317kg), this is what the fabric ties through, and the sling claims to hold children weighing between 0-40lbs. My son is 27 months old and weighs an average of around 35lbs.
I tried a Reversible Sling in Rose of My Heart which features a beautiful pastel rose print with black and white polka dots on the reverse. OK so I have a boy and my husband might want to use this too but I chose one to suit my outfits. What??
There are plenty of designs to choose from; plain to floral, masculine and geometric with a section dedicated to helping you choose your look.
All you need to do is loop the fabric through the rings and fold it back on itself to form a sling, kinda like an arm sling. Your little one will sit inside it as the sling cradles his or her bum, their legs hanging down, them sitting vertically. In the pictures, I’m wearing it backwards (doh! I blame my baby brain), so the reinforced part should be against your body not facing out, and it should be on your shoulder, not against your chest so you should be able to tighten by pulling down on the tail.
The website is great for safety tips and How to use the sling with diagrams and videos to help. There are three main positions to choose from, Snuggle Hold (from newborn to 12 months), Hip Hold (from 6 months to 40lbs) and Back Hold (from 12 months to 40 lbs).
Was it Quick and Easy?
It was quick to put on and shamble but I found it tricky to get just right and achieve a safe hold – more on this onwards.
There are no reams of fabric that get you literally in a twist and no scary frames to heave onto your back. The two negatives I’d have to say is that with my son being older, he did wriggle about a bit which made getting him into the sling rather amusing. I found it easier to put him into the sling in the Hip Hold with a slightly looser tied sling and, either keep him there or spin him to the Back Hold, and then tighten the sling once he is in. My wriggly son is not the slings fault of course but all toddlers are highly active so for this reason, I think it is a design best suited for 0-12 months.
The other negative was that you have to get the fabric just right, pulled neatly and firmly under their bum or I felt he was slipping down or could fall through so had to hold onto him. This part I’m confident is down to practice.
What I was extremely impressed with was how the fabric and rings held his weight safely, see no hands!
It made my son feel lighter which really helped with avoiding back and shoulder strain, especially being pregnant, and I loved having him close to me. You can see he loved it too and was giggling all the way during our beach walk. I think he felt like it was a game and a novelty so now he loves going in it; when I put him down, he wanted to go back in! All these factors are big deals so I’m going to practice getting it just so and think it’s just a case of getting used to something new.
Does it Make Life Easier?
In summary, I think if you have a newborn or young baby or more than one child to handle, then hell yeah it does! Aside from the health and bonding benefits, it will free up your hands, act as a cover up for feeding, hold your little extras AND look and do good in the process (see onward). But for toddlers, as in my case, I think we might keep it as a once-a-week treat until my confidence improves.
The Extra Perk
For every sling purchased, Rockin’ Baby will donate a new sling to a mother in need and educate them on its importance. So though the charity, Mother to Mother, you are actually giving the gift of life to a mother and her child in Haiti and beyond. New mums learn how slings can be part of their daily lives and in turn, their babies will be healthier, more attached to their mothers and begin a life more fulfilled and optimistic. Beautiful, right?
*A PR sample was sent to me for testing to aid my search and the possibility to review this. All views are my own and this is an independent feature.