Given that my first sling, a Close Caboo, was the single most useful baby product I bought, it’s only natural that I try to pass this wisdom on to pretty much every new parent I meet. And how wonderful is it when your friends end up loving babywearing as much as you do!
I was very lucky to start off being enabled myself by an old school friend who had a couple of woven wraps, and that convinced me that this was something normal people could do, and not something hippy. It’s great fun to swap wraps, and sometimes wrapees, with a friend. Now, funnily enough, it’s me that enables her, and convinces her to get just one more wrap!
The most important place for me was the local Sling Library which I started off going to when Little Boy was 2 or 3 months old, with a friend who also had a stretchy wrap. Falling down the rabbit hole together was brilliant as we could support each other as our skills slowly improved and could swap wraps to find out which brands suited us best.
My advice to anyone wanting to enable a friend would be, think about their needs and what will suit them best. I usually recommend a stretchy wrap or caboo as the easiest option, but have recommended buckles, such as Connecta (now Integra) to friends who are concerned about the wrapping element or want something foolproof. This especially works well if they have been looking at High Street buckles. Much as you love woven wraps, it’s not always the easiest starting point.
I also like to gift stretchy wraps to new parents. It’s an inexpensive Baby Shower gift which is usually really appreciated. Along with a note on TICKS and a recommendation of their nearest sling library, this is a great way to point them in the right direction.
A friend of mine who started with a stretchy wrap then asked my advice on moving on to wovens and now has a woven of her own. Success!
If friends have a narrow-based High Street Carrier, I always start by complimenting them and saying how useful being hands free is. I then ask them if they have found it comfortable from a parent point of view, and advise that there are more comfortable options out there. I would never want to criticise their choice for their baby so I frame it as concern for the parent’s comfort. Or I show them the Scarf Hack:
What’s your best tip for enabling your friends?