Getting from A to B
Last weekend we took a bit of a risk. Heading out with both children we made the brave decision to leave the double buggy at home and travel with just our two slings. This was my suggestion, and the husband was reluctant. This means if the whole thing is a disaster I will never hear the end of it, or we may never double-sling again.
My reasoning is that we are going on public transport, in central London, and The Girl will want to sit on the chairs and look out of the window when we are on the bus and the train (she loves things that go!) We are visiting friends so we will have somewhere to put The Boy when we get there and it will be much easier then lifting the hefty double buggy on and off trains and ramming into people's ankles on the underground.
We have two Connecta's. A baby one and a toddler one. I have friends who exclusively use a sling or who find them too fiddly and will only use a pram or pushchair. Typically, I do a bit of both, finding the sling difficult with the baby if I am going for food or coffee etc because while baby can't sit upright yet there is nowhere to put him while you eat (can't go in the high chair yet). That said, I am way more mobile with the sling and moving around the city I don't have to worry about step-free access. I'm faster as well, and baby will sleep very happily in the sling. We do get very hot and sweaty, if it's at all over about 18 degrees C we will be a hot mess by the time we get anywhere.
I have used several slings over the years. I loved my Close Caboo and my Stretchy wrap but they don't last long. I tried a ring sling when I was pregnant but didn't use it much because I was just too tired to carry a wriggly toddler. I settled on the Connecta as it offered the snugness of a sling with the practicality of buckles. I use it on the front for The Boy (the baby) and I use the toddler one on my back for The Girl. Thanks to the South London Sling Library's back carry workshop I can get the toddler onto my back alone without too much peril. No doubt The Boy will also go on my back once he is big enough.
I love the fact that we can take the children places that a buggy couldn't go. And with the dog in tow it makes adventure walks with everyone much more 'doable.' While The Girl will walk (well, run), when she gets tired carrying her is hard work. Strapped onto your back she can see what is going on and it's not a constant game of up-down-up-down. I have heard from other toddler-carrying mums that people can make unkind comments about toddlers in slings being spoilt and so on, but people tend not to say that sort of thing about a pushchair. That said, I have never actually experienced this, and besides, those making comments are not having to chase a tired toddler with crazy in her face or listen to her moan.
Like most things in parenting, I sit somewhere in the middle. I do love the slings but will take the pushchair when it suits better. I like having options, and I am glad I persevered in finding a sling that suits us. The dog is glad too.
Our trip out last weekend was made far more straightforward with the Connectas. Even The Girl nearly nodded off in it on the way home! The husband has even taken the sling out since, and used it, so it must have been ok.
We were horrifically late home, but that a whole other story...