One of the things I’ve found really useful as a second time mum has been babywearing. It keeps the baby really close, within head kissing and sniffing distance, with the bonus of often making them fall asleep. It’s not a magic answer to everything – sometimes babies really just want to be held – but it gives you a pair of hands back for the million and one things you have to do when simultaneously looking after a toddler.
So I loved the sound of Rockin’ Baby, makers of patterned ring and pouch slings that are also a worthy – and really lovely – charity initiative.
Set up by an American mum of six, Rockin’ Baby slings come in a variety of colours and patterns, from the plain orange ‘hero’ sling through to flowers and bold geometric designs (the patterned slings have a plain side so are all reversible too). Aside from being colourful and practical, with all the benefits and bonuses of babywearing, for every Rockin’ Baby sling or pouch sold one will be donated to a mother in Haiti or Kenya.
Did you know Haiti has the highest infant mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere? The slings allow mothers to keep their baby close and safe, but also allows them to be hands-free, so they can continue to vital things like collect food and water for their families. As well as donating the slings, Rockin’ Baby also educate the mothers on the impact a sling can have on their lives, and how it makes it easier to nurture and love, as well as bond and breastfeed the baby.
The ring slings are all made of 80 inches of fabric, with two intersecting metal rings that allow you to adjust the length and closeness. There’s also a pocket for you to keep essential items in (mine are usually 800 tissues and a snack).
This is my first foray into ring slings and I think while they look deceptively simple, they are quite tricky to get right, especially if you’re used to something stretchy or more carrier-like (we have the Close Caboo and also the Ergobaby carrier). There’s a ‘how to’ guide and video on the Rockin’ Baby website and if you’ve never tried a ring sling before make sure you follow it really closely, ask someone who knows who can help or even pay a visit to your local sling library.
I love the idea of these slings though; there’s such a variety of patterns available on the website that take something which could be quite practical and make it into a really stylish accessory. But most importantly, how amazing is the mother to mother idea of Rockin’ Baby as a whole?