I’m a mum of a 17 month old girl, I live in London and haven’t used a pram in a year. Urban babywearing is something that grew out of my frustration at public transport, but it became one of my best decisions as a mum.
Prams, public transport and practicality
I don’t know about other metropolises, but getting around in London by public transport is a nightmare with babies or toddlers in tow. Most tube stations don’t have lifts, so you can’t really use the Underground network with a pram or buggy, unless you bring your other half or are happy to ask for help wherever you go.
The trains are a little better, as long as you don’t travel during rush hour, when there literally isn’t any space for a buggy. And the buses, well theoretically you can board any bus with a pram. However, if the pram contingency is already full (not more than two per bus), you’ll be kindly asked to wait for the next bus. If there’s no space on that one? Well, you’ll wait some more. Back when I used to use our pram, I had to set off for appointments at least 20 minutes earlier, in case I had to wait for a bus with buggy space.
And then there are the stairs. Ever stood in front of a shop realising you can’t go in because there’s no one to help you carry the pram upstairs? All this thinking, planning and giving up plans became a real annoyance after my first few months of motherhood.
This is when I ditched the pram and put my baby into a sling. It was a revelation. I felt free as a bird; able again to go wherever and whenever I wanted to. Not only was I able again to explore London without planning the evening before, I had two free hands again! And I could carry luggage. My daughter and I travel to Switzerland alone a few times a year; I could never negotiate the airport with a suitcase and a pram without help.
Convenience and connection
My daughter is 17 months now. Practicalities of being buggy-free aside, I’ve realised the benefits of urban babywearing go much further. Children in prams experience the world from a different perspective than adults; they’re passive spectators, located halfway between the ground and where the action is. If they’re facing forwards they can’t even maintain eye contact with their parent, which is what they’re most interested in.
When in a sling or carrier, on the other hand, the child is a the adult’s eye level. She can experience whatever the adult experiences. Interactions can be exchanged more easily, and they get to interact with strangers. People waiting for the bus say hello to my daughter; the staff at our local supermarket love to chat with her. Basically, wherever we go people talk to her. When we go to the shops, my daughter loves handing products to the cashier, and giving over the money. Playing an active part in life makes children happy and calm. Interacting with people helps babies and toddlers learn to understand the social aspects of life. And being physically close on outings helps parents and children to (re)connect. Urban babywearing is the best thing that has ever resulted from my laziness.
Franziska Wick, BabyCalm & ToddlerCalm teacher
If you’d like any help at any point on your sling journey, why not get in touch by email. Or you could call us on 01133206545 to book a FREE 15 minute phone consultation or a longer phone or video consultation. We can help you find the right sling for your situation.Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in