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My name is Holly, I’m 33 years old and I live in Reading with my husband, 23 month old daughter and 4 cats. I am also a working mum so I juggle being a police officer with looking after my crazy toddler and running our local baby wearing group and the facebook pages ‘reading baby wearing UK’ and ‘reading babywearing walks & socials’
How did you get into babywearing and did you plan to wear your baby when you were pregnant?
I hadn’t thought much about baby wearing until I started going to homebirth groups when I was pregnant. A lovely lady called Zena who hosts the meetings (wife of the famous Slingdad Dom) showed me lots of varieties and the close caboo caught my eye. From then on it was something I thought I might do for convenience; little did I know how it would take over my life!
What’s your favourite wrap/carrier you’ve ever owned and why?
I don’t think I can choose a favorite carrier but my top 3 are:
1 – close caboo because it is so easy to use, super comfy for baby and wearer and also a reasonable price.
2 – lenny lamb ergonomic carrier, specifically the lace patterns but vanilla lace is by far my favourite. In my opinion they are the most well designed and manufactured SSC. They are extremely adjustable and gently padded and come in so many beautiful prints and colours.
3 – my hand woven wraps. Honestly woven wraps tick all the boxes; versatility, comfort, appearance…. Yes they do take some mastering but once you get the knack they are simply addictive and can be used from birth to toddling and beyond. I still carry my BIG girl in my wovens and we both love it.
If money were no object, what wrap or sling would you own?
If money were no object I would get a custom hand woven wrap made by Little Fellows (based in UK) or Mad Hatter warped and woven. It would have pastel rainbows and sparkly thread in it.
What do you like about babywearing?
I love baby wearing for so many reasons; convenience (easy to throw in your bag/car/wrap round your neck as a scarf when not in use), space saving (no need for bulky buggies etc.), the huge variety of styles and patterns you can get, the closeness and bond you get with your baby and the magic of the carrier in calming a tired or teething or poorly baby.
I also love how, when they are little and just need cuddles all the time, it gives you the chance to clean/cook/have a pee whilst they stay just where they want to be. I am also in love with baby wearing because it can be a wonderful social activity; I have met so many friends at the local walks and the support they offer is priceless.
What do or did you find hardest about babywearing?
The only struggle I have had with baby wearing is the frustration when you are trying to master a new carry, especially in a woven, and you just can’t crack it. I also find it hard not to spend my whole wage on slings every month lol!
Does your partner join in with the babywearing?
My husband doesn’t babywear although he did when she was small enough to be in the caboo and he saw how cosy she was and wanted her to sleep on him. I wish in hindsight I had encouraged him more but because I was learning too and she is my first baby I wanted to do it all. He is now unsure his back would cope (he has back issues) so he leaves it up to me.
What kind of comments do you receive when you babywear out and about?
I can’t recall getting any direct comments about baby wearing for a long time now but when she was young I got lots of lovely comments and smiles; it really is magical because babies just don’t cry in slings like they often do it buggies.
Baby wearing is one of my favourite things about being a Mum and I would encourage any carer to give it a try. I am so proud to be able to help other people to safely wear their children.
Thanks to Holly for her input to the local babywearing community- the Reading babywearing group and the Social & Walks groups that she runs are great social places to chat about slings, sling libraries, meet likeminded local friends and learn more about babywearing. She’s always supported local libraries like ours and we love having people like Holly locally to us!