Let’s get one thing straight is this a review of a product, yes it kind of is, but with a twist. I’m not going to go into the wheres and hows of the slings available from online sling library “Its a sling thing” or even really how we found the sling sent to us to try out in preparation of writing this post (The Wompat). I want to talk about how companies like this are helping mums like me, mums who have no clue about slings and baby wearing but see that this can be a fantastic alternative to a cumbersome pram/buggy (let’s face it most of them are pretty bulky).
I’d used a sling before, We tried briefly with a Mothercare own brand buckle sling when Max was a bubba, it didn’t get much use I found it far easier to just pop him in the pram. I found it took too long working out all the buckles, as an exhausted new mum I just didn’t have the time for it.
Then Kai came along, we desperately needed a double buggy, Max was around 15 months old and definitely not ready to walk full time, doubles are notoriously expensive as most parents of children close in age will already know so we relied on the NCT close caboo quite heavily for the first 7 weeks. That is until we discovered the Joie Aire and the hubby agreed to part with the dough. What made me choose the caboo? No clue really I like that it was stretchy material and it looked simple enough.
I found we didn’t get much wear out of that sling, We used it for our Disneyland Paris holiday so Kai wouldn’t feel like he was left out in the pram all the time, to be honest, it wasn’t ideal, I could really feel the weight pulling down on my lower back. If I knew then what I know now then I would have clued up straight away to the fact it probably wasn’t fitted correctly. One of the biggest issues I had was the lack of support from Mothercare, I actually went in to check I had everything correct and the staff for all there trying couldn’t really help. You tube was my main support with the caboo. We haven’t used it since Kai was 4 months, its currently working its way around friends and family with newborns. Retailing at around £60.00 this definitely didn’t work out as good value for money.
This is where online libraries like “IAST” couldn’t be any different to going into a shop and just buying any old product, they are real people with families, where customer support is top of there priorities and no question no matter how big or small is a bother.
This year I have made a decision to only review services and products I honestly believe in, so when Its a sling thing approached me to try out some of there products and service and post my honest feedback, I literally jumped at the chance. I think this company offer an invaluable service to all new and old parents looking to babywear with confidence. I can first-hand vouch for the absolute loveliness of Jenni, who took the time to find out all about me and Kai, she really took the time to find out our babywearing needs.
I asked Jenni about “It’s a sling thing” and what it really is all about here’s what she told me
“We are the UK’s largest postal sling library, so, by and large, people have googled rent a sling or sling library and we can up, and people either know exactly what they want “Everyone says I need a Tula, but I want to try one first”, so they go on our webpage, find a Tula they like the look of, that is available when they want, they choose the hire duration, checkout, pay a refundable deposit and we post it to them. Often people find this is exactly what they are looking for, and we offer a retail service too, which people who have hired with us have a discount code for.”
“Other people come with a problem, so perhaps, like you they have tried the Caboo, struggled a bit, or had some back or shoulder pain, and they are not sure that they are going to be able to find the right thing for them, so we often email them back and forth a few times, or, whilst I am packing orders in the mornings, I give them a phonecall and talk through their specific situation, what they find comfy and not so comfy, what they want to do whilst wearing the carrier etc, and suggest a few options that might work well for them. These people often end up trying a few at once, to see what suits them, or some choose to hire a few in succession rather than having them at the same time. Both give them a good chance to see what kind of thing they find works well for them. And so far I haven’t had anyone come back and say they really didn’t get on with any of them, which is good.”
It really couldn’t be simpler. After extensive chats with Jenni about our needs, we agreed on the “Wompat” I had in my mind that I would give carrying Kai on my bag a go, to use the sling in a few different scenarios and try to report my findings.
The School Run
Ok so not an actual school run as per say, Max is only at Nursery age and up until this week attended one morning a week. We normally either walk with Kai in the pram (roughly a 15-minute journey) or if we are feeling particularly lazy then we drive. On this occasion, as we had the sling and I was eager to give it a go we walked.
Installation was a little tricky to navigate on my own so I had to enlist the help of You Tube, once we were in place we set out on our way. Kai seemed really happy to be on my back, I honestly think the view from up there must have been exciting to him. The kids at the nursery were equally mesmerized by the baby on my back.
Popping Up the shops
Normally If we are going up the shops I would have Kai in the pram and if somebody else is with us then Max walking. On this occasion, I needed Max in the pram but I hadn’t brought my double buggy, its ok thou we had the Wompat in the car which saved the day.
Getting Kai in position and on my back was a little tricker with a judging audience, we finally got sorted and walked to the shops (about 20 minutes away). A quick trip up the shops turned into a bit longer than expected, with Kai on my back and Max’s weight in the pram I definitely could feel it in my lower back. Kai also fell asleep which didn’t help, I was very happy to get home and get him off my back.
I felt he may not have been positioned correctly because you should be comfy and not be feeling pulling in your back. I contacted Jenni and she talked me thru it, I think the issue was the tightness of the straps, I think i had them far to loose. This was another great example of excellent customer service, I didn’t feel silly at all asking for additional help, and jenni was happy to give it.
We were lucky enough to catch Disney on Ice at the O2 a few days before Christmas, it was a-ma-zing! On thing thou, the pram, where the hell would we put the pram, would they even let us take it in. The answer was I don’t think so, we saw a few smalls like Kai at the event but alas no prams. Thank the lord we had the sling, with Danny on hand to help me get Kai in and out it was the perfect solution. I even carried him forward facing at one point, which was good but quite restrictive for him, I much preferred him on my back.
The best part of having the Wompat this past couple of weeks is the closeness it made me feel to Kai. The poor lad always seems to be stuck in his pram, mainly because he isn’t walking yet (another post for another day), I think he has really enjoyed using the sling as much as I have, we will both be sad to see it go.
We’ve had some really wet weather as of late so we haven’t really had the opportunity to use the Wompat as much as we would have liked. I just wish I had known about this brilliant affordable service way back when Max was born, it would have saved me so much cash.
To find out more about Its a sling Thing, hire details and costs please click the link below: