Why getting the right sling is like choosing a wedding dress….sort of!
When I started shopping for my wedding dress I had a good idea of what I wanted. Having poured over magazines and the internet I had decided on something simple, unstructured, no “bling” and it definitely had to have straps. My friend had worn one similar, and I liked it.
The first shop I visited had two dresses that fitted my wish list. As soon as I put them on, I knew that I didn’t feel how I expected. Less like I was dressed for the happiest day of my life, and more like I was in my nightdress in one of those horrible dreams where you turn up at a party and didn’t get the message that it was formal wear only! One of the dresses was very close to the one my friend had worn, and it just didn’t suit my body shape or height. In another shop I was encouraged to try on dresses that the owner thought may suit me. Some were not right for me once on, but one just grabbed me. And that was the one I bought.
So what has this got to do with slings? There are many different types of slings. Your friend may love sling A, but when you try it on it isn’t right for you and your child. You may have seen sling B in a magazine, or being used by a reality TV star, but when you see it you find the fabric too thick, or there is too much padding. You may have your heart set on a structured carrier with buckles, then find a stretchy wrap makes you and your baby feel bonded and content.
And that is where a Sling Library can be so useful. If you visit a drop in session or have a Consultation with one of our Consultants in your own home, with something specific in mind the consultant or peer supporter will help you to find something as close to that as possible. But they are also able to help open your mind to other types of slings that you may not even have considered. Hiring a sling allows you to try it out in real life situations, without the pressure of having bought one that may not be right. Most sling libraries, including Wirral Sling Library, will allow you to swap your sling during the hire period if you find it doesn’t suit, or just want to try something different. The sling library team want you to be happy with your choice, and if you aren’t they are always keen help.
Wedding dresses and slings have their differences, of course. A wedding dress is probably the highest cost per use item of clothing you could ever own. In contrast a sling, used frequently, may well end up being one of the best value investments you make as a parent. No wedding dress shop would let you borrow a dress for a month, and come back and swap if you fancied something different. A wedding dress shop is unlikely to point you in the direction of a much cheaper option that may suit you better.
Yes, I did end wearing a lace and sequin encrusted, structured strapless dress with a long train on my wedding day. And I loved it!