Singapore Sling

Ali came to The Nappy Laundry Company for a sling consultation while on holiday is Scotland, she had a large framed carrier that was heavy and uncomfortable, so she borrowed a Tula for her trip to Islay.

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Ali’s Story

We live in Singapore where the buggy living is easy…smooth pavements and very little park land…and even if we stumble across a treasured patch of green there is, inevitably, a concrete path carved through it…or a board walk at the very least.

 

The Singapore climate makes Babywearing a little tricky…being stuck close to a little bundle of heat in 33 degrees with 98% humidity is not that appealing! But in Scotland it, literally, saved the holiday!

 

Having not been home to Scotland with a small person I’m tow for five years it came as a surprise to me just how often a buggy was infeasible…woodland walks, beach walks, boat journeys! It seemed that I was going to have to Babywear! And I am so thankful that I did. It made the whole holiday much much easier…not to mention it kept both me and bub cosy on those Scottish ‘Summer’ days! I hadn’t realised what I’d been missing (what we’d both been missing, really). I loved having her close and she loved snuggling in during nap time and getting to see the sights when she was awake at a level above people’s knees! She was much more actively engaged in her surroundings than when in the buggy and it was easier for us to communicate too. I’m now a total Babywearing convert…even back in sweaty Singapore!

 

Ali borrowed a Standard Tula, as part of a sling library trial.The Nappy Laundry Company will be expanding to include a sling library service in the New Year.

Summer Slingin’

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I am going to talk heat, summer, sunshine and babywearing. I do realise that as I have now committed those glorious words to print, I may have jinxed yet another Scottish summer!

As residents of Scotland weather is something we are obsessed with, it is ever changeable and often raises a lot of questions in the babywearing community, but as the sun has shown its face we are talking babywearing under the Scottish sun.

How should I dress my baby in the heat? Will my baby overheat? Will I get too hot? Will baby be safer in a pram? Should I be using a specific type of carrier in the heat? These are all examples of the questions that get asked regularly.

The first thing to remember is that babywearing happens on a daily basis in some of the hottest continents in the world: Asia, Africa and South America. Mums babywear in the humidity of Florida and Singapore. So bab wearing in Falkirk and Stonehaven shouldn’t be too much of a worry if you take the correct precautions and use some commonsense.

Will baby be safer in a pram? A pram and sling are just as safe as each other if used correctly and remember if you are out for a family day in the sun you may end up carrying babes in arms, this is easier if you have a sling.  Also in a sling you can easily stroll barefoot in the sand or walk the dogs in the woods.

Will the caregiver get too hot? Yes, you will get hot – the sun is out and you are carrying a baby. But remember to dress accordingly. A light vest top and sun lotion is all you may need. If you are brave enough a bikini top maybe enough although sometimes a muslin between your tummy and baby can help with the sticky sweatiness – just make sure this is nowhere near baby’s mouth.

Perhaps the most important thing is how to dress baby in a sling. You need to think of your sling as layers of clothing and then dress baby accordingly. So for example if you are using a stretchy wrap, baby will have three layers of sling, so baby in just a vest or even just a nappy may be appropriate in hot weather. A soft structured carrier tends to have airflow at the sides and many brands now have lighter carrier options that include mesh panels. So again, depending on how hot it is, perhaps just a vest or light layer of clothing. Woven and ring slings can be worn with just one layer, so again just a light layer of clothing. If you are regularly in the heat, you may consider looking at a lighter weave and fabrics such as linen.

If your tot is old enough and has good head control a back carry can be a coolor option providing you both with some relief from the heat. You may find changing from front to back may also help give you a chance to get air dry if you are perspiring.

No matter what sling or carrier you use in the sunshine the most important thing is to ensure you and little one have ample sun cream, especially on the limbs that are not covered by the carrier or clothing. Also ensure baby’s head is covered with a light sun hat, and seek out the shade when you can. Hydration is a must if you are breastfeeding make sure you are taking on plenty of fluids, if baby is taking a sippy cup offer water at regular intervals.

Don’t forget this is Scotland and when the sun decides to disappear behind a cloud or the evening draws in it can be cold. So if you are planning to be out for the day make sure you have extra layers for when temperatures dip.

The sun is shining. Carry those babies and have fun – before I am writing a blog on babywearing and snowsuits!

How Eskimos keep their babies warm by Mei-Ling Hopgood

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Published in 2012 this is not a new book, but it is one that recently appeared on a reading list for a baby wearing course and the name caught my attention.

As a mother of three active children, factual coursework books are hard going by the time I sit down in the evening and are more likely to send me to sleep swimming in a dream of statistics and facts.

But Mei-Ling’s book on parenting wisdom from around the world was different, she takes aspects of parenting in different cultures and looks at incorporating them into her own modern lifestyle with a light-hearted touch.

Each chapter looks at a different topic and culture including how Kenyans live without pushchairs and how the Chinese potty train early. She looks at the positive and negatives of the these customs drawing from child experts, anthropologists and parents.

“Baby wearing is no longer some warm, fuzzy trend by granola-munching parents. More and more mothers and fathers are choosing to wear slings.”

Hopgood examines the act of carrying a baby not just from a practical level but she also looks as babies as active participants in the act of carry and the stimulation carrying has on their motor neurone skills.

The chapter on potty training is fascinating even providing recipe for a gentle cleanser to use when cleaning babies bum.  She draws the readers attention to the fact that babies have started potty training later since the introduction of disposable nappies.  Potty training is getting later and later as it benefits the disposable companies.

This is a refreshingly easy, intelligent read that is both entertaining and informative.

This novel is readily available in libraries, once I return it, and on Amazon and all bookshops.

Why I am still called The Nappy Laundry.

logoIn January this year I took the decision to close the nappy laundry side of my business after 8 years.

Over the 8 years I have enabled families across the North-east to use cloth nappies.  Some families used the service from birth to potty training for one child, some for multiple children and some used the service to get them through difficult or busy period in their lives. But as access to cloth nappies has increased and they have become easier to use and launder the demand for the service decreased.

So there it is: The Nappy Laundry Company no longer offers laundry services.

Many people have asked me if I am keeping my name and the answer is YES!  The Nappy Laundry has been around for 8 years and has become a recognised name.  We still offer cloth nappies that you launder and a range of fantastic laundry products.

Over two years ago I successfully branched out into babywearing products.  For the past two years The Nappy Laundry Company has been the only business in the North-east to offer a wide range of carriers and consultancy.  As this market has expanded I have recently been joined by a number of other consultants in Aberdeen as well as a the NCT sling library.  These are exciting times for babywearing and I hope this new explosion of services will raise interest and in turn help raise the profile of The Nappy Laundry Company’s baby carrying consultancy services.

My logo for The Nappy Laundry shows a baby in a sling so I decided that I would keep both my logo and name. It’s an exciting time in cloth nappies and babywearing and I look forward to continuing to help new parents on their journey.

I hope you can join me too.