Why slings are a family travel essential

why families recommend a sling

If there’s one thing that improves family travel, it’s a sling. Slings are incredibly useful for travelling and when using transport. Slings provide freedom for families, save time and enrich holiday experiences.

london underground with a baby

Slings allow you and your children to experience the world together; going anywhere your feet can take you.

I am so thankful for what slings have enabled me and my partner to do and the traveling experiences we’ve been able to enjoy without the stress of a pushchair. We have visited amazing places carrying our son which we wouldn’t have been capable of otherwise. Slings mean that our lives since having our son have not become cumbersome when going on adventures. We have had him with us every step of the way.

babywearing stepping stones lodge moor

We travel by public transport and I have less worries when using buses or trains with a sling than if I use a pushchair. I am able to go about as I always have; my freedom is not limited. I come and go as I please, easily and without any problems.  I can travel wherever I want without having to worry about altering my plans and I don’t worry about having to fold up my pram. Essentially, using a sling means I can make my life work while I take care of my baby.

Do they work for other parents? How do slings benefit travelling families? I asked parents about their experiences. From day trips around the UK, tackling the busy crowds in London and sightseeing abroad; this is why slings are a must-have for families.

Slings and public transport

Natasha is so glad she has found slings as they have been incredibly valuble on her travels… “the thought of trying to juggle my son, our luggage, and a buggy was terrifying! I found a local sling library, hired a Connecta and it was the best decision I ever made!”. Natasha used slings from then on: her son feels safe and secure in the sling and it helps natasha get around easily.

Slings have enabled her to travel by bus, train and plane all over the UK and aboad. Without a car, people may assume that Natasha struggles to get around with her toddler; but this is not the case!

mum arriving in germany using a sling sling walk with family

Carrying her son through customs to Germany and on a 40 mile hike sharing the load with her husband… “after 12 hours of shared carrying each day, it was also painful, but without slings it wouldn’t have been possible as we had to cross various fields, gravelly footpaths, muddy bridle paths and a few steep, rocky climbs”

Sharon has used slings with both of her children and doesn’t drive. She has found that using public transport has been very convenient for her family.

My youngest since he was a little has loved busses (and trains and trams) From early on I used slings to take my children on trips on public transport I sometimes took a buggy too in case they both got tired. Having the little one on the sling meant that I didn’t have to worry wether there was space for us or have to wait for the next bus because one was already too full of prams.

Lizzie found her soft-structured buckle carrier a life-saver when her family took a trip to Essex with baby Ted. Lizzie uses public transport and finds using a sling is so much easier than having to fold a pram on a bus or train. Lizzie started carrying her baby in a stretchy wrap and has borrowed a few different slings in between from a local sling library but has now fallen in love with their Ergobaby. Public transport is as easy as it ever used to be!

Slings and holidays

When travelling abroad, slings help family holidays go as smooth as possible, families stress less and check-in is easier. Kate’s son B was  6 1/2 months old when they took him to Turkey… “We flew from Doncaster airport and used a connecta baby carrier through the airport.  It meant that we could leave the pushchair at the check in desk and it was one less thing to worry about around the airport”. Kate was able to enjoy her flight as her son was relaxed and calm in the sling. Once on holiday, the sling proved to be useful for paddling!
 baby slings on holiday airport sea and plane
Once abroad, parents can enjoy sightseeing without any limitations. Rosi travelled to Menorca last year and found their carrier to be a lifesaver for excursions. Rosi uses a Lillebaby Complete all seasons carrier which has been all the way to a medieval castle in Spain.

rosislingrosisling2

Rosi explains, “(Menorca) is paradise and we couldn’t have discovered some of the gems we did without having our carrier. Some of the most beautiful calas and beaches in Menorca are impossible to access except by foot”.

Rosi has found slings particularly useful when it comes to travelling abroad and started with carrying her son in a stretchy wrap to Spain when he was only a few months old.

Rachel finds slings useful for her holidays abroad in France. She was able to ride a magnificent mechanical elephant with her baby in Nantes.. No prams were allowed on the elephant so using a sling meant Rachel could still enjoy her holiday without leaving anyone behind!

slingfrance

Being reassured that you can enjoy your holiday without any restrictions is one of the very best reasons why slings are an essential for travelling. Roisin climbed up to see the big Buddha in Phuket which she couldn’t have done without a sling, and Katy got the most of her trip to Paris; “Having a sling was completely invaluable…. there are stairs everywhere, we just couldn’t have done it with a buggy”.

parissling

Being able to enjoy culture whilst abroad is a highlight for families and you can still sight-see with your children when you use a sling. Katie has recommended slings having used one from the early days of motherhood and has just returned from a Ski Trip in the French Alps. She explained how slings… “make everything accessible and easy”. Kirsty was able to carry her baby on the walls of Derry; the oldest walls in Europe. She found her sling made her trip a lot easier as Derry has “lots of history but lots of steps too… hard to do with a buggy!”.

derrysling

Victoria and her Husband took only slings on their holiday to Fuertaventura which meant they had less luggage to worry over… “No buggy was great!”. Her two children, 22 months and 5 months were tandemed carried through most of the travelling whilst Dad had bags/cases. Teamwork!

Kim and her Husband carry both their children, they find this extremely useful for public transport… “We use both a baby sling and a toddler sling so that we don’t need to worry about squeezing on public transport or being left at a bus stop”.

babywearing family at york transport museum

Slings make life work; they give families the ease of travelling and help both parents enjoy their holidays to their full potential. Going on holidays with more than one child can worry parents that they will be unable to cope. Roisin travels to London annually with her partner; wearing their children means they don’t have to worry about the stress of a pram or tired, grumpy children.

slings tandem carrying mum and dad in London

Families find that using slings in big, busy capital cities such as London mean they can enjoy going to museums, galleries and parks without being pushed around. Children find comfort with cuddles in a sling and are not frightened of all the noise and chaos.

Amy and her Husband Rob travel to London from Sheffield regularly.

babywearing dad in London on the tube

Rob says…  “London & slings go hand in hand for us. I can’t imagine the tube with a pushchair. When we took the boys, T was terrified at Oxford Circus. It was so busy, noisy & new. Carrying him in the sling made me feel less worried because he was close, I could reassure him & still get where we needed to be”.

London can be a scary place for small people, but slings help babies feel safe and secure. The unfamiliar faces of thousands of people on the London Underground don’t seem so scary when you are being cuddled by your Dad (or mum).

Slings are great for tackling festivals for the same reason. Festivals are busy, hectic places with lots of crowds. A festival loving slingy-mama said that a sling is now a family must-have to their trips at Glastonbury festival… “First time was when eldest was 7mo (no buggy), second time was when eldest was 2.5yrs and youngest 13mo”.

Slings and walking

Carrying in a sling enables your child to see where you are going, at your level. They are able to see the world go as you do whilst being reassured by your touch. Using a sling when going for walks means you and your baby can admire the views whilst keeping warm. Slings open up a whole world of walking opportunities as you are not restricted to pushchair friendly paths. This means you can go off the beaten track and explore some hidden gems!

Anna, who uses her sling to go camping, hiking, evening parties and even pumpkin picking agrees. Anna and her family went on holiday to Robin Hoods Bay which “is set on such an extremely steep hill even a stroller could not be pushed. With the help of my sling we saw everything and she loved it all, also I had no worry about her running away or getting nudged by other walkers.”

babywearing on the coast line

Anna and her family love to go walking. Her daughter enjoys exploring but her little legs tire quickly. Anna loves the fact that her sling “folds up nicely in my bag. I can easily get it out and use it”. This means Anna doesn’t have to pull a stroller around with her until her little girl needs one; the sling is easier, smaller and more compact!

My partner Ollie agrees with Anna. A keen walker, he loves how we can go anywhere and everywhere with a sling without having to worry about a pram.

dad walking in peak district

He enjoys walking miles with Eric in a sling and says that “wearing your child for a long walk is a great work out. Slings help keep me fit because of all the extra weight. I definitely have increased my core-strength” combined with the excellent views for both parent and baby, this makes the most visually pleasing method of exercise.

There are a wide range of slings to fit every size, parent, baby and situation. From light weight slings that can easily fit in your bag, baby carriers with breathable fabrics, padded buckle carriers and strong, woven wraps. Travelling with a sling can improve your holidays, ensure you have a less stressful city break and provide you with the freedom to climb mountains with your baby.

Please contact your local sling library if you are interested in using a sling. Sling consulants are experts with a wealth of knowledge and training. Sling libraries provide families all across the UK with demos, hire services, safety advice and are a fantastic way for you to find out all about how slings can benefit you and your family. If you are local to the Sheffield area contact the Sheffield Sling surgery; run by Dr. Rosie Knowles, a qualified babywearing expert who I personally recommend.

Happy holidays and may your travels be full of sling fun!

Thanks for reading.

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1 Comment

  1. I love the idea of slings, the freedom, but I never seem to be able to get everything comfortable for both the baby and myself, so I’ve reverted to the buggy again for peace of mind. I feel like I should reconsider my options… 🙂

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