Baby slings and I have a slightly checkered history. When I had Theo I invested in one of those long wrap type slings that could be done up in a hundred ways, convinced it was my solution to everything, then having clearly not managed to master any of the correct tying procedures, I found myself in the nightmare scenario of it unravelling as I navigated through Inverness airport with my hands full of luggage and I was never brave enough to use it again…
So 4 years later when I was invited to review a water sling I was understandably nervous. To begin with I didn’t even know what a water sling was and I was convinced I’d face the same problems as before, but I was about to discover a whole other side of slings! Waterslings.co.uk sell mesh based slings which are breathable and suitable for use in water or a shower. They are perfect for using on a summer holiday when you want additional support holding a young baby in a pool or the sea and useful for hot weather too as they allow the baby to stay cool.
Crucially for me, the Wacotto which I chose is also just one continuous piece of mesh with no ties or adjustments and when you aren’t wearing it as a sling, it can be worn as a scarf. In fact more than once, I have found myself rumaging in the car looking for it, only to realise it’s errr… round my neck!
The Wacotto is a Japanese design (as you might have guessed from the name) and is made from strong compact triple stitch fabric that doesn’t sag or stretch. It comes in several sizes so you have to pick the correct size based on body dimensions and height. I found it has been of most use to me when doing quick dashes from the car to school or a shop when it gives a secure and snug carry. I store it in the end pocket of my changing bag and it’s always there if I need a quick and easy way to transport Alice with added support.
I really like having a sling for versatility and knowing it is always in my bag means I don’t spend time wondering whether or not I’ll need the buggy when I do things like nipping over to my parents house. The recommended age range for it is from sitting (5 or 6 months) to 24 months, Alice is six and a half months and a heavy baby already. To be honest I did find that I felt the weight of her on my opposite shoulder after a length of time despite trying several ways of positioning the sling and I very much doubt I’d be able to carry her this way when she was 2 years-old. However I go back to my original point about how I use this, it’s very handy for short journeys and as a quick thing to grab from the change bag.
I haven’t yet used it in a pool, but will take it with us when we go on holiday next month and if you are also planning a summer holiday this year with a baby, waterslings.co.uk is a great place to start exploring a range of different water sling designs.
Update – The team at waterslings.co.uk helpfully advised me that Alice would be better placed in the Wacotto if her knees were higher than her bottom so that she sinks into the sling more. “It’s like the difference of sitting on the edge of a hammock and sinking into it properly.”