Friday, June 18, 2010
Thoughts on Strollers and Slings
Just so we're on the same page here, I do have and occasionally use a stroller. But I still think this cartoon is funny. Slings are no more complicated than strollers; they're just less common in our culture.
I do like our stroller for certain things-- for example, going for a walk on a hot day. Maybe I'm a big wimp, but when it's 90+ degrees outside with insane humidity, I barely want to walk outdoors even without another human being strapped to my body. ;-) I also use our stroller when I'm shopping for clothes because, for me, that's just easier than moving my child in and out of the sling each time I try on clothes.
But overall, when it comes to convenience, I'll just be honest with you... our ring sling wins. It fits easily in my purse along with my other stuff; the stroller takes up the entire back of the van and leaves no room for anything else unless I lay the back seats down. Obviously, safety is a good thing, but the stroller has all sorts of safety features that significantly increase the complication factor; for example, the only way to get our stroller open is to simultaneously hold down a button, twist a thing on the handle, and pull the stroller open. The strap buckles in three different places. The sling, on the other hand: put it on, put the kid in, and adjust the tightness as needed.
Besides the convenience factor, I'm also just not a big fan of using things like bouncy seats, swings, strollers, cribs, pack & plays, and carseats (out of the car) more often than necessary. Don't misunderstand me; I definitely think those things can have their place and can be useful from time to time (and I have made use of them all at one time or another), but I also think it's really easy to over-rely on them to the point of constantly moving the baby from one baby-holding contraption to the next without spending very much time holding the baby in arms, and this can promote parent-child detachment. Slings keep the baby with the parent, where babies are most content, keep the parents' hands free to do other things they need to do, and promote attachment. Neat!