Slings Vs Pushchairs. Travelling to London by Train

Vital Stats:       Sling; ring sling and Boba 3G.          Pushchair; old battered Babyjogger


1. Transport.

Getting in/out of taxi; tackling steps in train station; getting on and off the train; the underground;  London buses.

In this round, the sling won overall.  It was by far the easiest to transport in and out of taxis, trains, steps etc.  The slings were easily packed into bags, or hung up on handles when not in use. In crowded spaces, wearing my baby felt the safest option, away from swinging bags, wobbly commuters and random missiles.  The pushchair needed emptying, folding down and then lugging everywhere when not in use. The only element on the trip in this round where the pushchair won, was on the very busy bus. We were the first and only pushchair on the bus (this may have been a more stressful situation if there had already been a pushchair on the bus) – so we got a good space to park the chair and at this point in the day, my 4 year old was grateful for a seat whilst the rest of us had to stand. The sling, baby and I were being thrown around a bit standing on the bus – it was at times tough staying upright and not smacking Levi’s head onto a post as we zoomed round corners.

The tube is a busy and stressful location – and the sling (ring sling in this case) was great for keeping baby safely close to me. On this particular trip the pushchair didn’t get stuck in tube doors, thus preventing  myself and my eldest son from boarding the train, leaving us stranded on the platform watching my husband and baby being whisked off on the train we should have been on (this happened last trip to London).  And this time we didn’t get the front wheel of the pushchair stuck at the bottom of the escalators, thus catapulting Nat onto the floor. (this too happened last trip to London).  So the pushchair didn’t cause us major problems – but there is definitely potential. A warning to anyone thinking of taking a pushchair on the tube.


2. Tired Children.

I would say that in this round the result was a draw.  The details pertinent to understanding the results are as follows: We left our home at 4:30am – I was travelling with an 11 month old (Levi) who rarely sleeps unless conditions are just so and a 4 year old (Nat) who gets tired very easily and when he’s tired, he’s a bit like the Hulk – scary – and he will fall asleep given half the chance, ie any motion whatsoever.  I was travelling to London with my husband who was then leaving me to go to a conference for the day. We were leaving London on the 7pm train. My mother-in-law was meeting me with her other two grandchildren.

So fairly early on in the day both boys got tired and cranky.  The baby was lifted into the Boba and the 4 year old in the pushchair. Didn’t take long for Nat to fall asleep and took forever for Levi to go. AT this point, I was able to sit down and have a drink. It was good to have both boys sleeping; I definitely couldn’t have done if I had only used slings and I would no way have contemplated a double buggy. So having both was perfect.  During an afternoon napping session, when my legs and feet and back were very tired, I did think to myself it would have been  nice to be able to rock the baby to sleep whilst sitting down, rather than having to pace around on my sore legs and feet as I wore my baby to sleep. But as the 4 year old was in the pushchair this wasn’t an option.


3.  Helpfulness

The pushchair won out in this round as all in the group, but the baby and the adults, had a turn sitting in the pushchair when tired. It was also useful for dumping absolutely everyone’s bags and coats in. It was basically used for a large part of the day as a luggage carrier and trolly. It also became a useful prop when I needed something to help me stay upright. The sling was only useful as a hanky and as there weren’t any colds going round, it didn’t get much use in this capacity.

4.  Annoyances

Sling won here – at no point did I find the sling annoying – but the pushchair was frequently a hassle.  It was heavy and cumbersome; I frequently fell back due to lack of space to push it through crowds, then got lost from the group in the museum. It was also quite lonely having to always find the pushchair route – which sounds silly I suppose.


The Winner

The slings won!! Yayyy!

I really don’t like using a pushchair as I find the annoyances far outweigh the benefits. However, on occasions when I know my eldest son will be tired and we are out all day, AND I am on my own with both boys, the pushchair is a life saver.  It also helped us catch our train home as it’s impossible to run at a decent pace when carrying a tall and heavy 4 year old – the baby jogger here came into it’s own.  But a sling is just so easy, so safe, so lovely being close to baby, so small and easy to pack, such a great conversation starter…


About sheffieldslings

A relaxed group of people who love carrying our children in slings, sharing our experiences of parenting, supporting and encouraging each other. "Sharing our strengths and muddling our way through the rest together"
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2 Responses to Slings Vs Pushchairs. Travelling to London by Train

  1. just noticed that it was more of a draw if you add up the wins…. but it wasn’t really as the slings were by far the best if I had to choose one or the other… I’m tired…

  2. rk says:

    Wow this is interesting. It sounds as though there are disadvantages and advantages to both.. Clearly for this kind of long trip both are useful. Makes me wonder if I should take both when I and my two kids catch train and then plane alone… Pushchair for the bags and occasional tired 4yr old legs, and sling for little girl who is a master at rapid escaping…

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