A train, a plane and a holiday, all without a pushchair!

I’m a mother of two rambunctious children, aged 4.5 and 21 months who loves holidays, slings and photography. Possibly somewhat madly, I decided to fly down to Cornwall with the kids, on my own, without the pushchair. Truth be told it has cobwebs on it anyway.

I took only handluggage for the flight – a trunki I’d borrowed from a friend for the kids to put their stuff in, a small flight bag with stuff we’d need for the weekend (until my husband drove down with the car two days later), and a nappy change “handbag”. Being limited for space (kids need so much stuff!!) I could only take one sling. I opted for the smallest I have, which is a linen wrap in a size 2 made by a Scottish company called Oscha. It packs down tiny!!

Spot the sling! small as a beaker!

The train journey was just fine as it was half empty that time of the morning, missed the commuters, but once we were off the train we needed to move fairly fast to get to the terminal.  I was glad I picked a short wrap, no flailing tails and super speedy to get her secure at the station so there were no concerned glances from passersby and no”helpful” hands were offered. F pulled his trunki and M bounced along happily on my back as we trotted along.

Sling in action on our way to check in after a ten minute walk to the terminal

Things got a bit more complicated when we got to the security desk. An 11year old boy had recently managed to stowaway on a flight to Rome and it seemed as though they had really beefed up the checks. M was half asleep on my back but I was required to unwrap her, remove her shoes and make her walk through the body scanner alone (not easy as she was half asleep and not that compliant), and then F had to prevent her from running away while I was scanned, “stand very still madam and don’t move an inch”. Consequently she was rather cross at the other side of security and really not that keen to be rewrapped, but again, a short strong sling with a super quick carry did the job and we were soon off again. I did get quite a lot of curious glances as the space available to wrap was very small and it was very busy with people.. The flight was great fun for F, and M fed herself to sleep and dozed the whole way. Perfect! I didn’t miss my pushchair one bit.. and it was great not having to manhandle it about.

As for the holiday in Cornwall itself, the sun shone every day. The linen shorty was great for getting down the grassy paths to the sand dunes and beyond, keeping soft little legs away from thistles and sharp grasses, and preventing disappearance down unexpected holes. I used it for back carries (knotless ruck here) which were blessed with sleepy dust, and the wrap also kept her partly covered up when her clothes were sandy and soaked from the sea and she had to be brought home in just a nappy..

playing is such hard work!

A rebozo hip carry with a slip knot. One wrap, multiple carries.

Slipknot hip carry (chuffed I remembered how to do this!)

It was also used as a towel on occasion, both to sit on and to be dried with, as a shade, and a a cover for cameras and food. On other trips it has been used as sails in the wind, and for tugs of war.

A wrap used for a sail on a windy day (different holiday)

When my OH arrived he brought two longer wraps with him, one of which was another linen Oscha, so strong and supportive, which I used for a three mile walk along narrow paths, across the dunes and the beach to the local village. Here you can see it in a knotless double hammock – my nephew is in my old Ergo, being carried by my brother-in-law. His shoulders were aching a bit at the end, but M felt weightless. This is partly because I was able to get her nice and high up on my back, she loves it up there as she gets to see the world from a different vantage point over my shoulder and can chatter into my ear as we trot along.

Family babywearing!

Days playing and paddling on the beach are tiring, and little pudgy legs get weary, and slings come in useful for getting home without tears on soft sand that won’t take pushchair wheels (here a Robin’s hip carry).

We went to the Eden Project for the day, and again, once M got tired I was glad I could add her weight to my own with a sling rather than having to push a mostly-empty pushchair around all day and lug it up and down the numerous staircases. I had a “Tree of Life” sling made by Girasol (handwoven fair trade in Venezuela) with long fringes, most apt for being in the rainforest biodome with the fringed palms! This is a short cross carry – very useful as it could be left on me and M could get up and down as she wanted without needing a complete re-wrap.

At the Eden Project

The only thing I didn’t manage to do was a tandem carry when F wanted a cuddle too – but having M safe on my back (knotless double hammock again) meant that I had space in my arms for him too. 🙂 In fact on the last day of the trip (being very tired) he threw a mini strop and I wrapped him for a bit too (hip carry) while M marched merrily besides us – instant calming effect.

4 year olds like being carried too!

So you see, you can go on holiday on a train, a plane, two kids and just three slings. I could have managed with just one, to be fair, but where’s the fun in that?

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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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