I have absolutely loved using our Beco Gemini baby carrier – it’s easy to use, comfortable and has enabled us to enjoy some real family adventures. But sadly, all good things must come to an end, and because it has a fairly narrow base, Pickle has outgrown it, leaving me on the hunt for something to upgrade to. He’s at a funny size: he’s not quite big enough for a lot of the especially designed toddler carriers but it doesn’t make much sense to invest in another baby carrier when we already have one. Thankfully, It’s a Sling Thing, came to my rescue, offering us a four-week carrier hire to help tide us over.
They are a postal sling and carrier hire company that offer a HUGE range to cater for all manner of baby/toddler wearing preferences including stretchy and woven wraps, buckle carriers, ring slings and more. I’ll be honest, looking at all the options on their website was a bit overwhelming to start with, but that’s where the owners Emily and Jenni really come into their own.It was a bit like a carrier version of Guess Who…Jenni took the time to have a proper chat with me over the phone, carefully asking some questions about what we’d enjoyed using in the past, and if there were any particular features I was looking for. It was a bit like a carrier version of Guess Who, as she expertly whittled down the options for what would suit my needs. Her knowledge was really impressive, and I genuinely think all parents could benefit from a chat with her – you’d learn all you needed to know about baby-wearing in less than half an hour! At the end of our chat, she had a selection of carriers for me to choose from, emailed them over and I took some time looking through the It’s a Sling Thing website at them all before making my final choice: a Lillebaby All Seasons ‘Aspen’ carrier. Luckily for me, it wasn’t already out for hire and so was sent out the next day.
We put it to use immediately, taking it to a local fireworks display. I’d not worn Pickle on my front for ages, and I’d forgotten how much I love having him that way. I have fairly narrow shoulders, so being able to cross the straps over on my back was a must for me – one of the features that Jenni used to help narrow down our choices. Pickle snuggled in close as we watched the fireworks, and I could hear every ooh and ahh. Listening to his obvious enjoyment was absolutely priceless. That’s not something I’d have heard had he been in a pushchair – and it’s something I hope to always remember. The next day, we headed out and I gave it a go wearing Pickle on my back. It was such a lovely day!
The wider base of the carrier made carrying so much more comfortable – I felt like the weight was better distributed and it was a much comfier experience for both of us, I think. Pickle certainly seemed to be happy in there. I think I’d still prefer the narrower base for any future babies when they’re smaller, but at this age (and even a bit before), the wider base definitely has its advantages and wonderfully allows for carrying until toddlers are around aged 3.
Using the different brand of carrier was really beneficial in helping us choose our next one (we’ve gone back to a Beco one – but more on that at a later date!). It gave me an even better understanding of what I like, and don’t like, and what features mean the most to me. We’ve been lucky that a lot of our friends also have their own carriers, so we’ve had the opportunity to try out some of theirs in the past too (usually when we’re on a trip out and Pickle is being a pain!), but having access to an even wider range of carriers and slings is an incredible resource to tap into. If you’re lucky enough to live in a town with a physical sling library that you can visit to try out different styles and get advice – brilliant, but the nearest one to us is a fair journey away and so being able to utilise a postal service is much more convenient for me.
Once our hire was over, sending the carrier back was ridiculously easy – a prepaid and addressed envelope was provided and all I had to do was stroll down to the Post Office on the day before it was due. Even on the walk back home, I was already missing having a carrier to use! It’s definitely my go-to mode of transporting Pickle. I felt lost without one.
If you’re on the fence about whether a carrier is right for your family, trying one out in this way is a perfect (and cheap) way to test the water. The incredibly knowledge and support Emily and Jenni offer will really help you navigate the world of baby-wearing and I think it’s worth making sure you get the right carrier. Whether you’re looking to buy your own carrier, or just want something to take on holiday or to use for a special occasion; whether you’re looking for short or long term renting, I’d 100% recommend It’s a Sling Thing as a first port of call.
Discount Code for Little Pickle’s Mom Readers
If you’d like to try It’s a Sling Thing for yourself, whether it’s hiring or buying, Emily has given me a special discount code for Little Pickle’s Mom readers. Use PICKLE5 at checkout to get 5% off.
Disclaimer: we were gifted the four-week hire of this Lillebaby All Seasons in ‘Aspen’ in return for a review of the It’s A Sling Thing service. All views and opinions remain my own, and as always, 100% honest.