Who says slings are just for women?

Across this country and around the world, fathers carry their children too. In this Men In Slings column, we’re featuring an interview with one of our customers from Chicago–Allan with his adorably handsome son—shown here in our gorgeous, but no longer available Green Tea sling from the Artisan Collection.

How did you discover baby slings?

I discovered them through my wife. She is very proactive at finding the best parenting practices.

What experiences has carrying your child let you have that you would’ve missed out on otherwise?

Every time that I carry my son is an opportunity to develop a healthy, close relationship with him. It recently occurred to me during a walk with my wife–during which my son was napping on me–how unfortunate it is that so many parents aren’t aware of this simple, proactive choice they can make. Just today, for instance, we went for a walk along the stone wall of a riverside, which is a walkway ill-suited for strollers and too dangerous to allow a toddler to surmount. As we walked, I was able to point our two ducks swimming and negotiating the light rapids of the river, to which my son said, “I want to do that!”

Also, almost every Saturday (when its nice outside), my son will take his nap while I’m carrying him on a walk with my wife. As he sleeps, he will intermittently give me hugs and squeezes, and it makes me feel like the happiest father in the world.

Have you convinced any of your friends to use slings with their babies?

By practice and through conversation I think I have convinced several of my friends and family members that “baby-wearing” is a clearly superior alternative to strollers. Slings are particularly wonderful for infants, and I have some long-time friends who live in Texas who decided to use a sling after they stayed with us for a weekend before their child was born. I think that once you’ve been around a family who integrates baby-wearing into their everyday life, it would be difficult to rationalize not using a sling or at least some kind of baby carrier.

What is your Sakura Bloom sling of choice?

Anything double layer. I trust my wife to make the pattern choice!

Anything else you’d like to add?

Yes–using a sling has been particularly important in the formation of a healthy, deep bond between myself and my adopted son. We’re in the process of adopting a little girl and plan on using slings again when we bring our daughter home. There really is no substitute for closeness in the parent-child relationship, and using a sling makes achieving this ideal accessible and convenient.

(Our thanks to Allan and family, and congratulations on the newest member of your family. We hope she’s here with you soon!)

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