I am having major success carrying (and nursing!) Belle in her Chic Tots Chic & Cozy ring sling. We took nearly a two hour walk with her in it this afternoon. I love it especially now that I have mastered the fine art of threading the sling in three easy steps (The manufacturer provided something like fourteen pieces of instructions). Now that I am so confident wearing Belle in it (I wasn't at first, thanks to the lengthy instructions provided!), I face the stares, comments and concerns of others.
Some people think Belle is a puppy when I wear her in either the Chic Tots ring sling or the Hot Slings. Once they realise Belle is, indeed, a baby, they ask how many weeks she is, thinking she is a newborn. When I tell them Belle is nearly four months old, they say, "She's petite!" Some ask if she is cold inside the sling, if I made the sling (Umm, no!) or how comfortable I am wearing the sling. When I reveal how cloth slings can safely accommodate an infant of five pounds to a child of at least thirty-five pounds, they say, "That will break your back." I have been wearing Belle since her underweight days at four pounds something. She is now eight and a half pounds and growing, thanks to the comfort and warmth this close contact provides.
I must be the only [black] woman on Alameda's West end who carries her baby in such a fashion. I must introduce [race] because someone once assumed I was an African based on my manner of wearing Belle, that, and my curly/kinky hair. I have witnessed two [white] women and one [white] man carrying their babies in an Ergo (I have a similar Infantino.) on this side of town. I have only ever witnessed one [black] woman carrying her baby in a Moby wrap (I also have one of those, but I have yet to use it publicly) across the island. Most everyone else pushes their young in car seats that attach to stroller frames before graduating to the more traditional strollers where baby sits upright. Belle won't fit upright in her stroller for another several months.