Slings: a calming tool for Christmas
Carrying can be a fantastic way to keep everyone calmer at Christmas.
Christmas can be an overwhelming time for many small humans! There are more lights, sounds, smells, people and they are often totally new.
Our small humans might seek even more comfort during the festive period. The unpredictable changes of Christmas means they often need more closeness, downtime, and reassurance that everything is still ok. Slings can be a tool to provide the calming reassurance they need over Christmas. Carrying can help make the festive period easier for everyone!
Even if you’re keeping Christmas low key, the changes in the home can be overwhelming and exciting for small humans!
Changes can be a shock to babies and children. They just become acclimatised to the world around them when we change everything for Christmas! Lights, a tree, gifts, wrapping paper, different smells, different food, decorations create sensory changes to the home.
If your little one is finding all the changes overwhelming then anything calming might be useful and you might find that they are fussier than normal or asking for their calming tools more often – whether that’s for more snuggles in a sling or more teddies in bed or cuddles with you! Slings can be a great way to offer this comfort, reassurance and security to everyone.
Getting out at Christmas
There are lots of additional events and activities which happen during the Christmas period; Christmas markets, parties, family events and more.
If you’re headed to a crowded event with small, children a sling may be better for navigating than a buggy. It’s a nightmare pushing through crowds with a pushchair. With a sling don’t need to worry about your little one at knee height getting bashed by shopping bags. They are up close with you, and can see what is happening around them.
Most children are nervous around new things; places, people, environments and activities. At Christmas there can be a lot of these. If your child struggles to cope with new experiences then a sling can reassure them that you’re close. You can still have your hands free, even if they need a hug. Slings are a great tool to keep babies and toddlers calm, and reassure them.
Christmas shopping with kids
If you need to take your children Christmas shopping then a sling can be useful here too. However, you might still want to make the pushchair for stashing shopping bags!
Christmas shopping can be overwhelming for everyone, but for children there’s a lot going on. It can be boring; you have so much to get sorted you may be less inclined to make toddler led detours. In a sling you can chat to them, sing Rudolph with them and play games in queues, It can be a sensory overload; shops have twinkling lights, staff in costumes, more music and more people than usua. In a sling they can snuggle their head down into your chest or back and block out the world. Christmas shopping can be a long litany of ‘no, we can’t buy that today’; displays specially designs to tempt adults to part with cash, yet the message is ‘don’t touch’, ‘we can’t buy it’, no… Small wonder toddlers get grumpy.
Putting your little one in the sling might help to combat some of these issues. They may help you to keep everyone calm long enough to get everything done!
Coping with family at Christmas
No matter how good your relationship with your family is you might find that at times you need a short break from the festivities with them! Your children are no different. They might love all the time with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and next door’s dog. However, they might still need a break. On the other hand some kids find lots of people totally overwhelming.
There are many ways to give everyone a bit of a break during a busy family event. If you need to be present then putting your little one in the sling can give them some calm away from the Christmas hubbub! If the carrier is a normal safe space then coming up can be a relief for overwhelmed little ones!
Sometimes extended families aren’t great at respecting when children need a break from demands, or unwanted affection. A sling can be a useful barrier to unwelcome contact. If your little one is in the carrier then people are usually less likely to try to enforce hugs and kisses!