We are currently basking in temperatures of the heady heights of 5°’C here in Durham (and it was as low as 2°’C as I drove home from library drop in this afternoon and yes we have had snow today), yet I am seeing increasing numbers of ‘DDISO’, ‘DISO’ and ‘ISO’ posts across my Facebook feed and primarily it is one sling I see being asked for over and over ‘Connecta Solar’. I had my first reservation request in February! But why?
I love Connecta, I love my Preschool Solar Connecta but that doesn’t mean I won’t use other slings, nor does it mean that if Connecta hadn’t made a preschool size solar I could not have coped with a “normal” carrier. So why are so many people getting themselves in a flap about not being able to get one. They are seasonal so there is always going to be supply and demand issues (think the ‘must have toy’ at Christmas). But nobody ‘needs’ a solar. Nobody should be getting themselves worked up about not getting one. It is a sling, it is not life or death. They are out of stock in UK and will restocked over the coming few weeks but likelihood will ‘sell out’ almost as quickly as they are listed.
Why would you need one? I’m off on two trips abroad this summer. The Mediterranean in high summer, its going to be hot. But in 2011 I didn’t have a Solar Connecta, in fact I didn’t have any ‘summer’ slings, yet we managed a weeks cruise in the Eastern Mediterranean in 40°’C+ heat using a wrap conversion full buckle carrier and a ring sling. I didn’t pass out from heat exhaustion (even though I was pregnant too), Henry didn’t over heat, the buggy was used for Henry to sleep in only while we ate our evening meal and on one day trip, the rest of the time he was carried. I ensured he and I drank plenty of fluids, we dressed appropriately and covered his head (as much as a 19 month old allows you too) and he wore sunscreen. You can read more about keeping safe while using a sling in summer over on the Sheffield Sling Surgery website. I only took a Solar Connecta on holiday in 2014 because I had one not because I needed one.
If you feel you must have a ‘summer sling’ (remember the average British Summers day is mid-20’s not the high 40’s) then remember there is a much wider range out there, it isn’t one sling or no sling. Let’s have a look at what other options are available.
Boba Air (RRP £44.99) – the world’s lightest sling. This carrier folds into its own pocket and is only just bigger than my mobile phone! An updated version of the Boba Air is due for launch in the UK in June/July and will have breathable shoulders and leg padding.
ErgoBaby have two carriers in their range. The ErgoBaby Performance Ventus (RRP £114.90) is made from a lightweight mesh and the Ergo 360 Cool (RRP £139.90). Both of these are more expensive than a Connecta Solar but are Soft Structured Carriers.
Other brands which use mesh panels include: Pognae, Beco Gemini Cool (and the Beco Toddler Cool), the Beco 8, the Moby Aria, Lillebaby All Seasons Carrier and the JPMBB Phsyio Carrier. There are also carriers made with Solarviel or mesh fabrics.
There are lighter weight wraps (Calin Bleu, Wraposdy Bali Breeze or linen woven wraps for example), the rather nifty Fil’Up mesh wrap or if looking for a carrying aid rather than full sling the Suppori.
We have many options in the library providing a cooler way of carrying beyond just one make. You can view our online directory here. But if you come to a session and we don’t have one, it doesn’t mean you can’t carry. I physically and financially cannot stock 100 ‘summer slings’ just in case. Instead of thinking I need a summer sling, can baby or you be dressed fewer clothes? Can you try a wrap carry with less passes?