The Tired Mummy Chicken Pox Survival Kit

img_1877Isaac has Chicken Pox! It has been 3 years since the pox last hit our house. Henry had it in the summer so we basically lived in the garden for a week. Unfortunately, it is a tad too chilly in February to be spending our days in the garden. The pox has been at nursery for a few weeks but up to now Isaac had avoided it but not anymore! I got the phone all from nursery yesterday afternoon to say could I collect him. This morning it is very clear that it is Chicken Pox.

Henry took chicken pox in his stride. He was happy as long as he wore a long sleeved cricket top and a fleece jumper.

Isaac on the other hand is Isaac. Nothing is ever plain sailing. A 15 minute battle to put camomile lotion on is testament to that. I have a feeling it is going to be a very long day, especially as Henry and Daddy are off to watch the new Star Wars movie after school. Typically the pox has arrived when Martin and I had plans for the weekend – tickets for the Calcutta Cup (Scotland v England) in the Six Nations Rugby.

So here is my survival kit and how I intend to cope over the next few days: plenty of tea, antihistamine, infant paracetamol, calamine cream, slings (my Opitai and preschool Connecta Baby Carrier Solar), suck pads for the straps of the carriers, my Boba Hoodie and copious amounts of chocolate, oh and the TV/iPad.

The antihistamine, calamine cream and the infant paracetamol are to help treat the Isaac’s symptoms. The antihistamine and calamine cream to stop the itching, and the paracetamol to treat his temperature. The slings allow me to care for his needs and want to be held. When children are poorly they want and need comfort. The Opitai is a custom size wrap conversion and the Connecta is made from the lightweight Solar fabric. Both are soft and non-irritating on his already “scratchy mummy” skin. The Boba Hoodie allows us to walk the dog and get some fresh air (yes I am as tired as I look) while both staying warm. He is refusing to get dressed in anything other than the fleece pyjamas he got for Christmas. The chocolate and tea are for me (although he has already spied the chocolate). The iPad and TV are keeping him entertained and helping him to forgot that he wants to scratch. The car will probably be coming into use too so that I can get him to sleep (he is pretending in the photo of Boba Hoodie).


What is your top tip for coping with Chicken Pox? I’d love him to have an oat bath but so far the idea of him going in bath or shower is apparently abhorrent.

Ohhhh, what do we have here? The Preschool Solar Connecta has arrived.

On Thursday lunchtime the door bell of my house rang and stood on step was Andy, the InterLink Express delivery driver who covers my area. He is quite a regular visitor, as he is the man who brings us our Connecta Baby Carrier orders. Connecta are by far the most hired slings in the North East Sling Library and were the most popular carrier in UK sling libraries in 2014. Here he was, once again bringing another package from Connecta HQ, but this time, it was not for the library but for me and Isaac, and something special for our summer holidays. 

Waiting for Isaac to open


The package Andy delivered was a preschool size Connecta Solar carrier. One of the first two in this size anywhere, although you can now buy yours online too for £80. I am a big fan of Connecta Baby Carriers. They are the slings which got me hooked on carrying when I first started.  It was delivered while Isaac was at nursery and the wait to try it/open it was never ending. I had told Isaac we were getting a new sling and he was excited to open it.

What’s in here Mummy?


My new big boy sling!

The Preschool range of Connecta Baby Carrier are tested to 24kg. Isaac at 16.5kg is well within the maximum weight limit, as is his 6 year old brother at 20.5kg.  They have a 20 inch seat allowing for comfortable knee to knee support for bigger children too.  


The preschool carriers were launched in 2014 and I was lucky enough to have one of the testers come and visit here. At present 24kg is the most the carriers can be factory tested to here currently and is roughly the weight of a 7 year old.

Seat width comparisons


Why do I want a preschool carrier? I would think many people want to know why I willingly carry a 3 almost 4 year old and on occasion his 6 year old brother. The answer is simple. Little legs get tired.  Isaac is also a pain to get to sleep (for naps or night time) and a sling is often used to get him to sleep. On holiday where sleep routines are even more disturbed I think our new sling will have a very important role. I will also be travelling on one trip without my Husband. Although I have other family with me, the sling will make the airport easier to negotiate. Our toddler size solar was worth its weight in gold last time I did this and the idea of not having a sling didn’t appeal. 

Toddler solar for a nap in the sun in 2014.


I spoke to Sarah, the owner of Connecta Baby Carrier in the summer of 2015, explaining how next year I was off to Malta and Majorca and wished they had a preschool size Solar Connecta. The Solar fabric is UVA and UVB protective (blocking between 95-99% of harmful rays), extremely light weight and folds so small it fits in my handbag. Limited travel luggage allowances mean I did not want to talk a bulky carrier. I am so excited that my wish came true. The fact it dries quickly, is breathable and has an integrated sun hood makes it perfect for the hot weather. I really can’t wait to try it properly. A full review will be written in August.

Our initial impressions are woo hoo. A brilliant carrier with a sleek design. Supportive enough for big kids but small enough that I can pack it away when not in use.  Isaac will want to walk on holiday but I know he will get tired. This way I know I will be able to carry him when he needs it. Thank you Connecta.


Reconnecting after a day at nursery.


Cuddles with Henry – couldn’t feel he was there.


In celebration of our Carried Big Kids

Picture1Anyone who has read my blogs, or who follows my Facebook page will know that my babies are not babies anymore.  My ‘carried baby’ is now 3 but he is carried almost daily and over recent days has been carried even more than normal. A combination of the heat and not sleeping very well (probably also heat related) has meant Isaac has wanted cuddles with his Mummy and Daddy just that bit more. I have no qualms in carrying him when he needs it or when it makes my life that bit easier.


Isaac opts for daddies shoulders and Henry asked for a cuddle after a full on morning at Centre Parcs climbing trees.

There are plenty of 3 year olds who are still transported by their parents in a pushchair, and also countless who get a piggy back or ride on a carers shoulders. Why should being carried in a sling be a seen as any different? All babies, no matter how old need and want that security. The research has shown that those who are carried develop secure attachments which helps promote brain development and independence. Anyone who witnesses my two boys running off to play in the park or cycling so fast I can’t keep up will know they are not clingy; they are secure in the knowledge that I am there and that they can explore.

You can imagine my disgust at a recent photograph that has been circulating on social media of  a Mum carrying her 5 year old while out shopping. Although uncommon, carrying my 5 year old in a carrier is something I do on occasion. The photograph was secretly taken by a shop assistant and then shared on her Facebook profile shaming the mother for carrying her child and pushing her baby in a pushchair. This photo has been shared in several groups I am a member of and has attracted attention from around the world. One post on Netmums Facebook page had over 300 comments when I last looked.

There are several reasons why I dislike this photo and why I will not share the photo itself in this post; although you can read more about it and see the picture here. Firstly the photograph was taken and shared without permission by an employee as she worked. Who thinks this is a good idea? And why did she have her phone with her anyway? Secondly, the comments she wrote in attributing the photos were full of hate and disgust. It is nobody’s right to question how I or the mum in that photo parent our children. Finally does it really matter if the 5 year old was having a carry. Would the shop worker have snapped a photo the mum if she had her little girl on her shoulders or was giving her a piggy back? Exactly what is the difference here? The only thing I can see was that she was being carried in a standard size sling (a Tula Baby Carrier) rather than a specifically made toddler or preschool carrier. But the Tula has been tested to use to 45lb, (my 5.5 year old doesn’t weigh that), so there is nothing unsafe about carrying an older child in a standard sling as long as within weight limits and comes sufficiently up their back to stop them falling out and this sling does.

Carrying our big kids is clearly something lots of the mums and dads I work with do. Our toddler and preschool carriers (weight wise many go to 24kg which is way past preschool) are some of the most popular I have. People hire them for holidays, long walks, day trips and sometimes just so they can have a cuddle without having to hold the full weight of their child; ideal if you have disabilities or medical conditions for example. I asked the patents in my Facbook group to share their stories and their photographs in celebration of their big kids. Here are just some of their stories and reasons to carry their big kids.

Jeni McAuley

Firstly we have Jeni and her little one, she said that sling cuddles are important because:

“Hands free, slingy cuddles are still great at 26 months and totally beats a buggy in city centres. This is us in NYC last month.”

carlaNext is Carla and her gorgeous big girl. She said she carried her because although her 5year old is not carried usually she was

  “tired and grumpy and needed a rest.”

Jillian carries her 4 year old when needed, although on this day trip Daddy got the duties and his back saved his arms.

David b“We still wear our almost 4 year old because sometimes little legs get tired when we’re out on adventures and nothing beats a Daddy (or Mummy) slingy cuddle (and it’s loads easier than carrying her in your arms!!) “

Sarah T said  one of the reasons why she carries her older child is because “They say they definitely want to walk. They don’t want you to take the double buggy, then they get tired….and other times it’s just a lot safer in large crowds. I don’t want her to be trodden on, or possibly worse, to escape!” Surely that is a good enough reason to carry our children.

One of the most common reasons we found were because our big kids were poorly. Here is Becky J’s husband carrying her little boy (3.5 years in the photo) because he was unwell with chicken pox and wanted some fresh air. In this photo they are using a standard size baby carrier (an Ergo Baby Carrier) just like the mum was in the photo which prompted this blog. becky

Thank you to all the mummies who shared photos and their reasons for carrying older children. I hope that the person who took the original photograph to criticise a mum just going about her normal business will realise that #carryingisnormal no matter what the age of our babies, after all no matter how old our children are they will forever be our babies. I have collated some of the other photographs in this video.