Out & About
Review: Didymos Sling
Fresh from my recent review of the Moby, I’ve been trying out a Didymos sling.
The Concept: The Didymos is a woven wrap sling, and like the Moby is a long piece of fabric but not stretchy. For comparisons sake, one is like t-shirt fabric, the other is like curtain fabric.
The idea is that you wrap the fabric around you in various knots and ties, and your baby sits or lies in the seat you’ve made in variety of positions.
Tester: My daughter ‘Little One’, 7 months.
Set Up & Instructions: Good grief, this isn’t so much a sling, as a whole way of life. It comes accompanied by an instruction booklet that is so thick it’s almost a novella. There are descriptions and pictures for no fewer than six ways of tying this sling, with anything up to two additional ‘ties’ for each ‘carry’, plus diagrams of knot types, a quick article on hip joints and positions, FAQs, and a very stern page telling you why you shouldn’t wear your baby facing forwards. My heart sank somewhat at the prospect of trying to get my head around it all.
On the bright side, the instructions are probably as clear as they could be. I baulked slightly at some of them (‘swing baby and sling onto your back’ being a particularly athletic and frightening one) but there are lots of photos, plus a DVD, although I’d wonder when you get the time to watch it with a small child…
In Use: I spent some time waving large quantities of fabric around, crumpling them up, spreading them out, crossing them over, looping around behind my back, and feeding bits through. I am a seasoned stretchy wrap sling user, so perhaps more open to this kind of sling than most, but even I found it a bit bamboozling initially. After all, even the brightly coloured and positive instructions do concede at the beginning that, ‘it may happen that tying the baby sling does not work right from the beginning as you might have imagined’. Sigh.
The first couple of times I kept getting small things wrong and it is best to take their advice and practice with a soft toy or cushion first and on about my third go of tying the Didymos around me, I finally got it right and my God, this sling is fabulous. It took a lot of work to get there, but once you’re ‘in’, so to speak, it’s the sling of kings. I absolutely loved it.
The fact that the fabric doesn’t stretch means that once its set up correctly, it feels absolutely snugly secure. Her weight was spread out beautifully across my back just as the instructions promised. It’s easy to believe that you could carry on using it for years, it feels so strong and comfy. Little One has always loved being worn in an upright position, facing me, where she can nose around at the scenery to her heart’s content, then eventually fall asleep with her head on my chest.
We tried the hip carry, the wrap cross carry, and the rucksack carry. I got quite excited at the prospect of tying Little One on my back for longer trips, and she looked quite excited at the prospect of having a different view on the world.
Any negatives?: It was very difficult to battle through the instructions, and very fiddly to learn how to tie it.
Where can I get one?
£69.99 – £159.99 from Bebe Cannelle in a huge range of different colours or patterns, and in organic cotton, or cotton mixed mixed with wool, silk, or cashmere.
I reviewed the ‘Black and white ellipses’, £74.99, (right). Just enough pattern for me to make it interesting, but not so loud it’ll clash horribly with your or your baby’s wardrobe.
Overall: Difficult instructions and fiddly to learn to tie, however when I got there, the sling more than justified the hassle. If you’re a dexterous, seasoned wrap wearer this will be a doddle, if you’re co-ordinated and can persevere you’ll love it like me. If, on the other hand, you’re the kind of person who can be reduced to tears over an Isabella Oliver wrap top, then this definitely isn’t the sling for you.
Rating: 4 out of 5