As a carrying consultant, Sabine Lokin regularly receives questions from parents about hearing protection. If you take your child to a place with loud noise in a sling, how do you combine this with hearing protectors? Sabine will answer this question in this guest blog.
WEARING EARMUFFS IN THE SLING
As a carrying consultant, I work with parents of babies and young children. I advise and teach them about ergonomic carrying in a sling or baby carrier. Alpine gave me the opportunity to discuss and test the Muffy and Muffy Baby earmuffs during my consultations.
The parents I meet are consciously working on their child’s development. If they visit events and concerts, this also includes protecting their child’s sensitive hearing. Carrying offers many advantages. It’s good for the development of muscles and joints, and it offers comfort during colic and when there are a lot of stimuli. Loud noises for instance can make children restless. Carrying helps. Children who are carried are generally calmer because they can see, hear, smell and touch their carer. Protection with earmuffs fits in well with this.
BUT HOW DOES THIS COMBINATION WORK?
During consultations with parents who visit events and concerts, both the Muffy and Muffy Baby earmuffs were discussed. The focus was on the Muffy Baby earmuffs, since those can be used by children from 3 to 36 months. Time is precious during consultations, but fortunately the earmuffs can be fitted to the child easily and quickly. For stomach carrying, the children are first placed in the sling or carrier bag in the correct position, and then fitted with the earmuffs. For back carrying, they are fitted with the earmuffs beforehand. Using a sling which has to be additionally knotted or a carrier bag doesn’t make any difference for the use of the earmuffs. Both variants were tested.
My expectation was that the bigger children would immediately want to take off the earmuffs. However, this turned out not to be the case. All the children remained calm. This indicates that the earmuffs, with the soft elastic band, feel comfortable and don’t exert any pressure. The reduction in stimulus should also contribute to a calm feeling.
SLEEPING IN THE SLING
Many babies fall asleep quickly in a sling or a baby carrier. The familiar rocking has a soothing effect. But how do you rub up against mum or dad while wearing earmuffs? This turns out to be easy. Tilt the head a bit more, so with the cheek against the parent instead of the ear. Nice to see. Children don’t only sleep at events or concerts. They are also carried a lot at home or during a walk or shopping trip. There too, sleep can be disturbed by other children who are playing loudly, or by a passing truck. Earmuffs are a solution.
I’ve also tested the earmuffs with my own children, aged six, three and two. The two older ones wore the Alpine Muffy, and the youngest wore the Muffy Baby. My children all wanted to wear the muffs immediately. They thought they were cool. It was nice to notice that they could still understand me; the sound level is only lowered.
A practical aspect: I wore my youngest child in a sling on my back during a very loud Formula 1 race. At the beginning, he looked around calmly and the earmuffs remained in place. At a certain point he wanted to take them off. One of the muffs became loose and fell. When carrying a child on your back, this is tricky. You can’t reach around to help. You can’t replace the earmuffs correctly when you’re alone. With help from someone nearby, this can be solved quickly. If you wear your child on your stomach, you have more control, and this shouldn’t be a problem.
I was pleasantly surprised by the Muffy earmuffs combined with carrying, especially their usefulness at home and in day-to-day situations. I’d never thought of this. They provide calm, just like the carrying itself. I certainly recommend them to parents!
Certified carrying consultant
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