Thursday, 8 August 2013

Embrace Sling Library- What is it all about? Why have I set it up?

Firstly why have I started a sling library?
Ultimately because I am completely and utterly passionate about Babywearing and I want to share and pass on the gift of Babywearing to parents and little ones.

What is this funny, hippy sounding term ‘Babywearing’?
It refers to carrying your little one in a sling or carrier; it does not refer to a particular style of parenting as it is often misinterpreted to. Carrying your little one in a carrier is relevant to any parent, whatever your parenting approach- it is a parenting tool which can be used as little or as much as you want, depending on your family life.

Why am I passionate about it?
My daughter and I have gained so much from it in these first precious years together. I have loved simply getting to share my world with her, having cuddles and chats as we go about our daily lives, enjoying walks over the hills and fields as well as having help with the trying times, for example when I have an overtired little girl who needs that extra reassurance.

Reassurance and cuddles

In addition to being practical, cuddly and special it is beneficial from an emotional, physical and cognitive developmental perspective. As parents we want to give our children the best possible start to life, I am a firm believer that these early informative years are vital for providing our little ones with firm foundations so that they can head off into the world confidently. Carrying your little one is one of the many ways we can help make those foundations as secure and strong as possible.

So how does a sling library fit into all of this?
Our Babywearing journey was not all smooth running, whilst I thought I knew what I was doing and had it sussed, unknown to me at the time I was missing out on so much more that I could have gained from it in the first year of my daughter’s life, plus I was often not carrying my daughter as safely, securely or optimally as I could have. I want to be able to provide the information I did not access to parents, hopefully early on in their parenting journey so they can gain all they want to from this amazing parenting tool.

Which sling?? Often overwhelming for a parent to know where to start

There is a wide range of carriers out there and it can be overwhelming to know which one to choose. From experience there are carriers which are not as comfortable for one person as for the next as well as simply uncomfortable carriers that do not carry our little ones as optimally as they could be. An uncomfortable, not supportive carrier can easily put a parent off from carrying their little one in a sling- I want to try to reduce the chances of this happening for parents.

What is a sling library all about?
The sling library enables parents to try before they buy, helping them find the right carrier for them and their family life, or it could be that they simply want to borrow a carrier for a short term need, such as a holiday or family occasion. The library currently has a basic range of carriers that I hope to increase by reinvesting all proceeds from loans so that I can build up a comprehensive service for the local community.

It also gives them access to correct information about optimal positioning and safety guidelines when hiring a carrier and in addition to the library I run a consultancy service which includes an ‘Introduction to Babywearing’ workshop as well as consultations which can be tailored to the individual’s needs for if they want more in depth information or one to one time to learn how to use the carrier of their choice. Consultations can range from half an hour long for as little as £10 to a full comprehensive 2 hours.  

As I have said, Babywearing can be interpreted differently for each family, from simply having a quick and easy carrier to use for carrying little one when walking the dog to ditching the pram altogether in favour of learning the art of wrapping your little one. I am here for all Babywearing needs and wanting to ultimately ensure that babies are carried safely, securely and supported optimally by parents who are comfortable and confident using their carrier.