Extending Closures

Due to the latest statements from the Government & the NHS regarding Social Distancing & School Closures, all Face-To-Face Sling Library services are currently cancelled.

Despite this we are doing our best to provide support to parents & parents-to-be during this unusal time.

Services Currently On Offer

We are currently offering:

Courier Delivered Sling/Carrier Hire
You are more than welcome to hire any of our slings or carriers which we will have delivered to your door. Our available slings & carriers can be seen here. I will pay to have the carrier(s)/sling(s) collected from my home* & delivered to yours, all that I ask, is that you do the same when it is time to return them. Slings will be dispatched with a small amount of eco detergent in case you wish to wash the sling/carrier on arrival. You do not need to wash them before you return them, all returned slings/carriers are being quarantined for 3 days & then washed before being returned to the Library. I am also currently offering 3 weeks for the price of two, to help compenstate for transit time. You are welcome to combine a sling/carrier hire with an Online Consultation. (*For slings/carriers that cost £5, you may be asked to pay the postage rather than the hire charge.)

Online Consultations
We have a range of Consultations available (more coming soon) from £10 for 20 minutes, the same as a Consultation at a Drop-In Session, which is perfect if you have a sling/carrier & you just need a little help with; up to our new DELUXE New Baby Online Consultation, which includes up to £35 of sling/carrier hire. You can book an Online Consultation here.

FREE vBook
We have a new vBook which is in place of the Free Safety Checks we usually offer at our Drop-In Sessions. If the carrier you would like a Free Safety Check for is not covered in the vBook, do please get in touch via our contact page & we’ll see what we can do. You can find the Free vBook here. We’re aiming to complete more vBooks soon!

Limited Closures

As handwashing & Social Distancing are proving the most effective way to slow the spread of the Covid19 Virus, as of Monday 16th March, we will be suspending Drop-In Sessions & Workshops. I’m really sorry for any inconvenience caused.

We will still be offering Private Consultations, Postal Sling Hire, Sling Hire by Doorstep Collection (from SE13 5JE) & will be introducing Online Consultations over the coming days. I will continue to offer Home Visits, unless my children’s School is closed.
So How Do I Get Help With My Sling?

To Get Help With A Sling You Already Own – Book a Mini Consultation (£20) either in-person (SE13 5JE) or online. A 30 minute Mini Consultation is usually enough to show you how to use your sling/carrier safely. This session is not suitable for anyone (parent or baby) who has any medical concerns, or for multiple slings/carriers. Online Mini Consultations will be listed by carrier type – choose the type you need help with.

To Try a Specific Sling/Carrier – If you know that we have a Sling/Carrier that you would like to try, you can request a postal hire/doorstep collection, & book an Online Consultation if you need help once you have the carrier. Alternatively, book an In-Person Mini Consultation & you can decide whether to hire the sling/carrier whilst you are here. (£20)

To Find a New Sling Carrier – You can book an In-Person Consultation (SE13 5JE). To try a variety of slings/carriers & try them with our weighted demo dolls before putting your baby in, we will need a Consultation of up to 90 minutes (£40). If you have a newborn (under 12 weeks),& would prefer to stay home, you can book a “New Baby Online Consultation” with sling hire included in the price. We will discuss your needs, arrange the delivery/collection of a range (up to £35 hire value) of newborn suitable slings/carriers & which we can then explore together during your online consultation. You are also welcome to ask about my availability for a Home Visit (limited areas). The cost for a Home Visit is higher (£60) due to the additional time taken to travel to & from your address.
Postal Hires / Doorstep Collections

You are more than welcome to request a postal hire. If you know which sling you’d like to road test, you can simply go to our hire software, register & request it. Add a note requesting a postal hire & I will give you a quote for the postage & packing. If you would prefer to collect from my doorstep, simply reserve the sling & I will get in touch with available times for the date you have specified for collection. (Doorstep collections are just that – if you would like to be shown how to use the sling/carrier, please book an in-person/online consultation too.)
Keeping Slings/Carriers Clean

If your child is of an age where they may lick/chew carriers, you will be given a set of strap protectors if you come to an “In-Person” appointment. These can be fitted to each & every carrier you try your baby in & either returned for washing when you leave or taken home & then returned with any carrier hired. As per our existing Terms & Conditions, you must let us know if you or your child have been unwell whilst you have hired a Sling Library Carrier or Sling, so that any necessary steps may be taken before rehiring the sling/carrier. According to the NHS, viruses do not usually live longer than 12hrs on porous surfaces such as fabrics, however we ensure that all slings/carriers are wiped, steam cleaned or washed as necessary. You are not required to wash a carrier whilst you have it. If you feel the need to launder your hired carrier please contact us for washing instructions, to ensure that the carrier & your washing machine are not damaged. Non-porous surfaces of demo dolls (heads, hands & feet) will be washed with soap & water after every session. Demo dolls clothing is washed regularly. Handwashing You will be offered the opportunity to wash your hands on arrival at an “In-Person” appointment & I will also wash my hands when you arrive.
Book In-Person & Online Appointments here
Carriers Currently On Hire

If you currently have one of our Slings/Carriers you will need to return it to me at HQ (27 Pascoe Road, SE13 5JE). We have a metal parcel box outside the house & you can pop them in there anytime, simply open the flap, drop the carrier in & close the flap. You can also post slings & carriers back – please use a tracked & insured postal service.
I will keep reviewing the situation & will send an e-mail out when it’s time to relaunch the Drop-In’s & Workshops. I’m really sorry for the inconvenience but, I’m sure we all understand the problems.

I look forward to seeing you all again soon!

Stay well!

Sarah

Which Session is Best For Us?

There are lots of ways to get carrying advice and support with South London Sling Library. Here you will find a brief description of the different types of sessions, which may help you decide which one is the right one for you.

Private Consultation (Up to 90 minutes, £40)

A Private Consultation is designed specifically around you and your baby. We can look at whatever you need to look at, whether that’s a general overview of available carrying options for your baby at their current stage of development, or perhaps you are looking to find a more comfirtable carrying solution as your baby gets bigger. Maybe your baby likes to see the world around them and you would like some advice about helping them to do this safely and comfortably? Perhaps your new baby was early, or particularly small, or has a medical condition (talipes/low muscle tone/etc)? Would you like to carry both your twins at the same time? Would you like to learn how to carry your older baby (6m+) on your back? Or perhaps you have seen people with their newborn wrapped up in those complicated looking fabric slings and wondered how they do it (spoiler alert: they’re easy)? Maybe you’ve been given a sling or carrier by a friend or family member and don’t know how to use it comfortably? Is it time to move on from your stretchy wrap and you don’t know where to start? Whatever it is, we can help you in a Private Consultation! Bring your partner for free, or add a friend with their baby too, for just £10. Available in Lewisham (SE13 5JE) most weeks or Crystal Palace ( SE19 3BG ) once or twice a month.

Book Consultation

Mini Consultation (Up to 30 minutes, £20)

A Mini Consultation may be perfect for you if you have a sling/carrier, and know roughly babybjorn-baby-carrier-mini-light-grey-3d-jersey-021072how to use it, but you would just like a few pointers or suggestions to help you be a little more comfortable. This session is also great if you know which sling/carrier you would like to try, and do not need our input to narrow down the selection. (This session is not generally suitable for newborns or parents with a medical condition (talipes/prematurity/bad back), as this may require more time. Bring your partner for free.

Book Mini Consultation

Workshops (Up to 90 minutes, £20)

Our workshops are up to 90 minutes long & are a great way to cover a particular subject in a more focussed environment. With a maximum of 6 participants, you will get the chance to learn new skills with our weighted dolls & with your own baby (unless they have yet to arrive). Workshops cost £20 for one adult, or £30 for two, & are held at either our Crystal Palace (SE19 3BG) or Lewisham (SE13 5JE).Beco-8-Rust
Workshops include:

  • New Baby Workshop – Bump to 12wks,
  • Bigger Baby Workshop – 3m & up,
  • Back Carrying Workshop (Buckled Carriers & Meh Dai’s) – 6m+ or sitting unaided,
  • Introduction to Woven Wraps – bump to toddler.

Book Workshop

Drop In Sessions

Our Drop In Sessions are a great place to meet other parents and carers who are interested in using slings and carriers. You are welcome to browse through our available slings and carriers at your leisure, if you would like some help to narrow down the choices, or you would like us to help you learn how to use a particular sling or carrier, you can get some help from one of our volunteers, or request a Mini Consult with Sarah, our Babywearing Consultant for just £10 (approx 20mins). We also offer free safety checks.
Drop In Sessions can be very busy, and you may need to wait to get some help, but you can always have a chat with some of the other attendees. At Drop In Sessions we can cover front carrying and hip carrying. Back carrying can be covered in a Back Carrying Workshop or Private Consultation. We are happy to help you carry Twins at a Drop In Session, but if you would like to see specialist “Twin Slings” then either let us know before hand, or book a Private Consultation, as we don’t always carry the more specialised items around with us. Our Drop In Sessions do not need to ne pre-booked, are held every fortnight at our Crystal Palace venue (SE19 3BG) & restart on the 13th January. Details of our Drop In Sessions can be found here.

In addition….

We also “Drop In” to The Tea and Cake Club Postnatal Group in Sydenham (House PN Group FeetHall,  The Grove Centre Church, Jews Walk, SE26 6PL). You are welcome to come along and grab a tea/coffee and some cake, and get some sling/carrier advice too. We offer free sling/carrier safety checks, or you can have a Mini Consult (£10 for 20 mins) with Sarah, our Babywearing Consultant. As this session is a Postnatal Group, we only have newborn suited slings/carriers available here.

Mummy’s Gin Fund Sling Meet

Once a month, you can also find us at the Mummy’s Gin Fund Sling Meet. Whether you’re considering carrying you first baby, or you’re a seasoned slinger, we would love to see you! Held at Rhubarb & Custard Cafe, 17 Burnt Ash Road, Leegate Shopping Centre, Lee, SE12 8RG, this sling meet will be stuffed full of slings to try, new friends to meet and fantastic cake from the cafe. (We ask for a £2 voluntary donation towards the Mummy’s Gin Fund #NoMumLeft Behind Campaign.)

For those who would like professional advice, we are delighted that both Sarah from South London Sling Library, and Sonia from Wear My Baby Greenwich are on hand every month for 1-2-1 consultations. These will be 20 minute personalised sessions, costing just £10. There are only six 1-2-1 consultation slots available which will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

Between us, Sonia and I bring a variety of slings & carriers, but if there’s anything specific you’d like to try, do get in touch beforehand and we’ll see what we can do. Dates for the Sling Meets are here.

You can also hire a carrier without coming to an advice session, consultation or workshop. If you would like to do so:

  • Please do not do so more than ONE week in advance, as we cannot guarantee carrier availability that far in advance.
  • Create an account on our hire software here,
  • Choose and reserve the carrier you would like,
  • Leave us a message in the “notes” section of the request telling us where you would like to collect from (Crystal Palace – Monday’s, Sydenham – Thursday’s, Lewisham – By Arrangement – Any Day)
  • You will be contacted by e-mail and asked to pay the hire fee for 2 weeks in advance, via invoice. The carrier will only be reserved once this payment has been received and acknowledged by us.

I hope these descriptions of the different session are helpful! Do get in touch via our Contact Page, if you have any further questions.

How to use a Two Way Stretchy Wrap (Photo Tutorial)

This photo tutorial shows step by step instructions for tying & using a two way stretchy wrap. If you would prefer a video tutorial, we have one here.

To find out if your stretchy wrap is a one way wrap or a two way stretchy wrap, you can try to stretch it width ways & length ways. One way stretchy wraps will only stretch width ways, whereas a two way stretchy wrap will stretch both width ways & length ways. Here at South London Sling Library we prefer two way stretchies, as they are slightly easier to use for new (sleep deprived) parents.

The first step is to find the middle marker on your wrap, this may be a label sewn into the hem, or a logo on the front, & place this middle marker high on your chest. Take the ends of the wrap behind you & cross them over.

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Bring the wrap up over your shoulders, creating a cross on your back & allow the straps to fall in front of you.

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Bundle up the ends of the wrap that are hanging down over your shoulders & push them down through the middle section.

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At this stage the wrap forms an ‘H’ on your front – cross the ends over, to make an ‘X’.

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Then bring the ends behind you, cross them over again, bring them back to the front & tie off in a double knot.

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The horizontal section (with the label/middle marker) is known as the seatbelt layer – you can now bunch this section up & put it down near your knot. Put your thumbs under the straps that are coming over your shoulders & push out in front of you – this shows how much space you have, which you can adjust if necessary. When you let go of these straps, they should “ping” back towards your body, it’s this “ping” that will hold your baby. (If the wrap does not ping back, undo your knot, pull to tighten the wrap re-tie your knot & try again.)

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At this stage, it may be helpful to work out which strap (left or right shoulder) is the one that is closest to your body. It dosn’t matter which side of the wrap you put your baby into first, but when you go to spread the fabric across the baby’s body, you will need to start with this layer.
Now pick up your baby & place them high up on your shoulder (burp position).

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Supporting baby with one arm, put your other hand under the fabric on your opposite shoulder. Stretch this fabric down & take it round one of baby’s feet. Leave it by baby’s foot/lower leg – don’t move the fabric up towards the baby’s groin.

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Now gently move your baby over to your second shoulder & repeat the process on the other side. Put your hand under the fabric near your shouder, stretch it down & around baby’s other foot, & leave it near their lower leg/foot.

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Now centre your baby into your chest, leaving the fabric in their knee pits & allow their bottom to come down over the fabric & their knees to lift. You may have already seen your baby hold themselves in this position, it’s known as the “M-shape” or “froggy” position. Your baby will also have a lovely “J-shape” to their spine (as seen below). This is a very natural position for a newborn & we simply want to support baby in this position.

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Now take your “inside” layer – this is the one you identified earlier, as being the layer closest to your body – & spread it out accross your baby. You want it to spread from one knee pit, accross into the other knee pit, & almost shoulder to shoulder. Then do the same with the second layer.

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No you want to find your seatbelt layer. This is on the back of your ribs, around bra strap level. Grab it like a rope, so you’ve got all your fingers round it, or your thumb tucked under it & pull it down & lift it over baby’s leg.

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Do the same on the other side to put the seatbelt layer over the second leg. You should now be able to unroll the seatbelt layer up over baby.

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Now run through your TICKS Safety Guidelines to ensure that baby is safe & secure.
If you need to open up the area around baby’s face to make them visible,  simply take the edge of the fabric that’s closest to your neck &, making sure it stays up by the nape of baby’s neck, pull it out over your shoulder. (You can do this on either side.)

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When you need to take baby out of the wrap, lower the seatbelt layer & tuck it under baby’s bottom, then start to support the baby as you open the layers that cross over on the baby’s back & tuck them under the baby’s bottom.

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Open the second layer & again, tuck it under the baby’s bottom. You should then be able to get your hands around your baby’s torso & …

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…gently lift them, either onto your shoulder, or straight up & out, Lion King Style (extra points if you can sing the song!

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If you’d like some “in person” help, you’re welcome to come to one of our Drop In Sessions, a New Baby Workshop (Crystal Palace or Lewisham), or Private Consultation in Crystal Palace or Lewisham.

And just in case you need it, here’s our video about using your stretchy wrap as a breastfeeding aid.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Not What You Wear, It’s The Way That You Wear It!

Lots of people come to the Sling Library with their own carriers, to ask for help in getting more comfortable, & over time we see the same issues cropping up, so here’s some info that might help.

Fixed Position Straps
This style of carrier has a plastic square at the back, that the straps pass through (think BabyBjorn Original/Mini, Chicco EasyFit & more). One of the most important things to remember with this style of carrier is that, despite the name, the straps on these carriers are NOT fixed. You can move the plastic square up & down on the straps to make the carrier more comfortable. Lots of people find that by moving the crossed section lower, it spreads the weight more effectively & makes the carrier more comfortable. Having the crossed section high on your back, can cause the weight to be placed mainly on your shoulders & upper back, which can become uncomfortable over time, & as baby gets heavier. Play with the height of this little plastic square, moving it up & down until you find your “sweet spot”. Lots of people find that the sweet spot is between, or just below, the shoulder blades – see what you think.

You may also find you need to lift your baby. You want the carrier to hold your baby exactly where you would hold them, but allow you to be handsfree! When you put your carrier on, if your baby is lower than you would naturally hold them, their weight will pull away from you, which will pull on your shoulders & may cause pain in your neck, shoulders & lower back. If you lift your baby to a more natural position & tighten the straps to hold them there, you should find you are more comfortable.

South London Sling Library

Look at the pictures above. The top two pictures show the crossed section high on the back, with the baby sitting uncomfortably low. The bottom two show the crossed section much lower, with the baby lifted up & straps tightened.

These carriers tend to be optimised for babies around 0-3 months, after which people may begin to look for a carrier that is a little more supportive. If that’s you, do get in touch or come along to a workshop or consultation.

Stretchy Wraps
One of the most common issues that people come to the sling library with is a Stretchy Wrap that doesn’t feel safe or comfortable. The problem often originates from the instructions given by the manufacturer. If you are aiming to carry a newborn, think about where you would carry them – it’s usually high up on your chest. If your first horizontal layer of the wrap marks where you want to carry your baby, then it needs to go high up on your chest. Lots of instructions say to start by placing the wrap at your waist. This can lead to a slack wrap & the baby being held too low on your body. You may feel that the baby’s weight pulls away from you & causes pain in your back or shoulders, or that you are not confident to let go of the baby & feel like you need to hold on.

Look at the differences in the pictures below. The top two pictures show a low starting point for the wrap, with the baby ending up too low & too loose. The pictures underneath that show how high the wrap can really go, to hold a newborn high & snug on your chest.

StretchyWrapPics

If you need more help with a stretchy wrap, try this video from our YouTube channel. Stretchy wraps can be fantastic for up to 3-6 months of age. If you’re considering moving on from a stretchy wrap & you’d like to try some different options, you may wish to join our Bigger Baby Workshop, Intro to Woven Wraps, Carrying Clinic or book a 1 to 1 Consultation.

Chest Clip/Rucksack Straps
Lots of carriers have rucksack style, or straight straps, with a chest clip that does up behind the wearer. If you’re anything like me, you may not have the flexibility to get the clip done up behind you, unless it’s quite close to your neck, which can be uncomfortable. Wearing the clip lower on your back can be more comfortable. These clips can usually slide up & down the straps, do this until you find your sweet spot.

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Once you’ve found a comfortable place for your chest strap, try this as an alternative way to put this style of carrier on:

1 – Do the chest clip up, in front of you, where it’s easy to see
2 – Lengthen both shoulder straps,
3 – Smooth the carrier up over baby’s bottom & back,
4-Lift the chest clip over your head,
5-Put your arms up through the straps, like putting them into a jumper & then tighten them.

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To take the carrier off again, reach the strap behind you, in a similar way to reaching a bra strap, or loosen the straps & take it off by reversing the steps above.

 

Hopefully, that helps. If you’d like to come to a workshop or one to one session, either with a carrier you already have, or to try a few of the Library’s options, you can find & book sessions here. You can see our available slings & carriers here.

When Should My Baby Face Out In Our Carrier?

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ErgoBaby 360 Cool Air

Babies do not HAVE to use a facing away position in their sling or carrier. Most babies do not need a facing away position, they generally don’t care about “seeing the world” – it tends to be driven by us as parents. We love to show our babies off to the world & the show the world to our babies, but our babies often want to see us, as much as they want to see around us.

Some babies, as they pass the 4th trimester, start to show more of an interest in the world around them & enter the NOSY baby stage (NOSY = Not Only See You – thanks to West Yorkshire Sling Library for the phrase). As babies spend more time awake, they realise that you are not the centre of the Universe (sorry)! Their distance vision has improved & they start to show more of an interest in what’s going on around them. They can sometimes become frustrated by slings or carriers that restrict their view by having fabric/straps that run close by their face. However, this does not mean that they have to face away from the adult carrying them. The facing away position is often not as comfortable for the carrying adult, which is why the carrier manufacturers suggest maintaining the facing out position for a maximum of 15-20mins, & while babies are in this phase of wanting to see more, they also want to see what you, as one of their important adults, think about what they can see. They will frequently look to you to gauge your reaction to the things around you both, & this can be substantially harder for them to do when facing away from you.

Changing the height of a carriers body panel, so that it supports to the back of baby’s shoulders, rather than nape of the neck, can open up the space & improve baby’s field of vision.

You can often change the height of a carrier by changing where you wear the waistband. Have a look at the photographs below. You can see the difference in where the waistband has been placed & how it makes a difference to the height of the body panel. With the second picture, the baby is able to get their arms out over the top of the body panel & have a little more freedom of movement. By raising the waistband, then holding the baby in the same position, some of the body panel is used up by coming down between the two of you before it comes up the baby’s back, which means it doesn’t reach as far up & can allow more space for them in this stage of development.

Once baby has excellent head & neck control, you may find a hip carry helpful. In the hip

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Photo thanks to The Sling Consultancy

carry position, baby can see around you, but their weight is nicely hugged into you. If they need to rest, they can simply lay their head on you, there’s no time limit associated with a hip carry & if they’re not sure about something they are seeing, they can very easily check in with you.

The Hip Carry position can be great for things like days out, trips to the park, museums, & more – any time baby would like to see around, but you can also chat about what you’re seeing.

Having said all of this, some babies really enjoy a facing away position. In this case, there are some important things to bear in mind.

  • Your baby should have excellent head & neck control, to be able to stabilise

    Tula Explore
    Tula Baby Explore

    themselves against the movements of your body,

  • Your baby needs to be tall enough that the carrier comes no higher than the top of their chest & does not press against their neck.
  • Make sure that your carrier holds your baby in the best position possible, with their knees at least level with, or preferably higher than, their bottom.
  • Once your baby is in the carrier, you can lift their thighs & tilt their weight back into your body. This will keep you a little more comfortable, as the baby’s weight won’t be pulling away from you as much.
  • As with every other type of carrier/carrying position, remain aware & responsive. If your baby seems to have had enough, or appears tired, turn them back around to face you again.

If you would like any help with carrying a baby of this age, or during this stage of development, do come along to any of our advice sessions, or our monthly Sling Meet & we’d be pleased to help. If you’re not local to South London you should be able to find a Babywearing Consultant closer to you, via Sling Pages.

Free Baby Carriers – Helping Hands

The reason I took over South London Sling Library was because I want to help people. I want people to be able to carry their babies safely & comfortably, for as long as they want or need to. I want babies & their parents to have all of the benefits of babywearing – here are just a few:
Happy Babies – Research shows that babies held in a sling or a carrier regularly, cry an average of around 40% less. They are calmed by your heartbeat, movements & rhythm of your breathing.
Increased Milk Production – According to research, keeping your baby close to your body during the first few weeks, increases the amount of milk you produce for the duration of your breastfeeding journey.
Postnatal Recovery – Simply walking, with your baby held high on your chest, improves your posture & your core strength, without a complicated exercise routine.
Sleep – You may find that baby settles more quickly & naps for longer if you carry them in a sling or carrier. It also means you can go out & about while your baby naps.
*Bonding & Postnatal Depression – Keeping your baby close can help with bonding & help to reduce symptoms of postnatal depression.
*To find out more about the benefits of babywearing see this post from Dr Rosie Knowles: Carrying Matters.

To try to enable families on a low income to access help with slings or baby carriers, I have launched the Helping Hands Scheme.

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If you have a baby of 8 weeks or under & are in receipt of:
Healthy Start Vouchers, or
Income Support, or
Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or
Child Tax Credit (with a family income of £16,190 or less per year)
Universal Credit (with a family take home pay of £408 or less per month)
OR
If you are 18 or younger, regardless of income or benefits, you can come along to one of our Helping Hands Sessions. (If you are in receipt of one of these, but your baby is older than 8wks, please get in touch & I’ll see what I can do for you.)

Our Helping Hands Sessions run (usually) on the 3rd Monday of the month at our Crystal Palace venue & costs just £5 per family. At the sessions we have a variety of slings & carriers which you can try, mostly donated by us & our previous customers, & when you find one that works well for you, you can take it home – FOR FREE! We will teach you how to use it, & how to be sure that you are safe & secure – all we ask is that when you’ve finished with the carrier, that you either return it to us, or give it to someone else for free AND teach them how to use it safely. You can find out more about the Helping Hands Scheme & your eligibility here.

Most of the carriers in our Helping Hands Scheme are donated by other sling library users. If you have a carrier that you would like to donate, please read the details here & get in touch.

 

 

Toddler Carrying – How & Why?

I meet many new parents, with teeny newborns, who when we discuss how long they would like a carrier to last, can’t imagine carrying their baby beyond the first year. Those of us with older babies & children know however, that whatever you imagine, or intend, there are times when even the biggest of babies need to be carried!

Sometimes it’s because their little legs are tired after a long day at Nursery, or they’ve fallen over & need some comfort before running off again! Sometimes it’s because you’re dashing for a bus/train, so you don’t have the buggy, but little legs don’t quite move as fast as you need them to! Sometimes we carry toddlers to keep track of them in a busy environment or a large crowd. Carrying your toddler in this type of situation can also help them have a better view of whatever is going on, for example a day at the Zoo, a Museum trip or a Firework display. Lots of people will hire a carrier to take on holiday with them, either for the airport, the beach, country walks or all of this & more!

There are many, many reasons why we may end up carrying our bigger babies, toddlers or even pre-schoolers, & sometimes a sling or carrier can help! Here are a few of our options for bigger babies & more.

Beco Toddler

Beco Toddler

Our brand new Beco Toddler from the wonderful Slumber Roo has some brilliant features. Along with Perfect Fit Adjusters on the shoulder straps, you can wear it with crossed straps or rucksack style straps, which means it fits a huge variety of body shapes. It has a supportive waist belt, with an integral pocket, plus an additional pouch & sleephood which popper on when needed. It also has padding around the legs, to keep baby comfortable. Can be used on for front, back & hip/side carrying. Fits from around 2yrs & up  (to 60lbs/27kgs). Our Beco Toddler carrier can be found & reserved here.

 

TulaBaby Toddler Carrier

tula_baby_hummingbirds_greyThe Toddler carrier from TulaBaby has always been popular here at SLSL. It is often hired for holidays & summer trips. Fitting from around 18-24m & up, it too has Perfect Fit Adjusters & leg padding for your little one. This carrier can be used on your front or your back, & fits up to 60lbs/27kgs. You can find & reserve it here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Toddler Kinderpack

This carrier hasKinderpack Effervescence been so popular here over the years that we bought the Infant Sized one too!

It is beautifully adaptable for the carrying adult, & fits a huge variety of shapes & sizes! It has a sneaky sleep hood, which tucks away neatly between the layers of the carrier & rolls up neatly on itself for storage.

The deep seat means your little one stays nice & comfortable from 18-24m up to about 4 yrs old (approx 25-45lbs/11-20kgs). You can find & reserve it here.

 

The Toddler ConnectaConnecta Guitars

You may be familiar with the baby sized Connecta – this is the same great design, but in a larger size! It starts fitting around 18-24m up to around 3-3.5yrs. It is safety tested to 52lbs/24kgs.

One of the best things about the Connecta Carriers, regardless of their size, is their simplicity. It is beautifully lightweight & compact, which makes it perfect for holidays or as an occasional carrier.

You can find & reserve it here.

 

The Izmi Toddler Carrier

Izmi-Toddler-Carrier-SS-Print_07-570x570

As a follow on from the standard Izmi Baby Carrier, the Toddler version starts fitting from around 9-12m, up to approx 2.5-3yrs (60lbs/27kgs). It has Perfect Fit Adjusters, duel adjust buckles for ease of use & an optional hood & handy pouch, which popper on the top edge of the carrier. This carrier can be easily used in front, back & hip/side carry positions. This carrier is extremely lightweight & compact to carry when not in use. You can find & reserve it here.

Also available…..

All of the above mentioned carriers are designated Toddler carriers, but we also have a selection of carriers & slings that fit from a younger age, & up into toddlerhood.  The Boba X, the KiBi, ‘The One‘ from Isara, the Nabaca from Hoppediz, the Manduca XT & the Physio carrier from Je Porte Mon Bebe to name just a few. Many other standard baby carriers, such as the ErgoBaby or Tula’s, will comfortably support a baby to 18-24m.

How do I Get My Mitts on One of These??

If you would like to try a few of our carriers & get some input on what might suit you best, or how to use & adjust the carrier, or learn to get your little one on your back on your own*, then you can book into one of our workshops or 1 to 1’s. Alternatively, if you’re happy with choosing a carrier from the site, then you can simply reserve it online & leave a note on the reservation to let us know where you would like to collect it from (Crystal Palace – Monday’s, Forest Hill – alternate Friday’s, Lewisham – most day’s, by appointment).

 

8 Reasons to Carry Your Baby

People carry their baby for many different reasons – here are just a few of them, in no particular order…..

Reason1

Reason #1 – Your Baby May Be Calmer and may Sleep More!

Human babies are designed to be carried. When you pick up your newborn, you will notice that they will pick up their knees, bring their arms in and brace their neck. When held against your chest they settle as they can easily smell you, hear your heartbeat and feel the movement of your breathing. We all know that babies settle more quickly when they are held close, especially when we sway or move but, did you know that this even helps to regulate their heart rate and breathing? (Moore, et al. 2016). We also know that babies sleep for longer when they feel safe and sceure, so if they are calm and settled when we hold them, they sleep more deeply and for longer, than they would otherwise (Ferber, et al. 2004; Messmer, et al. 1997.)

Reason2

Reason #2 – With the Baby in a Sling or a Carrier, You Have Your Hands Free to Look After Yourself, or Your Older Children.

When you have a new baby, you can often spend hours just holding them. They love knowing you’re nearby & the easiest way to be sure of that, is to be in bodily contact with you. Having your newborn in a sling means that you can make a sandwich or a drink for yourself, or your toddler, or whatever it is you need to do; just make sure you don’t overdo it while you should be taking it easy!

Reason3

Reason #3 – Keeping Your Baby Close Promotes Your Breastfeeding Hormones and Can Allow You to Respond to Baby’s Hunger Cues Before They Need to Cry.

The hormone oxytocin is closely linked to breastfeeding & close contact with your baby. When you & your baby are in close contact, such as when you are carrying them in a sling, levels of oxytocin, in both of you, rise. With this in mind, should we really be surprised to find out that carried babies are up to 5 times more likely to still be breastfed at 5 months of age (Pisacane et al, 2012)? Early hunger cues can be as subtle as beginning to stir from a nap, moving to baby mouthing their hands & ‘head bobbing’ at their Mum’s chest, before they move to the need to cry. Having the baby held close to you in a sling or carrier, means that you are more able to pick up on baby’s early cues & can prepare for & begin a feed before they reach the stage of needing to cry.

Reason4

Reason #4 – Carrying Your Baby Can Help to Reduce the Risk of Postnatal Depression.

Postnatal depression affects 10-15% of new mum’s, with many more Mums, & new Dad’s, frequently remaining undiagnosed. Babywearing can increase levels of oxytocin, lower stress levels, aid feelings of connection and lower the incidence of postnatal depression. Holding your baby close, even if you feel detached, still promotes the release of oxytocin & can help to encourage the feelings of attachment & love, in both of you.

Reason5

Reason #5 – Carrying the Baby Can Help to Promote Bonding with All of Baby’s Important People & Care Givers.

Close contact with baby can help to strengthen relationships & connections through the release of oxytocin. The baby may be more willing to accept care from others, rather than just Mum, as they recognise the scent, appearance & voices of other care givers. (Knowles 2016). The bond created by carrying can help the non-birthing parent to feel more confident in their abilities to care for baby. Learning the subtle movements & noises baby makes, & learning their meaning can help parents feel in tune with their child & increase their responsiveness.

Reason6

Reason #6 – It’s Easier to Use The Bus or The Train with Baby in a Carrier, Than a Pram.

Particularly when living in London, it can be far easier to jump on & off buses/trains with baby in a sling or a carrier, than having to wait for a bus with enough space for your pram, or plan which train/tube station you will use to enable step free access due to your pram.

 

Reason7

Reason #7 – A Sling or a Carrier Takes Up Much Less Space in Your Home, Than a Buggy or Pram, When it’s Not in Use.

If, like so many of us, you have a finite amount of space in your home, then you may prefer to have a sling for the early weeks/months & get a buggy later. I often hear people talk about how much their baby hated the pram when they were newborns, so you may decide not to have one taking up space until you need it? You can always get a Granny Trolley to hold your shopping. :o)

Reason8

Reason #8 – Being Carried Can Even Help Older Babies & Children, Like When They’re Tired or Teething.

Sometimes, even though your baby can walk, they’re can’t move as quickly as you would like them too, or walk as far as you would like them to. To get home from Nursery at the end of the day, or to rest their little legs on a long family day out, a sling or carrier can be very handy indeed. You can also use it to reconnect after a period of separation, such as a day at Nursery – a snuggle on the way home while they tell you about their day, is often just what you both need.

Are you an expectant parent, or has your baby already arrived? Do any of these sound familiar to you? How about you, what’s your favourite thing about carrying your baby?

References
Feber, et al. 2004. The effect of skin to skin contact (kangaroo care) shortly after birth on the neurobehavioural responses of the term newborn: a randomised, controlled trial. Pediatrics.  113:858-865.

Knowles, R, 2016. Why Babywearing Matters. Pinter & Martin.

Messmer,P, et al. 1997. Effect of kangaroo care on sleep time for neonates. Pediatric Nursing. 23(4):408-414.

Moore, et al, 2016. Early skin-to-skin contact for mothers and their healthy newborn infants. https://www.cochrane.org/CD003519/PREG_early-skin-skin-contact-mothers-and-their-healthy-newborn-infants

Pisacane, A, et al. 2012. Use of baby carriers to increase breastfeeding duration among term infants: the effects of an educational intervention in Italy. Actica Pediatrica. 101(10):434-438.