Spotlight on a Slingababy Consultant: Jilly Clarke

Spotlight on a Slingababy Consultant: Jilly Clarke

Can you give us a quick introduction as to who you are?
Hi, I am Jilly and I am based in Welwyn, Hertfordshire where I live with my two children and husband. I have been a perinatal educator (that is, antenatal, postnatal and baby up to around 2 years old) for the past 9 years. I run CubCare, which is home to my pregnancy yoga, hypnobirthing, parenting and baby classes as well as my consultancy. I also run Welwyn Slings, offering slings and carriers for hire in the local area in Hertfordshire and North London.

Can you tell us more about your journey from carrying to becoming a consultant to now?
My sister recommended a sling when I had my son, so that I could give him the endless cuddles that he wanted whilst being able to make and eat my lunch with two hands! I didn’t really use it much beyond the first few months, but when I had my daughter I really got my money’s worth! She was born right at the beginning of the summer holidays so she went in the sling almost immediately so that I was then free to play and be with my son. We carried regularly until she was around 2, and she still loves to be carried now, age 7!

When my daughter started school I decided to add to my business, and had noticed that clients would stop carrying their babies as soon as their first carrier became uncomfortable. They wanted to carry but they weren’t finding the products, or the instructions, were allowing them to do that. Gaining the knowledge and experience from my consultancy training has allowed me to give knowledgeable advice to my clients in class, but to also to deliver 1:1 consults with clients solely on carrying.

What is your favourite part about being a consultant?
Passing that knowledge on, allowing parents the freedom they didn’t think they’d be able to achieve.

Often clients come with preconceived ideas of what they are after, and I love it when I am able to show them the wide variety of options available and they find something that works for them. I do love the lightbulb moment when it all makes sense and they perhaps choose a style they would have never considered.

Would you share a special memory that sticks out for you?
One of my favourite memories is when I went to a home of a two week old family. They had a carrier and a sling that was passed down to them and they didn’t know where to start with using them. They had a dog and a cuddly newborn and needed to work out how to ease back into life. The Dad was immediately drawn to a ring sling and picked up the technique immediately. The look of absolute pride when he was able to get his daughter happy and comfortable in the ring sling and make himself some lunch was a memory that will stick with me for a long time!

What tip would you give yourself if you could get back to the time before you were a parent?
Trust your gut. Don’t be so caught up in how much babies “should” be sleeping or feeding and just go with it. If in doubt, feed the baby!

Why did you choose to train with Slingababy?
When looking for recommendations on Facebook groups, Slingababy was always the most recommended. When comparing websites of different training providers, the Slingababy course was the most comprehensive and supportive. I wanted to train with the best – and that’s exactly what I did!

Do you want to say a few words about your Slingababy experience?
Lorette is so supportive and caring. Always challenging me, and helping me to understand that I am always in the place I need to be. During the training I was the least experienced with babywearing, but time and dedication to learning has got me to a “good enough” place. I am still not in my comfort zone, but that’s where growth continues to happen, and that reminder from Lorette was special!

How can people get hold of you?
You can contact me via my website
Or my Instagram @cubcare_jillyclarke
My email address is

Spotlight on a Slingababy Consultant: Laurna Hislop

Spotlight on a Slingababy Consultant: Laurna Hislop

Can you give us a quick introduction as to who you are?
I run Coorie in with love based in the scottish highlands but also covering the islands too.
I’ve been running for almost 8 years now and trained for 9.
I offer consultancy sessions online and in my studio space. Library and workshops and offer postal hires and online sessions.
I specialise in wovens and offer the only full online woven wrap course the included wrap hire but also available worldwide as needed.

Can you tell us more about your journey from carrying to becoming a consultant to now?
I wanted to carry when I was pregnant with my first as we have a dog. I was showing how to wrap by a friend and was hooked! It helped so much with my PND and PNA and loved the freedom.
I completed my peer training when my daughter was about 5months old and wanted to learn more so I could support others.

I went on to train with two other schools including Slingababy and never looked back!

What is your favourite part about being a consultant?
Seeing the look on a parents face when they get a sling fitted well and realise how much its going to change their parenting journey for the better.

Would you share a special memory that sticks out for you?
I think they first te my daughter calmed and fell asleep in the sling and I could go out. Not feeling trapped or limited by a buggy in a flat.

What tip would you give yourself if you could get back to the time before you were a parent?
Book in to learn what works for you and baby. Don’t buy cheap off ebay because it could end the journey before it begins!

Why did you choose to train with Slingababy?
Because I had heard lots of good stuff about it in the groups and had a thirst for more knowledge.

Do you want to say a few words about your Slingababy experience?
Best bloody thing ever!

Anything else you would like to say about anything?
Carrying is amazing!

How can people get hold of you?
You can get in touch at
Or on my facebook or Instagram, and Threads, all under @coorieinwithlove

Laurna Hislop carrying her child on the back

Safety first! and why T.I.C.K.S is inadequate

The “only” thing that matters to me when I teach is safety. Whilst I do appreciate and understand the many facets of carrying (baby’s body, baby’s mind, person carrying’s body, person carrying’s mind, their relationship, their environment…) I have to trust that people will find the angle that matters to them, whether it aligns with my personal views and choices or not. The one thing I want everyone to prioritise is safety.

Having the “right” angle for the hips is no use if baby is slumping. Colour coordinating outfits and slings will not help if baby is not secure enough and falls off. You might know all the fancy finishes but can you reliably get baby off your back in a controlled way?



You may have heard of TICKS and if so you might wonder why the title of this blogpost is about its inadequacies…

When I teach the consultancy course, my students are usually already pretty fluent in carrying and the “rules”. I then ask them to tell me what TICKS stands for. 5 letters. 5 concepts? Do you know what they mean? Most people do not recall what they stand for…


Tight. If the carry is not tight,  there is a risk of slumping for young/hypotonic babies and therefore potentially positional asphyxia, which could lead to death (pretty serious!). There is also a risk of falling off depending on how loose and where the looseness is.

In view at all times. This one has its limitations (back carries, vision impairment) but my understanding is that it is about monitoring and also about ensuring there is no hinderance to the airflow from covering, so again it is about breathing.

Close enough to kiss. Interestingly, this one is rather poetic but pretty unhelpful. Again, it doesn’t work when it comes to back carrying. Depending on your neck length and mobility, you may be able to kiss a baby who might already be too low, or unable to reach but there is no actual risk at that specific height (many posts where men carry lower and get a barrage of negativity when there may not be any reason to). So what’s the deal about height? I see several aspects. If baby is too high, it will make it difficult to navigate the space and will put your posture out of balance, this will increase the risk of fall. I consider the “safe” zone to be for the top of baby’s head to be under your chin. What’s the lower limit? When babies are small (prior to them having the ability to protect their own breathing), you want to ensure their breathing is above your squishables, so nose and mouth above soft tissues (breast, softer chests, fluffy clothing…). This means that if you have no squishables, you could carry lower… If baby gets in the way of your movement (legs hitting legs, or putting your posture out of balance for example), then it is too low for the “safe” zone.

Keep the chin off the chest. This one is very clear (at last!!) if baby’s chin goes onto their chest when baby does not yet have the ability to protect their own breathing, this may lead to positional asphyxia which as we discussed above could lead to death.

Supported back. This one is a repeat version of tight. Slumping risks are no jokes. I believe it was also the opportunity to bring information about upright carrying after the tragedies that happened in bag slings.


So in summary, TICKS is 5 letters that mostly encourage to protect breathing, babies not falling out and monitoring: 3 concepts.
I’m a big fan of simplifying. If you want to say 3 things, say 3 things.




but also……. there is so much more to safety! I would always encourage to risk assess: think of the changeability of the carrying and its individual components:

As the person carrying, you will be changing throughout the carry (mood, activity, patience, strength, and much more…).
The baby will also be changing throughout the carry and each baby is unique in its personality and physique (behaviour, activity, physical development, willingness to be carried, experience, etc…).
The sling will shift overtime. Fabric moves and stretches. Remember to adjust if necessary.
Depending on what you carry with and how you carry, you will find variations in secureness and easy access in case of emergency, etc…
And last but not least, the environment you are working in will have a big impact. Are you indoors or outdoors? Is it familiar? Does it change a lot? What is the ground like? What is the density of people and objects? The weather? etc…

So with varied risks come varied safety nets. Just like you adjust your walking alongside a toddler, you need to adjust your carrying awareness and responsiveness. Busy roads and empty fields do not get the same safety net…


Now, I don’t want to highlight the inadequacies of the TICKS  guidelines without offering alternatives, so here is a model that CalmFamily and Slingababy  have put together. Please find links at the end of this article for the printable pdfs and use freely as long as it is whole and with the credit.

This safety leaflet works as a traffic light: the reds are the most important parts to remember, the oranges are aspects to be cautious over, the greens are to do with positioning and comfort

If you were to only remember 3 words, make it the ABS: Aware, Breathing and Secure.

  • Aware: remain attentive and responsive. If it feels wrong, it is wrong. Remember babies need us to do the risk assessment!
  • Breathing: young babies are at risk of positional asphyxia. That’s when their airway can become obstructed by slumping. It’s a big deal and can end in tragedy, so make sure that baby’s chin is away from their chest and that they get plenty of airflow.
  • Secure: hold your baby until you feel you can rely on your carry. Make sure your baby is kept close and in a sustainable position. If baby is not secure, you must take action. Re-tie and re-adjust as necessary and if in doubt, get baby out!

The next part is about cautions and checks. It is the part where you apply common sense and apply your risk assessment. Remember, if in doubt, take action, increase your safety net, get baby out of the sling if it doesn’t feel right and you cannot adjust it to feel right.

The cautions:

  • Protect from the elements: that means if the weather requires protection, adapt it for your baby and the parts of their body that are covered (or not) by the sling.
  • Practice safe sling sleep: If you want to nap with your baby, remember that you won’t be aware so unless someone has taken over safety whilst you snooze, we suggest you get your baby out and explore safe sleep options.
  • Sober enough: if you are too tipsy/drunk to look after your baby, then you are not fit to carry.
  • Appropriate activities only: each situation is different. Risk assess, adjust your safety net, think of the potential dangers and explore alternatives
  • Regulate temperature: one layer of sling is one layer of clothing, on the parts of baby that are covered. Check baby for overheating in the nape of the neck. Favour natural fabrics and keep baby close.
  • Avoid over-stimulation: you know your baby and circumstances best. Remember that everything is new for babies and they can get overwhelmed easily. Stay responsive.

 The checks:

  • Sling fit for purpose: is it in good condition? free of toxic dyes? age and size-appropriate?
  • For hazards around you: remember to always risk assess! Your environment might be changing all the time.
  • Everyone is hydrated: remember to drink and to keep baby hydrated too.
  • With a carrying professional if unsure: the internet is full of good intentions but sometimes the delivery or lack of understanding of individual needs can lead to inadequate support.

The final part is about positioning and comfort. Sometimes you may choose to dismiss some aspects for reasons that are true to you or you child (remember, it depends!).

Child development and comfort (aka Positioning):

  • Neck supported: young babies have low muscle tone and need help to support their heads up in a way that keeps their airway protected. This can be done with tilting their pelvis so their heads rest onto your chest or with soft cushioning behind their necks
  • Smooth material on the spine: if you have a wrinkled sling it might hide some slack which can hinder the adequate support as well as being less comfortable.
  • Knee to knee: do you know that there are tendons behind the knees that help protect baby’s blood flow?
  • Hands up: babies love putting their hands in their mouths and on their faces
  • Tilted pelvis: this helps bring the weight baring part onto their tail bone and also with the support of their spine (and also neck)
  • Feet free to move: need I say more?

Carer comfort and safety:

  • Relaxed shoulders: can you smooth fabric? can you bring the pressure away from your neck towards the outside of your shoulders?
  • Knot placement: play around with how you tie your sling, you may find some places mor comfortable than others.
  • Material smooth: the more you can spread the fabric, the more it spreads the weight of your child
  • Comfortable footwear: carrying babies can be demanding to your body. You also want to ensure you can control how you move into the space
  • Centre of gravity: the closer baby is to you, the closer your collective centre of gravity is, so play around with height of carrying to ensure a comfortable carry.

Following some feedback, we are tweaking and adding new visuals to support the ABS of carrying safely. Here are the ones currently available:

Please enjoy your carrying journey, safely!

If you want to use the leaflets, here are some downloadable pdfs (Please use them whole and with credit):


Trifold leaflet



Day one only: CPD for consultants

We have been asked to give the opportunity to carrying consultants trained with other schools to sample our course, so here goes:

The day one only ticket!

It’s your opportunity to experience the depth of what we are offering without having to commit to the whole course. Day One is a fully packed day from 9am to 5.30pm UK time. We believe it represents us really well.
If you decide to sign up for the whole course at a later stage (either at the end of day one or much later), we will take off the cost of the day one ticket, so it won’t cost you twice!

So what are you waiting for!?!


[Image description 1: slide with text: “Day One Only: CPD for consultants.
You have trained with another school?
You have heard of Slingababy being like no-other?
Want to know what the fuss is about?
You’d love to attend the 4-day consultancy course, but you cannot justify the expense or you cannot make the logistics work….
Good news! We have just what you need to sample our Slingababy Love!”

Image description 2: slide with text: “Day One Only: CPD for consultants.
Come for day 1 of the consultancy course!
We cover:
Role and limitations of the consultant
Understanding human needs
Discussions on language of support
The two keys to a successful consultation
Baby physiology and anatomy: a different perspective
Baby handling and holding
5 different carrying positions: an overview
Introduction to woven wrapping”

Image description 3: slide with text: “Day One Only: CPD for consultants.
We believe that day 1 of the consultancy course is the perfect opportunity to discover what makes us special.
But what if you love it so much you want to come to the whole course? Or if you would like to join us at the next course?
Well you can! Good news is that we will take the cost of the Day One ticket off the total cost of the course.“]

Why I care so much about feeding and carrying advocacy

As someone working with parents, I have heard so many horror stories when it comes to feeding support. As a mother of 2, I have my own stories to tell.

After the birth of my first child, I was very trusting and received much misinformation from the team that I expected support and evidence-based information from. Having little knowledge and experience myself, at the time, I took what they said at face-value, with an additional layer of societal pressures and pre-conceptions, and went on a path that I didn’t really want to go down. It took me a while to receive the right support and return to feeding in a way that aligned with my wishes.
Along the journey I accessed valuable support and knowledge, so by the time my second child came, I felt ready for any challenge.

Well…. They say they send you the children you need…. My daughter’s feeding journey was complex. We could nurse lying down or in a sling. We could not make in-arms feeding work. It took 10 months to get to a point where she would consistently accept in-arms feeding.

The more I reflected, the more anger, frustration and disbelief I had at a system that glorifies breastfeeding in pregnancy but does not equip anyone with the tools to reach those goals.
What if I hadn’t met the compassionate support with my first child? What if I didn’t know how to feed in a sling with my second? What if my first and my second had been in my life the other way around? What about all the other stories I heard?

Infant feeding support can be amazing if you know where to look for it. La Leche League, the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers, the Breastfeeding Network, local peer supporters like Milk Mentors, IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultants) to name a few, do an incredible job at supporting mothers and nursing parents.
Baby-carrying support brings tools that make child-rearing a smoother ride for many.
Well, sometimes, bringing the two together can make such a difference! Clearly it made all the difference to my daughter. Knowing how to feed a child in a sling or a carrying aid can be a supportive tool in so many ways. Does it mean it needs to be used all the time? No! but it can be one of the tools that unlocks the journey.
I believe that as carrying-consultants we need to have the tools to support parents with their carrying needs, including feeding (any type of feeding) and I believe that as feeding supporters we have a duty to explore any tools that can support mothers and nursing parents to achieve their goals.

The next Feeding and Carrying Advocacy courses can be found HERE and we will spend the morning understanding why feeding and carrying advocacy is so important and the afternoon learning the practical tools to support any type of infant feeding.

Parenthood and celebrations

Last weekend, I spent mother’s day with some pretty special mothers and it felt like a perfect way to celebrate. We talked about our journeys and how people’s comments can be hurtful.

As I have worked with many mothers over the years, I have come to appreciate the rainbows of life choices, circumstances and impossible situations.

When we talk about parenthood during our courses, we discuss the individuality of stories. Some people share some very personal stuff and some don’t.

I have come to the realisation that it is close to never OK to ask if people want to become parents, or if and when they want more children. I don’t mean that you can never talk about these topics but unless someone is opening up to you, there is often rawness behind it.

The ones who want to become parents and cannot.
The ones who don’t want to become parents and do get pregnant.
The ones who don’t want to become parents and are met with constant criticism.
The ones who have had miscarriages.
The ones whose babies did not stay.
The ones who went through fertility treatments.
The ones who had a surrogate.
The ones who want one more but their partners do not support it.
The ones who had one more but didn’t want to.The ones who have many children.
The ones who want to adopt.
The ones who don’t want to adopt.
The ones who miss their parents.
The ones who get disappointed cycles after cycles.
The ones whose stories are a locked treasure box.
The ones who are too scared to share their story because it hurts, because they feel judged, because of the questions, because of trauma, because only they know…

To all of you who have shared pieces of your heart with me, this weekend or previously, I thank you.

To all of you I hurt by asking questions, please accept my apologies.

However you celebrate mothers’ day, or any other family celebration day,  remember that humans go beyond cards and flowers. Remember to connect and support those who can’t feel the joy in the way that you might, and maybe pause before asking private questions…

Slingababy Christmas Competition 2021

Ho Ho Ho! It’s this time of year when Slingababy thinks they are Santa!

If you have followed us over the last few years then you will know that every December we run a competition to get places and vouchers for our courses.

This year will not be different apart that we run more courses now so you have more choice!

So what can you win?
A FREE place on a Slingababy course of your choice ran in 2022

What do you need to do?
1- Fill in this form (when ready):
2- Share this post on your Facebook or Instagram wall with privacy set to public explaining why you are entering our competition
3- Comment here with a happy carrying memory
4- Spread some joy: pay compliments to strangers, bring a dish to your neighbour, tell a friend you miss them, add some food to your local foodbank collection point, sing out loud, dance in public, patch up a broken thing or relationship, tell yourself you’re amazing…. you choose!
5- Did you remember to fill the form and make your share public?

Can I enter for a friend?
You sure can, but you will have to check with them that we can have their email address because data and stuff….

When is the deadline?
Sunday the 19th at 8pm UK time

When is the winner announced?
Some time between the 24th and the 30th of December…. You’ll have to check in

* If you have accessibility needs, let us know and we will work something out. Slingababy aims to be an inclusive school

I love you

Today my gorgeous awesome 6 year old was beside herself with worry when she thought she had done something wrong. She was crying I was going to hate her… My heart just broke. I have so much love for this little girl. If only she knew….

So I held her, and I reassured her and she said her heart felt sad and broken.

I told her I would hold her tight and talk to her heart until it felt healed. And I started telling her OUR LOVE SONG (see words below), and after a long while she started to not be so upset anymore so we could talk together. I reminded her of how she is a bright and smart and clever little girl and that sometimes she is so bright and smart and clever I even forget how little she is. I told her that even if she was big and bright and smart and clever, sometimes she would still not reach expectations (hers and others) and that she was still perfect because she is a human. A perfect little human who feels <3

She’s OK now, back to her bouncy self. And as I am processing my human feels, my mothering feels, I thought that maybe Our Love Song could help you too….

You have to understand that the words change each time, sometimes we only need to say a few lines, sometimes we need to add a million but Our Love Song never disappoints in making everybody feel more connected.


I love you in the morning
I love you in the afternoon
I love you in the evening
I love you in the night
I love you when you’re sad and I love you when you’re happy
I love you when you’re tired and I love you when you’re bouncy
I love you when you’re angry and I love you when you’re calm
I love you when you’re awake and I love you when you’re asleep
I love you when you mess up and I love you when you don’t
I loved you when you were a baby and I loved you when you were a toddler
I love you now you’re a little girl and I’ll love you when you’re bigger
I’ll love you as a young adult and I’ll love you when you’re old
I’ll love you when I’m old and I’ll love you when I’m dead
I love you when you’re near and I love you when you’re far
I love you when we hug and I love you when you play
I love you on a Monday
I love you on a Tuesday
I love you on a Wednesday
I love you on a Thursday
I love you on a Friday
I love you on a Saturday
I love you on a Sunday
I love you in January
I love you in February
I love you in March
I love you in April
I love you in May
I love you in June
I love you in July
I love you in August
I love you in September
I love you in October
I love you in November
I love you in December
I love you when we kiss
I love you when you don’t love you
I love you until you do and then I love you some more
I love you bigger than a piece of string
I love you bigger than space
I love you more than I can

Our Love Song only stops when love has returned
This is our gift to you, we hope it helps you remember that Love is all we have


New course! The Advanced Stretchy Wrap course

The long awaited course for advanced stretchy wrap skills has arrived!

If you want to get your stretchy wrap teachings to the next level, this course is for you!

The Advanced Stretchy Wrap course is designed to support baby-carrying professionals. It is beneficial for baby-carrying consultants but also for doulas, antenatal course providers and health care professionals.

It aims to provide you with the tools to get the most out of your stretchy wraps so you can support families both in the early stages of parenthood and also for the first couple of years.

From optimising your pre-tie to going free style with wrapping around, from the standard front carries to hip and back carries, from narrow one-way to super stretchy two-way wraps, we will cover anything you need to know.  We will talk safety and risk assessment, we will explore various positions, we will debunk some myths, and all this through the usual Slingababy ethos!

The good news: this new course is currently available in-person!
We will work towards a remote version but for now you are going to need to either come to the first ever course in Coventry in January, or get groups together, just how we used to do.

All information about the course can be found here:

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