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): https://slingababy.co.uk/slingababy-2021-christmas-competition/
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.

OUR LOVE SONG

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

xx

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:

https://slingababy.co.uk/advanced-stretchy-wrap/

When is Slingababy going to start running in-person courses again

When is Slingababy going to start running in-person courses again?!

This question keeps being asked. We are finding it tricky to plan with restrictions, uncertainties, travel limitations and with feeling that people are uneasy about big logistical commitments in advance.

We have now decided on course dates for 2022 (click here!). We are currently planning to run these courses remotely but we are keeping our fingers crossed that we will reach a point when we can alternate remote courses and in-person courses.
In the meantime, we are willing to start organising in-person courses again and adding extra dates in for those! All you need to do is to get a group together, just like we used to do.

There is a Facebook group to help you meet other people interested in organising a course (click here for the link). You can also find other students through alternative places.

  • For a course in Devon, we are willing to organise a course from 3 participants.
  • For a course in England and Wales, we are willing to organise a course from 5 participants.
  • For a course in Scotland or Northern Ireland, we are willing to organise a course from 7 participants.
  • For an international course, we are willing to organise a course from 15 participants due to potential quarantining times. Please note that our International Pricing is only available for remote courses (click here for more info).

If you have a group already or would like to register interest, get in touch via email: info@slingababy.co.uk

We also have a brand new course that we will launch next month!! and this one will be run in person, so keep an eye out for this one!

We can’t wait to get back to meeting you in the flesh

New course! Boobies and more

We are so excited to announce that we have partnered with the incredible J’Nel Metherell to deliver a brand new course: Slingababy breastfeeding peer support course!

We wanted to bring some extra depth to those who have attended the Feeding and Carrying Advocacy Course and it was really important to us to be done by someone we trust who understands the Slingababy ethos. J’Nel is an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) and La Leche League Leader (Breastfeeding counsellor) with a huge passion for bodywork and its impact on the breastfeeding relationship. She is also the founder of Milk Mentors, a breastfeeding peer support organisation that covers three counties.
J’Nel and Lorette have known each other for over a decade and are both passionate about supporting parents through their own unique journeys.

Both carrying and feeding are not activities happening in a vacuum so it makes sense to start bringing all these skills together, united by our loving compassionate outlook.

So can anyone become a Slingababy breastfeeding peer supporter? Yes, but to access this course you must have attended the Feeding and Carrying Advocacy course first as some of the concepts covered in this course are used as part of the breastfeeding peer support course curriculum.

You will find more information about this course here: https://slingababy.co.uk/breastfeeding-peer-support/

Spotlight on a Slingababy Consultant: Ana Vuletic

Spotlight on a Slingababy Consultant: Ana Vuletic

Can you give us a quick introduction as to who you are?
Hi, I am Ana. I have been babywearing for around 6 years now and I have an almost 6 year old girl Lena, and a 2.5 year old Tara. I am originally from Serbia, but currently settled in Finland. I started a charity Library called Lena’s traveling carriers 3 years ago with the idea to help all parents safely babywear and to create a place without mum shaming and full support. We rent everything for free and also provide mums support trough each stage of motherhood and beyond. Recently we extended our support by partnering with IT Academy to give parents the opportunity to learn new skills and help their career.

Can you tell us more about your journey from carrying to becoming a consultant to now?
As mentioned, not only did I wear both of my kids, I also created a group which covers 3 countries and has an army of babywearing consultants to support parents. My group has this strict rule of not allowing mum shaming in any way. In many other groups I was constantly seeing some advice which were pointing out big NOs and shamed parents for their decisions and I wanted to have official training because everything in my gut was saying that it can’t be one rule for all situations.

What is your favourite part about being a consultant?
Supporting parents and encouraging them to make decisions, providing them with all the love and watch them grow in confidence.

Would you share a special memory that sticks out for you?
There are many, but the ones that stick out the most are those that facilitated life changing moments. Once there was a little, amazing boy with spina bifida, full of life and eager for adventures and amazing parents who were always trying to find new ways to allow him to explore. I managed to find a specially designed carrier and with a help from the group Lena’s traveling carriers we gathered enough money to buy it send it as a new year gift. They were able to go off roads and seek new adventures and I am proud of all parents working together in this.

What tip would you give yourself if you could get back to the time before you were a parent?
The one tip I will give myself is to have all the patience in the world for my mum and be kinder to her, and also to be kinder to myself.

Why did you choose to train with Slingababy?
I wanted to introduce a new school in our countries and I read all great experiences and reviews and somehow I felt it aligned with my approach and I was right.

Do you want to say a few words about your Slingababy experience?
It was amazing experience. Lorette is a wonderful teacher, who knows really well to trigger all the right spots and inspire you to dig deeper and find your way. I think I gained a lot and above all I felt good and ready after finishing.

Anything else you would like to say about anything?
Be kind to each other, always.

How can people get hold of you?
Trough FB Page: Lena’s traveling carriers
IG: @lenastravelingcarriers
Email: lenastravelingcarriers@gmail.com
website: lenastravelingcarriers.com

Ana Vuletic with her two daughters in summer in Finland in front of the forest. Her 2 year old is in her favourite ring sling which has bugs on it.

Spotlight on a Slingababy Consultant: Rachel Coy

Spotlight on a Slingababy Consultant: Rachel Coy

Can you give us a quick introduction as to who you are?
I’ve been carrying for 11 years after I discovered the dog wanted to go places the “all terrain” buggy didn’t. I’ve been running sling library for almost 10 years and consultant for 9. I’m I am a mummy of two. When not running library, I am a secondary maths teacher specialising in nurture provision. I run the North East Sling library from my home in Durham city but provide postal hire across the country and video consultations

Can you tell us more about your journey from carrying to becoming a consultant to now?
I started carrying with a variety of mainstream carriers that we were given by friends. When Henry was 4 months old, the infantino sling rider recall occurred. We had a different brand but couldn’t understand why it would be safe if slingrider wasn’t. So I set about trying to find solutions. I came across the babywearer and natural mamas and very quickly fell in love. I started with a meh dai but moved onto buckles (my favourite being connecta – we even have an exclusive range called Isaac’s Dogs and Henry’s Hogs) and eventually wraps.

There was no in person support anywhere near me when I started so without online forums I wouldn’t have known what to do. It was this lack of support which saw me launch the sling library. We have grown from 23 slings to 300+ in the almost 10 years we have run.

I started library in July 2011 and completed my first consultancy course in March 2012. I have then gone on to train with all uk based trainers and Jpmbb. For a while, before returning to full time teaching, I also taught peer support courses.

What is your favourite part about being a consultant?
The lightbulb moment parents get when they realise something they had discounted because it looked complicated is actually the perfect fit. It is their trust in me to select what I think will be the right fit that means the most.

Would you share a special memory that sticks out for you?
I went to do a home visit consult with a first time American mum. It was thanksgiving and she invited me to thanksgiving dinner.

The other, supporting a disabled mum carry her 3 year old so she could take her to nursery. I have then gone on to help her with her two other children.

What tip would you give yourself if you could get back to the time before you were a parent?
Trust yourself. Firstly, you are in charge of your destiny. Secondly, when you are a parent that you know your baby better than anyone else.

Why did you choose to train with Slingababy?
Lorette’s enthusiasm and understanding. Her patient style and willingness to not just stick with the “normal”
That and she got me to concur my nemesis is carry – the robyns hip carry.

The opportunity to repeat days if necessary too

Do you want to say a few words about your Slingababy experience?
Life changing!

How can people get hold of you?
Rachel@northeastslinglibrary.co.uk
Facebook page www.Facebook.com/northeastslings or phone 07989242664

Rachel Coy carrying a demo doll on her front

Rachel Coy carrying her son in a woven wrap on her front

Rachel Coy carrying her son on the front in a buckle carrier. They are kissing each other

Spotlight on a Slingababy Consultant: Emma Cooper

Spotlight on a Slingababy Consultant: Emma Cooper

Can you give us a quick introduction as to who you are?
I am mum to two, older child is 6, younger child is 20weeks – finding my sling skills so helpful with needing to care for two children!

I live in south Gloucestershire, I am one of the three Bristol Sling Ladies, and am building my consultancy (Emma Cooper Carrying) in the Yate / Chipping Sodbury / Bradley Stoke area.

I walk my dog every day, and I used to enjoy swimming and exercise every week although the pandemic has totally thrown that out of sync!

I love empowering parents and carers, it’s such a joy to help them be confident, comfortable and safe in their carrying journey.

Can you tell us more about your journey from carrying to becoming a consultant to now?
Eldest born 2015, came to slings out of necessity as I had two dogs and lived in a flat with no garden!

I quickly learned all the amazing benefits of carrying, for myself and for my daughter, and found the online community. I wanted to help build the bristol sling community and began volunteering for Bristol Sling Library in the winter of 2015.

I loved helping people and so began my training: I did Born to Carry Peer Supporter training in April 2016, School of Babywearing Consultant training in February 2017, and Slingababy Consultant training in April 2018 – followed by Slingababy Feeding in Slings course in the summer of 2019. The Slingababy CPD has been amazing and I have attended a number of babywearing conferences (MBCC, Carry on London, The Wrap Show) where I have broadened my skills and knowledge.

What is your favourite part about being a consultant?
The look on a new parent’s face when their child snuggles in and they fee totally hands free for the first time!

Would you share a special memory that sticks out for you?
A dog walking mums group grew out of a Facebook thread about babywearing coats! We used to walk in local woods every Monday morning for two years, it was like a walking workshop where we shared parenting experiences, sling knowledge and mutual support. It was such a special time from when I was 30 weeks pregnant until we had rampaging toddlers!

What tip would you give yourself if you could get back to the time before you were a parent?
I paid for a sling consultation, which helped me hugely… I wish I had bought a babywearing coat whilst pregnant!

Why did you choose to train with Slingababy?
I heard so many good things about Slingababy and I wanted to be part of the family – the other two Bristol Sling Ladies had already trained with Lorette in 2015. The CPD was also an attractive aspect.

Do you want to say a few words about your Slingababy experience?
Lorette is inspirational, I love the empowerment she brings and I love the community she has created

How can people get hold of you?
Text/Whatsapp 07780667556 or website www.emmacoopercarrying.com has all my details

Emma Cooper carrying her little one in a woven wrap

Emma Cooper carrying her little one in her arms

Spotlight on a Slingababy Consultant: Kimmy Milham

Spotlight on a Slingababy Consultant: Kimmy Milham

Can you give us a quick introduction as to who you are?
I am mother to Thomas (7) and Matilda (5) and I have a stepson Blake (12) with my husband Simon who is also a Peer Supporter in our Library. We live in Maidstone, and run Mid Kent Babywearing. We offer a Sling Library as well as workshops, social events, and consultancy services.

Can you tell us more about your journey from carrying to becoming a consultant to now?
I used to work in Visual Merchandising, and when I fell pregnant with my daughter a bit sooner than we planned I wanted to do something that kept me close to my children before they started school and I could return to work. Initially I applied to be a breastfeeding peer supporter, but as fate would have it the course was full, so I looked into how to train in babywearing as it was also my passion.

What is your favourite part about being a consultant?
I love being able to help so many people who would otherwise think they are unable to successfully babywear. I myself talked myself out of so many carriers because I thought they wouldn’t fit my body type, so I enjoy being able to open so many options to people who also believe they are limited or cannot carry.

Would you share a special memory that sticks out for you?
I can’t pick just one, every single message I get from happy clients makes me burst with pride. I remember them all and on my darkest days, or quiet weeks, I reread them and remind myself I am not an imposter!

What tip would you give yourself if you could get back to the time before you were a parent?
You’re not tired, you have no idea what tired is! Stop judging parents, you have no idea how hard it is! Oh and Super Nanny doesn’t have a clue.

Why did you choose to train with Slingababy?
I looked at all the babywearers I aspired to be like. I was in a lot of different Facebook groups and always admiring different videos or pictures, or even just their stories and personalities. I very quickly found all the educators I loved were part of the Slingababy family, so there was no question who I wanted to train with.

Do you want to say a few words about your Slingababy experience?
Slingababy has changed me beyond babywearing. The training made me look more into myself and how I approach others. The community has moulded me, and continues to do so to this day over 4 years later! It really is a family, even if I stopped babywearing (I won’t!) I know I would still have my Slingababy love.

How can people get hold of you?
You can reach me via the website midkentbabywearing.co.uk on Facebook and Instagram @/MidKentBabywearing on Twitter @MidKentBW or via email on midkentbabywearing@gmail.com

Kimmy carrying her son Thomas on her front in a woven wrap

1 2 3 38