Spotlight on a Slingababy Consultant: Zoë Woodman
Can you give us a quick introduction as to who you are?
I have 3 children aged 12, 7 and 5. I live in Surrey Hills Uk. I have a Psychology degree. I started the sling library in 2012.
Can you tell us more about your journey from carrying to becoming a consultant to now?
I trained as a consultant in 2016, when my third baby was 5 months old on the day the result of the Brexit referendum was announced. It was a sombre start to the course. I set up The Sling Consultancy as a way to reach parents that didn’t subscribe to the traditional views of stereotypes around those who carry their babies. I’m coming from a science evidence based background.
We fell into carrying purely because we lived in a flat and thought it would be useful and as our neighbours downstairs had bought one too but actually I didn’t like the carrier we had and didn’t use it much.
I then saw someone on a train when my eldest was around 9m and it was different to other carriers I had seen and asked her about it, then I bought that same carrier. We used it until our eldest was 3! Having moved to an area of outstanding beauty we enjoyed going for long walks.
Then my second baby was born and I found carrying invaluable for the school and nursery runs and for feeding in with another child needing their needs to be met.
And again even more so our third! He lived in the sling!
I love delving into the why behind infant behaviour as once we know why we can be more understanding to meet those needs.
I share the science from many fields linked to carrying, neuroscience, attachment, trauma, stress, and how it supports infant development and supports parents development. Impacting positively on both physical and mental health, short and long term.
What is your favourite part about being a consultant?
Seeing parents faces when their baby gently falls asleep on them in a sling/carrier and they realise they can do other things if they choose to.seeing that lightbulb switch on in their brain connecting shifting. Happens online as well when what you say clicks with someone.
Would you share a special memory that sticks out for you?
Being invited to talk to carrying professionals at the wrap show in 2019 about the science of carrying and links to adverse childhood experiences, attachment and trauma through the neuroscience.
Where can we find some of your work?
I have written for Juno magazine on toddler carrying and how carrying can be both an intervention and a prevention for adverse childhood experiences and trauma.
And also for Netdoctor on safe babywearing.
Is there anything else that you get up to, when you are not writing or supporting families?
I also run, with another consultant, the Brilliant Babywearing Business group for those involved in businesses linked to carrying.
It isn’t about carrying as such, but about what goes into running a business alongside mindset work we cover many practical aspects too. It is so important to human brain development that it really matters that our businesses are sustainable to support parents to carry, to be responsive. To help shape the brains of the next generation.
What tip would you give yourself if you could get back to the time before you were a parent?
Meet their needs – ask what does my baby need right now. Most of time it’s you.
Why did you choose to train with Slingababy?
I loved the Slingababy ethos and way Lorette teaches it is hugely empowering as consultants and even more so for our clients.
Do you want to say a few words about your Slingababy experience?
The Slingababy community is such a welcoming non-judgemental place and the people are amazing. It encourages an entirely different way of thinking and often leads to bigger changes it is so much more than about carrying or slings.
How can people get hold of you?
On the socials as @Theslingconsultancy I’m most active on Instagram