Kia Roberts

Spotlight on a Slingababy Consultant: Kia Roberts

Spotlight on a Slingababy Consultant: Kia Roberts

Can you give us a quick introduction as to who you are?
Mother to five boys in Derby. Owner of Cariad Babi – a not for profit eco store raising funds to provide support to vulnerable families. In June 2020, 6 months pregnant with four more at home, I opened The PoD (parents of derby) – a one stop hub of support for all things parent related, from car seat fittings to the sling & cloth nappy library. Cariad Babi aims to empower parents with informed choice, one eco friendly step at a time.

Can you tell us more about your journey from carrying to becoming a consultant to now?
As a disabled parent, I couldn’t push a pram or hold my baby long enough to finish a feed. This was the first time I’d managed to breastfeed and the pain of holding my baby at just 4 weeks was crippling. I saw a sling in a shop and bought it. It didn’t feel particularly safe or comfortable and so I found a sling library. I loved the ABILITY slings gave me, and became passionate to share it with others. Having always worked in family support roles, I volunteered at a sling library whilst continuing to build the model for Cariad Babi. I trained as a consultant and took the leap to provide a full time sling & cloth nappy library, 6 days a week, in the city centre, accessible to all. Cost, location, and building access barriers have all been reduced or removed to share the benefits further. It also has enabled me to work around my own health conditions and family without judgement, and my teaching has extended into other aspects if supporting parents. Slings helped me so much that I had two more children since I had spare hands for the older ones!

What is your favourite part about being a consultant?
Connecting. I love the people I meet. I love to hear about their journeys, be a part of their crossroads and help them to take their next step. I feel privileged to be invited into a part of their lifes, and to see the difference my support can make if very fulfilling. I have made more connections in the last 6 years than I had in the previous decade!

Would you share a special memory that sticks out for you?
I had a first time mum visit one of my pop up libraries in my early days, long before I had my own bricks and mortar venue. She came with her own sling needing support on how to use it.
An hour after her arrival she headed home smiling. But what happened in between was nothing to do with her sling. We didn’t even get it out the bag.
Instead, I opened a conversation enquiring as to how I might help, and picked up on underlying struggles. It turned out this lady needed support in another area I am trained in, but what I’d actually done was provide her with a space that she felt safe enough to open up, break down, cry and rebuild. We drank tea, I listened, offered support, and empowered her. She messaged shortly afterwards thanking me and has remained a client for several years now.
I learned very quickly that the space I provide is more important than the support I can offer, and have held on to that. If my space is wrong, nobody will come for support.

What tip would you give yourself if you could get back to the time before you were a parent?
Don’t do it! Haha I jest.
We’re all students. There is no right way to parent, but there is always room to develop, and it’s totally ok to royally balls it up from time to time. We’re learning too, it never stops!

Why did you choose to train with Slingababy?
I love what Lorette stands for. And equally for what she doesn’t. The course didn’t feel like ‘here’s how to be awesome at slings, now learn and leave’, but was much deeper into everything that surrounds the person who has come to you seeking support. I applied some things I learned from Lorette to other parts of my life!

Do you want to say a few words about your Slingababy experience?
It wasn’t what I expected, and the tools I was given enabled me to handle what came next that I’d not forseen. I’ve met some incredible people within the slingababy family and can’t wait to continue my career progression with the team.

Anything else you would like to say about anything?
If buzz lightyear doesn’t know he’s a toy, why doesn’t he speak around humans?
Back to business: Cariad Babi was an idea I developed over 10 years. I wanted to find a way to support families that didn’t rely on grants. My love for eco swaps was the perfect way to marry my ideas. Shopping with Cariad Babi directly supports other families, with every single order gratefully received and lovingly packaged.

How can people get hold of you?
www.cariadbabi.com
www.facebook.com/cariadbabi
www.instagram.com/cariadbabi
info@cariadbabi.com
07368 450874

Kia Roberts

Kia Roberts carrying her newborn in a woven wrap

Zoe Woodman

Spotlight on a Slingababy Consultant: Zoë Woodman

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?
https://www.theslingconsultancy.co.uk/

On the socials as @Theslingconsultancy I’m most active on Instagram

http://brilliantbabywearingbusiness.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/663289250738286/

Zoe Woodman

Zoë Woodman carrying her child in a woven wrap

 

Deborah Moore tandem-carrying her two girls

Spotlight on a Slingababy Consultant: Deborah Moore

Spotlight on a Slingababy Consultant: Deborah Moore

Can you give us a quick introduction as to who you are?
I’m Deborah , mum to two girls. Aged 3 and 7 and wife to Tim.
We live in Essex, Uk.
I am a hairdresser by trade and still do mobile work.
I trained as a Babywearing peer supporter and started a sling library with a friend in May 2016.
I went on to do my consultancy course with Slingababy in 2017.
I now run South Essex Slings.

Can you tell us more about your journey from carrying to becoming a consultant to now?
I had a stretchy wrap given to me when I had my first. I rarely used it. Found it too faffy, thick, long and hot.
When she was about 8 months I borrowed a buckle carrier from a friend. That was it, I was hooked.
I found a local sling library and tried some other options before buying myself one.
During this time I met a friend who would start a sling library with me. We did our peer supporter training in May 2016 and opened the library.
In 2017 I did my Slingababy consultancy training whilst 8 months pregnant with my second.
This enabled me to push the sling library forward and offer more support.
I now solely run South Essex Slings. I absolutely love it.

What is your favourite part about being a consultant?
My favourite part of my job is seeing the relief on people’s faces when they get baby in a sling and they snuggle in. The visible relaxation and calm that happens is just something I will never get tired of.

Would you share a special memory that sticks out for you?
A couple of years ago I helped a family, their two year old had additional needs and really struggled with his siblings school drop off times, and anywhere else busy. He was very heavy and mum was struggling to carry him. He fought he a lot when in arms too but wasn’t happy to be in a pram.
The family were skeptical but gave me a try. Mum got her son in a buckle carrier on her front and he calmed instantly. He snuggled into her and they stayed there swaying for a while.
She later said he’d never done that ever.
That will stay with me, that connection, the calmness, the love.

What tip would you give yourself if you could get back to the time before you were a parent?
To learn more about babies and children before I had them!

Do you want to say a few words about your Slingababy experience?
I didn’t read up anything about Slingababy before doing the course. Therefore had no expectations.
I had a couple of people tell me that it would easy and I knew most of it anyway (they’d done a course with a different school)
How wrong they were.
I knew nothing – nothing.
The 4 days spent with Lorette was extremely intense. I don’t think I’ve ever concentrated for so long.
I learned so much, not just about how to use slings, but about myself. How to be kinder, how to speak to people better, how to listen better.
Slingababy changed me for the better. I will be forever grateful.

How can people get hold of you?
South Essex Slings on Facebook and Instagram.
Website is nearly ready – www.southessexslings.com
Or email southessexslings@gmail.com

Deborah Moore tandem-carrying her two girls

Deborah Moore tandem-carrying her two girls