My babywearing journey and how I arrived at running a sling library

Today I want to talk about my babywearing journey and why I ended up getting involved in the world of baby carrying professionals.

I never really carried my first daughter and there will always be a part of me that’s sad that we missed out on the cuddles and the connection a sling can offer. I briefly attempted to use a narrow based carrier but my poor back just couldn’t cope and back in 2009 sling libraries weren’t the ever expanding part of the community they are now.

In 2011 I welcomed my second daughter in to the world and the “oh my goodness, how am I going to cope with two” panic set in. This is when I found my online “village” on the Natural Mamas forum, a community of women who wanted to lift each other up and help each other through the struggles of parenting.

From then on my love for carrying developed quickly and soon verged on serious addiction, so many beautiful patterns and fabrics to choose from, I couldn’t have just one…. I’ll never forget the first time I got the bus without a buggy and instead of waiting for three busses to pass before there was one with room in the buggy park, I just waltzed down the aisle and sat down, baby snuggled safely against me.

The day soon came that I decided I wanted to start back carrying but I needed some hands on support and was incredibly lucky to find that Anne who owned the Natural Mamas forum and now runs Born to carry, was my local babywearing consultant. The in person teaching gave me the skills and confidence I needed to start throwing my daughter on my back without hesitation. I continued to carry her for the next 4 years and enjoyed carrying my then two year old on my back, making up for the “slingy cuddles” we missed out on when she was a baby.

It’s safe to say I was hooked! I started helping out at my local sling library, running social sling meets, developing on my skills by training to become a babywearing consultant and creating my own baby carrier brand. The babywearing community is a wonderful one and it’s one I wanted to be part of, helping parents at a time in their lives where we tend to need it most. A baby that’s “clingy” (normal) and won’t be put down, settled securely in a sling can make a world of difference to our lives in a world that no longer fits around our babies but where our babies are expected to fit around it. Where we no longer have a village to help us raise our children I wanted to be part of a surrogate village than can be there when you need us.

My personal babywearing journey is now at an end but I’m not ready to leave such a wonderful community behind. So in 2016, when the opportunity to make the Norwich sling library live on fell into my hands I wasn’t going to throw it away. So please, come along and utilize our services, never apologize when asking us to hold your baby, never apologize for wanting support, never apologize for needing to take time to care for your family and ALWAYS ask when you need help.

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