Our sling library has been running in the North West of England for over ten years. It started back in 2009 when Rachael (Sling Goddess Extraordinaire) ended up agreeing to run a sling meet in Warrington.
The library grew and eventually there were slings that people could hire out and it wasn't just a place to take your own carrier for advice. These days we have over 200 slings and carriers in the library for you to try.
We have lots of different brands and types of slings and carriers in the library such as Ergo, Tula, Close Caboo, Mamaruga etc.
Take a look at all our slings for hire here: Our Slings
What is Babywearing?
Babywearing is a term coined by Dr Sears in the early 80s to describe using a sling or carrier to attach a baby to you! Babywearing really has changed in that time though, in fact for a time the baby carrier market was the fastest growing retail sector! We’re confident that there is a sling or carrier out that that suits everyone, regardless of your body shape, budget or taste! It’s a very big market, luckily we know it like the back of our hand (our lead consultant has over a decade of experience helping people choose and learn slings and carriers!). Using a sling/carrier should be a pain free, comfortable experience, if you’re carrying a pre-school child for an extended period I would expect you have a real awareness of them being there but if your sling/carrier hurts, or isn’t comfortable that a very good sign that we need to change things!
Did you know that carried babies tend to cry less? And that parents who carry their babies can pee more? (The things you didn’t realise were difficult with one hand!) There is undeniably practical uses to using slings and carriers. It is easier to negotiate public transport, or the supermarket, or ‘uneven terrain’, plus those hands you’ve just freed up can be used for an older child, or feeding yourself (and going to the toilet!). But there’s also an emotional element to it that we shouldn’t ignore. As I said above carried babies tend to cry less, but they often bond more easily with their caregivers when carried. Carried babies can learn to communicate more easily, they can see your mouth perfectly from your chest. Plus some aspects of the benefits to tummy time can be achieved with babywearing (which is very helpful if you have a baby who hates tummy time!) If you or your baby have medical or additional needs then we may need to take extra care when choosing how to use slings or carriers but you may find you get extra rewards with babywearing too. Comfort for both of you during difficult times, a place to reconnect if absence is required, or just a practical way to keep your child safe. All the benefits above aren’t just for the main caregiver either, in fact it can help other settle the baby. Using a sling/carrier that smells like the person who usually care for them can really help to settle the baby. Our lead consultant has over ten years of experience so can guide you through and help you find the perfect sling/carrier for you.
Types of Slings
A long piece of stretchy fabric that you tie around your and then use the stretch to put the baby in. These fall into two groups, two way stretch (an equal stretch both widthways and lengthways), and one way stretch (widthways stretch but very little to none lengthways). A two way stretch wrap is more forgiving for a new wrapper, a one way stretch wrap with be more comfortable as the child gets older (over 6 months old). Stretchy wraps can be used until you’re not longer comfortable usually around 4-6 months (or a bit longer for a one way stretch). They can only be used with the baby facing you, on your front.
A long piece of fabric with no stretch. These are the most versatile of all the options, as they can be tied in a multitude of different ways. They’re also the most budget friendly (although there are some less inexpensive versions), and can be used from birth until you no longer wish to carry. There are the most options to suit every taste too! Woven wraps can be used on your front facing you, and on your back.
The biggest group, there are hundreds of different buckle carriers on the market! Largely the buckle carriers in the library fasten with three buckles, one around your waist, and two securing the shoulder straps. Although there is variation on even this! There is a wide range of prices to suit all budgets and even some designed specifically with twins in mind. Different carriers suit different body shapes so it can take a couple of goes to find your perfect carrier. Different buckle carriers suit different age ranges. Buckle carriers can be used on your front facing you, some can be used on your front facing the world, and most can be used on your back.
Meh Dais (Bei Dais):
Meh Dais are a tie on carrier with no buckles. Instead you knot the waist and shoulder straps. They suit a wide range of body shapes with the same carrier and no adjustment and tend to be softer against the wearer too. Some Meh Dais can be used from birth right up to toddler, although some suit a smaller age range. Meh Dais can be used on your front facing you and on your back.
Ring slings are a pouch of fabric where the size is adjusted via a pair of rings at the shoulder. As they are one layer of fabric they can be a cooler option, plus as they often made from the same fabric as a woven wrap they can be very supportive even more older children. As ring slings are only carried over one shoulder people with significant back problems may find them a less comfortable option. They suit all body shapes though and can be shared between caregivers easily. Rings sling can be used from birth until toddler. Ring slings can be used on your front facing in, your hip and on your back (but this is an advanced technique).