Slings and the art of babywearing: a beginner’s guide

Advice from the expert – Emily Williamson, an experienced babywearing consultant

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Babies: we love cuddling them, holding them, sniffing and smelling them! We all know that close physical contact offers immeasurable benefits for infants as well as us. Babywearing – carrying your child in a wrap, sling or carrier – is an easy way of maintaining that close contact but still getting on with your everyday tasks.

Whether those everyday tasks are having a cup of tea, putting out the washing, or simply going out for a walk doesn’t matter – what matters is that you are free to manage your life because I believe a hands-free parent is a happy parent. In the UK we are very reliant on buggies and pushchairs but there really are some parents, who avoid a pram completely (honest, it can happen!), preferring to use a variety of different wraps and slings, to travel with their kids.

The choice of carriers is so huge now that without a bit of knowledge and support, choosing the right option can appear daunting. So here’s a little bit of advice: get some help. There are brilliant sling libraries up and down the country managed by experienced consultants, who can help you with unbiased advice and a wide choice of products to try before buying.

Don’t just plump for a carrier that your friend recommends or one that’s for sale in your supermarket. A carrier needs to be comfortable for you and your baby with full ergonomic support. If you’re coming to The Baby & Toddler Show in Manchester then you’ll find me at the show’s pop-up sling library so ditch the buggy, borrow a wrap or sling and find out why we think it’s so great! You never know, hands free parenting might be just what you’ve been waiting for.

Emily Williamson is an experienced babywearing consultant and runs the South London Sling Library, the largest and busiest sling library in the UK. She will be a guest speaker at The Baby & Toddler Show Manchester and is also the Cheeky Rascals resident babywearing expert. Find her on the Cheeky Rascals stand C22 (Sandown Park) or B34 (Manchester).

www.cheekyrascals.co.uk