It seems like no time at all since we were celebrating our second birthday last year, but here we are again having another party to celebrate three years of slings, chat and cake. And this time the weather smiled on us for our picnic in Endcliffe Park.

As one of the longest-running sling meets around, we were determined to celebrate in style. So we found a shady spot near the playground, set up the gazebo, turned up the music and had a great day!
I'm already looking forward to baby number 2 so I can keep using my slings! - Marie

Sheffield Babywearers did a size 3 challenge recently, where some of us tried to use only our size 3 wrap (3.6m long) for a week! None of us quite managed it... but most of us learned some new carries and some new tricks. 

One of our size 3 challengers is sporting a knotless rucksack carry in a Natibaby wrap here.

This is the list of carries we put together during the week.

We had a great sling meet at the Hallamshire House this month! Because it was half term we had more kids than usual and it was so much fun to have them running around enjoying themselves. 

We talked about what you can do with a size 3 wrap, and started our Size 3 Challenge - can you go a whole week using only a size 3 wrap and no other sling? This inspires us to learn new carries and get out of our comfort zone. We'll be posting about how we got on at the end of the week.
And as always, lots of parents got to try out different slings and got some tips on how to use them. This mum is demonstrating a half buckle carrier...

...but we think her daughter wears it so much better!

We meet at the Hallamshire House every month. It's one of our four regular Sheffield sling meets - check out our upcoming events as there's bound to be one at a good time and place for you!
We all love nosying at the celebrities' lives, and increasingly they're using slings to carry their babies. Some of them have clearly had some good advice and are doing it brilliantly, while others.... well, it makes us want to jump into the photos and fix them! Here's a comparison of three actors using a very popular soft structured carrier, the Ergo.
Mira Sorvino has started so well by getting an Ergobaby carrier - easy to use,  long-lasting and value for money. But if you think the baby doesn't look comfortable, we'd agree! No idea how that leg ended up down inside the waistband, but it really isn't supposed to be there. This carrier needs tightening up at the waist band and at the shoulder straps, and the child needs to be put in properly. Nice colour Ergo though!

Time to swoon, ladies, it's Orlando Bloom with a squish! Full marks for effort, but unfortunately he hasn't realised that the Ergo isn't designed to carry a newborn without the infant insert. You can see that he's having to hold the baby's head because it's not properly supported by the sling. When your sling is on right, you shouldn't have to use your hands to keep the baby in!

Julia Roberts has got it sorted though. Her child is in a nice knee-to-knee seat, and the sling is tight at the waistband and shoulder straps. Julia is holding the child's hat on for privacy, rather than supporting her head - an older baby can manage her own head support. 

For more information on how to use a sling safely and comfortably, see our safe babywearing and positioning pages, or come to a sling meet!
In today's Sheffield Star there's an piece all about babywearing! This article is great because it's always nice to see slings getting some mainstream attention. 
If you know someone who's interested in babywearing but doesn't know where to start, why not tell them about Sheffield Sling Library, as well as all the sling meets provided by both Sheffield Babywearers and Sheffield Slings.

Sheffield Slings is a new slinging group, formed by some Sheffield Babywearers members who wanted to take a slightly different approach. It's fabulous that there's enough sling-users in Sheffield for two groups, when in many areas of the country babywearers would love to just have a single sling meet. 

We have been so busy already this year! Our Megakidz meet was the biggest we've ever had, with 30 parents in attendance, and then our Hallamshire House meet was rammed with babywearers as you can see in this photo!

There was lots of sling trying on, help and advice as always. 
This mum was very happy with her Boba from Sheffield Sling Library...
... while this one enjoyed getting to grips with her ring sling.
Our demo topic this month has been demystifying sling lengths. Some of the attendees were amazed at how long a size 6 is - 4.6m - and were interested to see what you can do with it. 

This mama learned how to do a rucksack carry with a woven wrap, and did it brilliantly first time!

And this new mum has her sling situation sorted at the moment - this is a Sleepy Nico - and just came along to chat and show off her lovely baby, only four weeks old and finally named!

We have two large regular meets every month, plus extra smaller ones, so check our our upcoming events page to find one that's good for you!
And so the snow came, and continues to fall. We've had lots of questions about carrying our babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers in these snowy conditions. So, we asked our members and they've given us plenty of tips for and photos of babywearing in the snow.

A common concern is how can you carry in snow and ice without falling on to your child. A popular tip, one that resurfaces every year, is to purchase a pair of grips for the soles of your shoes, like Yaktrax as these provide extra grip for the slippery conditions. In terms of where you carry your baby, there is no right or wrong answer: front, back, or hip, you just carry them wherever feels best for you. The key is confidence, if you feel stable on your feet you will walk with confidence and, importantly, your child will feel safe and secure.

A belated Happy New Year to all our blog readers! 2013 has arrived and we have a raft of fun ahead - we've already put our New Year's resolution into action (more exercise) with a walk out to Forge Dam, had fun at MegaKidz and enjoyed cake at Rosie Lea's in Hillsborough. Please see Upcoming Events for more details of our meets this month, and beyond but we're off to Meadowhall tomorrow morning!
To start this new year we would like to share some photos of our children "baby wearing" their dolls and toys. My eldest daughter has even carried her sister, momentarily - she is 3 and half, her sister is 21 months ... and while it was hugely impractical I could not refuse their enthusiasm. Unfortunately, I could not capture this moment for posterity, but I regularly capture both girls carrying their toys in slings on various occasions. 

Three babywearing mums with their kids having a walk in the woods.
A walk in the woods to start off 2013... the toddler on the left couldn't decide whether she wanted to walk or not, but mum didn't have to bother carting a pushchair around. See how much of a faff it is for her to carry that sling? No? That's  why we love babywearing!

Seven babywearers and nine kids enjoyed our chilly walk to Forge Dam, and we're going to have regular walks this year (New Year's resolution - must do more exercise!) so keep an eye on our upcoming events.
A mum carries her toddler on her back in a Girasol wrap; the child is dressed as Santa Claus
Santa usually carries the presents, but this Santa is only 20 months old and extremely cute, so he gets to be carried instead.

We've been running a photo competition over on our Facebook page, and this is the winning entry! The lucky babywearer receives a gift certificate very kindly donated by Monkey Mei Tai, who make beautiful slings like the one shown on our page about mei tais.

To find out about future competitions and other stuff only available to our Facebook likers, just come and Like our page!