Last week saw the turning on of the Christmas lights in Sheffield and a number of our members popped down with their families. Here they are, sharing the benefits of babywearing at a busy, public event.

"Mya usually becomes overwelmed by characters/mascots, with them being so big, but she was perfectly happy for me to approach 'Pooh Bear' and for her to give him high 5 as she has re-assurance of me being right there for her to snuggle into." 

 "I enjoyed the ease with which we could interact with the characters - my son, the fire brigade bear and I all played peek-a-boo till T was screaming with laughter as the sling meant he was high enough to see over the barrier and I had my hands free for peek-a-boo!"

"Can we have a meet in Rotherham?" asked one of our newer members. "Your wish is our command," we said, and within a week we had organised what we believe to be the first ever sling meet in Rotherham, South Yorkshire! 

Six babywearers got together - a few old hands and a couple of newer mums - and had a fun time swapping slings, drinking excellent hot chocolate and chasing the toddlers at Camelot Play Castle (a lovely, inexpensive soft play centre in Rotherham). The two newbies went away completely converted and planning on heading to Sheffield Sling Library at the first opportunity to try some slings with their gorgeous 6-month-old daughters, one wanting a wrap and the other a mei tai
A few things were certain by the end of the meet - we're doing it again, we're going to convert Rotherham to babywearing, and we're getting more hot chocolate...
I started off my babywearing journey by borrowing a friend's homemade stretchy. The fabric she has used contained a lot of polyester, which was very hot and sweaty for the summer so when I went into Fine Fabrics in Hillsborough with the intention of buying some fabric to make my own I opted for some thin cotton jersey fabric and made my own, which you can see in this photo of me carrying my 8 month old son Daniel in a front carry for a 5 mile walk in the peaks around Hartington. 

I think they still have the same fabric in stock so if you want to make one like this you can! 

Safe babywearing
Safe babywearing
Last weekend two members of Sheffield Babywearers went down to Bristol to attend a training course to become Babywearing Peer Supporters. This OCN Level 3 course is run by the School of Babywearing, and when they've finished the (rather arduous) coursework they will be qualified to help other babywearers. There's not many babywearing peer supporters or consultants in our area, so we're really excited about this. 

We've added a page to our website on babywearing peer supporters and consultants, and it's filed under "Safe babywearing" because that is the area where these people are most useful. If you, as a babywearer, are asked to help with carrying a premature baby, a low weight baby or a child with a medical condition, it's best to refer them to a trained consultant, or sometimes a peer supporter. You may know lots about babywearing, but the medical issues are often complex. Also, if you are ever unsure about a baby's safe positioning in a sling, refer the parent rather than take risks with the baby's safety. A full list of when it is appropriate to refer a parent is on the new page.

When I was pregnant I remember watching a woman at Sheffield train station put her baby on her back with a long length of fabric.  I realise now that I must have been staring.  I was impressed by her technique but just assumed that I wouldn’t ever carry my baby in this way.  I didn’t even give it a second thought, in spite of seeing what a good idea it was.
I’m a new mum to Robin who is now eleven weeks old and I never knew there was such a thing as ‘babywearing’ until after he was born.  Like most things with this journey into parenthood, I have picked up knowledge along the way.  

Whilst pregnant, I liked the idea of carrying my baby in a sling and had read that it might be useful to have one as well as a buggy or pram.  I bought a Caboo Close carrier (a hybrid stretchy carrier) from ebay for a bargain £25.  I’m not sure what made me choose this one over one of the mass produced type slings but I read some good reviews and thought I’d go with this one.  My husband and I spent hours practising with a doll but we never got around to actually using it until Robin was about two weeks old. 

Eleven lucky babywearers had a fabulous time last Thursday with a babywearing photoshoot! The aim of the shoot was to get some lovely photos for the mums who took part, and also for use on our website and publicity, and it was a complete success.

We had a range of ages of children, from three weeks to three years, and used every type of sling, from a stretchy wrap for the newborn to a ring sling for the biggest boy.

We are very grateful to Source Photography for donating this photoshoot to Sheffield Babywearers, and for offering a discount on any family or baby photoshoot booked through our website! Visit our Links page for more details (see under Other Links).

The theme of International Babywearing Week this year is Carrying on Traditions. As babywearers, we know that parents have carried their babies since the dawn of modern man, first in arms and then in slings. We love the fact that we are getting back to a way of interacting with our children that pre-dates car seats, prams and bouncy chairs (useful though all these things are). But this year's theme made us wonder, what are the babywearing traditions we are creating nowadays?

Sling Meets
Our favourite babywearing innovation! We at Sheffield Babywearers are very proud of our Sheffield sling meets - friendly, accessible, regular and helpful. We're having a special weekend sling meet this Saturday 13 October, 2-4pm in room 5 of the Showroom Cinema, Sheffield (many thanks to the Showroom for donating use of the room). We hope that babywearers new and old who can't attend our usual weekday meets (we're thinking particularly of dads) will be able to come along.

Two Sheffield Babywearers did the Three Dams Walk on Sunday to raise money for Sheffield Children's Hospital - here they are posing proudly with their certificates and their toddlers!
Katherine on the left carries her daughter in a Lenny Lamb woven wrap, while Natasha (of Sheffield Sling Library) is using an Oscha wrap. To find out more about slings, come to one of our sling meets - the next one is this Saturday in the Showroom - or get down to Sheffield Sling Library!
We at Sheffield Babywearers know quite a lot about babywearing. So we've started putting our heads together to create summaries of members' favourite links, tips and tricks for particular slings or carrying methods. We call these sessions Online Babywearing Workshops.

We've done two workshops so far, and more on the way, starting with front carries because that's where new babywearers start. Have a look at our new babywearing help section to access all this exciting information!
Sheffield Sling Library and Sheffield Babywearers got together to hold a Macmillan Coffee morning this week, and it was a huge success! Eighteen mums and dads came down with their children to help raise £50 for Macmillan Cancer Support. And lots of those parents left the library with a baby carrier to try out for a couple of weeks.

Sheffield Sling Library owner Natasha was particularly pleased to be able to help seven new parents just starting out on their babywearing journey. The library is a fabulous resource for established babywearers, but for new ones it's invaluable as it gives parents a chance to get to grips with all the options before they spend any money. Our local Sheffield sling meets are also a great way to try out all sorts of baby slings.