It's International Babywearing Week - We want to help people to use and love their slings.
Working in a sling shop is a very special job and we all feel very lucky to be here.
There is a tiny handful of specialist shops here in the UK who have trained consultants and peer supporters that are willing and able to help anyone who walk through the door to carry their baby safely and comfortably. So why is it such a good position to be in?
- We get to meet new parents ALL the time.
We meet parents from all sorts of different backgrounds, professions and who all hold different beliefs and ideals about life and parenting. But the thing that is great is being constantly reminded of that overwhelming and exciting time when we became new parents. It is easy for all of us to look back on the early days with a newborn through rose-tinted glasses, or for some to only remember how hard we found it. But the true awe and wonder that comes with looking at your baby and thinking, "Wow. Look what we MADE!", is something that comes every time we meet another new parent. And yes, despite the hundreds of babies we see over the months and years, we still think that every one of them is amazing - because they are!
- We get to listen to different people's stories.
Every family is different because they are made up of such different characters. We get to see and hear about why people have come to the shop - and it varies from the parents who live in a flat where buggies are impossible to use with the stairs, to the parents with outdoor jobs who need to find a way to keep up with some of their work with their newborn snug against their chest, to the parents who have a baby who has reflux symptoms and they want to meet that baby's needs but also meet the needs of the other child or family dog. When people sit down on our sofa to feed their baby, we get to hear about the farms they live on, the extended family and the tales of support and love and friendship. We also get to hear about the harder stuff, and that is why we keep flyers and information about local support services and local professionals that we hope might be of help.
- We get to help people find the right sling for them and see the difference it makes.
The market is flooded with so many different slings and carriers, that it is nearly impossible to make a choice. Some people struggle on with something they were given, something that someone convinced them was right without them having had a chance to try it, or simply give up and decide not to carry at all. The smiles and relief that we see in parents when they find the right sling is the feedback we need to carry on helping in this way.
So if you know a new parent who might benefit from some sling help, please send them to see us. We find the time to help everyone who comes in, but for people who would like guaranteed dedicated time, we can also offer one-to-one consultations, or places on a workshops for a focussed learning experience in a small group.
Come and see us www.slingtastic.com at Wilton Shopping Village SP2 0RS