Spotlight Sunday: The Sling Consultancy
Todays spotlight is shining on the wonderful Zoe and her business: The Sling Consultancy. All Frank babies benefitted from baby carrying and for us it is an important part to how we cared for our minis. Here is a little bit about how and why Zoe got started.
My name is Zoe and I am a carrying consultant, but what exactly does that mean?!?
I have carried all three of my children, Mai born in 2008, Charlie in 2013 and Jude in 2016. In 2012 I helped to set up a sling library at Dorking NCT. With each child I have used different options to carry them, building on my knowledge each time.
Katherine hired a sling upon having her third baby and we became friends. She began volunteering at the sling library when it got busier and when I took time off during the late stages of pregnancy and after Jude was born. She did peer support training and then floated the idea that we could do consultancy training and I thought why not! I love learning and it made sense to build on the knowledge I had gained over the years, to then be able to do things that were outside of the scope of the sling library whilst still supporting parents.
So last year we attended a four day consultant course with Slingababy. Since then I have completed an article featured in Juno Magazine in Winter 2016 on Toddler Carrying and received sufficient positive feedback from clients and have fully completed my training as a consultant.
After the training I set up my own business The Sling Consultancy as well as building and maintaining my website and having an active social media presence on Facebook and Instagram. I have professional insurance to offer services to others. Katherine and I work collaboratively, running workshops together and it works really well as we both have different skill sets and these complement each other. It allows us to bring together a broader range of services and it is less daunting for us than going it alone!
We help parents (and child minders, nurseries, other child carers) to understand normal newborn behaviours, why carrying is important, and what benefits carrying can bring. We help to give them the tools to enable them to carry their child or children (twins or tandem carrying 2 children of different ages) safely, confidently and comfortably. We help people to optimise the carrier they have, to find the carrier best suited to their needs and to use their carrier in a different way such as hip or back carrying. We help people to learn new techniques such as using wovens. And importantly demystify the terminology and break things down into meaningful steps for people to then build on.
It is a privilege to help enable parents and their families through carrying. For whatever reason they may have for carrying and for however long they wish to carry; we are there to help them achieve their goals.
My background is in retail, ultimately that is interacting with people and I have a degree in Psychology and the more I learn about carrying the more amazed I am by it. The impact it has on brain development, mental wellbeing, bonding, building secure attachment, the hormones in both the child and the person carrying. I often hear from people that they aren’t that sort of parent. People like to put you in boxes, defining the type of parent you are by the choices you make, and I cover some of this in my post carrying is for all.
I am lucky to count Rosie Knowles, the author of Why Babywearing Matters as a colleague, she is a fellow Slingababy trained consultant. And her website is a wealth of information on all things carrying. The book is a great read about why carrying is important, not just the convience but it delves into human evolution, biology and social history whilst being easy to read.
It is great to see more people carry their children as it starts to become normal again. The more people trainging to be consultants and the more sling libraries, the more widespread it will become. Find your nearest library or consultant here. If there isn't one in your local town many consultants will travel or you can visit them. Many do online appointments too, with postal sling hire services so you can try a specific sling.