Tag Archives: slingbabies

Babywearing Groups in New Zealand – Spotlight on Slingbabies.

Slingbabies babywearing groupIn the lead up to New Zealand Babywearing Week (Oct 10 – 16, 2011) we will be featuring the babywearing groups that run meetings in New Zealand.  The original babywearing group in New Zealand is Slingbabies which operates in Auckland and was founded by Jessica Richards. Jessica’s initiative has inspired the formation of babywearing groups in other areas of New Zealand and we’ll be featuring those groups too over the next few weeks.

Slingbabies founder Jessica RichardsJessica answers some questions about Slingbabies for us:

When did Slingbabies get started and why?  Slingbabies started in May/June 2007, because I was answering the same questions constantly on online forums.  I held a meeting at my house which only two people came to (started small!).  Now we regularly have over 20 people each time.  I started the website in November 2007 as a central place to store all my information.

When and where are your meetings?  We meet on the first and third Fridays of the month, at the Sturges West Community House, 58 Summerland Dr, Henderson.  Our SouthEast branch meets on the 3rd Sunday of the month 1.30-3.30pm, at the Anchorage Park Community House, 16 Swan Cres, Pakuranga.

What happens at a typical meeting?  I do a little history and general blurb at the start, then go through the 5 types and their carry methods.  In the second half of the morning we do the try-on session, people can loan out carriers then.

I’m pregnant but interested in Babywearing, can I still attend meetings?  Absolutely!  We love getting pregnant mums coming along.   It is good to get an idea of what’s out there.  Unless you are going to make your own cheap wrap or similar, I recommend waiting to purchase till after you’ve seen us with your newborn and tried some.  Often babies have different ideas of what they like than we do!

Are baby carriers available to hire from a lending library? If so, how does the lending library work?  We have an extensive library.  For a $20 joining fee and $5 per sling loan, you can borrow a carrier for 2 weeks and bring it back to the next coffee morning (on the 3rd Friday) which often works out well.  SE Slingbabies also has a carrier library, but you need to arrange return with Heather.

Who organises and hosts the Slingbabies meetings?  I organise and host them, with the help of my team and some great regular ladies also.  Heather runs the SE Slingbabies branch, we are lucky to have such an expert to take care of that group.  We run on a shoestring so we appreciate any help and donations we can get.

If you could share just one Babywearing tip, what would it be?    Any carrier you use should mimic how you hold your baby naturally.  If it doesn’t do that, get rid of it!  (Wish I’d known that when I had my first!)

How can people get in touch with the group? Find us on Facebook, or contact Jess via the Contact Us page on the Slingbabies website.

Weekly Focus: Pouch Slings

In the lead up to New Zealand Babywearing Week (10 – 16 October 2011) we will be focusing on the six main types of baby carriers – starting this week with the pouch sling.  Keep an eye on the  New Zealand Babywearing Week Facebook page too this week for more information about pouch slings including how to videos and photos.

Pouch slings are a one shouldered carrier suitable for newborns through to toddlers.  One of the most important things when purchasing a pouch sling is that it is the correct size for the wearer.  Always refer to the size guidelines on the sellers website and measure yourself from the top of your shoulder to the opposite hip bone to determine the correct pouch sling size for you. If your pouch sling is too small it will be very tricky to get your baby into it.  If it’s too big you will not be able to carry your baby snugly against your body, they will hang down too low and you will find that you need to have your arm around your baby to keep them secure which takes away the ‘hands free liberation’ possible with a properly fitting pouch sling.

Babies can be carried in several different holds in a pouch sling.  For older babies with good head control and toddlers the hip carry is the most popular hold as shown in the image at the start of this post.  Other holds include the cradle hold:

The image above shows an upright cradle hold which mimics how you would carry your young baby in your arms. Always check to make sure that your baby’s airway is clear – you can do this by making sure that you can fit two fingers under baby’s chin.  If their chin is pressed into their chest their airway will be obstructed – you will need to adjust the positioning of your child in your pouch sling to allow the chin to come up off the chest.  Also make sure that there is no fabric covering your baby’s face.

Another option is the tummy to tummy hold:

You will see in the image above (tummy to tummy hold) that baby’s knees are higher than their bum.  This ensures optimal positioning of baby’s developing hips and spine.  For all holds where baby’s legs are outside the carrier ensure that the fabric of the carrier goes right to the back of the baby’s knees – this creates a comfortable seat for your child and automatically puts baby into optimal positioning with knees up and bum down.

With a pouch sling you can even do a back carry:

For more detailed information about pouch slings and to find instructions complete with photos, please visit Slingbabies!

Thank you to Unido for permission to use their photos in this post.

Remember to check out the New Zealand Babywearing Week facebook page this week for more information about pouch slings too.

Article written by Helen MacMillan of My Natural Baby Ltd.