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15 Aug 2019 | 15:15 | Jan Gnapp

Our latest blog is from the fabulous Dorset Sling Library. They've helped hundreds of families learn how to carry their child with a sling or baby carrier.

Dorset Sling Library is a not for profit organisation run by fully qualified babywearing consultants, peer supporters and a team a volunteers. Founded in 2012 in a café in Ringwood, the library has developed over the years and has helped hundreds of families learn how to carry their child with a sling or baby carrier.

At present the library meets twice a month in locations in Bournemouth and Poole. It has a stock of over one hundred carriers; ranging from new-born to pre-school size and beyond, and has expert knowledge to fit for premature babies, babies with complex health needs and parents with additional needs.

So why babywearing?

Babywearing, or the art of carrying a child in a sling or carrier is not a new phenomenon, but one that has spanned centuries. Used as a practical approach to transport children before car seats and prams, it has been used to keep children close to their caregivers, while enabling them to go about their daily life. In recent years there have been an explosion of products onto the market, but the concept remains the same and the benefits have not changed.

Babywearing can:

  • Aid bonding and attachment which is vital to physical and emotional health.
  • Help to reduce crying and ease symptoms of colic and reflux.
  • Assist with regulation of breathing, heart rate and temperature.
  • Give baby a greater sense of security, helping them to feel calm and secure.
  • Reduce rates of post-natal depression and anxiety.
  • Help establish breastfeeding.
  • Allow greater freedom to get out and about, making public transport and some shops more accessible.
  • Allow you to go about your day to day tasks with your hands free while still attending to the needs of your child.
  • Enable you to spend time with other children while keeping your baby close to you.

The benefits aren’t just for babies, but older children too. Babywearing can be a beneficial parenting tool to enable deeper connection for toddlers and older children and be a practical solution when their little legs get tired of walking.

If you would like to know how babywearing can help you and your family, please get in touch with Dorset Sling Library. They can also run sessions for foster and adoptive parents, nurseries and childcare providers if required.

Amy, Dorset Sling Library

Smiling mum with a sling a 2 kids