Coronavirus, Carriers, and Closure.

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⭐️ UPDATE ON CORONAVIRUS – original post written 16th March at 5pm, edited on 17th March at 6pm, 17th March 9pm, 18th March 11am  ⭐️

The West Yorkshire Sling Library service is very dear to me, I have been running it for nearly ten years and I refer to it as my third baby. It is a community based service, and a small business, both – run by staff and by many wonderful volunteers who have given their time and expertise over the years. Today we have to make hard decisions, and we massively appreciate your support now and in the weeks or months to come.

Coronavirus is of course a worrying time for a lot of us, and we are all busy trying to navigate it all, so here is our most recent update based on advice from medical professionals, the government, and of course, common sense!

DROP IN SESSION OF 18/3 at BOSTON SPA
This is our session which has had to close with the least amount of notice. We have arranged with the centre that carriers can be dropped off on 18/3/20 only, between 12-2 only, in the glass porch area of Boston Spa Children’s Centre. Please seal your carriers in a plastic bag and attach your name to the OUTSIDE. These returns will be NO-CONTACT – staff can observe your return but will collect from the porch area after you have left, and we will be in touch to confirm your carrier return.

⭐️ DROP-IN SESSIONS will close from 18/3/20 until further notice. As social distancing is advised, we feel this is the responsible thing to do to protect our users. If our venues remain open and nothing else changes, we should be able to offer booked appointment slots at strategic points in the calendar for families needing our services, or wanting to drop something off. Please contact us on wyslinglibrary@outlook.com for further details, and keep updated using this Facebook page.

⭐️ ADVICE AND SUPPORT All our carrier advice, sling support and carrier fitting services will still be available via online messaging and video chat. We will still be providing support for carriers out on hire, and hope to maintain our service with support on the phone or by messenger. Thankfully we have never been better placed to offer remote services. Please do come and join our Facebook group – The West Yorkshire Sling Library Chat and Advice.

⭐️ 1-2-1 appointments will remain available, in person at Farsley, or as a virtual appointment (no contact needed). We will be offering these for as long as our household remains symptom-free, and our strict hygiene precautions will apply. Any booked appointment can be changed to an online appointment easily. We are waiving our usual cancellation policy. You can book an appointment by contacting us on wyslinglibrary@outlook.com.

⭐️ CARRIER HIRE is available via collection (no contact needed, we can leave it ready for you using our drop box) or send it out to you by post. Our carriers are washed carefully, and rested/isolated in between hires for a minimum of 72 hours to ensure they are 100% safe to use and enjoy.  You can read about our hygiene and safety policy here – https://wyslinglibrary.com/the-library/hygiene/

⭐️ ALREADY HIRED? If you have a carrier out on hire, and would like to keep hiring it, we absolutely appreciate your support. We have had lots of supportive messages over the past few days as we have gathered advice together about the right path for the sling library to take, and we know there are many families out there that want to continue to support us over this difficult period.

To pay it forward, we are offering an initial two weeks of hire extra free with any four week extension to a hire due for return between 19/3/20 and 13/4/20 – to allow families who are isolating the chance to return. Just ask for this to be applied to your hire account. We may extend this offer in the future depending on how long we remain closed, but we are keeping our fingers crossed it won’t be needed.

We are taking these measures to ensure that all the families that use our service are protected, and can continue to use carriers safely and comfortably throughout this strange and worrying time. We have already been in touch with self isolating families who are using their carriers at home – ‘lifesaver!’ and for getting out and about in less populated areas for fresh air and letting off steam. Regardless of your use for a carrier, we are here for support throughout, and we thank you all for your support – now and in the future.

Stay safe and healthy!

Nicola and the WYSL team.

The worldwide outbreak of Coronavirus

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At this worrying time for everyone, we are keeping our drop in sessions open but taking every precaution to make sure we run them safely.

ONLINE support is always available.

NO-CONTACT collections and returns can be arranged.

1-2-1 sessions will be offered at a reduced rate to those who need them.

DROP-IN sessions will be run very carefully with a hands-off approach.

SWAPS will be kept to a minimum during this period.

RETURNS will be isolated for a period of minimum 72 hours and washed carefully.

CHECK before you travel to any session in case of any change in advice.

SUPPORT our community, be careful and do not return items unless it is safe to do so.

WORRIED? Check out our policies on our hygiene page, or contact us.

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CHANGE OF TIME to our Chapel Allerton sessions

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PLEASE NOTE that the new time for the Chapel Allerton session will be 1-4.30pm. This is to better fit with the centre’s scheduling. It was previously 10.30am-2pm.

If you have a carrier due back at this session and cannot make the new time, please get in touch as soon as you can – message us on Facebook, email wyslinglibrary@outlook.com, call or text on 07505776950.

If your carrier is due back at this session you will hear from us about the change of time.

Please share this with anyone you know who might be interested in coming along so we can make sure everyone has the right date and time.

NEW Ergobaby Embrace Carrier

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Ergobaby is a well known name in sling and carrier world, one of the relatively few brands you can buy in the UK on the high street. A new carrier from them is a big deal and out of all their carrier range, this one is the most different from their original Ergobaby design.

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Aimed at the newborn and young baby stage, the embrace is soft, folds down small, and has stretchy straps that wrap around your shoulder. It is simple to use, with a built in padded headrest, and it looks stylish. The Embrace can be used with babies from 7lb in weight and has two height settings for newborns then for older babies.

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The embrace crosses over on your back in a large X shape, the only Ergobaby carrier to offer this as a default. The stretch of the carrier means the fit is very adjustable and comfortable to wear – but like all stretchy carriers, care has to be taken as babies grow heavier and more active. The Embrace can be used in two carry positions, facing in or facing out when babies are five months plus. It retails for approximately £80, which is cheaper than the other buckle carriers in the Ergobaby range, although it will not offer the same span of use.

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Why we like it –

Well made and with the Ergobaby 10 year guarantee, the embrace is a lovely choice for little babies.

It folds down small, feels soft and is comfortable in the shoulder.

It is nice to see manufacturers focusing on the newborn stage and releasing carrier specifically designed to excel in what many call the fourth trimester. Traditionally newborn carriers have been a neglected area with too many brands concentrating on longevity of the carriers, with the newborn fit a compromise, with extra accessories or inserts needed for use at this vital stage.

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Things to think about-

The Embrace has a relatively low weight limit (25lb/11.3kg) but most families are unlikely to use it even to that weight because of the stretch in the straps.

We have yet to try out the length of the straps with parents who are very petite.

Two height fittings for the carrier can mean babies have an in-between stage, too tall for one but too small for the other. Clever fitting advice is needed to avoid this.

NEW Oscha Bairn Carrier

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We are lucky to have one of the first of the new Oscha Bairn carriers at WYSL – launching this month, the Bairn is a soft buckle carrier with all the good looks you’d expect from Oscha. Designed for simplicity and adjustability, the Bairn is aimed at families new to carrying or who just want something quick, easy and effective – without compromising on ethics or appearance.

Why do we like it?

The new Bairn is a soft structured carrier, with an adjustable seat, crossable back straps and semi-structured waistband. The adjustable seat width allows the carrier to be used from newborn (7lb/3.2kg+) without inserts or fuss. The wrap fabric of the panel moulds around the carried baby very well whilst also feeling light and supportive. The shoulder straps are well sewn and strong, with blue webbing to match the body panel.

As babies grow, the adjustable base gets wider, and the panel taller – allowing for front and back carries to at least 2 years (45lb/20kg upper weight limit). The carrier comes with an attachable chest strap for carrying on the back.

The Bairn has a large sleephood with generous reach straps, meaning good head support and shade even for older children in a back carry.

This new Oscha carrier is made from their ethically sourced and beautiful fabrics woven in Scotland. But it is definitely not form over function – at its most basic, this is a simple but clever carrier. It just happens to look wonderful.

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Things to think about …

The soft waistband allows the carrier seat to fit naturally from the back of the knee to the back of the knee, narrower for younger and smaller infants, and wider as they grow. The carrier doesn’t have a fastening to facilitate this, rather the waistband sits inside a sheath of fabric. Some of our testers noted that older toddlers or babies straightening their legs could push the carrier into a narrower base.

The shoulder straps have a very square edging which took careful adjustment to feel comfortable under adults arms in a back carry – especially if the adult is petite.

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Top Tips

Rolling the waistband over and placing it higher on your body gives a good, high newborn carrier – shortening the panel for a younger baby and bringing the soft waistband high on the adult – an especially good fitting for postnatal women.

Adding the detachable chest strap means the carrier could be used with crossed straps or in reverse rucksack style, giving fitting options for all frames and preferences.

Strap tidies keep the look sleek and stylish.

Use the hood one sided to give support for the head whilst keeping the baby visible and kissable.

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The Oscha Bairn will launch in July 2019 – and be available for hire at WYSL in late July. See http://www.oschaslings.com

Would you like to try the Oscha Bairn? Come in to any of our drop in sessions, try it on and see what you think!

Changes to May sessions

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We have a few changes to our schedule keeping us running around the May bank holidays.

The HORSFORTH session which would have fallen on the Mayday bank holiday (6th May) will now run on the Thursday of the same week (9th May) 12-2.30pm.

The FARSLEY session which was due to run on Wednesday 29th May will run on Wednesday 5th June instead 10.30-2pm.

The WAKEFIELD session which was due to run on Friday 31st May will not run – visits to WAKEFIELD will be 3rd and 17th May, followed by the 14th and 28th June.

If you need to confirm any of our sessions, or would like to check with us about your carrier hire, just email us on wyslinglibrary@outlook.com

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Ossett Drop In sessions, change of day and time.

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We have had to change the dates and times of our session at PlayStation Ossett to fit in with the needs of the venue. We will now run there every four weeks on a Tuesday morning for drop in advice, carrier hire and help.

if you have a carrier due back at either of the cancelled sessions we will be in touch to arrange a suitable return date and time with you.

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