New Sling Saturdays!

We trialled the Saturday session in December and it was a success, so we are now going to run a Sling Saturday session every month, with drop-in session available in the morning, and one to ones or workshops bookable in the afternoon.

Hopefully these will increase accessibility for anyone struggling to come in during the week – and the first one is this Saturday 17th January 2015.

Each drop-in Sling Saturday will run from 10-11.30am and is free, open to all for sling advice, rentals and returns.

Afternoon one to ones will be bookable by emailing or calling 01132100855, and workshops will be advertised here or on the Facebook page in advance. If you have any requests do get in touch.

The next Sling Saturday dates are:

Sat 15th Jan

Sat 14th Feb

Sat 14th Mar

and they run at 55 Thornfield Avenue Farsley Leeds LS285HJ

See you there!

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Christmas present!

It’s that time of year again! It rolls around even faster when you have to plan four weeks in advance!

Time to talk festive carrier rental – and my Christmas present to all renters over the next couple of weeks is up to two weeks of extra rental for free!

The sling library will close on Friday 19th December, and thanks to how our open days fall this year, won’t reopen until Monday 5th January – making all carrier rentals over the festive period due back at the Wednesday drop in on the 7th January.

Here’s how it sorts itself out –

Carriers rented for four week periods between 25th November- 9th December inclusive will all be due back Wednesday 7th January – basically the sooner you get here, the longer you get for free! Rentals at any of this weeks sessions will benefit the most from the offer – renewals of carriers already due back in that period will qualify also – just get in touch to renew – payment can be arranged online.

The two week rental option will be suspended from 5th December and become available again in the New Year.

The Sling Social which would take place on the 26th if it were any other month will not run.

The WYSL Christmas party will be on Friday 12th December at the Sling Social!

So just have a think about Christmas parties, visiting the relatives, travelling over Christmas – think about snow and ice, busy shops, Christmas markets and staying snug and warm with your little one – and see if a sling or carrier can help!

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If you’d like to come to any of our sessions we are running three open sessions this week – Wednesday 10-3pm in Farsley, Friday 12-2.30pm in Pudsey and our special Weekend open session 10-11.30 this Saturday in Farsley.

Check the how to visit tab above, addresses to the right or call 01132100855 for details.

It’s too early to say it, but Merry Christmas!

NEWvember sling library offers – come and try something NEW with us!

We’re encouraging everyone to try something NEW this November with our Newvember sling library sessions – offers include half price rentals, special library drop in sessions and weekend events.

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Try something NEW!

We are offering half price rentals on all of our wrap collection – all woven and stretchy wraps – Every single day this Newvember. That’s Didymos, Girasol, Hoppediz, Girasol, Storchenwiege, Oscha, Firespiral, Easycare, Moby, JPMBB, Boba Wrap, Snugiwraps, Joy and Joe, Wrapsody, Sabe Baby, Tula wrap….and more – all half price, all month.

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Make a NEW friend!

If you’ve visited the library before, bring a friend this Newvember and we’ll give you BOTH a half price rental on any carrier. So you can both try something new!

I will be making a new friend and inviting someone new along to the library myself on the 12th November when the lovely Rosie Knowles of the Sheffield Sling Surgery will be joining us for the day!

Front Wrap Cross carry
Learn a NEW skill!

To round it all off, at the end of the month I am running a special NEWvember carrying skills day on Saturday 29th November. It will begin with a special weekend library open session between 10-11.30pm – an open to everyone, drop in session for help with all kinds of slings and carriers. In the afternoon we are running Skill Sessions – these will be open to anyone who has visited the sling library before and must be booked in advance.

Each half hour session will focusing on a single wrap skill, designed for you to come by and learn something new.

NEWvemberSling Library Drop In Session
10-11.30am Saturday 29th November
Free to all, no booking required.

Saturday Skill Sessions available:

12 noon Pocket Wrap Cross Carry (stretchy wrap)
12.30pm – Double Hammock Front Carry (stretchy wrap)

1.30pm – Front Wrap Cross Carry (woven wrap)
2pm – Front Cross Carry (woven wrap)

3pm – Poppins Hip Carry (hybrid and woven wraps)
3.30pm Coolest Hip Cross Carry (woven wrap)

Each half hour session will cost £3 per family with a maximum of 3 families per skill.

If you would like to book on to any of the Skill Sessions or have any questions about our NEWvember events please call Nicola on 01132100855, or email wyslinglibrary@outlook.com

Obligatory small print: Half price wrap offer is for new rentals only and not available on renewals. One to one sessions are unaffected. Bring a friend offer is open to anyone who has been to a West Yorkshire Sling Library session before bringing a friend who has not visited The West Yorkshire Sling library before November 2014.

Halloween Sling Social!

We LOVE Halloween – and this year our Sling Social falls on the day itself – as well as half term for the older ones.

What better way to celebrate than having a Spooky Social?

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We’ll bring along the dress up box for everyone to have a go with so even if you just drop in you can get into the spirit! (Pun intended!)

Little trick or treat prizes for anyone small who would like to don their costume before it gets dark and some and give us a scare.

Free Halloween crafts – fancy making a toilet paper ghost or pipe cleaner spider? Crafts will be led by our crack team of bigger kids!

imageCan you think of a carrier costume or spooky sling dress up? Or will you just come as a Mummy … or Daddy?

All sling advice and carrier rentals are still available of course – so come along and join in the fun!

12-2.30pm At Pudsey Wellbeing Centre Community Hall  – 31st October 2014

Some lovely new arrivals!

We try to keep the library stock up to date and like to try new brands and carriers, and we have a few lovely new things to add to the catalogue.

Here are two of the fabulous MADAME GOOGOO carriers, both great for bigger babies and toddlers. They are a very funky example of the soft structured carrier, combining exciting prints with colourful straps – each one unique. They are available to order in several panel sizes. They work well front and back, and have customisable features – here we have the magical forest with a flat hood and petite straps, and the Russian dolls with a sweatshirt hood and regular straps. MADAME GOOGOO have many carrier options available to buy and retail at around £100. Many thanks to MADAME  GOOGOO – Gorgeous!

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Another splash of colour in the soft structured carrier box, this is a Sleepy Nico buckle carrier – soft, lightweight, and great for babies and toddlers 3-4 months and up, for front or back carries. This one is ‘Little Houses’ print – it reminds me of Hebden Bridge with all the houses stacked on top of one another, so it was fitting for it to have a home in West Yorkshire. This carrier is available off the peg or as a custom carrier, and retails at around £70-75. This one has soft purple baby cord straps, a flat sleephood and a three piece soft structured waistband, it is a really lovely carrier – Thankyou Sleepy Nico!

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A last addition is fitting for the blustery autumn weather – we decided to try a Bundle Bean carrier cover – these can be used over any type of carrier and on the front or on the back, and also as a buggy cosy toes or car seat cover. A simple Velcro design with hand snug, they are fleecy on the inside and showerproof on the outside!

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All of our new additions are available for try on or hire at any of our drop in sessions – next sessions are Weds 29th Oct 10-3pm in Farsley and Friday 31st Oct 12-2.3m in Pudsey!

Using a woven wrap doesn’t have to be complicated

So many parents come to me wanting a carrier that will do absolutely everything. It needs to fit newborns and toddlers optimally, offer knee to knee support, head support, back support… It should carry front or back and either hip. It needs to be machine washable, fit vastly different shaped adults, be cool in summer and warm in winter, and be soft and comfortable to wear. It needs to be quick and easy to use, so they don’t want a wrap.

Now it is not to say that there are no carriers in the library that can fill that brief without being a wrap. But I am here to fight its corner, just a little. If I could choose just one carrier from the library to suit me and my children through our carrying years, it would need to be a woven wrap. For you to consider it, I want to correct a couple of common misconceptions about woven wraps.

Woven wraps can be used from birth

Sometimes people assume that because a stretchy wrap is a newborn and small baby specialist carrier, woven wraps are designed for older babies. Yet in truth woven wraps can be used from birth and offer a great deal of support and strength to floppy and new babies whilst also being soft and snuggly.

Less than a day old

Woven wraps do not have to be expensive

Sure, they can be, but there are some wonderful woven brands out there that are supportive, beautiful and do not break the bank. In the world of wovens, there are a lot of fashions and trends, and there are collectors, but there is no reason you need to join in unless that appeals to you. It is perfectly possible to buy a lovely cotton German style woven wrap in a colour you love and use it again and again throughout your children’s carrying years for much less than a buckle carrier or equivalent. Woven wraps can offer tremendous value for money. My oldest woven wrap has been with me for over seven years and carried both my children – still as strong as ever and one of the best value baby items I have ever invested in.

There are a range of brands and prices on the market, but here are some examples of German style woven wrap brands I have personal experience with which I highly recommend as strong, supportive and long lasting – these are examples but by no means an exhaustive list! Alongside is listed their various prices for a standard line, cotton, standard length size 6 wrap – the size most people buy. Please see the note below if you are interested in purchase or hire.

BB Slen – around £70
Colimacon et Cie – around £60
Hoppediz – around £53
Lenny Lamb – around £47
Little Frog – around £50
Natibaby – around £64
Neobulle – around £67
Storchenwiege – around £70

Woven wraps are supportive especially for heavier babies and toddlers

A lot of parents are concerned about the support for their baby, and the way a carrier fits the adult as well – does it offer ‘lumbar support’ is a particularly common question. A well tied woven wrap is the epitome of an ergonomic carrier and that is down to its complete custom fit – carrying your child snugly all the way along their backs and legs, from knee to knee and as high to their neck as needed – high for newborns or arms free for older babies and toddlers if they prefer. A woven cloth feels supportive against your muscles – consider how we bandage a strained limb – and moulds perfectly around you, offering a close carrying experience that does not strain either shoulder muscles or the lumbar region.

it doesn't matter how big they get

Woven wraps can be pre-tied

A lot of parents enjoy the convenience of using a stretchy wrap that has been pre-tied – with all the fabric in place before the baby is put inside. This can reassure when you are starting out, or work very well as an option when out and about. Tie the carrier on at home, pop the baby in the car, and when you get where you are going slot the baby into the carrier and in and out at will. Pre-tying is something I did a lot when my babies were tiny – in and out of doctors appointments, popping out to the shops, for the school run – with my woven wraps. Yes, woven wraps can be pre-tied too. For babies and for toddlers. Now I use a pre-tie with my toddler for things like train journeys – on and off my knee, in and out of the carrier at the station, walks a bit, slots in the wrap to tackle the stairs and make the connection, walks a bit, slides back inside to tackle the train gap and luggage. Woven wraps can be used quickly and easily when you are used to tying them.

Woven wraps do not have to be complicated

A wrap is, quite literally, what you make it. However there is no reason at all that using it need be any more complicated then learning to use any of the other library carriers – a ring sling, a mei tai, a buckle carrier, all have a learning curve. Or learning how to collapse a pushchair or install a car seat – I venture to say the latter is a lot more complicated than woven wrapping as I still struggle with car seats nearly eight years into parenting. The reputation for complexity comes from the hundreds of ways there are to use it. But, as I point out with some frequency, you need learn only one. Yet at some point in the future, when that one is not exactly what you need, you might feel the urge to learn another. Or maybe more than one. The reassuring thing to realise is that as your carrying needs change, so can your wrap, for as long as you need it to. The versatility is what I ask you to concentrate on, not the imagined complexity.

Front Wrap Cross carry

 

Woven wraps have a huge amount to offer as a genuinely adaptable birth to toddler to preschooler option. You don’t need to adapt the carrier between children, just pick it up and it will carry your newborn or your big kid. You don’t need to adjust sizing or buckles between users, just pick it up and it will fit you. You don’t need to learn every way there is to tie it, just pick up some basic skills and you will wonder what you did without it.

If you are in the market for a woven wrap, I highly recommend the above brands for producing good quality wraps that will last, and most of these brands are available to buy through our library supporters, see the tab at the top of the page. If you have used library services some supporters offer a library discount code, please ask for further details.

If you prefer to hire, the sling library has a large selection of colours, brands, blends and sizes available for hire at any of our sessions.

If you would like help with your wrap, we offer free wrapping help by email or at any of our drop in sessions, for as long as you need it. For more in depth help we offer one to one sessions so do get in touch for more details. Call 0113 2100855 or email wyslinglibrary@outlook.com.

Wrap happy, everyone.

 

 

 

‘But she likes to walk now’ – how carrying works past first shoes and stamping feet!

My littlest baby turns 2 on Saturday. Which is just crazy – the time has flown ridiculously fast, and just as I got started carrying her and trying all the lovely new slings, she started to walk and was off – or so it seems. It seemed a good time to rethink how carrying works for babies who aren’t quite babies anymore – she likes to walk now, for sure….but my question is, is it always wise to let her? And is carrying purely about transportation anyway?

We went away this weekend on a last minute, last few days of school holiday, day out frenzy, and as I wandered around the aquarium yesterday I thought over all the times the carriers I had taken had been used over the two days we were away. It was a lot. More than even I had thought. And it illustrated to me how much (or how little) difference the child’s ability to walk actually made.

I took with us the lovely new Neobulle Evolobulle mei tai and the Storchenwiege Leo Marine Ring Sling. Both very comfortable, ‘toddler-worthy’ carriers.image

After our road trip, out first task was to find something to eat – and quickly, as the day was slipping away! We found ourselves in a shopping centre – a busy one – with shoppers all over the place, lights, fun, and confusion. Browsing our food options meant a good bit of wandering around and toddler pace was soon frustrating – up she went on my back in the mei tai and we tackled three sets of glass steps and an escalator before finding a place to eat. She stayed up whilst we were served and I carried a tray of drinks, then got down and had a wander around before we ate.

After dinner she stayed down, managing all the stairs with aplomb until we were yet again in a busy crowd being buffeted in all directions. She was knocked over once and I found myself picking her up off the floor, apologising to all who were tripping over us – and carrying her in my arms. So I put her on my back in the mei tai and we navigated out, and tackled a 20 minute walk through the city with some speed.

It was a museum visit we had planned – the Transport Museum – and she had a glorious time running around in train carriages, ‘driving’ cars and pushing flashing buttons – so exciting that by the time we had been there 90 minutes, she was diving round each corner out of sight, refusing to hold hands, and had developed a penchant for shutting doors.

After she barricaded herself into a replica of an old shop, closing doors that were not designed to close and holding them bodily shut (shouting no! Mine! Mine! In true toddler fashion) we were heading for meltdown and any in-arms holding resulted in her flinging herself to the floor shouting ‘down!’ I secured her on my back and she changed her shouting to ‘out! Out!’ (Although I wish she’d learn to say her T sounds as it sounds more like ‘Ow!’ Which is embarrassing in public! After ten minutes of a more sedate pace around the attraction, she had calmed down and was ready to walk around again herself.

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She talked the twenty minute walk back to the hotel easily after that and enjoyed running around with her sister. We all wandered along holding hands and it was rather nice. We got all the way back to the car and emptied the bags to check in. I needed to make my way a few hundred yards back through a car park, across some busy roads and through the train station dragging a wheeled suitcase and carrying two shoulder bags. This is where the ring sling came out of the car – toddler slid in onto my hip, shoulder bags on the opposite shoulder, drag the suitcase and I had a free hand to hold my elder’s hand.

 

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The ring sling didn’t come out again until after dinner in the restaurant – overtired toddlers are not known for their tact and this one took against the travel cot we had been provided with. After an hour of trying to get her to sleep in it, and her disturbing my older one and who knows who else in the hotel, I took her for a walk around the hotel corridors snuggled on my chest – and eventually – at midnight! – we had peace and quiet. This child is not one for sleeping in slings – she likes her own room and her own cot, which was why she was cross in the first place – but it was apparently less evil than the travel cot!

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After her disturbed night, a full on day out was unlikely to be smooth sailing, and from the off she had a grumpy face on. We had planned a full day at The Deep in Hull – and straight out of the car she was nodding and sleepy. I packed her into a front carrying using the Neobulle – and very comfortable it was too, not that you would know from her expression!

The Deep is quite the structure, many floors, sets of steps, ramps and lifts winding round a central hub of a large submarium tank. Dark in most places, with narrow walkways. As claustrophobes, we don’t manage lifts well,l so the toddler stayed in the carrier up the six flights of steps that greeted us on entry. When she had adjusted to the darkness and realised there was fun to be had, all sleepiness fled and she asked to get down.

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So she used her little legs round the attraction, launching happily at each new experience, learning new words and running about down the slopes and round the corners. Occasionally she needed a lift up to see better so I sat her in the carrier whilst we watched talks and feeding events, preventing her from escaping at knee levels through a stationary crowd. But no-one can go on forever, and three hours plus lunch later, she was clearly exhausted. With the option of a carrier, I loaded her in on the front and she drifted off to sleep. We did the whole attraction again from the top down at a more sedate pace for the elder one, not rushing from shiny button to flashy light.

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The centrepiece of the attraction experience was a journey back up through the central tank – you can choose between a glass lift or the scenic stairs with full height viewing on each floor. For those unable to take the stairs, that meant either a very long wait for the exit lift as family after family queued – or bypassing the experience entirely and using the normal lift. We chose the stairs with our sleeping toddler and had them all to ourselves. I am so glad I did not have to make the choice of waking the toddler, waiting or skipping the experience, especially with an older one to disappoint. And what was waiting at the top of the scenic stairs? Six more flights down again!

On the journey home, we had a much happier little one – even so she struggles on longer trips, so we stopped in a truck stop style service station. Out came the ring sling again, seeing us across a busy car park until she could get down and stretch her legs – and then she won herself a teddy bear on a grabber machine and ate a banana, so all was right again in toddler land.

I thought about it, and realised that over the course of not even two days on our mini break away, I had used carriers many more times than even I would expect. I used them to get my hands back, I used them for her to sleep in, I used them for safety, for containment, to calm. I used them to navigate places tricky for little legs or wheels, for speed, for crowds. I carried her front and back and hip, at her request and despite her protestations. And yet she ran around until exhausted, she jumped on beds, she explored everything, pushed her buttons, played on exhibits, chased her sister and was chased back again. Carrying worked over and again for us all through the trip, comfortably and hands free. She really likes to walk. But it doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be carried.

 

 

New weekly carrier classes in partnership with Fingertips art studio!

Some very exciting news!

The library is teaming up with one of our fabulous local resources to offer a new type of library session – with a new day and a new venue!

Every Tuesday morning we will be offering themed sling and carrier information sessions and classes. Got a stretchy wrap? Book in to ‘Getting the most from your stretchy wrap’ Want to back carry? Check out the ‘Keep Calm and Back Carry’ class. Ring sling masterclass? No problem. Are you pregnant? Come to ‘Carrying Your Newborn’. Each week will have a different focus so you can choose the session to suit you.

Each class will last 90 minutes, cost £5 per family and be open to a maximum of eight families (some will have fewer places for safety reasons) You can prebook to confirm your place or come along on the day.

Or new venue is Fingertips Art Studio, which is a children’s art space in the newly revamped Sunnybank Mills complex in Farsley. The studio is run by the fabulous Steph Callaghan and is a free flowing creative play environment for children of all ages. As an OFSTED registered early years practitioner, Steph can engage and entertain toddlers and older children and give them an exciting, messy time whilst you concentrate on babies and carriers – or cups of tea and cake in the cafe area! The studio is all in one room so your child does not need to be away from you, but you can have a little space to learn and enjoy the session.

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Joining in with the art space is just £3 per child for the 90 minute sling session. This amount is payable to Fingertips studio.

The cafe area of the studio sells hot drinks, snacks and cakes at between £1-£1.50 so it could just be a great excuse for a sit down.

The first class will run on July 29th 2014 from 10.15am- 11.45am. Classes can also be block-booked if you fancy making it a regular event.

Themes for the first month are:

29th July – Woven Wrap Skills
5th August – Keep Calm and Back Carry!
12th August – Hip Carrying
19th August – Getting the Most from your Stretchy Wrap

For the first four sessions, I am offering half price carrier rental with each pre-booking – just call 0113 2100855 or email wyslinglibrary@outlook.com to book in!

If you have any questions about the new venue, childcare or art space, do contact Steph at Fingertips on 0113 2567342 or on steph@fingertipsart.co.uk

Fingertips Art Studio
Sunnybank Mills
Mending Rooms
85 Town Street
Farsley
LS28 5UJ

The West Yorkshire Sling Library

A lovely review from Gemma at Rosie and Ruby Love

Rosie & Ruby love ...

I love carrying my babies but until this morning I really didn’t have much knowledge about any of the different slings, wraps and carriers available.

With Rosie I just stuck with my Hana sling (which I still use and love using with Ruby) but I decided I’d like to see what other options would suit our needs too.

This morning I visited Nicola at The West Yorkshire Sling Library for a private consultation.

Nicola was fantastic, she was welcoming, informative and super helpful.

To start with Nicola showed me how to get more out of my current sling – teaching me quite a few tips that I’ve already used whilst wearing my sling since our appointment!

Nicola really listened to my needs and requirements and demonstrated several carriers that she thought could work for me. She helped me try on different ones with Ruby and made sure I knew how…

View original post 334 more words

IMPORTANT sling library closure 24 May – 2nd June

Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances the sling library will need to close next week between Sat 24th May and Monday 2nd June.

i do my best to keep the library open as many weeks of the year as possible so do apologise if this causes any issues or problems for anybody.

Anyone with a carrier due back to the cancelled drop in session of Wednesday 28th May will get an automatic free one week extension to their rental, making all carriers due back at the session 4th June.

Anyone with a carrier due back at the Sling Social of Friday 30th May can still return to the Wellbeing centre where the Social will be running without the library present. Library helpers will take returns at this session but will be unable to offer advice or carrier swaps. If you need advice or swaps do call me on 01132100855 or email wyslinglibrary@outlook.com to arrange this before or after the library closure. All carriers due back on the 30th will also have the free extension to June 4th if required.

Please do share this information with anyone you know interested in coming along as I would not want anyone to have a wasted journey. I really do apologise for the inconvenience.