Be eBuyer Beware! A must-read before you buy your sling or carrier online

It’s a great thing to have such a range of carrying products online, at your fingertips, and even better that you can just click to buy, and have your carrier delivered to your door. In lots of ways it is ideal, but in others it is difficult – buying online is buying blind, and it pays in the long run to do a few checks before you commit. This applies especially if you are buying from an auction or marketplace style site, or somewhere you have not used before.

Old sayings nearly always have their basis in truth, and there are two that are more than relevant here.

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

It’s a great idea to check out the usual secondhand sites for goods before you commit to buying new – you never know, there might be one going for a song. I absolutely do it myself, along with research on brands and types with all kinds of items – I’ve recently been searching Ebay for decking and flooring, comparing brands and prices per square metre with the big online stores.

The first big problem here is that you just won’t find the brands of carrier stocked by specialist carrier stores (such as Connecta, Beco, Didymos) in any numbers on Ebay or other marketplace sites in the UK. They just aren’t enough of them there to buy. And because there are so few, the competition on these brands is steep – for context there are currently 9 Connecta baby carriers for sale on Ebay in the UK, lost amongst the 628 Baby Bjorns, 139 Mothercare carriers, 59 Mamas and Papas carriers, 198 Infantino carriers, 194 Tomy carriers – you get the idea. Rarity pushes up the price, and more than one of the Connectas currently for sale there are selling for well above their new price. This imbalance also leads to the second big problem – that using general auction sites to research brands and options for carrying your baby can only give a very limited view of what is on the market. As I said, I use Ebay – you expect it to have an average cross section of stuff – but in this case it is severely skewed – the Ebay market does not represent a range of carrying options.

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That begs the question – what is there instead? Well, there are the mass produced front pack style of carriers, some brands of which are listed above. It is only natural that they are there in large numbers, there are physically more of them, they are easily available on high streets across the country, and their usable life is less than some other carriers which means there is a higher turnover.  There are then the carriers of unknown origin – often shipped from overseas, there are many sellers who use promotional pictures from bigger brands to sell their products. I have recently challenged sellers who are using Hoppediz, Moby, Wrapsody, Ergo, and Boba promo material to sell their product, and received dismissive replies or silence in return.  There is likely an overlap with counterfeited carriers here – counterfeiting is a big problem especially with brands like ErgoBABY (Beco, Moby, and Freehand have also had issues and is just getting worse). It is odd to realise that counterfeiting happens in the baby carrying world, but it is more common than you might think. Naturally, once counterfeited carriers are in circulation, they can also make it back onto the market secondhand from private sellers who may not even know they are selling a product made by an unknown person with unknown quality control.

Buy cheap, buy twice

Quality control on goods that seem to be so much cheaper than all of their contemporaries can sometimes be an issue. I have seen in the past some worrying workmanship and construction materials on carriers brought in to the library. It is always difficult to tell someone I have safety concerns about their carrier or that I believe it to be counterfeit, but it happens with increasing frequency. Sometimes quality control is fine but the inherent qualities of the product make it much harder to use for some buyers than another brand – for example, a mei tai with shoulder straps set at a wide angle can mean users struggle to provide their baby with head support, and their child leans away from them, hurting their back. On paper the carrier looks the same as the more expensive one on another site, but the most popular brands are so because they work for the majority of people the majority of the time. Another example is a lightweight woven wrap which lacks width or mouldability, making learning to use it comfortably much, much harder. We help people out with both these problems on a regular basis in the library, and the majority of carriers can be used well enough for a certain period with some additional skills and a bit of practice. But it is nearly always a mistake to buy something that looks the same, only much cheaper, on the assumption that it will be the same. It is a difficult thing for me to watch parents who want to carry their child so much they research carriers, invest in a budget version to see if they get on with the type, then find it difficult and uncomfortable to use and conclude that carrying will not be useful for them at all.

Value For Money

When cost is an issue, it is nearly always helpful to look at your carrier on a cost per use basis. It’s a simple enough sum, and we can help you fill in the estimated numbers if you need to.

Think about how often you will use a good, reliable carrier (say, three times a week or 150 times a year), then multiply that number by how long you can or want to use it for (for example, 1.5 years), to get your Uses number (in this example, 225 Uses).

Find the new price of the carrier you want to buy (say, £62 including postage, which is the price of a new Connecta baby carrier) and subtract from this number the secondhand price, which is a reasonable guess at the money you can see returned when you come to sell. (The average price of a secondhand Connecta Integra, based on the last three to sell on Ebay, is £52.56 including postage). This gives you a Carrier Price, which will be your overall investment (in this case, £9.44)

Divide your Carrier Price by your Uses number, and in this case your Cost Per Use is a little over 4 pence. Looking at resale is a great use for eBay, once you have identified some brands to search for on sling and carrier sites. It is always worth doing your sums like this where cost is an issue.

We will help you get the most out of whatever you use

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The West Yorkshire Sling Library’s primary objective is to help you carry comfortably and safely, for as long as it is useful to you, your baby and your lifestyle. It is all about the carrying, not about the carrier. That is why the first thing we do is try and make the carrier you already have work for you, as hundreds of our visitors will attest. It is important to realise that there will always be a bargain to be had somewhere online, and not all come with strings attached. I want you to feel safe and confident buying online, whatever your budget and whatever style of carrier you want to buy. I have frequently found carriers for library users, passed on my own bargains, provided proof of counterfeiting for credit card refunds, helped library users to make their own safely, looked over potential purchases that look too good to be true, and of course given out hundreds of discount codes and vendor recommendations. This is not designed to put anyone off buying, but to help you make the right choice for you.

So where are all the carriers?

If they aren’t on Ebay or Amazon, if they aren’t in Mothercare or Mamas and Papas or Kiddicare or your local baby shop, where on earth are they?

It’s a good question, and one the libraries across the country try to provide the answers to.

You can try carriers before you buy at any of the libraries across the country – check out The UK Sling Library Network for your nearest sling library.

You can get advice and help with fitting and using all types of carriers by visiting a local consultant, trained to help you and your baby, you can find all sling services near you on the sling map 

Plenty of online specialist carrier stores have walk-in shops where they can help you face to face – do check if there is one near you – Connecta Baby Carrier have a store in Godalming,  Love to be Natural in Augher, Closer to You in Edinburgh, Marsupial Mum in Hebden Bridge, there are many more. If you are not close to these, yet more offer email support with your choice and honest advice with your purchase, as well as great return policies and even postal hire – check out Slumber Roo, Natural Connection, Kangarinos, Sling Heaven, Show Me Slings….

To buy second-hand, there are the carrier lists – if you use Facebook there are tens of thousands of members on Slings and Things – FSOT and Advice offering items for sale or trade, the same applies to Babywearing FSOT, Babywearing DIY Advice and Support, and Affordable Baby Slings for Sale or Swap. If you prefer not to use Facebook, the forums at Natural Mamas offer a For Sale or Trade board, a Feedback system for both private vendors and businesses, so you can look up reviews and feedback before you deal with somebody, and a Carrier Review section to help you make up your mind.

Do enjoy carrying your little one, whatever you use – the most important thing to take away from stumbling across this article is that people are out there to help you make your choice, with no strings attached – for as long as it is useful to you.

 

Stretchy wraps and revamped Snugiwraps!

I’m a big fan of stretchy wraps – simple long lengths of material tied in ways designed to support newborns and small babies, taking the strain off the parent’s back, shoulder and arms whilst letting them be hands free. They can be pre-tied, meaning you can put it on and pop your baby in and out when needed. You can have your stretchy wrap tied in the car, round the house, under your coat, for whenever you need an extra hand. I used mine for in and out at doctors appointments, around the shops, to see friends, to eat my dinner in the evenings, at home to hang out washing or do the floors, and to give me two hands back for typing, studying or crafting whilst the baby slept.

A good stretchy wrap does not have to be difficult to learn to use, or expensive. There are stretchy wraps to suit all budgets, some are suited better for early days use and some trade on the longevity and multiple carrying positions. Not all wraps are equal, some will perform better than others – different widths, how stretchy the cloth is, how many directions the fabric stretches, it’s length, tapers, finish and features all make a difference to how usable it is for most people, and for how long.

The Snugiwraps stretchy wrap has had a makeover, and the pre-Jan 2014 models are quite different from the newer, slinkier version. Lovely and soft fresh from the packet, the cloth has a lot of stretch and is lightweight. This is a good thing if you like your carrier to fold down small for storage, and can be cooler for carrying in the summer. Steph at Snugiwraps has told me that they recommend it’s use with babies under 12 months, for comfort reasons, but it is acceptable for use with babies 3-15kg. It is blunt ended, without tapers, but this does not affect the size of the knot particularly with a lightweight wrap. It has a useful, unobtrusive label for middle marker and a label on one short end detailing washing instructions.

I gave this good budget wrap option a decent test with my 18 month old, who is on the smaller side. We used it twice, once indoors and once for a walk. I needed to draw the wrap very tightly and pay close attention to the spread of the cloth, but as I was using it outside of the recommended range, that was fair enough. I used pocket wrap cross carry to carry her, as the default stretchy wrap position. Overall it performed well – She was tight and snug and felt secure, with only a little settling after our walk. I would prefer more width with this wrap – more width would have secured the leg position better, and allowed for more head support – there was none spare here if Rosalind had gone to sleep, but she was comfortable enough to do so. Having also tried this wrap with the demo doll – 8 week old size – and helped a library user try it with her 6 month old, I believe this would also be the case with younger babies. I think the suggested range of use for babies under 12 months is reasonable, but suggest it would perform at its best with babies under 6 months. My advice to anyone using one of these wraps or thinking about doing so is to make sure you fit it tightly and carefully due to the amount of stretch, but once you do this it should perform well.

Overall, I am happy to recommend this wrap as a good budget wrap and to include it in the library, and to welcome Snugiwraps as a library supporter, meaning they will offer The West Yorkshire Sling Library users a discount on their products. Thank you Snugiwraps.

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Snugiwraps stretchy wraps cost £19 including uk postage from http://www.snugiwraps.co.uk – they are available to try on at all library session or to take home on rental. Discount code is available to all library users on request!

Back to basics – carrying on a budget.

Create your own

1) Take two old T-shirts in your size with similar levels of stretch to the fabric.

2) Cut from armpit to armpit, as above.

3) Place each loop diagonally over your body to create a cross.

4) Sit your baby inside the cross and spread the fabric across them, from the back of the knee to the back of the knee, making sure their shoulders and head are supported, depening on theage of your child.

5) Get a scarf or pashmina of a decent width and tie it around you as above.

6) Check your baby is in view, with the chin off the chest, and close enough to kiss.

We talk a lot about brand names at the library, but our most basic job is to help parents carry safely and comfortably, and that has nothing to do with brand names at all.

There are plenty of ways to support your baby without venturing into the world of commercial carriers. The majority of carried children the world over are carried in simple pieces of cloth. The same safety considerations apply whatever carrying aid you choose – homemade, mass produced, traditional, artisan – the libraries in the UK can help with all or any of these.

There are many reasons you might to choose to go back to basics with your carrying choice – to experience carrying on a trial basis, to see you through a tricky time with items you can find at home, because of budget restrictions, in an emergency or just out of curiosity.

I often give out sewing patterns for people wanting to make a Mei Tai, advice on creating your own ring sling (either sewn or no-sew) or finding fabric to create stretchy or fleece wraps from the haberdasheries and markets of West Yorkshire. I often carry my own baby in nothing more than a bath towel. It is not about the carrier you have, or even about the carrier you want to have, but about finding something that will work for you.

With any sling or carrier, don’t forget the TICKS – Tight as a bandage, In view at all times, Close enough to kiss, Keep the chin off the chest, Supported back.

It's about carrying, not carriers.
It’s about carrying, not carriers.

 

A Day in the Life of a Sling Librarian

The more I work in this very specialised little area of child care, the more I realise that the majority of people I come across, prior to meeting me or coming to the library, have very little idea of what I do or what a sling library is actually for – what possible value could something like this have?

At the end of each librarying day I sit amongst the heaps of discarded carriers having my first cup of tea for several hours and think of all the people who have been in and out that day, how each have seen a tiny portion of the library’s work – perhaps enough to realise its value – for them, for everyone – or perhaps not.

So here is a full day, an insight into my life and work – a chance to think about the people and situations the sling library serves.

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A Wednesday Drop-In Session

In the morning, I rise with my own two children, and I’m sure the scene before the school run is exactly the same as in countless houses across the world – one child is moaning about getting dressed and searching for reading records and PE kit, the baby is smearing marmalade in her hair and doing death dives out of her highchair, and I am putting on tights with one hand and brushing my hair with the other – in the kitchen.

It’s just before we leave the house the picture changes a little, as the baby is wiped down and secured into one of the day’s selection of carriers as we work our way up the street to school.

On return, it becomes clear that this isn’t exactly a normal house on a normal day. I give the baby a kiss and settle her with someone else, as it is near impossible for me to run services at this level and care for her at the same time. The dining table is moved to one side, and there is sweeping, wiping and mopping before the boxes, suitcases and bags are carried through and the carriers are arranged in various ways around the kitchen and dining room. A full length mirror is pulled out of the understairs cupboard. Several weighted dolls rise from the trunk in the kitchen. The dining room dresser, instead of holding plates and glasses, is emptied of carrier instruction manuals, accessories, forms and handouts. The printer is set to churn out rental forms, welcome packs, rental pack, TICKS guidelines, healthy hips handouts, positioning posters, discount slips. Library information displays replace the birthday cards on the shelves, the childrens’ toys are brought out for them to share with the public, and last but not least the gate is propped open and the sign displayed -The West Yorkshire Sling Library is open.

First of all

Within minutes of opening, our first visitor arrives, followed by two or three more. Straight away we have one of our returning customers who finds her carrier invaluable for her toddler, something to have in the handbag ready for when little legs are tired or not going fast enough in the right direction. She is a happy long-term renter and does a swap, returning her Toddler Connecta and having a go with the Tula Toddler. We go through a back carry demonstration, and she takes it away in its box, saying it’s like having an early Christmas present.

Our second visitor is returning a Didymos woven wrap, and asks about options for back carrying her small baby with the woven wrap she has now bought, so she can do things with her older toddler without a baby on her front. I suggested that carrying on the hip could work just as well for this, and that was a welcome idea, so I passed on videos of several types of carry for her to access at home.

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Our third visitor has been trialling a Beco Gemini with her 9 week old baby and is happy with the support it offers out on walks and getting out and about, but wanted to make use of our free swap service to try something a little softer to give her her hands back at home. Together we tried on the Hop-tye and the Angelpack with the demonstration doll, then she tried the Angelpack with her baby using the mirror, and was happy with the fit, so did a straight swap.

The door goes again and the fourth visitor is someone who has not visited before, but has had advice on the phone. Her lovely 2 year old suffers from health conditions meaning she is not yet able to walk, she naturally finds this very frustrating and her preference when she is upset is to be carried by an adult – taking a Toddler Connecta and a Storchenwiege Ring Sling away allows her parents to carry her comfortably with respect to her medical needs, and she can be comforted and included with all goings on at the same time.

A few people arrive at once and we quickly assess their needs in turn. The fifth has a Hop-Tye which she is finding too small for her 8 month old. I do a quick demonstration to show how to make the most of its panel size and she is able to make it grow to fit. Her one problem then is that she now cannot justify buying something new!

The sixth has another Hop-Tye, a library one this time, and is worried it takes too long to put on with her wriggly 20 month old, who wants to be up and down a lot when walking outside, but she’s not happy about the idea of pushing an empty pushchair and chasing him at the same time. She shows me the process she’s been going through and her little boy shouts ‘No! Down! No! Down! so we abandon the idea. I fit her with a Scootababy hip carrier, and in a few minutes she is able to give him a quick carry on the hip which turns into a quick sling on the hip without him really noticing.

The seventh has a 17 week old who is fully in the grip of NOSY baby syndrome and only wants to be carried off to the side with her head inclined so she can see everything that is going on, her parents arms are very tired! I look at how the baby is being carried in arms and we swap the Bondolino that she had been crying in for a Storchenwiege Ring Sling and demonstrate three positions with this. On the very first go, the crying, fighting the carrier babe relaxed and looked about, and the mother told me it was the first time she’d been happy in days.

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In the meantime, the toddler has been going in and out of the Scootababy for practice behind me, and I turn to find him in a wonderful position, everyone looking really comfortable. ‘Do you want to get down?’ he is asked by his Mum. ‘No!  He says in reply. She starts planning a day out that would be difficult with a pushchair.

We write up some forms, and three more visitors join us. The baby in the ring sling has now fallen asleep.

Our eighth visitor of the day is returning a Boba 3G she has been using with her 8 month old. She tells me how everything now takes so much less time, because she can just put him in it and get things done without him wreaking havoc in her wake. She wonders how she ever managed before – she has used the library codes and bought her own. Another returnee, our ninth visitor brings back her long term loan of a Beco Gemini and parts with it reluctantly – although she is another who has her own carrier now waiting for her at home.

Number ten is a couple who have not been along before visiting with their 3 week old baby. They self-confessedly say they have no idea at all about what is out there, but they need something, as the little one is having feeding problems, is colicky and not settling. I demonstrate a stretchy wrap, a Close Caboo, a Bondolino and a Beco Gemini – one parent is very put off by the idea of the wrap, but both parents try the Bondolino with the doll and then with their newborn. As they walk around carefully cradling the baby in the carrier they suddenly drop their hands, then swing their arms, then smile – the sensation of carrying your baby close, but having your hands free, for the very first time. They decide to rent the Bondolino and we do some paperwork.

Visitors eleven and twelve arrive together. One has been using the library’s Tricot Slen to help her get out and about with her baby and toddler. She got in touch with us as she could not use her front pack carrier with her baby born at 5lb, who is now 9 weeks and just hitting the 8lb lower weight limit for its use. The other had been using a library Moby with her 9 week old, now 16lb in weight at the other end of the spectrum. Each wanted to try the next stage up before committing to buy so I demonstrated a woven wrap, two small bodied soft structured carriers in the Beco Gemini and the Rose and Rebellion, then the Napsack, Himmel and Babyhawk mei tais by request. After trying on sessions with dolls and babies our littley took home the Beco Gemini, and our big lad went with a Napsack.

 

Our thirteenth visitor of the day pops her head in to return the Caboo DX, she was another facing the lower weight limit problem with her front pack, and she is happy that her baby is now big enough to fit in her baby bjorn. The fourteenth is our youngest visitor of the day at 10 days old, his mother came along to a library session when pregnant and came back with her new baby to borrow a stretchy wrap. We refreshed her knowledge with a doll demonstration and a rundown of safety checks, then she took her stretchy away already tied on as they were on their way out for the day to ease their oldest’s cabin fever.

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Coming in the side door now is a returning library user who has an older child that needs to use a wheelchair, so she uses her carrier to allow her to take both of her children out at the same time. She has a selection of her own but wanted to rent something pretty for the festivities. Our fifteenth visitor of the day chose a bright red Hoppediz Paris ring sling for use over Christmas, and left quickly.

A challenge for us now, a new visitor who is looking at options for an epic trip around Europe next year with her toddler – now 13 months old – who has never been carried before. She expressed a preference for buckles and we looked at sturdy options such as the Tula, Ergo and Manduca as well as travel-light ideas such as the Connecta Toddler Solarweave and the Boba Air. Undecided, she took both the Ergo Performance and Connecta Toddler models away for a good road test.

Our seventeeth is returning to renew her carrier over the festive period as she is planning an exciting Disneyland Christmas with her 8 month old and 4 year old. Whilst here, her mother asks me if we’ve anything she could use to carry the older child on the trip, as he is in an ‘I want to be carried!’ phase and her arms are tired! So they go home with an additional big kid carrier in our preschool size mei tai, it’s nice to see grandparents involved in carrying.

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The library is pretty full now and visitors 18,19 and 20 are waiting to see me. One Boba 3G is returned and she has made up her mind to buy, we discuss discount codes and the features of the new 4G in comparison. One Moby wrap is returned, charged with being too cosy and allowing her 5 week old to sleep a lot during the day, something she was trying to discourage – a buckle carrier was decided on as a better prospect and a swap was made. And the last in line was mother who had already bought a stretchy and a Connecta, but was struggling with both and her new baby – a demonstration of each, and a tutorial with the doll, as well as going through the safety checklists and paperwork – and she felt much happier with her purchases.

Visitor 21 is a family of three including a 4 month old baby who are going to visit family over Christmas on a plane and cannot take a pushchair with them, they had not used anything before but felt happiest with the Connecta after a demonstration of a selection. They asked about using the carriers facing forward and we talked through that option, including a demonstration with the Beco Gemini, bu tin the end they preferred the Connecta for them and the new Natural Mamas wrap conversion Connecta is off to spend Christmas abroad.

There’s only a few more to do, now, as number 22 asks how to get the most from her Tomy Freestyle which is hurting her back with an under-9lb baby, so we adjust it to its optimum and run through as many tips and tricks as we know to make it work for her. Having seen the other options, though, she decides to check out ebay and invest in something else. I give her details on buying new and secondhand, and offer support with any purchase she makes.

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Visitor 23 sticks her head round the door and waves a returned Manduca and Didymos at me, I nod gratefully and turn to our twenty-fourth attendee, who has been having problems with her baby’s position inside the Bondolino. Having troubleshooted the positioning, she elected to try something new and her 8 week old was soon snuggled up asleep in the Connecta. Discussing wearing options for that and running through safe positioning takes a further few minutes, and at the end of those I realise that the library has been open for nearly 5 hours,as it is approaching 3pm.

Yet, three more visitors are coming along the path. The first has brought a pouch for me to troubleshoot, but it was a gift from a friend and as it is a sized to fit carrier, was unfortunately the wrong size. This visitor suffers limited mobility on one side and liked the idea of a one shouldered carrier  for his 12 week old for this reason. We looked at the adjustment mechanism of a ring sling in comparison, then briefly experimented with buckle carriers done up on one side in advance. He was happy with the idea of both of these but chose to take the Hoppediz ring sling home, with access to my online resources, for further experimentation. Then talk turns to reflux babies and tongue tie, as a common theme in the room – visitors twenty-five have come on the advice of their health visitor to get something to keep their baby upright and moving, aiding the symptoms of reflux in many babies. Having been there myself, we experiment and they are happy with the idea of the babyhawk, so take that one home with them.

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The twenty-sixth visitor looks to be the last of the day, so I flip the kettle on and delegate the afternoon school run. Our final issue is to address the idea of carrying her 5 month old around winter clothing, so we discuss options for comfort and adjustability including demonstrating several kinds of carrying coats and accessories. In the end, the type of carrier was adjusted, swapping something with a lot of fabric – the JPMBB stretchy wrap – for something with much less – the JPMBB ring sling.

Just as I wave goodbye and hit the kettle, we have one final visitor who I sit with until past 4.30pm. She is having feeding problems with her 5 week old and struggling with back pain from feeding, winding and carrying the baby in all kinds of positions, getting stuck under sleeping little one and not daring to move. She asks about the possibility of feeding in a sling, and we go through options and precautions for that. We spend a good chunk of time talking about positioning, infant reflexes, instinctive posture and baby feeding patterns. When we have done with our cup of tea she decides to take home a Hana stretchy wrap to give her her hands back, and she also takes the phone numbers for the local breastfeeding support resources, a copy of a breastfeeding guide and a copy of the Wonder Weeks to help her over the next month.

I wave goodbye, and look around at the devastation that is my dining room and kitchen, so get to work – he carriers get sorted into the wash pile and store piles then backed into their boxes and cases. The paperwork is sorted and filed, swaps noted and extensions marked. The emails for rental instructions will be done later, so they are put aside. The money and deposits are sorted out and the handouts and instructions filed away. Phone calls are returned and tea is started as my two have now burst onto the scene from their confinement to the living room with Daddy.

After dinner and bedtime, I sponge clean some carriers and put them to dry, another few go into the machine. When I do get to the sofa, I update the library page, answer emails and Facebook messages, and send out the rental mail. I am told that the toddler in the Scootababy had a lovely day out, and the baby in the ring sling is happy as larry. I’m sent a message of thanks from two more visitors, and one would like to donate her not used carriers to our library.

Are you feeling tired yet? I am. Are you feeling happy yet? I am.

With many thanks to all our library visitors.

Many small details have been changed for the privacy of those involved. 

Special Events and Christmas Opening – Merry Christmas to all with free extended rentals!

I don’t know how, but it’s got to that time of year again when I realise, all of a sudden, I need to think abut Christmas rentals and opening hours – as well as planning some parties!

This Wednesday marks the ominous ‘4 weeks until Christmas!’ mark and any carrier taken out this week would be due back on Christmas Day! That’s not going to work out too well, so here are our Christmas Opening Hours and extended rentals – everyone gets a Christmas present from the library of up to two weeks extra, for free! 

Any 4-week carrier rental taken between 24/11/13 and 10/12/13 will fall due for return on our first session of the new year – 8/1/14. That’s up to two weeks extra rental for no extra charge. 

2 week rentals will be suspended from Thursday 5th December, unless in special circumstances. 

The library will close for Christmas at 3pm on Wednesday 18th December 2013 and re-open in the New Year on Monday 6th January 2014, with the first drop in session of 2014 taking place on Wednesday 8th January 10-3pm, and the first Sling Social running on Friday 10th January 12-2.30pm.

The Sling Social that would have taken place on the 27th December will not run. 

And for some special events:

Friday 29th November 12-2.30pm- Sling Social and Natural Mamas 5th Birthday Party

To celebrate the 5th birthday of this popular parenting and baby carrying forum that has helped so many of our visitors, we are holding some special events alongside the regular services of this Sling Social – providing extra cake and chances to try something new. Our sling socials are always fun and always free. The library has added a special new carrier for this occasion – the Connecta Baby Carrier Natural Mamas Wrap Conversion – it is just beautiful!

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Friday 13th December 2013 – 12-2.30pm – Sling Social Christmas Party

This Sling Social will be our last before Christmas so we’re spreading some festive cheer with a lucky dip for the kids and some Christmas treats for the adults – so deck your carriers with tinsel, get your Santa hats on and come along for some free fun and games – all sling services run as normal!

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Wednesday 18th December 10-3pm – Drop-in 

Our usual drop-in session, but the last one of 2013, so mince pies and mulled apple juice will be distributed freely throughout the day!

 

A Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!

 

 

 

Apologies for recent communication issues

Hello everyone,

I would like to apologise for some of the recent communication issues in and around the library. These have mainly stemmed from an email notifications change around the WYSL site. I have been working on it all day to-day and I am hopeful that these issues are on their way to being resolved.

If I have missed a message from you, in whatever format, please do contact me again on the new email wyslinglibrary@outlook.com – through our Facebook page – or on the phone at 0113 2100855.

Thanks all!

Nicola

International Babywearing Week Mega Raffle

As one of the few things we have up our sleeve for International Babywearing Week 7th-13th October 2013, we have a great raffle for you to enter at our sessions over the next few weeks!

Tickets cost just £1 and are available at all drop in sessions and Sling Socials.

Here are some of the great prizes we have!

– Ellaroo Claudia, the most stunning autumn colours all together on this lovely wrap, I was so tempted to keep it! In 4.2m.

– A Consultation Voucher for the library – use it yourself or it makes a great gift, this gets you one hour of one to one time and a 2 week rental with the library!

– Sweet little BabyLegs! – We have TWO pairs of sweet cotton baby leg warmers with pretty flower prints to give away.

– Hotslings Pocket – attach any thing to any sling with this clever, pretty little purse/pocket.

– Wrap Scrap Keyrings – Fabulous taggy toy for littlies or a piece of babyhood to carry with you every day, the wrap scrap keyrings are fun little accessories and we have three to give away.

The computer doesn’t want to let me add photos tonight but I will get onto that just as soon as I can.

Tickets will be on sale at the Sling Social tomorrow, Pudsey Wellbeing Centre, 12-2.30pm – see you there!

And the winner is…..

Kristin Arnorsdottir-Edwards and her nominee Rosie Townend.

Rosie will receive a carrier suitable for her baby’s age and stage. I hope she enjoys using it and passes it on in turn to someone else who needs it, so it can keep on giving.

Can Kristin or Rosie get in touch soon to discuss her carrying needs – thank you!

Thank you everyone who entered, there were some lovely stories (and some sad ones) – the winner was chosen by random.org from numbers assigned to all FB comments, emails and blog comments (one per person). I wish there was a carrier for everyone!

Directions to the new library address – 55 Thornfield Avenue Farsley.

The new library address is 55 Thornfield Avenue, Farsley.

SAT NAV USERS – The best postcode to use is LS28 5HL which will allow your Sat Nav to bring you up Farfield Avenue, which is far easier to get to, with much better parking, and much easier to get out of than the narrow cul-de-sac of Thornfield Avenue. 

The house is actually on the junction of Farfield Avenue and Farfield Drive, next to the parade of shops and opposite the excellent conker trees. It is advised that you approach from this direction, as parking is free and plentiful around the parade of shops – and enter through the back gate (on the curve of Farfield Drive) side gate (on Farfield Avenue) or walk through the very short ginnel (snicket/passageway) and come in via the front garden gate. Access via Thornfield Avenue itself is confusing, but if you do find yourself approaching along the cul-de-sac,  follow the road to its end and you will notice a short ginnel (snicket/passageway) right in front of you through to Farfield Avenue – the house is the last on the street and to the left of this.

At the moment there are plenty of improvements to be made to the access, garden and house, we ask for your patience as it could be a long project.

The library phone number will not change so to contact us please call 0113 2100855.

From the original sling library address:

come out of the gate and turn right.

Turn right down Cotefields Avenue.

Turn left down Farfield Drive.

Bear right around the central grassy area opposite the shops.

When you reach the junction with the straight bit of Farfield Drive, the house is on your right, on the corner.

Please use the new wooden gate to access (has steps behind) – or the side gate on Farfield Avenue, which has no steps.

From Farsley Town Street

Turn up Croft Street, between the Co-Op and Homebuyers shops. Continue up Farfield Avenue until you see a green area to your left and shops to your right.

Standing with your back to the shops, look to the left, the house is across the road on the corner where the road leaves Farfield Avenue and curves around the trees and grassy area to Farfield Drive.

Please use the back wooden gate (next to the sign which says Farfield Avenue 21-41) or the double side gate on Farfield Avenue if you struggle with steps.

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A Right Royal Giveaway

“Nominate someone, and I will give away a carrier. It could be a stretchy wrap, a mei tai, a pouch or soft structured carrier, depending on need. Put someone on the path to carrying, give a parent their hands back.”

To celebrate the birth of the royal baby, I’d like to give a gift. Someone out there has a new or expected baby who will have none of the benefits the newest prince will enjoy. So instead of sending to the royals, I’d like to give something to someone who really needs it. 

A new package can be great fun

Do you have someone in mind? Is there someone out there you know is struggling, someone who will benefit from their hands free and closeness with their baby? It might be someone who would struggle with carrier purchase, someone carrying a rainbow baby, someone needing their hands free for older children, someone who might never have thought carrying could work for them but would give it a go.

Nominate someone, and I will give away a carrier. It might not be new, it might not be shiny but it will be clean and safe and do its job. It will certainly have carried many happy little souls before they get it. If they are local, I will give them my time and show them how to use it face to face. If they are further afield, I can help remotely through video and email

What carrier will it be? It will be something I have added to the library from my own pocket.  It could be a stretchy wrap, a mei tai, a pouch or soft structured carrier, depending on what the eventual winners needs are. We all know one size does not fit all.

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If you know someone you would like to give this gift to, you can nominate someone by sending an email to airetauriel@yahoo.co.uk listing your name and email, and the name of your nominee.

You can also enter by liking and commenting on the competition post on the Facebook page, see the widget to the right or visit The West Yorkshire Sling Library on Facebook.

The random draw will not be made until Wednesday, July 31st 2013 at 9pm, so there is plenty of time to add your nomination – help out your nearest and dearest or someone you’ve always admired and put them on the path to carrying. When the winner is chosen you will be able to break the news to them yourself, if you desire, and put us in touch – please note you will need to have contact details for your nominee but I will not ask you to share them with me.

Now that’s something to celebrate!

Please note carrier selection will be decided by WYSL in co-operation with the winner from a pre-decided range. Postage costs if applicable will be covered by WYSL (2nd class standard post) One entry per person, one nominee per person please. Any multiple entries will be discarded.