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Issue One Spring 2013

50 UNIQUE pages of Baby Wearing STORIES & NEWS

Real or Fake

Pg 14

Find Out What

Pg 22

The Sling Baby Diaries

Pg 32

Just for Dad’s

Pg 40

Your Guide to spotting a counterfeit

One Born Every Minute and Babywearing have in common

Laugh Out Loud Diary of a Babywearing Mum

Baby Wearing Dads + Car Review

Explore Wrapping

Pg 42

How to FWCC

Advice · Shopping · Babywearing · Giveaways


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A Word From The Editor The 5 months that have passed since the pilot issue launched, have whizzed by faster than a mum during an Oscha release. I could never in my wildest dreams have imagined how successful and popular the magazine would have been, and have been humbled by the multitude of positive responses that I have received since the launch. The first 3 months of the launch issue saw the magazine be read close to 40,000 times in 41 countries. Astounding in whatever language you speak! It was with this in mind we chose to keep the magazine available to read free online, so that everyone no matter where in the world they came from could find our magazine and read it. Our ethos has not changed, we are still focused on helping as many sling libraries as we can, and have some exciting plans for the future. As we ease into spring with the snow and frost behind us, we can get back outside and discover the world once more with our little ones. Wearing a sling gives them the best view of the world and for those of you who are just about to have, or have just had a baby, getting out and about with the sling is the best postnatal exercise you can get. If you are not sure how to get a good knee to knee position why not read Scientific Cuddling (P10) or want to know more about how to avoid buying counterfeit carriers (P14-16). If you are trying to encourage the daddy of the household to babywear, why not read our babywearing daddies article (P41) which you will find in the new section of our magazine specifically designed for the men in our lives! You can also catch up with everything that has gone on in the community over the past few months, including our One Born Every Minute inspired story. As always if you would like to contribute to the magazine in anyway please contact info@closeenoughtokiss.co.uk Enjoy x

Renee Duffin, Editor Twitter: @Closeenoughmag

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Contents 6

10

18

06 Emma Talks Blends

24 Fluffy Bum Boutique

09 Things We Love

26 Make Your Own Hand Scrub

10 Knee To Knee

28 Toddler Carrying / When Wrapping Stops

12 Babywearing Is Babywearing Right?

30 Why I Ditched The Buggy

14 Counterfeit Carriers

36 Things That Remind Me Of A Wrap

18 Babywearing With A Disability

32 ‘The Sling Diaries’

22 One Born Every Minute

34 Sling News From Across The UK

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Twitter: @Closeenoughmag


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Editor Renee Duffin Design & Artwork Colin Jeffery Writers Emma Palmer, Helen Rye, Katie Mairis Columnist Anne McEwan

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Featured Writers Rachel Coy, Angeline Braidwood Jillian Davidsson, Wibke Hott, Lizzie Earl Editorial Jenny West, Tim Clay-Barnes Promotions Lactivist, School of Babywearing MaM BabyIdeas, Connecta European Babywearing Conference Personal Stories Sarah Handley, Jenny Pearson, Victoria Percival Susan Sissons, Greg Wagstaff, Tom Wadell Nigel Plested, Terry Speller Carrier Samples Napsack Baby, Connecta, Naturally Happy Slings Onbag, Maverick Babies

36 Wibke & Jo Set Up Home At 38 Paxbaby - The Ring Sling 39 The Calender Girls 40 Motoring Review 41 Baby Wearing Daddies 42 How To - With CETK 44 Online Sling Library Directory 48 Giveaways / Shopping 49 Sleepy Nico Baby Carriers

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Photography Kim Wright Photography, LJM Photography Supplied Images Ergo, Beco, Je Mon Port Bebe Contributors Debi - Slumber-roo, Laura Ford, Michelle - Close Parent Contact Us by Email info@closeenoughtokiss.co.uk advertising@closeenoughtokiss.co.uk Find Us Online www.closeenoughtokiss.co.uk www.facebook.com/closeenoughtokiss www.twitter.com/closeenoughmag www.pinterest.com/closeenoughmag Disclaimer All information in Close Enough to Kiss Magazine or website is intended for entertainment purposes only and professional advice should be sought for those who are in anyway unsure how to carry their children in a safe manner. The publisher, contributors, editors and related parties are not responsible in any way whatsoever for the actions or results taken by any persons, organisations or any parties on the basis of reading information, stories or contributions of Close Enough to Kiss Magazine or website. The publisher, contributors and related parties are not engaged in providing professional advice or services. The publisher, contributors, editors and consultants disclaim any and all liability and responsibility to any persons or parties, be they a purchaser, reader, advertiser or consumer of this publication or not in regards to the consequences and outcomes of anything done or omitted being in reliance whether partly or solely on the contents of Close Enough to Kiss Magazine. The publishers, editors, contributors and related parties shall have no responsibility for any action or omission by any other contributor, consultant, editor or related party. Whilst we try to ensure all advertising in Close Enough to Kiss Magazine is relevant to our readers, we do not necessarily endorse the products shown. No part of this magazine is to be reproduced in whole or part without prior written permission from the publisher. All views expressed in this publication are those of individuals and not of Close Enough to Kiss or the companies we represent. All information included was correct at the time of being published online.

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Emma Talks Blends - Wool

(merino/alpaca/cashmere etc) With the recent freezing weather many

babywearers will have turned to a wool wrap to keep them and their little one snug and cosy.

D

on’t discount wool as an all year round wrap though, unless it’s a very warm day wool can still be used comfortably, as it’s very breathable and comes in different weights.

some silk as-well, though these will affect the way the wrap performs, for instance; linen will take away some of the stretch or “bounce” that I mentioned. Obviously wool blends aren’t for everyone and I would suggest checking if you or your baby have an I love wool, it’s cushy adverse reaction to wool on the shoulders, super before investing. Most supportive and has a manufacturers have wool great amount of stretch to options available and they it making it mould around vary greatly. baby well, and I find it gives me a better range I find didymos wool of movement than some (my personal favourite) other blends. soft but still “wooly” with a lot of bounce, but The term “wool” when natibaby wool to be very talking wraps covers a soft and silky with less wide variety of animal stretch to it. Diva milano fibres e.g. Merino, alpaca, wool has recently become lamb’s wool or cashmere. popular too, providing a luxury take on the blend A wrap won’t come 100% giving great support with wool but will be blended no need for readjustment with other fibres, most and softening quickly. often cotton but also linen Even oscha have turned or even a tri-blend with out lots of wool over its Issue One - Spring 2013

recent collections giving a very “wooly” feel with lots of texture while again providing support even for the heavier toddler. Wool is a bit trickier to care for than cotton but don’t let it put you off, it really isn’t too difficult and well worth it. Manufacturers recommend hand washing in the bath with a small amount of wool wash. Make sure the water is room temperature so not to shock the wool and move it gently in the water without rubbing,

as a sudden change in temperature and vigorous movement can cause it to felt which would be a disaster for your cherished wrap. After a soak gently squeeze out the water without ringing and lay out a few old towels to lay your wrap onto. Roll it all up like a giant burrito and jump up and down on it (a great game for children) to get out as much water as possible then lay out over an airer or alike to dry. DO NOT TUMBLE DRY!

Supportiveness: 4/5 Temperature: 3/5 Ease of care: 2/5 Time to break in: 4/5 Luxury: 4/5 Twitter: @Closeenoughmag


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What do

other babywearers have to say? “ I love them! They’re warm and snuggly, and very supportive with my 25lb almost 2 year old. They can be a bit prickly to begin with but a good soak in conditioner and a bit of the usual breaking in makes loads of difference. I wouldn’t be without my two! ”

Verity Castledine

“ I was always vary of woolly wraps. I like wraps that are easy to care for. I tried woolly for the first time this winter and I am glad I did! It’s wonderfully supportive, super warm, cushy on shoulders and grippy. It was itchy to start with, but it got better with use and after couple of washes. I can’t imagine winter without my woollies now! ” Katrina Struharnanska

“ My didymos elburg fishes with alpaca is lovely and soft, not

itchy at all. So warm and snuggly, never fails to send my little boy to sleep and he loves snuggling into it as a blanket too ” Becky Day

“ I love how supportive my oscha woolly braids are. Not keen on

how they feel, as long as i don’t stroke it its great once wrapped! ” Samantha Miles

“ Natibaby merino wool wraps feel like silk, amazing to wrap with and so supportive ” Katherine Vince

Twitter: @Closeenoughmag

Issue One - Spring 2013


Things

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We Love Boba Stuff Sack

It’s basically a bag for your carrier, comes in many different, funky designs which can be co-ordinated to go with your Boba of choice or buy it for an existing carrier Available from Slumber-roo

Peekaru Ozone It’s a UV cover specifically designed to go over any carrier to protect your baby from harsh sunlight Available from Peekaru

Moby GO Finally Moby have taken another step in babywearing, we loved the moby stretchy wrap and I am sure you will love the new Moby GO, comfortable wide straps, give a welcomed change to the thinner straps of some structured carriers Available from Slumber-roo

Emeibaby carrier This is a carrier with all the advantages of a wrap, it’s great from newborn to toddler, with so many ways to customise the fit to each user, it’s hard to see anything not perfect about this carrier. available from Maverickbabies

Wood Clip On Toys We love these funky wooden attachable carrier toys, in bright eye catching colours, they are perfect to amuse little ones when in the sling Available from Naturallyhappyslings

Twitter: @Closeenoughmag

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KNEE TO KNEE Scientific Cuddling Angeline Braidwood Owner at Sleepy Nico gives her take on knee to knee support and why it’s so important. We all love a cuddle (well nearly all of us) and there is nothing lovelier than bending down and scooping up your child and them wrapping themselves around you. Their arms around your neck and legs wrapped around your waist. It’s also the easiest way to hold anyone whether as a cuddle or a piggy back. So it’s no surprise that a lot of equipment made to hold people is built on this premise, whether it’s a harness for an abseiling window cleaner or a parachute and of course a carrier or sling to hold your child in. What is a surprise then is to find out that not everything is built around this

Issue One - Spring 2013

comfort or in fact the science behind it! So, for the science. Babywearers and medical professionals refer to the appropriate way to carry a baby as the ‘knee to knee’ position - this is when a child is supported from one knee to the other with their bottom lower; this is comfiest for the carrier, the child and the safest way to support developing hips, joints and spine. This is most important in the first six months of a child’s life when they are at the greatest risk of hip dysplasia or dislocation. The ‘knee to knee’ or a ‘seated position’ is healthiest for the hips as it allows the hips to spread apart to the side, with the thighs supported and the hips and knees bent. As a child gets

bigger and the hips and ligaments are stronger there is less likelihood of these conditions developing.

on various nerves or restricting blood flow to the legs.

Talk to any babywearer and they will probably say that knee to knee is essential, but as with so many aspects of parenting you have to make a decision based on the comfort and health of you and your child. An older child will let you know if they are uncomfortable, they are also less likely to be in a sling or carrier for a long amount of time so it may not be as important to be held in this position. Mind you there is nothing worse than a fidgeting child on your back or front (or at the dinner table frankly) and if the sling is not knee to knee it can give them cramp or pins and needles, because it is pressing

Not all carriers hold a child in this position, and if you’ve used them you will know yourself that they are not always the most agreeable to wear and that it looks an awkward way for a baby to be held. A doula friend of mine asks her new parents to ‘imagine being held up by your knickers’ which gives a very strong image. Choosing a carrier that is ‘knee to knee,’ and supports your developing child just seems natural, it’s comfortable for both of you, and we all try to do the best for our children in every way we can, this is one straightforward way that it is possible to do so.

Twitter: @Closeenoughmag


“Imagine being held up by your knickers”

Images supplied By Je Porte Mon Bebe®


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Babywearing is babywearing right? Whether in a high street carrier, or otherwise, we should all be pleased that more and more people are turning to babywearing and holding their precious babies closer to them for longer. Well, what if you were to learn that the way you carried your baby could actually not only be detrimental to their physical, emotional wellbeing and development, but also cause physical damage to the wearer too? Wearing a child Forward Facing Out (FFO) is a very hot topic and probably always will be, that is until word gets out to ‘Joe Public’ alerting them to the serious problems associated with this positioning for both baby and wearer.

Issue One - Spring 2013

There are a number of very important issues that require discussion on the subject of FFO. Before I delve into these it is very important to highlight that regardless of the style of carrier being used, people genuinely want to have their babies closer to them, and believe that what they are doing is good. I am not suggesting that you ‘tut’ every FFO you see and make a bee line over to the poor carrier to educate them about the benefits of hip or back carries. Perhaps pick up on a few of these important facts,

and weave them into polite conversation. Bombarding people with why they are wrong is clearly not the way to get this important message across. In fact to learn that you are harming yourself and your child could put someone off from babywearing altogether. The Science Bit: When a child is born, its spine is shaped like a C. It is only as a child gets older, and stronger does the shape of the spine

change to that of an S shape. By carrying a baby in the FFO position you are putting a strain on the child’s’ back. By having their back pressed up against the carriers breast bone, the natural C shape of the spine is being changed prematurely. This is putting stress on the child’s’ spine and nervous system. A baby may change their position to an arched back to help them feel more balanced, which also causes more stress, and strain on their delicate spine.

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www.closeenoughtokiss.co.uk ‘With nothing to cling to, weak abdominal muscles, and retracted shoulders, the infant’s pelvis tilts backwards, and is forced to not only carry weight of his own body, but also to absorb the force of every step that the carrying individual takes- all on his little compromised spine.’ (Bobafamily) Shockingly, the longer and more often a child is carried like this, there is a chance that spinal development can be affected (Dr Maya Pande). Undue stress on a child’s spine should be avoided at all costs. The spine should be cared for. It protects the nervous system which controls all of the body’s systems and transmits messages to and from the brain. If the spine becomes misaligned, or damaged in any way then the nervous system can become overloaded and/or damaged. Of course, at the uppermost part of the spine is the neck and head, both of which are incredibly important. They need support. An infant is not able to support the weight of their head alone, the chin will drop towards the chest. This seriously compromises the airway of the child, and is very dangerous indeed. It is interesting to note that ‘the US Consumer Products Safety Commission recently passed a law that the warning labels of forward facing carriers must state that babies should not face out until adequate head/neck control is achieved. (Bobafamily)’ A child being carried needs to have knee to knee support. A baby carried FFO has no support to the knees, hips or spine. There is quite literally nowhere for baby to sit. Due to the narrow ‘seat’ found with a baby in FFO position the pressure on the babies inner thighs is great. This in addition to being ‘suspended’ by your private parts can lead to nasty chaffing on thighs and groin areas. Nasty. The FFO position can have detrimental effects on the health of the carrier too. The majority of the weight from your precious bundle is distributed over the carriers’ shoulders thus causing tension, and muscle pain in the back. By carrying baby this way the carrier is also forced to change their normal ‘walk’, and way of standing therefore putting more strain on the pelvic floor muscles meaning they will take much longer to heal after a birth. Arching your back helps to compensate for the awkward load that is a baby in FFO, which can result in serious pain for the wearer too.

It is very important to understand that a child’s hips take two years to properly develop. By carrying your child using a method which provides insufficient support, problems such as hip dysplasia is at a high risk of occurring. If the thigh bone is not supported to the knee then an increase in pressure is found in the hip (International Hip Dysplasia Institute) However, if both knees are spread and well supported then any forces exerted on the hip joint are minimal and the hip joint is kept in a much more stable position. ‘The most unhealthy position for the hips during infancy is when the legs are held in extension, with the hips and knees straight and the legs brought together, which is the opposite of the fetal position. The risk to the hips is greater when this unhealthy position is maintained for a long time. Healthy hip positioning avoids positions that may cause or contribute to development of hip dysplasia or dislocation. The healthiest position for the hips is for the hips to fall or spread (naturally) apart to the side, with the thighs supported and the hips and knees bent. This position has been called the jockey position, straddle position, frog position, spread-squat position or human position. Free movement of the hips without forcing them together promotes natural hip development (International Hip Dysplasia Institute) Any device that restrains a baby’s legs in an unhealthy position should be considered a potential risk for abnormal hip development. It is also important to assess the size of the baby and match the device and carrier to the size of the child, so that the hips can be in a healthy position during transport. Parents are advised to research the general safety and risks of any device they wish to use. It is not just hip dysplasia which parents should concern themselves with. Hip dislocation can also be a major health problem as a result of adopting an FFO position (Dr Maya Pande 2012) Most frighteningly perhaps is the fact that both these conditions are painless and therefore not obvious without investigation. Both hip dysplasia and hip dislocation can lead on to arthritis and hip osteoarthritis. The Evidence: Professor Caroline Fowler from Sydney’s University of Technology (Professor of Child and Family Health Nursing) accused mothers who carry their babies facing out of being ‘cruel and selfish’ (Daily Mail 2011).

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She said the following; “Imagine if you were strapped to someone’s chest with your legs and arms flailing, heading with no control into a busy shopping centre - it would be terrifying. Outward-facing baby carriers and prams give babies a bombardment of stimulus, creating a very stressful situation. In not considering our baby’s perspective, we are inadvertently quite cruel to children.”

It’s Biology:

Her comments were supported by the research carried out in 2008 showing that children who cannot see, or communicate with, their caregiver suffer.

This takes on one of the basic principles of Kangaroo Care and why it works so well.

Dr Suzanne Zeedyk, a developmental psychologist at the university, said: “Our data suggests that for many babies, life is emotionally impoverished and stressful. Stressed babies grow into anxious adults.” A baby who is carried facing away from the wearer can become very stressed and react negatively to the stimulation it is subjected to (Kostandy, 2008).

Those close up snuggles we all so love are actually doing more good to our babies than we previously thought. A mother’s body is truly amazing; when baby is snuggled up close to its mother, her body will demonstrate ‘thermal synchrony’ with her child.

The Mothers breasts will change temperature so that her infant can maintain his or her own temperature better. If the baby is cold, the mothers breasts will increase in warmth by 1 degree and the reverse if the child is too warm (Ludington-Hoe, 2004). So, now you know what to say to the helpful people who ask “isn’t he/she getting too hot in there”.

An infant can easily become overwhelmed when out and about. When baby is carried facing towards the carrier he can snuggle into the carriers body, smell the familiar and safe smell, close his eyes and drift off... or turn his head to look at the big wide world out there. The baby is in a safe place from which to view the world. It is from this safe known place that babies learn about the unknown. In a calm and alert state and in touch with mother, a baby is in the optimum state for observing and processing. The child has a choice.

An infant’s body has its own ergonomics too. It has been cleverly designed to fit against its mother and other care givers.

If carried in a FFO position the child is facing the world, there is no feeling of security and nowhere to escape to either. As Professor Caroline Fowler suggests, babies can become overstimulated and stressed. There is no way of responding to your baby’s cues if you cannot see or feel them. Carrying a child facing towards you is a very intimate feeling and one that allows the carrier to not only see the baby’s response to the environment they are in, but also ‘feel’ it too.

• A mothers breasts can change temperature to thermo regulate her child

In an upright and facing inwards position babies tolerate noise and activity around them much better (Ludington Hoe, 1993). While facing out a child may also be fighting against its’ own centre of gravity. ‘Most often the wearer will intuitively stick out her pointer fingers for the baby to grab on to and stabilize himself or the wearer will try to support the baby’s legs by lifting them up in the front. With no seat and nothing to grab on to in front of him it is tough for baby not to arch his back under the weight of his own body (Bobafamily)’

Look at the evidence we have in front of us: • The C shaped spine which makes the baby’s body instinctively curl up around the wearer • A baby has more fat cells in its back than the front

• A mother wants to instinctively cuddle and cradle her baby towards herself, keep the child warm, listen to its rhythm and look for the baby’s cues. • A mother doesn’t want to damage herself or her child. By carrying baby snuggled up close, she is avoiding problems with pelvic floor weakness, hip dysplasia, and lower back pain in both wearer and child, supporting the child’s head therefore protecting the spine and preventing neurological damage. So, let’s listen to nature! Carry your baby safely - in a way that is safe for you the wearer and of course your very special little one. Keep your baby close enough to kiss for all the right reasons.

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Counterfeit Carriers What you need to know Counterfeiting is illegal, yet unfortunately this does not mean it does not happen. Many of us will have thought we have ‘got a bargain’ when we’ve come home from a foreign holiday with a new handbag, watch or pair of sunglasses. But the chances are a fake handbag isn’t going to do us much harm other than a ripped handle and spilt contents. Counterfeiters have now picked slings as an area to copy and potentially put baby’s life in danger. Yes, a fake baby carrier and buying one could be extremely harmful to your baby. As parents we want the best for our children, but as many new parents will discover babies don’t come cheap, with many baby carriers costing nearly £100 it is understandable why parents look for a better, cheaper deal. But buying a fake carrier, although possibly ‘a bargain’ isn’t worth the risk. We want to keep our children safe and buying a fake carrier cannot allow us to do this. In the United Kingdom there is currently no legal requirement for a sling or baby carrier to meet any European or British safety standards. However, reputable manufacturers aim to ensure their product does meet them. At present almost all Soft Structured Carriers available in the UK meet European standards (The British Safety Standard for Baby Carriers is EN 13209-2-2005) and have product liability insurance. Slings made by Work At Home Mums (WAHM) will have often gone through ‘testing’ by sending slings to experienced sling users to try and provide feedback on. Legislation of baby carriers in the United States is being strengthened with new rules on testing, labelling, instructions and the ability to register your product in case of a product recall. If a manufacturer wishes to sell in the United States they will need to meet these criteria and therefore, it is likely that they will become the European norm, fake carriers will not meet these standards. In the United Kingdom counterfeiting is also linked to organised crime, and therefore buying a fake carrier can also be helping other forms of crime. Most carriers come with a warranty against faults, fake carriers don’t. We also have no idea whether the maker has used toxic dyes, sub quality fabrics and threads, or seam allowances. The dyes used to make baby carrier is particularly important, as babies love to suck on the straps. Currently, many of the big name carriers have been copied, often using stolen designs and patents. Fake slings are often sold on eBay and Amazon so please be careful if looking to buy a sling from either of these sites. It is generally recommended to buy from reputable sellers and most manufacturers will have a list of genuine sellers. At present known counterfeited carriers include: Ergo baby carrier, Beco Butterfly, Moby Wrap, Freehand Mei Tai, Patapum and Hotslings. The recommended retail price for most Soft Structured Issue One - Spring 2013

Carriers is around the £80 mark and it is highly likely that any ‘Brand New in Box Sling’ being offered for less than this is not real. If buying online check that your retailer is an authorised seller. This can usually be done by looking at manufacturer’s website, and in the case of Beco Baby Carrier sellers by the display of an approved logo on the retailer’s website Like with a fake handbag, the counterfeiters are good and a quick inspection might lead you to believe a sling is genuine. Don’t be fooled by appearances. This is your baby after all, and we do our best in everything to protect them. It is cruel that the counterfeiters have now chosen to put our desire to keep our babies close as an excuse to make a quick buck. The Ergo Baby Carrier is the best known ‘fake carrier’. Recently, due to the number of fakes being discovered, the BBC’s ‘Fake Britain’ featured this carrier. It is often advertised for sale with a DVD. Genuine Ergo Baby Carrier’s do not have a DVD. If looking to buy online you should be looking to pay more than £85 for a genuine Ergo. There are currently no registered authorised Ergo sellers on eBay and therefore if buying from this site please ask the seller for proof of authenticity (original receipts, serial numbers, photographs of logo and zips). How can you find out more about fake carriers? When looking to purchase a new sling please take time to research authorised sellers if buying it brand new. If buying from the popular pre-loved ‘For Sale or Trade’ markets again ask for proof of authenticity. In both cases, legitimate sellers with nothing to hide will not mind providing this evidence for you. Speak to your local sling library or babywearing consultant for recommendations of where to buy from, they may even be able to provide you with discount codes as many have close working relationships with retailers. The links below provide more information on the different faked carriers: www.babycarrierindustryalliance.memberlodge.org www.becobabycarrier.com www.ergobaby.eu www.borndirect.com www.precious-bundle.co.uk Written by Rachel Coy – Northeast Sling Library

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Ergo’s advice on Counterfeit Carriers “Unlike taking risks with other products, such as purchasing a fake handbag, there are How to spot a counterfeit carrier real concerns over the safety of these counterfeit carriers. Reputable manufacturers and suppliers adhere and conform to exacting standards set out by the European Union · Fake carriers tend not to be as structured as the real thing and therefore won’t and the British Standards Institute (BSI) for baby products retailed in the UK. provide the baby with the right support. The danger for parents and babies is that counterfeiters do not observe these standards, and fake products are therefore often made with substandard materials such as poor quality buckles and clasps, fabric containing prohibited chemicals and dyes, or poor quality seams which could cause the carrier to fail during use.” Joanne O’Grady, MD of Clever Clogs, Ergobaby’s UK distributor.

Additional dangers to be aware of include:

· Counterfeiters manufacturing fake baby carriers do not adhere to child labour laws, anti-sweatshop laws, or restricted substances laws, putting both workers and the environment at risk.

· Ergobaby also offers a guarantee to repair / replace any fault found in their

products. None of these claims will be fulfilled concerning a counterfeit carrier, whose materials, manufacturing, and labour practices are all undisclosed.

· Many sites take payment without delivery. · Consumer identities can be stolen. Ergo’s Advice to avoid encountering counterfeit makers:

· The waist band is usually designed differently on the counterfeit version. In one

that we have seen, it’s distinctly narrower. One of the key selling points of Ergobaby Carriers is that they have been designed to help distribute the baby’s weight evenly on to the parent’s hips and shoulders, to prevent the kind of back ache that is notorious with other carriers. The waistband is a key part of this design, and the flaws in the fakes could potentially put unnecessary strain on the parent and lead to back issues.

· There’s often to be a lot less padding in a fake carrier, particularly on the arm

straps which are also designed to provide the upmost comfort for both parent and child.

· The smaller straps that fasten behind the parents back can be less secure than the ones on the real thing, which are stitched to the main arm straps.

· The stitching is usually of a much poorer quality, although this usually isn’t

apparent until it’s compared to a real Ergobaby. On the fake carrier that we have, the stitching on the front pocket, in the top right hand corner by the zip, is coming away. Poor stitching is one of our biggest concerns, and one which parents are most worried about, because if the stitching were to come away at the straps the consequences could be tragic.

· The warning labels are normally also very different, not providing the necessary information.

1. The best possible way for parents to ensure they are buying a genuine carrier is to purchase through an authorised stockist. A full list of Ergobaby authorised stockists can be found on the website of Ergobaby’s UK Distributor Clever Clogs (www.cleverclogstrading.co.uk/stockist-locations.html) or can be searched for on their facebook page (www.facebook.com/ergobabyuk). 2. Ergobaby is currently in the process of building a UK website. The domain name is www.ergobaby.co.uk, which currently directs customers to the official EU site, www.ergobaby.eu. If you come across any other website with ergobaby in the domain name, such as www.ergobabys.co.uk or www.ergouk.co.uk it is a fake site. 3. If buying on-line, check that the website has a clearly stated returns and warranty policy with a UK based address/ point of contact. All authorised Ergobaby stockists offer a 2 year warranty - if this is not clearly stated on the site, don’t buy. 4. Be aware that search engines do not pre-screen websites that appear in their search results. Be cautious of websites that appear on Google, Bing or other engine searches for ‘Ergobaby’ or similar keywords/ searches, especially when the brand name is linked with the words ‘sale’, ‘discount’ and ‘cheap’. 5. Be cautious when buying through auction websites. Ergobaby have heard about a number of cases, where fake carriers have been bought through Ebay and Amazon. 6. Finding discounted or low prices through search engines or on seemingly authentic Ergobaby sites is often a good indication that a product is counterfeit. If it seems too good to be true, it usually is. 7. Beware of sites where the images are of poor quality or slightly blurred. An authentic stockist should have clear, crisp images of Ergobaby products.

Twitter: @Closeenoughmag

Real Ergo Buckle

Fake Ergo Buckle Issue One - Spring 2013


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Beco’s Advice On Counterfeit Carriers KEEP YOUR BABY SAFE! Over the past months, we have noticed a number of unauthorized internet sellers of counterfeit Beco Baby Carrier products. No warranty protection is offered with respect to counterfeit products.

Don’t Risk Your Child’s Safety Just To Save Money! Please see the following EXCEPTIONS: 1. Butterfly Original (also recognized sometimes as Butterfly I) collection produced during November 2007 - February 2008 which was produced in Dominican Republic. SWATCHES FOR THIS COLLECTION: CARNIVAL

ADDISON

MIA

PONY EXPRESS

ETHAN

SOPHIA

CAMERON

AVA

JOSHUA

2. Butterfly 2 collection produced during August 2009 - November 2009 which was produced in China. SWATCHES FOR THIS COLLECTION: ARGYLE DEER

AVERY

BLUE PANTHER

CARNIVAL

ZOYE

PAIGE

ESPRESSO

METRO BLACK

BATCH NUMBERS FOR THIS COLLECTION **REFERENCE BBC – Beco Baby Carrier, brand name 082009/092009/102009/112009 - month and year of production batch (SEPTEMBER 2009) BTR2 - model number for Butterfly 2 product IM9004/9005/9006/9007 - batch number

GRACE

LENKA

EXAMPLE: Model#BBC092009BTR2 Batch#IM9004 MADE IN CHINA EN 13209-2 ASTM F2236-08

3. BUTTERFLY 2 - METRO BLACK & ESPRESSO - MADE IN CHINA BATCH NUMBERS - KAN01-0411 ESPRESSO

Issue One - Spring 2013

METRO BLACK

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HOW TO SPOT A COUNTERFEIT 1. A BECO CARRIER IN A PRINT OTHER THAN SHOWN AND DESCRIBED ABOVE AND MADE IN CHINA IS A COUNTERFEIT. 2. MODEL NUMBER OR BATCH DIFFERENT THAN SHOWN ABOVE 3.. A RETAILER IS NOT LISTED ON WWW.BECOBABYCARRIER.COM RETAIL FINDER AND DOES NOT HAVE A WORKING AUTHORIZED RETAILER SEAL POSTED ON THEIR WEBSITE

Every Authorized Beco retailer must have a SEAL posted on their website. If a customer clicks on the seal, it will lead them to the official Beco website retail finder page. A customer can VERIFY the retailer by being able to find them listed on the official Beco website. 4.. MSRP/MAP Beco Baby Carriers have a set MSRP/MAP throughout the world. MSRP/MAP for USA Butterfly 2 - $139 Gemini - $129 NIKO

AIDEN

GINGER

LUCAS

TYLER

ESPRESSO

METRO BLACK

PAIGE

MRRP/MAP Beco Baby Carriers have a set MRRP/MAP worldwide: UK RRP Beco Butterfly 2 - £98.50 (or 84.50 for sale models, i.e. last season’s prints) Beco Gemini - £94.50 (or 84.50 for sale models, i.e. last season’s prints) EXCLUSIVE AUTHORISED UK/IRELAND ‘BECO’ E-BAY SELLERS: None at present EXCLUSIVE AUTHORISED UK/IRELAND ‘BECO’ AMAZON SELLERS: Baba Me Precious Bundle Slumber-Roo (UK Distributor) PLEASE NOTE: Products purchased through our authorised Internet or retail store distribution channels provide you with outstanding customer service, a thirty-day trial period (for undamaged product returns), warranty service and protections which may not be available when purchasing through unauthorised distributors. If you are in doubt, or have any concerns about any supplier, PLEASE contact our UK Distributor: Phone: 01803 522533 Email: customerservice@becobabycarrier.co.uk You should always receive a response to your query within 48 hours. If you do not, please telephone again or e-mail: info@slumber-roo.co.uk to ensure your enquiry has been received.

Twitter: @Closeenoughmag

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Babywearing with a Disability Disability and babywearing is not something a lot of people would have thought went well together, whether it be the loss of a limb, being in a wheelchair or having to cope with chronic pain every day, babywearing would be seen by some as unobtainable. Not without its challenges, however babywearing can and is done by many disabled parents. We have two very inspirational stories of babywearing disabled parents. Jenny Pearson is a mum of one and suffers from M.E and Fibromyalgia, she was diagnosed in 2006 at just 21 years old, however they suspect that the onset began when Jenny was just 16, by the time she was diagnosed she was already mostly wheelchair bound. Currently she is in relative good health but recalls that in the past she has been both extremely ill and a lot better than today.

comes to woven wraps I prefers size 6’s as it allows for the most carries without being too long, I also own one size 4. My wraps are a mix of 100% cotton (better for me when I am in my chair) and cotton/linen mixes which is more supportive for a toddler.

How did you find out about babywearing?

Yes it has made me stronger. It has helped with my muscle pain, joint stiffness and has improved my core. I believe it has improved my mental health also, as chronic illness has a habit of going hand in hand with depression. In my case it’s true, who wouldn’t be at least slightly depressed if they felt unwell all the time and their independence has effectively been removed? By increasing my capabilities, physically, emotionally and indeed as a parent it has all but eliminated my depression.

I originally used a high street style carrier when in my chair, but it played havoc with my joints and muscles. A friend then lent me her stretchie and I never looked back. When my daughter was 4 months old she was diagnosed with silent reflux, and had to be keep upright almost all of the time. I started conducting my own research and found out more about the world of babywearing, and the sheer amount of wraps, ring slings and carriers out there. What type of sling / carrier do you use? Everything. In my time I have owned almost every type of carrier there is. Now I am down to wraps, ring slings and mei tais. I no longer find buckles very comfortable (although I do own a half buckle but it is mainly used by my husband). I only own one ring sling, but have 2 mei tais and a small stash of wraps, and although my daughter is now too big for my stretchie I will never get rid of it. I love it that much. I prefer wrap tai’s to conventional mei tai’s as it allows for more support and versatility. When it

Issue One - Spring 2013

Do you feel babywearing is helping your condition at all?

What difficulties have you encountered babywearing with a disability? There are many, but it doesn’t put me off. I think when it comes to babywearing there are hurdles whether or not you have a disability, and almost anything can be overcome with practice and advice. I personally believe that the learning curve for a disabled babywearer is much steeper. Often you don’t have the option to just use a buggy if you are not having a good day, often the ability to babywear actually goes hand in hand with regaining independence. One of the big difficulties for myself personally was working out what works for me, for my disability

and for my daughter. It was originally a great financial burden as was in the dark about sling libraries, sling meets and babywearing consultants. I tried carrier after carrier, wrap after wrap, ring sling after ring sling, attempting to find out what worked for me. Another hurdle was working out how to use carriers in a wheelchair and with walking aids. Public perception of babywearing with a disability isn’t good either, you get a lot of “isn’t that dangerous” or “doesn’t that hurt/make your condition worse” sometimes it is simple curiosity and I am able to explain the benefits, to myself, my daughter and to my condition. But other times it can be very malicious and spiteful. Learning my limitations, and different carries are also problems that I encountered. Do you feel that babywearing has helped you? It has helped me to regain my independence, you can’t push a buggy safely if you are in a wheelchair, using crutches, a walking frame or a walking stick. Babywearing has allowed me to get around with my daughter independently, to use my wheelchair without having to have someone push me. To take her with me when using my other walking aids, allowing me to be a mother first and disabled second, instead of the other way around. I also felt like it has strengthened me, especially my core as this was previously very damaged from 18 months of being bed bound. Previous physiotherapy had showed how damaged it was and the improvement is amazing, although nowhere near normal, still dramatic.

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What do you feel are the pros of babywearing with a disability? There are so many, I don’t think I could think of them all or to list them all. It gives you back your sense of independence allowing you to get around without the need of assistance from another person all the time. Before I found out about babywearing I felt like I was not a mother, I wanted to be responsible for my daughter, to be able to look after her without having to have carers around me all the time. To be able to take her from room to room, for a little walk by myself like other people can, babywearing allowed me to do this. Babywearing has strengthened me both physically and mentally, it has helped my muscles, strengthened my core and given me a sense of purpose. It gives you a relationship with your child that I personally believe would not be possible if I did not babywear. What are the difficulties with your condition and babywearing? My disability affects almost every part of my body, in many different ways. I suffer from muscle and joint pain all over, but usually not in the same place as the day before. I have muscle weakness due to the pain, so I am often using walking aids (walking stick, crutches, walking frame) or am in a wheelchair. Sometimes I can walk short distances without assistance. Obviously these cause problems when babywearing,

however it is easily overcome but owning a vast array of different types of baby carriers, wraps and ring slings and knowing a lot of different carries. I often start with one style and change over when required. Sometimes pain doesn’t affect my ability to babywear, but my ability to wrap or tie. Pain in my fingers and wrists can sometimes mean that I require help getting my daughter on and off, but am more than able to wear her for long periods of time once she’s on. I also suffer from extreme fatigue and am always more tired than the average person, I can tire very quickly and without warning. To overcome this I ensure that I am aware of my limitations and that I rest whenever I can. The final way the my condition affects babywearing is that I often suffer from poor cognitive abilities, this can affect my memory quite badly and my well researched and well-practiced expanse of carries can just disappear from my mind with no warning. I have overcome this by writing everything down and by saving you tube videos of each carry I use regularly. How do you deal with strong medication and babywearing? I am on a lot of medication, of varying strengths. Most of the ones that are truly strong are for pain, and I always ensure that I start with the weakest and work up the chain. I do not babywear on my strongest medication unless I am in my wheelchair, I feel this is the safest way. Other than pain medication some other

Twitter: @Closeenoughmag

prescription drugs that I am on have side effects and can be quite strong, for this, I work with my doctor and we have devised a schedule whereby I take all of this medication in the evening after my daughter has gone to bed, my husband does the overnight shift with her. This allows me to rest, whilst limiting the time when I am affected by medication to when I am also not solely responsible for my daughter. I recommend this to other disabled babywearers where possible, but it is important to work hand in hand with your doctor. Have you ever been advised not too babywear? Yes, twice and only twice and my daughter has just turned two. Once was by a doctor, who was simply quite uninformed, once I showed him that I was using wraps and ergonomic carriers he actually encouraged me to continue, showing a lot of interest in it’s potential to help me. He has continued to follow my case and is extremely impressed with the benefits he has seen. The other person who advised me not to babywear, strangely, was my husband he, like a few others thought it would be detrimental to my conditions. However as I learnt and as I showed him how it could help me with my day to day life with my daughter, he has since changed his tune and has actually become a babywearing daddy too. ➲

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www.closeenoughtokiss.co.uk dependent upon your abilities as they change throughout day. But I’d rather keep them all.

What difficulties have you encountered babywearing with a disability?

What advice could you give another disabled parent thinking about babywearing?

My disability has meant that I’ve chosen carriers to suit me ( I don’t have the brainpower or coordination to wrap beyond the stretchy stage, so use ring slings and buckles) Finding the carriers to suit me has meant a lengthy list of bought and sold items, but I think that, that’s true for many people in general. Pain points have had to be considered as well as ease and speed of use.

Quite simply, do it. Do you’re research, go to a sling meet, make an appointment with a babywearing consultant, be well informed but without a shadow of a doubt do it. Sarah Handley also suffers from M.E, had a mild left sided weakness and has lost her peripheral vision. At her worst she has been bedbound and unable to sit or speak. She now uses a wheelchair when out and about and generally has to carefully manage her energy, with great support from her husband and family. What is the one thing you love most about babywearing? The bond I have with my daughter. It is amazing. I love to have her close, chatting in my ear talking about the world. If she is unwell, or teething or scared, wearing her creates instant calm. The majority of my family have worn her at some point and they all have a strong bond with her, which makes her more sociable with everyone. How do you feel other perceive your choice to babywear when you are disabled? I think it has changed throughout my babywearing journey. I think my family and friends thought that I was insane at first, I think they worried about how it would affect my disability and that it had the potential to cause a relapse and to be honest so did I, but I thought it was worth the risk. Now, they have almost all be converted, especially my family who have made the choice to wear her when they take her out verses using the buggy, that sit’s unused and unloved in the hallway of our block of flats. A lot of my friends acknowledge how much babywearing seems to help me, and my daughter, others still think I’m mad, but have commented on how calm and social my daughter is.

She was first diagnosed almost 20 years ago. How did you find out about babywearing? I honestly can’t remember. It’s been pretty innate I think. My mum used to tie us to her, but in the context of current brands etc? I guess it happened whilst planning our family. “How could I use a wheelchair with a baby” I’m a little sad I can’t remember in more detail to be honest. What type of sling / carrier do you use? I used a stretchy wrap when Jessica was tiny then ring slings and buckles as she got older (Ocah wrap conversions are my favourite).

I don’t take medication. Have you ever been advised not too babywear? Only when leaving the postnatal ward! I was going to wear Jessica whilst Simon, my husband, pushed my wheelchair. Instead we had to get the car seat, carry my daughter in that and I had to somehow push myself? I wasn’t impressed. We managed to persuade someone to push me, but had to hang around.

remarking “ooh come look at THIS” to her friend, I think people realise it’s the most sensible and cosy option. Is there any particular sling you feel is easier for those with your condition? For me I feel it’s very much personal choice. What advice could you give another disabled parent thinking about babywearing?

What is the one thing you love most about babywearing?

Do it! There will be a way to make it work for you!

The cuddles, Jessica isn’t a particularly cuddly girl the rest of the time.

M.E (myalgic encephalomyelitis) or as it is more commonly known now as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS is a condition where you have long-term disabling tiredness (fatigue). Most people with chronic fatigue syndrome/ME also have one or more other symptoms such as muscular pains, joint pains, disturbed sleep patterns, poor concentration, and headaches. The cause is not known.

How do you feel other perceive your choice to babywear when you are disabled? There have been two freak show feeling moments, but other than the Japanese tourist taking pictures of us and a female

Do you feel babywearing is helping your condition at all? It has meant I’ve stopped when Jessica has slept. She would only sleep in the sling until recently (15+ months) so I lay or sat on the sofa or bed too.

“Have you ever

What are the difficulties have you encountered whilst babywearing? I had to figure out what carries work with my wheelchairs and that has changed with my daughters age.

Is there any particular sling you feel is easier for those with your condition?

Do you feel that babywearing has helped you?

If I had to choose I would go with wraps. They are more versatile and you can purchase different lengths for different situations and use different carries,

Yes. It’s been the only way I could get out of the house with Jessica, and has allowed me to be more independent of any help.

Issue One - Spring 2013

How do you deal with strong medication and babywearing?

been advised not too babywear?” Twitter: @Closeenoughmag


Next Issue Out June 1st

Models Wearing: Top Left - Elleville from Naturally Happy Slings, Top Right - Silk Connecta by Connecta, Bottom Left - Mei Tai from Napsack baby, Bottom Right - Silk Connecta by Connecta


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ONE BORN EVERY MINUTE Goes All Babywearing

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ou wouldn’t have to be a wrap enthusiast to have noticed when watching One Born Every Minute on channel 4, that they have a woven wrap in one of the birthing rooms at Leeds General Infirmary. The latest season of channel 4’s popular fly on the wall documentary, donned a beautiful Didymos Lisa woven wrap, as an aide for birthing woman to hang onto whilst standing during labour. Going to show woven wraps are multifunctional.

What you may not know is that Leeds General Infirmary, home of the fourth series of one born every minute, are leading the way when it comes to sling usage in hospitals.

They are currently using Victoria Sling Lady stretchy wraps in the NICU and SCBU to promote kangaroo care. Kangaroo care is a technique practiced on newborn, usually preterm, babies, whereby the infant is held, skin-to-skin, with its adult caregiver, it promotes bonding, lowers the vital signs of stress, encourages growth and warmth and can be used by either parent.

The name derives originally from the way marsupials carry their young and is proving one of the best ways to care for preterm babies. Close Enough to Kiss recently interviewed one of the midwives at Leeds and Susan explained how she

saw first-hand the benefits of kangaroo care, whilst using the slings with twins and even triplets, and the picture evidence is on the display board in the hospital as a memento.

As well as their use on the NICU and SCBU wards Susan told us the slings are also being used by home nursery, surgical new-borns ward and the outreach team, which is a team working with preterm babies being discharged home. Victoria’s slings are hugely popular with the parents at Leeds and they are always keen to look at what Victoria offers on her website closer to discharge, so they can continue kangaroo care when at home.

“What you may not know is that Leeds General Infirmary, home of the fourth series of one born every minute, are leading the way when it comes to sling usage in hospitals” Issue One - Spring 2013

Leeds is not the only hospital following the trend for using slings to aid kangaroo care. Frimley Park Hospital on the Surrey/Hants border where Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex gave birth in 2003 and again in 2007, also use Victoria’s slings for their preterm babies. Victoria Sling Lady was started in 2007 having gone from strength to strength, it now boast 4 styles of wrap; Linen Bamboo, Smithfirm, Panel and the ever popular Stretch wraps. The VSL (Victoria Sling Lady) wraps are modestly priced in comparison to some stretchy wraps currently on the market, and are made in the UK. Having been extensively tested they comply with all the current safety guidelines, the VSL is a great choice when considering a stretchy wrap for your child.

Anyone interested in Victoria’s wraps can either visit www.victoriaslinglady.co.uk or email victoria@victoriaslinglady.co.uk

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3 1. Didymos Lisa As seen in one born every minute. 2. Leeds General Infirmary Home of One Born Every Minute. 3. Frimley Park Hospital Now uses stretchy wraps. 2. Prince Edward And The Countess of Wessex Had their baby in Frimley Park Hospital in 2007.

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Just For Mums

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Fluffy Bum Boutique It’s a common misconception that cloth nappies are hard work, but they have evolved so much since the days of terry squares (although these are still readily available). odern cloth nappies are M so easy to use and care for,

not to mention economical, environmentally friendly, kinder on baby’s bum, as well as cute, fun and funky! Many Councils have incentive schemes, such as cash back on nappy purchases, nappy laundry services, or free nappy trial packs, all to encourage parents to use cloth and save on landfill, so it’s worth checking with your local Council to see what they have to offer. I’m Jenny, Work At Home Mum to 3 boys, self-confessed cloth nappy addict and owner of Fluffy Bum Boutique. I’ve been a fan of cloth nappies since we started using them with our 3rd son in March 2010, and

during that time I discovered the wonders that are work at home mum nappy makers. The talent that these ladies have in making nappies, the time, care and workmanship that they put in to making often one of a kind nappies is incredible, especially as they are working, whilst being at home for their little ones. I therefore wanted to help support and spread the work and word of these talented yummy mummies (as well spreading the cloth nappy love), by creating a one-stop boutique for various work at home mum cloth nappy and accessory creations. We accept NapNap Vouchers, which are a cloth nappy gift

CAPTIONS FOR IMAGES BELOW:

voucher, and also stock work at home mum made items for mummies in our new ‘Fluffy Mum Boutique’ section. These items include Cloth Sanitary Products and Breast Pads.

1. Babe be fleece soakers 2. Conniebots CSP 3. Little Acorn Splat Nappy 4. Soaker by Felt Fusion 5. JJ Jiraffe wetbags

As well as stocking gorgeous work at home mum items, our website also offers lots of advice, information on the use and care of cloth nappies and their accessories, and one-to-one advice with recommendations if needed. If you’re considering cloth, just curious, or an experienced cloth user, then please take a peek at the fluffy delights that our website has in store. www.fluffybumboutique.co.uk

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Just For Mums

Make Your Own Sugar Scrub

www.closeenoughtokiss.co.uk

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After the ravishes of winter have left your skin dry and in need of some exfoliation why not try

making some homemade sugar scrub, simple to do

4 store cupboard ingredients, you can have your skin looking spring ready in no time. with just

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Ingredients: 1 cup Brown Sugar, 1 cup White Sugar, 1 cup Olive Oil and 1 tspn Vanilla Extract

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1. Place both sugars in a bowl and mix 2. Add in the olive oil and vanilla and mix again 3. Pop the mix into a pretty glass jar or Tupperware container with lid 4. Enjoy

Issue One - Spring 2013

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Toddler Carrying We get so much joy from babywearing, that toddlerwearing seems second nature, but this isn’t always the case. Many mums stop babywearing once baby becomes uncomfortable for front carries. Back carries can be daunting, especially getting baby up there. This is where either a local babywearing consultant or your local library comes in, as they can both guide you through the process and give you handy hints and tips to grow your confidence. Having a suitable carrier is always a necessity, a carrier that is too loose can make you feel uncomfortable or even hurt. It’s always a good idea to check if the carrier you are using is suitable for back carries. Stretchy wraps ARE NOT safe to use when back carrying, the material is too stretchy and there is risk of the child falling out. If you are a fan of wrapping then a woven wrap is what you should be using instead. The right way to wrap is important, there are many different ways to tie, so finding the right method that give both you and your child comfort can be trial and error, but as long as your child’s knees are higher than their bottom

you can go too wrong. Tightness is key: too loose and you will hurt and the child may not feel as safe, too tight and you find the carrier may dig into you, or your child’s skin - A tight embrace, is a good rule of thumb. Weight can be an issue with carrying a toddler, the preconceived notion a child is too heavy, still is quite common, however given the right sling, tied correctly and tight enough, no matter what your size will be a lot easier than you would think. Wearing a sling is designed to distribute the weight evenly down the trunk of your body through your legs to the floor, the same way a heavy backpack would. Toddlers love being carried, they can interact with their parents, see things from and adults eye view. With their arms out of a carrier they can hold things, point at things and talk directly to you safely and happily interacting with the world. In cold weather they can snuggle in and make the most of their parent’s body heat. Kids love to piggy back and toddler carrying is just a piggy back with its own chair!

When wrapping stops It will come to us all that day when you are no longer using slings to carry your children. For me it is two down, one to go and as I sit here next to my wraps I feel a pang of sadness for the imminent goodbye I will have to say to them. My youngest is now 28 months and rapidly growing in her independence. Watching her grow knowing she is my last baby is very bittersweet, of course I do not want to stop her from growing into the beautiful toddler she has become, already I can see the child she will be shining through, yet a part of me will never be ready to let go of carrying her in these pieces of cloth which have become so precious to me. I have a few solutions which will hopefully make the transition easier for me. The first thing I am doing is keeping some ‘forever wraps’ for each of my children. These are wraps which they have been carried in and which have survived 8 years of an ever evolving stash. Narrowing it down to three wraps has been hard but I am now 99.9% decided on the following wraps. For Ben, my oldest, I am keeping a Hoppediz Panama Maxi. This is my husband’s wrap and he has carried all three children in it. Then for Ruben, my middle child, I am keeping another

Issue One - Spring 2013

Hoppediz wrap. A Lima Long which has more happy memories attached to it than I would have thought possible. And lastly for Eleanor, my youngest, I am keeping the Natural Mamas Oscha in a size 6. I hope they will appreciate the thought and may even want to use them for any children they may have. The next solution involves cutting up wraps and turning them into something I can use in everyday life. This is something that has already started and I have, amongst other things; a keyring, a bracelet, a baby clutch ball, a notebook cover and a cushion cover. I love using these things and there are several companies in the UK which specialise in making items from wrap scraps if you are not sure you can achieve the desired result yourself. And lastly, I have some items which are made from wrap fabric by the manufacturers. I have a beautiful scarf and a bag which I use a lot. Wrap fabric is beautiful and I love that I will be able to surround myself with it for many years to come.

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The T.I.C.K.S For Safe Babywearing Supplied By Becky Ward


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Y G G U B E H T D E H C T I D I

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ith my first baby due in April 2009 I was rapidly becoming a shopaholic, we had clothes blankets, baskets and gadgets coming out of our ears and the mission of choosing a pram yet to come, I loved them. I tried out all the different styles and brands, pretended I was pushing my new baby around the shop and played with all the options. For some reason though in all my research I never found some key information; pushchairs are a pain. Forget moving house being at the number one spot for most stressful experience, I couldn’t have imagined a more stressful experience in my life, than taking a pushchair on a bus. On top of that, I spent the majority of my time pushing the thing with one hand and trying not to drop baby with the other, as surprise surprise, after 9 months in my tummy she didn’t really like being alone in it. So after 2 years of near divorce every time the “jeep” as a friend called it, went in and out of the car boot and almost smacking old ladies after a stressful bus journey, I decided there had to be a better way with baby number two. I must admit that my buggy instinct stayed with me at the start and I got a

Issue One - Spring 2013

beasty double pushchair but it didn’t last. I bought a bargain ring sling from eBay, not really knowing what to do with it but figured it couldn’t be any worse than the mainstream carrier I tried briefly with my first baby. I started with a terrible cradle carry as I knew no better, but with the help of Natural Mamas (an online natural parenting forum) I soon got the hang of it and even bought a spoc (simple piece of cloth) stretchy wrap. Things were going well and I was still a rational person at this point. Soon though I decided to brave the for sale or trade boards, it was a confusing place, so many acronyms to learn and new terminology to embrace but after a week of endless questions and dithering, I chose my first woven wrap - An Ellevill Jade Royal in size 7.

baby wearing obsessed wrap junkie, I feel no shame in saying it, yes, I have a stash and even a lovely new set of shelves to keep them. My little emergency pushchair is sitting in the shed very unloved, why would I use it when I can have my now 16 month old daughter on my back where I can talk to her while we walk, listen to her as she babbles back without the road noise drowning her out. We can pop in and out of shops without fearing the aisle width and walk through the woods and fields without avoiding the stiles. Most of all I know it offers her comfort and security whenever she needs it.

reminisce about pushing a buggy, and wish my children weren’t all grown up so I could push them again. I will however look back at how wonderful it was to bond with my babies in such a way, I feel only baby wearing could give me. I will pass down the most precious and beloved wraps to my children and keep something very special to hopefully one day carry my grandchildren. I can safely say I am a converted pram addict and will never look back. Baby wearing has given me a whole new outlook on parenting and I am thankful for the journey it has taken us on.

When I’m old I’m not going to

I was in love from the moment I opened my “fluffy post”, don’t get me wrong, the amount of fabric was a little daunting to start with, but the amazing colours and beautiful patterns drew me in. By now I decided I could face an outing without what had become an expensive shopping trolley and it felt amazing to swan onto the bus with my baby safe and snug against me to find myself a seat. That’s right, for the first time in years I would waltz to the back of the bus, no glares from elderly ladies for taking up the space at the front. I felt so liberated. From that moment I turned into a

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Things That Remind Me Of A Wrap Didymos Audry Lookalike?

Pinke Punkte in Disguise?

Oscha Roses or Cushelle Toilet Roll? Do Didymos do Bedsheets?

Starry Night Curtains? Or Starry Night Wrap?

Real Life Nati-Baby Provence? Twitter: @Closeenoughmag

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‘The Slingbaby Diaries Parenting Under Wraps’ So baby-proofing in our house hasn’t exactly been what you’d call a roaring success. In the beginning I thought we’d avoid it altogether, attracted to the free-range, let-the-baby-gain-common-sense approach of the anti-baby proofing camp. I pictured my toddler placidly learning, under gentle parental direction, not to stick the car keys into electrical sockets at every opportunity. That was before I got to know her. I will freely admit to being the sort of overanxious parent who sees hazards everywhere and visualises glowing, paw print-shaped pools of germs forming a deadly trail in the wake of the cat. In my defence, our daughter will stick anything the approximate size of her trachea in her mouth and has a deep fascination for anything a bit dangerous. She also likes to mess with stuff. At a natural parenting group earlier this week, she spent a delightful hour playing with a beautiful collection of Steiner-inspired nature objects. As she toddled around clutching a handful of small sticks with a beatific expression on her face, the organiser said to me, ‘Some children just have so many toys, don’t they – look at her, happy to explore and discover in nature’. I nodded in agreement and tried to look as though we too subsist entirely on shells and a collection of different-sized wicker baskets, rather than a handful of wooden toys and half the plastic catalogue of the Early Learning Centre. Despite this, her favourite playthings of the moment are the kitchen appliances. She has pressed so many buttons on the washing machine that the display has begun showing digits that we have never seen before – recently it has taken to reading ‘h..1’. We think it is trying to spell out ‘help’. The cooker also appears to have had enough:

So we opted for a small amount of light baby proofing. This, as I say, has not gone well. The catches we fitted to the kitchen cupboards after an evening of research on Amazon all bent out of shape within a week, so that the baby can still easily open all of the doors but they’re now quite difficult to close (the exception to this being the one in the corner, which is intact but can only be opened by the sort of precision poking around with a fish slice that would be good training for a career in surgery).

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www.closeenoughtokiss.co.uk The Scandinavian-look wooden stair gate fitted against the top of our skirting boards and we were pretty pleased with it, until this happened:

The upshot of our efforts is that she is back to torturing the white goods, spending many a happy half hour discovering the uniquely spikey play potential of dried spaghetti and conducting experiments to see just how far the contents of a bag of rice will really travel if you put some proper effort into it. A rare attempt by me to venture into the world of cake-baking the other day ended when it became apparent that what felt like a reasonably full bag of self-raising flour actually contained approximately 2.4 ounces and an unopened jar of chicken tikka paste. Spice tubs appear in increasingly random places and my bank card turned up last week in the bottom of the bath, along with a herd of squirty toys and a dessert fork. I am glad that we are not crushing her creativity, but I sort of wish that we could maybe fence it in a little bit, just from time to time. The greatest difficulty is when it comes to cooking dinner. Me cooking is the only thing she hates with more of a passion than me sitting down with the laptop or picking up my iPhone; she knows that my attention is about to be diverted from where it righteously belongs - fully and unadulteratedly upon her and her alone, and she kicks off about it with wounded outrage. Her current tactic of choice, after screeching ‘Noooooooo!’ like a football fan yelling at an incompetent goal keeper, is to brace her little bottom against me and push with all her strength against the kitchen cupboards so that I can’t actually reach the worktop. Even with every cookery shortcut known to man (and if it isn’t chopped and frozen in a packet in our freezer, it’s probably extinct) this would make producing the most basic home-cooked meal a challenge even for Jamie Oliver. Today, I suggest ‘going in the slingy’, which is met with beetle brows and another ‘Nooooo,’ as she backs herself up against the washing machine, flattening her body and spreading out her hands to make it as difficult as possible to pick her up. Bribed with a custard cream, however, she rethinks this stance and finally allows herself to be supermanned up onto my back in Girasol Apple, recently returned home after being sold in a moment of poverty-stricken madness a few months back (I reached for Didy Iris first, but this brought on a dangerous return of the scowl and a repetition of the football act – I don’t know what she has against this soft and beautiful old sling but she is definitely not a fan at present). I’ve just learned the Elleville Jordan’s Back Carry, after it was Carry of the Week on one of the Facebook groups, and contemplate having another go at this, but something in her posture on my back tells me that she is not in the mood for messing about, custard cream or no custard cream, so I opt for a quick RTIF with swishy tails and hope that I don’t set fire to them. She settles down, snuggling against my neck and stroking my head as I throw six different types of frozen thing into a pan with some mince that I very much hope cost enough definitely to be beef, and the world’s fastest cottage pie takes shape in relative peace. A functioning stair gate across the entrance to our kitchen and child locks on the cupboards with marginally more strength to them than a Cheesestring would be less work, and we tried them, we really did; but babywearing is at least a cuddly and practical solution to the child-vs-housework juggling challenge of this time of day. Even if I do have biscuit in my hair.

Twitter: @Closeenoughmag

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Sling News From

Sling Libraries UK is a new Facebook group for all sling libraries owners & runners as could come together in real time for advice, support and general chit chat. If you w

North East Sling Library It’s been a year since NESL’s library runner Rachel Coy qualified as a consultant she told us “Its been a busy year. Made all the more interesting by the birth of my son little over 6 weeks after I qualified. The introduction of our new real life demo doll in my son has been fun. Our Library now meets 3 times a month and we have an increasing number of volunteers who help, which is a brilliant increase.” Visit our website: www.northeastslinglibrary.co.uk

North London Sling Library

opened its doors in November

With a 2nd branch just opened at the Nappy Ever After cloth nappy shop in Somers Town Arnos Grove runs 9.15 – 11.30 every Friday Morning Somers Town runs 12.30 – 3pm every Wednesday afternoon Find us on Facebook - www.facebook.com/northlondonslings Visit our website: www.northlondonslings.co.uk

Sheffield Sling Library Launches Consultancy Service Along Side Existing Library On the 1st Tuesday of every month, the Library will be in attendance at the Sheffield Babywearers Sling Meet (Megakidz, The Megacentre, Bernard Road, Sheffield, S2 5BQ). All are welcome to join this friendly group for advice, chat and cake! The Meet runs from 1:30-4:00, with the Library available to accept returns and distribute pre-requested items, from 1:30-2:30.

South London Sling Library Welcome a New Volunteer Marie Osborne will be joining Emily to spread the babywearing love across South London to find out about the new sessions they will be holding across the region check out: www.southlondonslings.com

On all other Tuesdays, the Library will be open at my home, from 10:00-1:00, for those wishing to browse the available stock. 37 Folds Crescent, Sheffield S8 0EP Find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/slinglibrary Website: www.slinglibrary.org

Cornwall Sling Library Opens Its Doors Cornwall Sling Library will open in April along side the currently running Cornwall Attachment parenting group. Check out www.cornwallslinglibrary.co.uk or www.facebook.com/Cornwall-Sling-Library for more information.

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m Across The UK

well as consultants and lending services. It was set-up so all sling associated people would like to be part of the group please contact renee@closeenoughtokiss.co.uk

Doncaster Sling Library

New - Moray Sling Library Scotland will see another sling library opening - Moray Sling Library will be opening its doors imminently with their ‘traveling library’ check their Facebook page to keep upto date with all the latest happenings. www.facebook.com/morayslinglibrary

Doncaster Sling library will be opening for hires soon and currently are meeting up regularly around the area. Please check out www.facebook.com/DoncasterBabywearing for more upto date information.

Meon Sling Meet Change Venue Due to circumstances Meon Valley sling meet has now changed its venue.

Norwich Sling Library Turns One Norwich Sling Library celebrated their first birthday in February, both Renee and Emma said that the library has gone from strength to strength since it started and there is a real turnout of mum’s who want to sling or already use a sling each month. “We have a very large social group alongside the library which grows each month. Our sling meet is proving equally as popular”. Join the Norwich mum’s every second Thursday of the Month or The last Saturday of each month. For more information please see their website www.norwichslinglibrary.co.uk or visit their facebook page www.facebook.com/norwichslinglibrary

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Meon Valley Slingmeet and Library Last Tuesday every month, 10.00-12.00 Swanmore Methodist Church, Chapel Road, SO32 2QB Visit our website: www.meonvalleynaturalparent.co.uk Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Meon-Valley-Slingmeet Email: joanne_havard@hotmail.com

First Birthday For Blackburn and Darwen Blackburn with Darwen Sling Library will be turning one in March and what a fantastic year it’s been, thank you to all for your support. To celebrate we will be having a party at the meet on the 8th of March at Earcroft Children’s centre, Darwen from 2-4.30pm, hope you can come and join us! Visit our website: www.bdslinglibrary.com

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Community Features

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Wibke & Jo

Wibke & Jo Set Up Home At The Baby Show “With a little help from our babywearing friends...” Jo and I both set up our sling libraries around the same time in Summer 2011, Jo with the Liverpool Sling Library in Crosby/Waterloo in the North of Liverpool and me, Wibke, with the Wirral Sling Library in Wallasey/New Brighton on the Wirral. Jo and I knew each other from LIPA (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts) where we both graduated in 2001, and we also regularly crossed virtual paths on Natural Mamas, the UK’s biggest natural parenting online forum. I went to visit Jo at one of her Sling Meets in February 2012 and from there on we kept in touch and shared in each other’s processes of building up our libraries, reaching new parents and swooning over new wraps, slings and carriers. For International Babywearing Week in October 2012 we put on a joint event at the Brink Liverpool in the city centre, a Slingtastic, Bucklelicious Wrapvaganza with parents from Liverpool and the Wirral coming together for a joyful celebration of all things slings, a pretty tough babywearing quiz and some fab raffle prizes.

So there we were with Hope University and UnLtd behind us telling us to go for it and realise our ideas, buy more slings and schedule more meets. When Jo received an email inviting us to exhibit at the UK Baby and Toddler Show at the Echo Arena in February 2013 we thought this would be the PERFECT opportunity to show Merseyside parents and carers the rich variety of slings and carriers out there, the many benefits of babywearing and what our libraries could offer them, and so we said ‘Yes.’ We felt a little faint when we saw the cost for a stall: £650 for 2x3m, and a rough estimate of additional costs for marketing, prints and other bits and pieces we would need meant the event’s bill would likely come to around £1000. Not exactly the kind of money either of us had sitting around in the library kitty... We needed help and so we sent off emails to a small group of vendors and sling makers, to organisations and businesses, we thought might be interested and asked for help. And help we got.

From there followed joint monthly Sling Meets at the Brink in addition to our ‘local’ meets and events, and seeing the positive response we received from Merseyside parents and their babies we started to develop a couple of ideas about more meets either side of the river and more slings. Mostly more slings really, but hey, we would need them if we were to meet the demands of all these new parents we wanted to welcome at our meets.

We received over £700 in financial contributions towards the costs of the event from Jenny at GumiGem, Sarah at Connecta, Ali at Maverick Baby and Anne and Catherine at Natural Mamas. We got a lot of help and hands-on support towards realising our ideas for the stall from Hope University, GumiGem, Melissa at HanaBaby, Connecta, Maverick Baby, Becky at Mama Natura, and Debi and Phil at Slumber Roo, as well as the kindest donations from Kerry at Ocah, Mama Natura, Slumber Roo, Beth at Love to be Natural and Mel at Baby Sensory Liverpool. We felt truly humbled by people’s responses and their faith in our vision for our stall.

Around that time Jo’s work place, Hope University, invited their staff and students to apply for business startup grants via UnLtd and so Jo put together an application in which we outlined our plans for additional meets across Merseyside to reach out to more parents and their babies and introduce them to the many benefits of babywearing. Hope University and UnLtd loved the idea and invited Jo for an interview to present our project. Jo’s enthusiasm and passion for babywearing and her work with the library won them over and she got the grant. Jo swears it was her much loved Girasol Earthy Rainbow ring sling she wore that day that swayed it.

Having negotiated a bigger stall with the event’s organisers, we were able to think big and realise our wildest dreams and ideas. We wanted to set up our stall a bit like our Sling Meets: a relaxed, comfortable environment where parents could sit down and rest for a moment, tend to their baby’s needs while chatting to other parents and visitors about wraps, slings and carriers, baby’s sleeping and feeding habits, cloth nappies and whatnot. We set up a soft quilt play area for babies with wooden toys, and also a low table and seats for parents. Jo and I dismantled our homes to furnish our stall: rugs, shelves, coffee tables and low chairs, plants and toys, all ours for this weekend.

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Josie

Clare Hunter

Happy Ring Slings

We also plundered Hope University’s theatre and performance storage for additional supplies like a clothes rail and wooden hangers, a couple of mannequins and leaflet stands. Presenting our combined library stash on a sturdy clothes rail allowed visitors easy access to browsing the available slings as well as seeing them ‘in action’ on the mannequins. We set up an impromptu shop with a handful of carefully selected products to sell: HanaBaby bamboo stretchy wraps, limited edition Connecta buckle carriers, Bära Barn ring slings and knot shaws, Boba 3G carriers plus accessories, as well as Tula Baby and Tula Toddler carriers, both Boba and Beco doll slings, Hoppediz leg warmers and balloon covers, MaM babywearing dickies, leather and fur booties, GumiGem teething jewelry and Ocah Wrapbits key rings. Thanks to the timely offer of free iPhone and iPad compatible iZettle card readers for small businesses from Huddlebuy we were able to take card payments as well as accept cash for people’s purchases. We turned over nearly £2000 over the course of the weekend and received about £450 in commissions from sales. Jo and I also called upon our library users and asked if they might want to help us in exchange for a free ticket. 12 babywearing mamas and papas from each library joined us on Saturday and Sunday to staff the stall, to engage with visitors, to show them the library stash, to wander around the event looking fabulous in their comfortable, safe, supportive and pretty slings, GumiGems and legwarmers. They also joined us on stage when we did a brief introduction to babywearing in general and our sling libraries in specific in the morning. Their engagement and enthusiasm was boundless, we could not have managed without them. Thank you so much. We also had some extra special support from Jo’s Mum Beryl, Jo’s friend Alex, my friend Charlotte and of course our ‘other halves’, Neil and Graham as well as Beth and Josie. We are truly blessed to have you on our side. Thank you!

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Henry & Jess

We were by far one of the busiest stands at the event. There was a constant cluster of parents and prams huddled around us, with Jo and I non-stop demoing carriers and slings to groups of 4, 5 people at a time. In the run up to the event we thought the organiser’s estimate of 15000+ visitors might be a bit optimistic. As it turned out over 18000 visitors attended the UK Baby and Toddler Show in Liverpool that weekend, and the effect on our sling libraries has been phenomenal with hugely increased traffic on our websites and facebook pages, many new ‘likers’ and even more new faces at our Sling Meets. Our average hires have nearly doubled, we both have more requests for consultations than ever and we also are asked if we still sell some of the products we had available at the show. This has been an amazing experience. Utterly exhausting, nerve-wrecking and a steep learning curve. Neither of us could have pulled this off on our own, but instead we joint forces, shared the workload, the creative processes and the bills and had a lot of fun along the way working together. You should try it sometime. The key to our success was in our collaboration with each other, as well as with the friends we met along the way. Jo and I found kindred spirits in each other and those who helped us, who pulled out all the stops and invested their own time, money and effort to support our project. We share the same vision and the same ideas, of being able to get our message across to many parents who would not usually consider using a sling. Having generated a huge momentum we are now working on a number of very exciting projects that will take our work with our sling libraries to the next level. Watch this space. Wibke and Jo x

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Paxbaby - The Ring Sling A ring sling is the most versatile carrier of them all! Learn to use your ring sling well, and you will never have to reach for another carrier again. Front carries, back carries, hip carries, breastfeeding, potty training; the ring sling does it all. Can you even name another carrier that is so compact and travels so lightly? When wearing a newborn, you’ll want to maintain the upright position unless actively nursing your infant. It is imperative that baby’s body creates the proper M position (also known as abducted flex or froggy position) to ensure healthy hip placement and spine curvature.

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Once your baby is at the sitting stage, you will have more options with your ring sling and can wear baby on either hip or your front. Breastfeeding may become more challenging as your baby enters that easily distractible stage, but using the tail as a nursing cover will help alleviate many excited “snap offs.” The older baby can enjoy a high back carrier using your ring sling in the ruck hold; a favourite with my Baby #6 since he likes to see everything and be involved with everyone. This carry takes a lot of practice and isn’t for the beginner baby wearer, however once you get it right, it can be used interchangeably with a wrap.

Now that my Baby #6 is almost 2, we use the ring sling daily to breastfeed on the go, and as a safe place to snuggle away from the busyness of his daily life. Wearing baby upright isn’t always feasible as they get taller, so putting baby off centre is often most comfortable. Also at this stage, the ring sling can be used as a standard back carry by rotating baby to your back. This carry using a ring sling isn’t recommended for very young babies, but older toddlers who know how to cling will enjoy being slung around back while you get a chore done requiring your front. The art of wearing a ring sling is definitely a learned skill, but once you have it down, you won’t be able to resist showing other babywearers how to rock their sling!

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Community Features

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The Calendar Girls style Babywearing Calendar

For charity has been progressing along with a few of the photo shoots done, the girls are excited to see their facebook page grow and interest in their journey increase. They have been featured in various local newsletters, support from many sling companies and even had their story covered in the Journal. The whole idea began when one of the mums: Antonia Sumner posted a photo in the Facebook group; Slings and Things North of Tyne, of herself in a sling doing some skin to skin with her poorly son which has been shown help regulate body temperature, stimulate milk production, produce the “feel good” hormones and provide comfort. The other mums liked the look of the photo and ran with the idea as a great way of raising a bit of money for charity whilst raising awareness about their passion of babywearing and the use of slings.

This is a wonderful charitable fund based in Newcastle upon Tyne who have helped many North East babies. You can learn more about their work here: www.tinylives.org.uk and SANDS, The stillbirth and neonatal death charity. You can see the valuable work that Sands do here: www.uk-sands.org both these charities have helped lots of the mums or someone they know so they seemed the obvious choice. Many Companies got together and donated slings for the shoot and those slings will be used in the photographs for the different months of the year in a tasteful way showing the beauty of the slings. The first main photo-shoot took place on the 15th November at Dissington Hall, the photos from that shoot are available

The mums discussed different causes and then voted to support two charities: Tiny Lives Fund.

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to look at on the website and facebook page now along with some others. Including an extreme babywearing picture, of one of the brave mum standing at the top of a waterfall in the snow. Mandy Charlton the photographer had offered to donate her time and skills to shooting the calendar on location and did a great job making the girls, slings and babies look stunning. After the photographs and calendar are completed all the donated slings and other items will be used to raise more funds for the charities. After the “Miss December” shot had been taken the girls raffled the sling used in the shot and raised over £300, along with pre-orders of the calendar they are well on their way to raising

quite a substantial sum of money for these great charities. There is a thriving babywearing community in the North East - The mum’s meet up on a weekly basis at a variety of venues all across the North East to provide hints and tips, teaching new ways of wrapping their babies and generally having a good natter about life. If you would like to be involved in the production of the calendar, donate anything or just follow the progress - please take a look by going to the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ BabywearingCalendar or the website: www.babywearingcalendar.webs.com The calendar which is for the year 2014 can be pre-ordered now.

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Just For Dads

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Aston Martin Vantage S

By Tim Barnes-Clay, Motor TradeBook Test Drive Editor Twitter @carwriteups - More reviews at www.carwriteups.co.uk ASTON MARTIN is one of the most revered automotive brand names on the planet. So, getting a chance to drive one of the beautifully crafted cars from the British motor manufacturer has to be on the wish list of many. Well, luckily our wish came true very recently. We were invited to the global headquarters of Aston Martin Lagonda at Gaydon in Warwickshire, to sample one of the hottest models on the block the Vantage S. Was it glorious, exquisite and powerful? Of course it was. The ‘S’ is the most significant outward indication that the car is different to the already acclaimed Vantage. Basically the engineering team at Gaydon

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looked at every single performance attribute of the standard model, from engine and transmission to suspension, steering, brakes and tyres, and considered what was required to make this car deserving of the coveted ‘S’ badge. The result is a pure driver-focussed package that exploits and emphasises the sporting nature of the iconic Vantage. The 4.7 litre V8 engine has been modified to deliver peak power of 430bhp at 7200rpm and torque of 361lb/ft at 5000rpm, representing an increase of 10bhp and 14.75lb/ft respectively. In addition, the car features a new automated manual seven speed gearbox. It is one of the best features of the car because it enhances the acceleration feel and gives you increased control. Driver

interaction with the gearbox is made as simple as possible to allow you to concentrate on the road ahead. Two column-mounted paddles allow an up or a down shift through the gears, and you can always locate them with ease no matter what position the steering wheel is in.

seats. A folded leather design runs along the sewn tracks, echoing the gills of a shark. And, needless to say, the sumptuous seats cosset you, providing support during high-spirited driving, while remaining comfortable on long journeys.

As well as selecting gears manually with the paddle-shift, you are also able to select the ‘D’ button on the facia to engage automatic mode. This acts like a traditional automatic gearbox changing gear at precisely the right time, making light work of urban traffic and motorway driving. But the Vantage S’ sporting character really comes into its own when the ‘Sport’ button is depressed, It gives you faster gear changes and it prevents the car changing up to the next cog when the revolution limit is reached. The default ‘normal’ provides a more progressive throttle response suited to more everyday situations. The Vantage S also features a unique exhaust muffler specifically tuned to aurally define its sporting intent. In ‘Sport’ mode the car produces a wonderful crackle. It’s a sound that is utterly magnificent. Step inside and the tailored Vantage S’ cabin hints at the car’s dynamic capabilities, defined by a distinctive three-track stitch detail on the doors and on the

The Vantage S coupe is hand built entirely in England and, unsurprisingly, it has an exceptional character. Of course, it is far from cheap; but, pricetags aside, you’d have to have a heart of stone not to fall in love with this glorious machine. PROS • Looks • Power • Refinement • Excitement factor • British CONS • Expensive FAST FACTS • Max speed: 189mph • 0-62 mph: 4.6 • Combined mpg: 21.9 • Engine: 4735cc V8 • Max. power (bhp): 430 at 7300rpm • Max. torque (Ib/ft): 361 at 5000rpm • CO2: 299g/km • Price: From £102,500

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Babywearing Daddies It never occurred to me not to carry our baby. I started out with a Moby but I found it too stretchy. We went to the sling library in Farnham when our son Xiao was two weeks old and borrowed a Calin Bleu woven. That was much better. I’ve got him in a Didymos in the picture. We were lucky as a friend loaned us it. I like carrying him because I love being close to him. And I know it’s right and natural that he stays close to us. We still carry him at 9 months but I use a Gemini mostly now. We still have the Didymos though and it’s good to ring the changes. I dont feel comfortable with the pushchair. It doesn’t feel natural and it’s cumbersome. You’ve got much more freedom of movement when you carry your baby. Just wrap and go! I did get some funny looks when I wore the wraps as though I had a growth or something. I think people sometimes didn’t know what was going on - especially if Xiao was well tucked in. My wife carries Xiao in a hop tye as it spreads the weight but if we go out together I always carry Xiao. It would be crazy not to as I’m quite a bit larger than her. In the early days I often took Xiao out in the wrap to get him off to sleep. It was good to be able to help with that. Now, if he needs to sleep and is struggling then a walk in the Gemini always works. Next step is to get him onto our backs for some longer hikes! If I couldn’t carry our son in a carrier I’d carry him in my arms. No compromise. Greg Wagstaff

When our daughter was born in October 2009, my wife wanted to baby wear, but nothing seemed right, we had a close carrier, which I got confused by, then a badly made something or other, It hurt when I tried it, so I finally put my foot down and said NO! Pram all the way. The wife in a strop, sold them on and gave in to the world of prams. Back then, there wasn’t as much knowledge about carriers and facebook wasn’t really us, So knowing no better we forgot about it. In December 2011 we discovered we were expecting again, I mentioned double prams, to be informed with a frown, NO! She wanted to babywear and was going to do all the research she could. She showed me pictures, I shrugged said, whatever you want honey, Big mistake, 2 days later a Moby wrap turned up. She handed it to me, I unrolled it......and unrolled it, oh my, what had I let myself in for. She said it was cheap and a tester, we had a pram by this point, so a happy medium was found. Though I honestly thought the Moby would go the way of the sling attempts from 2009. When our son was born in July 2012, I tried the Moby, I was instantly hooked, it felt comfortable, it felt right, and I loved that closeness with my son. We eventually moved on to a handwoven ellevill zara lemon grass, whilst trying not to look at the price, I kept everything crossed this would work, this was a huge leap for us in the proper babywearing world. We also had a amazona wrap for a while, but we agreed we didn’t feel the love for it and it went to a new home. Hoping it wouldn’t ruin my wrestling reputation, (yes I am a trainee wrestler!!) I admitted my love for wraps was coming out. Our elleville was eventually sent to Helen, at Monkey Mei Tai, were it has been converted into a piece art, with a huge galleon on it. I can often be found round the house with Oscar attached to my front when he gets to upset whilst I continue with the housework. (yes she has me house trained!) I have to admit, as hard as it is to do, (I am only a man after all) but my wife was right, baby wearing rocks!! Especially when I have my daughter on my back, and my son on my front! the best feeling in the world :) Terry Speller Just under six years ago when Charlie, our over indulged first born arrived, we were faced with one hundred and one product choices to make, from which pushchair to push, which rocker to rock and which carrier to carry. Even though I was a contributor to this choice paralysis, (at the time I was the Design Director for a major high street baby brand and retailer,) the decision of what carrier type would suit our new family seemed cloudy, and we bought reactively, never quite getting it right for mum, dad, or Charlie. Five years later George arrived, and as with all ‘number twos’, we had a lot less to learn and less to buy, but we also had the benefit of hindsight. More than that, I had been working with Close, the inspirational British baby care brand, helping them on their mission to give Dads, better choices when choosing a carrier, and so we found ourselves in a different place, in terms of how and why to carry, and this time it was more about Georgie. It seemed that most carrier designs available to Dads, seemed unduly focused on fashion, fixings and widgets, when what really mattered was contact, comfort and care. So with this as the priority, we adapted and ‘designed in’, the advantages of wearing a sling, liberating it from being something just for mum and created the Caboo DX for dads and mums alike. So today I find myself sharing more time on foot with George, whether it is about the house or taking him into the office for the day, but he is that bit closer, and he is much more comfortable. I feel confident in the knowledge that I have George positioned just where he needs to be, and the intimacy of wearing a sling has given myself & George more opportunity to bond. Nigel Plested Why do I baby wear? I think it is mostly a practicality thing. Having both hands free while carrying Aimee really makes life easier. I can do far more things and also interact with her far more easily. It is safe, secure and good fun too. I prefer to baby carry over a pushchair / pram because the sling is so easy to take places as it folds down into a tiny squashable bundle. It handles rough terrain and steps far better than any buggy, which makes family walks and shopping trips far easier. I also find that with your child closer to you it is easier to interact with them; this is also helped again by having both hands free, so you can hold objects for your child to take an interest in and teach them about the world around them. Aimee loves watching the world go by, and having her in the sling enables her to do that while feeling safe, secure and close to me. Having your baby close in the sling enables you to share warmth with your child and keeps you both toasty on cold days. I don’t have to dress Aimee in lots of layers and thick snowsuits when we go out because my body heat keeps her warm – I can even do my coat up round both of us for extra warmth. I also find that I can judge her temperature and therefore adjust if she is too hot or cold more easily when she’s in the sling.Although baby wearing for me started off being primarily about the practical advantages, the closeness and shared experiences I get to have with my daughter are an amazing reward. Tom Waddell

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How To - With CETK

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Explore Wrapping In this series I will be exploring some of the different wrapping methods and how it is possible to adapt each carry to your preferences. Wrapping is an art and taking time to fully explore different carrying methods, can make all the difference in the amount of enjoyment and comfort you and your baby achieve when using a wrap. Front Wrap Cross Carry The Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC) is the carry which most people using a woven wrap use as a starting point. It is a carry which when following the most basic instructions gives you a safe and comfortable starting point for your wrapping journey and you can use many of the basic skills learned and apply them to different carrying methods both with wraps and with other carriers. The FWCC has the potential to be a three layer carry and can also have only layer over your child giving maximum adjustability. It is a semi pre-tie meaning that you wrap the wrap around you before you place your child into the wrap. It is possible to knot the wrap loosely if you need to travel somewhere before finishing the wrapping. Most wrap instructions leaflets have instructions for the FWCC. There will be minor differences but the basics will be the same. You form a pouch with the middle of the wrap on your front cross the wrap on your back and then again on your front with the child in the wrap. Most people will tie a knot behind their back, yet if there is enough wrap left to come back to the front then that is a possibility as well.

“ Remember the TICKS rule of safe babywearing ” Issue One - Spring 2013

Some pointers to keep in mind when wrapping the FWCC: • Safety First; Remember that you are responsible for the well being of your baby at all times. If something does not feel right or safe, stop and check before continuing. • Wrap nice and tight; when a wrap is too loose it can be uncomfortable and at worst it can be unsafe for your child. A loose wrap can cause a child to slump in the wrap which can in turn obstruct the airways. • Be aware of twists in the wrap; these can be uncomfortable and can make it hard to figure out where the wrap is coming from. • Keep all the wrap material on top of your shoulder until after you have tied the knot; You will be able to spread it out after you have tied the knot if you want to. Spreading it before can lead to parts of the wrap being too tight or too loose and once the knot is tight this is much harder to adjust. • Safety Last; remember the TICKS rule of safe babywearing. Variations With the FWCC come a myriad of variations. To start with you can adjust the wrap over your shoulder in a way that you find most comfortable; bunched up, spread out, folded over, harmonica folded or layered. The same applies to the cross you make with the wrap under your baby, you can choose to wholly or partially spread the material on either or both sides. It is also possible to leave it all going under your babies legs. And then there are the variations* which make it almost into a different carry: FWCC TUB where you can use a shorter wrap and tie under the babies bum. Semi FWCC Which only uses one shoulder. Half FWCC which ties at the side. *you can read more about these variations and see a photo tutorial on them www.bwiofpeoria.org.

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Online Sling Library Directory Greater London

Suffolk

Central London Sling Library www.facebook.com/CentralLondonSlingLibrary

Suffolk Sling Meet www.natureandnurture.co.uk www.facebook.com/NatureandNurture Twitter: @ NurtureMama

Harrow Sling Library www.harrowslinglibrary.com www.facebook.com/HarrowSlingLibrary harrowslinglibrary@gmail.com South London Sling Library www.southlondonslings.com www.facebook.com/SouthLondonSlingLibrary Twitter: @SLSlingLibrary info@southlondonslings.co.uk North London Sling Library www.northlondonslings.co.uk www.facebook.com/northlondonslings East of England Cambridgeshire Cambridge Sling Library www.cambridgeslinglibrary.co.uk www.facebook.com/Cambridge-Sling-Library /476174319080835 enquiries@cambridgeslinglibrary.co.uk Hertfordshire Harpenden Sling Library www.harpenden-breastfeeding.co.uk/slings.html www.facebook.com/harpendenSL East Herts Sling Library www.facebook.com/easthertsslinglibrary Norfolk

Midlands Birmingham Sling Meet and Library www.facebook.com/birminghamslingmeet www.birminghamslings.weebly.com Derbyshire Chesterfield Sling Library www.chesterfieldslinglibrary.co.uk www.facebook.com/cfieldslings Twitter:: @cfieldslings Glossop Sling Meet and Library www.glossopslinglibrary.webs.com www.facebook.com/GlossopSlingMeet www.facebook.com/GlossopSlingLibrary Leicestershire Leicester Sling Library www.carrymybaby.co.uk/sling-library.html www.facebook.com/carrymybaby Twitter: @ CarryMyBaby Staffordshire Staffs Sling & Nappy Library https://www.facebook.com/staffsslingandnappylibrary Warwickshire

Norwich Sling Library www.norwichslinglibrary.co.uk www.facebook.com/norwichslinglibrary Twitter: @norwichslingers info@norwichslinglibrary.co.uk

North Warwickshire Sling Library & North Warwickshire Sling Meet www.northwarksslinglibrary.webeden.co.uk www.facebook.com/NorthWarwickshireSlingLibraryandNuneatonSlingmeet Twitter:: @nwslinglibrary

Wrap my Baby Consultancy & Lending Service www.wrapmybaby.co.uk www.facebook.com/anne.wrap.my.baby

Nuneaton Consultancy www.snuglibub.co.uk 07960 149455

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www.closeenoughtokiss.co.uk Slingababy Library & Consultancy www.slingababy.co.uk www.facebook.com/Sling.a.Baby

Sheffield Sling Library & Consultancy www.slinglibrary.org www.facebok.com/slinglibrary

Rugby Sling Meet www.facebook.com/Rugby.SlingMeet

Sheffield Sling Meet www.sheffieldslings.com www.facebook.com/groups/saturdayslings

Warwickshire Sling Lending Library www.jellybeanslings.weebly.com www.facebook.com/pages/JellyBean-Slings-Warwickshire-Sling-Library Worcestershire Malvern Sling Meet www.facebook.com/malvernslingmeet malvernslingmeet@hotmail.com North East England County Durham The North East Sling Library www.northeastslinglibrary.co.uk www.facebook.com/northeastslinglibrary Twitter:: @NESlingLibrary info@northeastslinglibrary.co.uk East Ridings of Yorkshire Hull & East Riding Sling Library www.herslings.co.uk www.facebook.com/HullSlingLibrary herslings@gmail.com Northumberland NCT Hexham & Tynedale Sling Library www.nct.org.uk/branches/hexham-tynedale/slinglibrary www.facebook.com/pages/NCT-Hexham-Tynedale/159555194077784 ali@birthspring.co.uk

Sunderland Sunderland Sling Library www.sunderlandslinglibrary.webs.com www.facebook.com/SunderlandSlingLibrary West Yorkshire Huddersfield Sling Library www.slinglibrary.com www.facebook.com/theslinglibrary Twitter: @SlingLibrary Wakefield Sling Library www.facebook.com/GiftWrappedCuddles Giftwrappedcuddles@hotmail.com The West Yorkshire Sling Library www.wyslinglibrary.com www.facebook.com/pages/The-West-Yorkshire-SlingLibrary/201658303196137 North West England Cheshire Chester Sling Library www.chesterslinglibrary.co.uk www.facebook.com/chesterslinglibrary info@chesterslinglibrary.co.uk 07403 285858

South North of the Tyne Library www.snott.org.uk www.facebook.com/slingssnott Twitter: @slingsnott

Warrington Sling Meet www.facebook.com/WarringtonSlingMeet

North Yorkshire

Blackburn & Darwen Sling Library & Meet www.bdslinglibrary.com www.facebook.com/bdslinglibrary bdslinglibrary@mail.com

Selby NCT Sling Library www.nct.org.uk/branches/selby www.facebook.com/SelbyNctSlingLibrary Twitter: @SelbySlings South Yorkshire

Lancashire

Lancaster Sling Library www.facebook.com/lancasterslinglibrary Manchester

Doncaster Sling Library www.doncasterbabywearing.co.uk www.facebook.com/DoncasterBabywearing Twitter: @Donbabywearing doncasterbabywearing@live.co.uk

Manchester Sling Meet www.manchesterslingmeet.com www.facebook.com/pages/Manchester-Sling-Meet/123976837681133 manchesterslingmeet@hotmail.co.uk

Sheffield Babywearers www.sheffieldbabywearers.org.uk www.facebook.com/groups/sheffieldbabywearers

Oldham and Rochdale NCT Slingmeet & Library www.nct.org.uk/branches/oldham-rochdale/sling-library www.facebook.com/OldhamAndRochdaleNctSlingLibrary

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www.closeenoughtokiss.co.uk The Sling School Manchester www.theslingschool.com www.facebook.com/theslingschool Twitter:: @TheSlingSchool

New Forest Sling Meet, Sling Library & Consultancy www.newforestslingmeet.com www.facebook.com/NewForestSlingmeet Twitter: @NewForestSlings

Merseyside

Portsmouth and Southsea Sling Clinic www.hampshirebabywearing.com www.facebook.com/psslingclinic

Liverpool Sling Library www.liverpoolslinglibrary.co.uk www.facebook.com/liverpoolslinglibrary info@liverpoolslinglibrary.co.uk The Wirral Sling Library www.facebook.com/thewirralslinglibrary wibkehott@gmail.com South East England Buckinghamshire High Wycombe Sling Library www.highwycombeslings.wordpress.com www.facebook.com/groups/345901125449900 Dorset Poole Sling Meet www.facebook.com/pages/Poole-Sling-Meet/419348201463791 East Sussex Eastbourne Sling Library www.eastbourneslinglibrary.co.uk www.facebook.com/eastbourneslinglibrary www.facebook.com/eastbourneslingmeet Twitter: @E’bourneSlingLibrary info@eastbourneslinglibrary.co.uk Hampshire Fareham Sling Library www.hampshirebabywearing.com www.facebook.com/farehamslingmeet

Ringwood Sling Meet & Consultancy www.facebook.com/ringwoodslingmeet Lucie@ratmad.com Southhampton Sling Meet www.southamptonslingmeet.com www.facebook.com/SouthamptonSlingMeet info@southamptonslingmeet.com Southsea Sling Library www.southseaslings.co.uk www.facebook.com/SouthseaSlings info@southseaslings.co.uk Surrey & Hants Sling Library www.sandhslinglibrary.co.uk www.facebook.com/SurreyHantsSlingLibrary Twitter: @SHSLingLibrary Kent Medway NCT Sling Library www.facebook.com/groups/307424612637070 slings@nctmedway.org.uk North West Kent Sling Library www.nwkslings.weebly.com www.facebook.com/nwkslings nwkslings@btinternet.com West Kent Sling Meet & Library www.westkentslingmeet.co.uk www.facebook.com/WestKentSlingmeet Twitter @WKentslingmeet Oxfordshire

Hambledon NCT Sling Meet www.facebook.com/HambletonNctSlingMeet

Oxford Sling Meet + Library www.oxfordslingmeet.co.uk

IOW - Isle of White Sling Library & Consultancy www.isleofwightslinglibrary.com www.facebook.com/isleofwightslinglibrary Twitter: @iowslinglibrary isleofwightslingmeet@yahoo.co.uk 07751 239803

Surrey

Meon Valley Slingmeet and Library www.meonvalleynaturalparent.co.uk www.facebook.com/pages/Meon-Valley-Slingmeet/502471756433181 Milton Keynes Sling Library www.facebook.com/mkaplibrary. sam@mkattachmentparenting.com Issue One - Spring 2013

Farnham Sling Library www.farnhamslinglibrary.co.uk www.facebook.com/farnhamslinglibrary Twitter: @FSL_Mish Redhill Reigate and Horley NCT Sling www.facebook.com/NctRedhillReigateAndHorleySlingLibrary slings@redhillnct.org.uk Surrey & Hants Sling Library www.sandhslinglibrary.co.uk www.facebook.com/SurreyHantsSlingLibrary Twitter: @SHSLingLibrary

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Isle of Man

Brighton Sling Babies www.facebook.com/pages/Brighton-Sling-Babies/320317146988

Isle of Man Sling Library www.iomslingmeet.com www.facebook.com/IOMSlingMeet iomslingmeet@hotmail.co.uk

South West England Bristol www.bristolslinglibrary.wordpress.com Cornwall Cornwall Natural Parenting & Slingmeet www.facebook.com/groups/395984093769304 Cornwall Sling Library www.cornwallslinglibrary.co.uk www.facebook.com/pages/Cornwall-Sling-Library/368847079881295 contact@cornwallslinglibrary.co.uk Devon Plymouth Sling Library www.plymouthslinglibrary.co.uk www.facebook.com/PlymouthSlingLibrary South Devon Sling Library www.babytiponi.co.uk/sling-library www.facebook.com/SouthDevonSlingLibrary Gloucestershire Cheltenham Sling Meet www.facebook.com/cheltenhamslingmeet Serenity Supplies Sling hire, consultancy and sales www.serenitysupplies.weebly.com/sling-library Stroud Sling Meet www.stroudslingmeet.wordpress.com www.facebook.com/stroudslingmeet stroudslingmeet@gmail.com Swindon Sling Library www.swindonslinglibrary.co.uk www.facebook.com/swindonslinglibrary Twitter: @SwindonSlingLib slings@optimumdoula.co.uk Warrington Sling Meet www.facebook.com/WarringtonSlingMeet www.facebook.com/groups/278720585297 Somerset North Somerset Slings www.ns-slings.co.uk www.facebook.com/NorthSomersetSlings Twitter: @N-SomersetSlings info@ns-slings.co.uk

Wales, Scotland & Ireland Cardiff & Caerphilly NCT Sling Library www.nct.org.uk/branches/cardiff/sling-hire www.facebook.com/CardiffNCTSlingLibrary Flintshire Sling Meet & Library www.flintshireslingmeet.blogspot.co.uk www.facebook.com/groups/flintshireslingmeet Ty Melyn - The South West Wales Sling Library www.ty-melyn.co.uk www.facebook.com/tymelyn Edinburgh Sling Meet and associated group: www.facebook.com/EdinburghSlingMeet www.facebook.com/groups/224090304386891 Edinburgh Consultancy www.showmeslings.co.uk www.facebook.com/ShowMeSlings Twitter: @ShowMeSlings susan@showmeslings.co.uk Highland Sling Library www.facebook.com/pages/Highland-Sling/454539757933441 slinglibrary.highlandsislands@gmail.com BabyWearing Ireland www.babywearingireland.ie www.facebook.com/groups/182364631890918 Northern Ireland Sling Library www.slinglibraryni.co.uk www.facebook.com/slinglibraryni Twitter: @SlingLibraryNI

Is Your Sling Library Missing?? ils Email Us with your deta ctory. to be added to this dire co.uk info@closeenoughtokiss.

Taunton Sling Library www.facebook.com/TauntonSlingLibrary www.facebook.com/Taunton.Babywearing

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Giveaways / Shopping

Win! Win! Win! with Close Enough To Kiss Enter for a chance to win a Lactivist Shopping Voucher

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Enter for a chance to win a Deluxe Silk Connecta Baby Carrier

Do you run a sling library? Enter for a chance to win one of 2 peer supporting course hosted by school of babywearing. Access to this course will not only give to the skills to help, advise and support babywearers, but also to access insurance and when you attend the course you will get a free carrier! To enter simply go to www.closeenoughtokiss.co.uk/giveaways or see our facebook page

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Sleepy Nico Baby Carriers Launch Organic Collection Baby carrier company, Sleepy Nico, has launched a new collection of stylish carriers available in five different organic fabric designs. The new fabrics include fair trade cotton from India and the structure of the carriers are made with organic corduroys. Angeline Braidwood the owner of Sleepy Nico says, “ Parents are very concerned about the fabric of products for their babies. I was being asked about the origins of dyes and how the fabrics were treated by potential customers. This range are GOTS compliant and parents can be comfortable knowing that they are gentle on their child’s skin as well as on the planet.”

and secure set of buckles. The fabric used in this collection is all organic and complies with the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), the corduroy used is also Fair Trade.

“What is exciting about these carriers is I’ve chosen fabrics that don’t necessarily conform to people’s perceptions about organic and natural, there is nothing neutral about them. There are bold colours and designs in keeping with our history of fun and creativity.”

The carrier, which is lightweight and machine washable, comes with a sleeping hood so your baby can nap comfortably while you’re out and about, and can be used with babies as young as 3 months old (or as soon as they’re able to achieve good head control). UK-designed and made and priced at £75 (other carriers are £69), the Sleepy Nico has both front and back carry positions and allows the wearer to be ‘hands free’. The carriers can also be made in a fabric of your choice. Its ergonomic design ensures even weight distribution between hips, back and shoulders, allowing parents to carry their babies comfortably.

The Sleepy Nico baby carrier is a soft structured carrier made of comfy corduroy (100% cotton) with a simple

Visit: www.sleepynico.com and www.facebook.com/sleepynico for news and updates.

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Close Enough To Kiss - Issue 1