Did you know that there are people out there dedicated to helping you find the best baby carrier? Amazing, right?!
A quick Google search for ‘the best baby carrier’ can leave you bamboozled which is not what any new parent needs!
So ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the ‘Babywearing Consultant’.
A person who main purpose is to help you find a baby carrier that suits you best. (There are other titles that may be used alternatively such as Carrying Consultant, Sling Consultant. They all mean the same thing however the individual has chosen a term they feel most comfortable with.)
But wait, surely it can’t be that difficult? Maybe you should just buy the one with the best reviews and be done with it? Perhaps you should get the one your friend has recommended?
Ah ha, my friend. This is the problem. You see, buying a baby carrier is much like shopping for a new pair of jeans. There is no one size fits all. The jeans that fit your friend oh so perfectly may not be so comfortable for you.
The same goes for baby carriers. They come in all sorts of different shapes, sizes and styles.
This is where a Babywearing Consultant comes in…
A babywearing consultant is a person with extensive experience in carrying infants in various types of baby carriers. You can expect a babywearing consultant to have carried their own children for a considerable amount of time which will most likely have led them to undertake further training to help others on their babywearing journeys.
A babywearing consultant has a deep knowledge of all the different types of slings available and can help you identify which type may suit you best based on your personal preferences and abilities. Even though each consultant will have their own personal preferences, they will put these aside when working with a family, understanding that what works for them may not necessarily work for others.
There are various ‘Babywearing Schools’ a consultant can train with and they all have a slightly different slant on the material they teach. The training normally involves attending an intensive course that lasts at least 4 or 5 days and includes written coursework to complete. Babywearing consultants will ensure they are up to date and providing their clients with the most recent, evidence based practices.
Whilst all the schools offering the training may have a slightly different slant on course material it’s fair to say that they all have the same end goal. Babywearing consultants around the world want to share with other parents the joys of babywearing and how much of a positive impact it can have on a families transition into parenthood and on an infant’s development.
During their training, consultants will work to improve technical skills such as how to achieve optimal positioning in a carrier, consider ways in which they can emotionally support a new parent as well as a large emphasis on safety whilst carrying; for both the baby and the parent.
Babywearing consultants will be able to help families with special circumstances such as support to carry multiples (twins), premature babies, babies with physical limitations, older kids… the list goes on!
Babywearing consultants are problem solvers. They are teachers, not preachers! They are good active listeners and help you discover what works best for your family dynamic and not tell you what you should or shouldn’t be doing.
If you already have your own baby carrier then a babywearing consultant can help fit the carrier; its surprising how many people find their baby carrier uncomfortable yet are wearing it incorrectly!
Babywearing consultants are normally fully insured and will teach in a variety of locations. Each Consultant will be different, some may offer services at their home whilst others will offer services at the clients home or an external venue. Some Babywearing Consultants may even offer online consultations!
A lot of consultants also teach certain babywearing skills (such as back carrying) via workshops which are great for getting to meet other parents who share a desire to carry their baby.
Sling libraries are becoming a more and more popular facility around the world and a lot of consultants are born out of them. It’s very likely that a consultant may have been a volunteer at a sling library and has chosen to follow their passion and further their knowledge and ability to share the skill of babywearing.
What will a consultation involve?
Each consultant will offer slightly different services but generally they last 1-2 hours and can be very broad, such as an introduction to babywearing or very specific such as back carrying in a woven wrap.
Each consultant has a different price structure for their services and they will also differ based on location (i.e. prices in London are higher than say the north of England). A more experienced consultant may charge more.
So, why should you pay for this?
It’s a question I asked when I first starting using a sling library myself. At the time, I felt it was expensive and I couldn’t justify the cost.
However, I look back and I didn’t think twice about picking up a few cute outfits for my baby whilst I was in the supermarket. I’d easily spend £40-50 on unnecessary things! Instead, I could have chosen to invest this in a consultation in my early babywearing days and I’d have avoided a lot of struggles.
Jumping in and buying a baby carrier blindly can lead to being stuck with a carrier that doesn’t suit you, trying a selection before making a purchase can save you money and you’ll end up with a baby carrier you love!
Most importantly, a babywearing consultant will really take the time to talk about safe carrying with you.
Until your baby is here, it can be quite difficult to understand how much of an essential tool a baby carrier can be. Getting it right from the start can really assist with a smooth transition into parenthood.
To find a consultant near you, use resources such as slingpages.co.uk which acts as a directory for consultants in the UK. If you are not UK based then searching for key terms such as babywearing/sling/carrying consultant plus your location in Google should bring up good results!
As a prospective customer, you are well within your rights to ask a consultant what training they have done and whether they are insured. A trained consultant will be more than happy to provide you evidence of their training and insurance.
Are you a parent that has already used a Babywearing Consultant? I’d love for you to give them a mention in the comments and spread the word!
Are you a Babywearing Consultant? If so, I’d love to connect with you. Leave me a comment below, I’d love to know where you are in the world and who you trained with 🙂
Love and hugs,