Goodbye from ShowMe Slings, and Thank You All!

Goodbye from ShowMe Slings, and Thank You All!

The time has come to say goodbye from ShowMe Slings…. In June 2011, I attended a babywearing consultancy course out of interest, never thinking I would be establishing my own business. Since starting ShowMe Slings, unofficially in October 2011 and officially in December 2011, I have met so many people from all walks of life – parents, childminders, baby group leaders, birthkeepers, doulas, lactation consultants, NHS staff, and I am grateful to you all for your interest and support. I am so pleased to see resources in baby carrying grow enormously, from the handful of babywearing consultants, and small number of retailers and manufacturers in the UK in 2011 to the much larger numbers today in 2017!  I have been privileged to have been part of this, and can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed working with you all (too numerous to name), and how much I’ve learned from every encounter. However, over the last couple of years, ShowMe Slings had grown too much for my small family home, and for the time I have available, so at the end of March 2017 I will be closing and moving on to pastures new. A massive thank you to you all and good luck with your onward journeys, wherever life leads you. Susan xx   Proud to have been an authorised retailer for the following: Babyhawk, Babylonia, Beco, Boba, Close Parent, Connecta, Didymos, Ergobaby, Hana Baby, Hoppediz, Huckepack, Je Porte Mon Bebe, Lana/Wermli, Little Frog, Manduca, Moby, Momawo, Olives and Applesauce, Oscha, Petite Panda, Rock Solid Slings, Scootababy, Sleepy Nico, Tula and We Made Me. For warranty issues within 12 months of your...
That fiddly baby carrier chest strap!

That fiddly baby carrier chest strap!

Chest strap, back strap, connecting strap – what ever you call it, that fiddly baby carrier chest strap is often the one thing that puts people off using a baby carrier in a front carry when the straps can’t be crossed over your back. Here are a few ideas to help you fasten that strap – try them out and see how they work for you! The main thing to remember is that the baby carrier chest strap is not fixed in one position. Slide it up and down the shoulder straps until you find a place you can reach, and feels comfortable on your back. They also adjust in width – have someone help you and experiment with how short or long you want to have this strap. Having the shoulder straps sit a comfortable distance apart can make a big difference. 1: Loosen off your shoulder straps before you start. Having the shoulder straps too tight can make it difficult to reach and fasten the connecting clip. 2: Try having the connecting strap low down on the shoulder straps. Reach behind your back and fasten it from underneath. 3: If that doesn’t work for you, try sliding the connecting strap up towards the top of the shoulder strap. Reach over your head and fasten it from above. Note – if you have the shoulder straps loose, the connecting clip will move further down your back when you tighten the shoulder straps. 4: If you can’t reach the connecting clip on your back at all, you can fasten it first, loosen off your shoulder straps, and put the fastened connecting strap over your head. (This is often...
How to use the Hoppediz Rain Cover

How to use the Hoppediz Rain Cover

The Hoppediz Rain Cover is a great little item to pack in your bag and carry around with you. ShowMe Slings is based in Scotland so we get a lot of rain whatever the season! Use it over your sling in the summer for protection from the rain without extra heat, or use it over a warm fleece cover in the winter to keep you both warm and dry. Here are some photos to help you use your Hoppediz Rain Cover – the photos show it being used for a front carry, but it can be used for back carries too – either cross the straps over your front or use them rucksack-style. The Hoppediz Rain Cover folds away into a little bag, with a strap that can be clipped around your waist or carried over your shoulder when you’re not using it. Unfold the rain cover and hold it by the straps at the top. Position the top of the carrier at the top of your baby’s shoulders. There is a hood for your baby tucked into a little pocket at the top of the panel – unfold the hood if you need to use it. Hang the cover straps over your shoulders. Pull one shoulder strap over across your back. Thread it through the loop at the side of the panel. Repeat with the strap on the other side. Take the two strap ends behind your back, and tie in a bow.   Now you can adjust the panel to fit. Find the toggle on the side of the carrier and pull the elastic through until the cover...
Babywearing in Winter

Babywearing in Winter

How do you and your little one stay warm and dry when  you’re babywearing in winter? Many people are thinking ahead to winter and asking about the best way to keep their baby warm and dry in a sling throughout the winter months. With small babies, it’s handy to be able to keep them in their sling next to you as you move between the indoors and the outdoors, so I suggest putting them in the sling first, then putting your coat on.  This way, you can open your coat or remove it to stop baby overheating when you come inside, and you don’t have to disturb a sleeping baby! Using a coat a size larger than usual (or borrowing your partner’s coat if they’re bigger than you!) can work well, or if you want to treat yourself, you can buy a coat made for babywearing that has an additional panel. The panel can be zipped in the front or the back, so great as your baby gets older and you move from front to back carries. If you don’t need a waterproof and are looking for something a bit lighter, there are plenty of babywearing fleeces available – you can even layer them under your waterproof on a wet day. Remember when carrying a baby under your coat to follow the TICKS guidelines, and ensure that your baby’s face is visible at all times to keep that airway clear. If you don’t want to invest in a new coat, there are a variety of universal sling covers on the market, ranging from water-resistant basic fleece covers like the Cosy Frog, to waterproof ones...
Using the full width of your wrap

Using the full width of your wrap

Using the full width of your wrap – a quick fix to obtain maximum support. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – woven wraps are so versatile that you can use them from newborn to whenever you want. Although they are “one size fits all”, there is a certain amount of adjustment to make to use them with different sizes of children. One of the most common problems that people come to see me about is the top rail working loose in a front wrap cross carry (FWCC), and not providing enough support. So what can be done to remedy this? Whatever size your child is, you will find the weight is distributed more evenly and you will gain maximum support if you use the full width of your wrap. What does this mean in real terms? To illustrate this, I’ve used a newborn doll lying on a wrap so you can see clearly what I mean. Here’s a “newborn” in the middle of a woven wrap. Obviously, there is too much fabric at the top and the bottom, so we need to deal with this, but this fabric plays a big part in distributing the weight. When you pull the wrap up to cover your baby’s back and shoulders, pull it up until it’s level with the top of the head then fold it back. If you gently gather the excess fabric behind your baby’s neck, and tuck up the excess wrap under the bum, the centre of the wrap is still supporting the weight of your baby, but the gathered wrap at the top...
Get down with Double Hammock!

Get down with Double Hammock!

Get down with Double Hammock! (part of a series of quick fixes) Have you ever wondered why there are so many different ways to tie a wrap? Well, the obvious one is fun, of course, but different carries work for different situations and sizes of child. The variety of shapes and strengths of people are also factors in what makes a comfortable carry for you.  If a carry isn’t working for you then don’t abandon it for ever! Give it a chance to become your new favourite carry, maybe not just now, but perhaps when your baby is bigger, or maybe you just need to stop and think about it. Take the Double Hammock (DH). This is by nature a low back carry. In the DH, the weight is supported by the wide chest pass, so for it to work well, the weight of the child has to be opposite or lower than the top rail which is level with your armpit as you can see below. The most common difficulties I see with most wrap carries results from the weight being out of synch with the supportive part of the wrap.  Have a look at the photo of the high Double Hammock in the Little Frog rainbow wrap below and you’ll see what I mean – all the weight is above the chest pass, so it’s the “hammock” (or rebozo) passes that are supporting the weight on the shoulders. This might be comfortable for lighter weights of babies but usually becomes a problem when they grow. Height is also the main reason why people can’t get the chest...
What are dual-adjustable straps?

What are dual-adjustable straps?

What are dual adjustable straps on a soft-structured carrier? (and how do I use them?) You’ve probably heard about soft structured carriers having “dual-adjustable straps” or “single-adjustable straps”. So what exactly are they? First off, dual-adjustable straps have a piece of webbing (the black synthetic stuff) coming out of each side, so it has two ends you can pull to tighten in either direction, forward or back. You can see the two ends in the photo below of a Boba 4G carrier, one coming from the panel, and one coming from the shoulder strap (click to see the full photo) . Single-adjustable straps are fixed at one side, and the strap can only be pulled in one direction to tighten. You can see in the photo of a Tula baby carrier below that the strap is sewn into the panel, and only the end attached to the shoulder strap is adjustable. So what is the advantage of dual-adjustable straps on a baby carrier? Let’s have a look at the photos below:   When the carrier is on the front, you can reach for the strap at the back (in this case, the end coming from the shoulder strap) and pull forwards.  When the carrier is on the back, again you reach for the strap at the back (this time, it’s the one nearest the panel), and again, pull forwards.     Seems easy enough, so why do some people not get on with them? Well, if you’re new to buckle carriers for carrying your baby, having two ends to choose from when tightening the straps can be confusing, and people...
Get Your Ruck Tight!

Get Your Ruck Tight!

Get Your Ruck Tight! (Part of a series of quick fixes.) The rucksack carry (ruck) is often the first back carry people try – it’s single-layered, relatively quick and simple – on the face of it. Delve a bit deeper and it seems that lots of people abandon the ruck as being too hard, and go for more forgiving multi-layer carries instead. So what makes a ruck go wrong?  The most common complaint I hear about the ruck is that it pulls on the shoulders. The main causes of this are that the baby or child is being carried too low, and the wrap is too loose – often both at the same time! Have a look at this photo of me and my son: Aw, look at his wee smile! You can see though that he is sitting quite low on my back. His weight is literally hanging off my shoulders.  It’s not a thin or diggy wrap (it’s a sturdy, well broken-in Didymos linen blend), but this would definitely dig in to my shoulders! I’ve just wrapped him a bit too low to be comfortable. Here he is again in another ruck (a bit older this time- look how much our hair has grown!). See how the top rail is both level with the top of my shoulders and level with the back of his neck?  The wrap is tight across the top and the full width of the wrap is spreading the weight across my upper back – it’s not just my shoulders carrying the load here. He’s nearly 3 at this point and this single-layer...

Babywearing Consultant? Whassat then?

I’m cheating a bit with this blog post – it’s a copy of an article that I had published on the “more than Mummies” website! So what’s a sling consultant anyway? Many parents love the idea of being able to hold their baby close to them. The best way to do this and remain hands-free is to use a sling – but which one? The question I am asked most often as a sling consultant is “Which sling do you recommend?” The short answer to this is “I don’t!” What I do recommend is that you try some slings before you decide. You wouldn’t buy a dress for a special occasion without a fitting, so why would you buy a sling without trying it on first? People come in all shapes and sizes, so do clothes, and so do slings. The sling that is the most magically comfortable for one parent and their baby may be the most uncomfortable or difficult to use for their neighbour. There is a limited choice of slings and baby carriers available on the High Street, and even then it can be hard to tell by looking at them whether they are going to be comfortable and supportive for you and your baby. There is a much greater range of slings available through the internet, and looking at pictures it’s even harder to tell if a sling will suit you. This is where sling consultants come in! Sling consultants (also known as babywearing consultants), have been popular in Europe for many years, and are now increasing in numbers in the UK, thanks to consultant...
Carrying your toddler

Carrying your toddler

As I walk up the steep hill to playgroup with my 33 month-old son on my back, I get the occasional look, comment or question that no-one would think of if I had him in a buggy! Here are some thoughts on toddler slings, and how they can make your life easier. “My toddler’s too big and heavy to carry” “Why use a toddler sling?” “What do you do when they want to walk?” These are just a few of the things people say about carrying older babies and toddlers. Many parents believe that their baby has become too heavy to carry when the baby carrier they have been using starts to hurt their back and shoulders. This is frequently a reflection of the baby carrier they are using, rather than the weight of the child. Although many carriers will state that they can be used up to a certain weight, this means that they have been tested and found to be structurally safe at these weights, not necessarily that they are comfortable for the person using them! When parents of “heavy” babies try a well designed toddler sling they are amazed at how light their little one seems to have become. A good sling will support the weight of the child being carried from their knee to their knee, allowing their hips to be fully supported in a spread-squat position, with the knees higher than the bottom. Not only does this provide good support for the hips and spine, it also helps to spread the weight around the torso of the person carrying, so little weight is carried...