Sling meet questions

What is a sling meet?
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A sling meet is a social event where people who use slings or are interested in using slings come together to socialise, discuss slings, try things out and support each other. All our mets are attended by trained professionals including peer supporters and a sling consultant. Entrance to the meet costs £2 at which time all support and advice is given free of charge. The entrance fee simply covers the cost of the room hire.

The NFS team run the meets as volunteers, providing a warm and friendly atmosphere where you can enjoy a relaxing drink and snack and let your children play while you chat to other parents and carers.

Our sling meets are also our library hire sessions. Slings in the library are available to hire for a period of one month at a time for a fee. Fees from hiring slings go back into the business to make the service better.

The team will see anybody who wants help or advice (regardless of whether they intend to hire a sling) in the order in which you sign in to the meet. Sometimes, if your questions are more complex, you may have to wait longer until someone more experienced in that area can help you.

All the slings in our library are available during the sessions (as long as they are not currently on hire) for you to try out with our demo dolls and discuss with each other. You do not need our permission to pick up a sling and try it out.

- We are NOT paid to do any of our work for slingmeet  – we are fuelled by passion. We are 100% non-profit so ALL monies (excepting the £2 on the door fee which pays for hall hire) goes to buying new slings/carriers for the library and growing and promoting the slingmeet.

Is the sling meet sponsored by sling companies?
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No, though many sling retailers and manufacturers have supported the library through donations and discounts, we are not sponsored by anyone and are entirely impartial. We will never promote one brand of sling or one way of thinking. We will provide information based on hard evidence where possible and then on our best experience.

What is the process for hiring a sling at a meet?
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All our slings are available to hire for a period of one month at a time at the rate of £10 per month. This must be paid at the time of hire either by cash or paypal.

At the time of hire you will also need to leave a deposit with us for the value of the sling. This will only be used in the case that we must replace the sling following serious damage, loss or non-return of the sling whilst in your care. We strongly recommend providing a cheque, though we will accept paypal or cash if necessary.

Do you sell slings?
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New Forest Slings do not sell slings. We can offer suggestions of reputable retailers not he high street and online and in some cases we ma be able to arrange for special discounts for our customers.

What advice and support can I get at sling meets?
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At sling meets and library sessions we can:

  • SHOW, not TEACH; slingmeet is NOT a conducive environment to teaching anyone to use a sling/carrier. We can do quick demo’s of slings/carriers you are interested in but cannot offer the time and attention to teaching. This is the same for ALL slingmeets and is to ensure everyone who attends gets the advice they have come for.
  • introduce you to a friendly social group with the emphasis on using slings/carriers
  • explain clearly (with literature to take away with you) about sling/carrier safety
  • let you see lots of different slings/carriers not readily available on the high street
  • let you practice in front of a mirror with a demo doll
  • show you our excellent sling library available at each meet to hire from (£5/month)
  • help and enable you with general/basic advice on choosing and using a sling
  • signpost you to many useful resources online to further your knowledge in ‘babywearing’
  • give you and your family a safe and comfortable environment to play in and have a chat and a cuppa
  • give basic online support/advice
What can you not do at sling meet?
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At these sessions we cannot:

  • spend long periods of time with one person; we get very busy and we all have our own children to watch but can show you/demo slings to get you started. We really recommend you read our Getting Started section on our website if attending with no previous sling use.
  • tell you what the ‘best’ sling is. Due to the wide range of slings/carriers available this is actually impossible as it is very subjective and what one person loves another might not agree! We can, however, point you in the right direction of slings that meet your needs and show you how to get them on. In a workshop we have a structure so go into more details and with a consultation of course we can go really in depth with this and get the best sling FOR YOU
  • advise on FFO (front facing out) positions in slings/carriers as it is not a position we would recommend.
  • teach you a back carry with no prior sling/carrier use; we ALWAYS recommend, no matter what the sling/carrier type, to get confident with a front carry first, THEN a back carry.
  • Show you how to back wrap, our slingmeet is not the correct environment for this and we would suggest that you seek advice from a babywearing consultant if you wish to learn to wrap on your back. We are happy to recommend a few local consultants who will be able to help.
Who will help me at sling meet?
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Consultation questions

Can my family attend the consultation too?
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Yes. Partners, grandparents and children are all welcome to attend a consultation but I ask that you let me know who will be there in advance so I can prepare appropriately. It is also important that I know of any additional needs of anyone who will be there in advance. I politely request that any pets are kept out of the way during the consultation to protect the slings and due to my own allergies.

If you have friends that also want a consultation then this is slightly different. We can discuss a group workshop at additional cost as long as the other people attending need similar support.

Our sling meets are also our library hire sessions. Slings in the library are available to hire for a period of one month at a time for a fee. Fees from hiring slings go back into the business to make the service better.

The team will see anybody who wants help or advice (regardless of whether they intend to hire a sling) in the order in which you sign in to the meet. Sometimes, if your questions are more complex, you may have to wait longer until someone more experienced in that area can help you.

All the slings in our library are available during the sessions (as long as they are not currently on hire) for you to try out with our demo dolls and discuss with each other. You do not need our permission to pick up a sling and try it out.

- We are NOT paid to do any of our work for slingmeet  – we are fuelled by passion. We are 100% non-profit so ALL monies (excepting the £2 on the door fee which pays for hall hire) goes to buying new slings/carriers for the library and growing and promoting the slingmeet.

Who offers consultations and are they qualified?
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Emily Fackrell who runs New Forest Slings is the only person to currently offer private sling consultations through NFS. She is a certified carrying Consultant with Slingababy and L'ecole a Porter, and recognised by the British Association of Babywearing Instructors (BABi). Emily is also an international carrying and child development trainer.

What kind consultations and packages do you offer?
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Please have a look at the Sling consultancy page for details of the standard consultations and packages offered. It is important to understand though that the nature of consultations are that they can be tailored to meet your individual needs, providing I feel qualified/experienced enough to deal with your personal circumstances. If I don't I will find you someone who can locally.

Do you charge for travel for consultations?
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​I have made the decision to only charge for mileage to locations more than 25 miles from my home, covering the whole of the New Forest at least, free of extra costs. My consultation rates are competitive but do reflect the need for me to cover my travelling costs. I believe that this way is fairer

What if I am outside your area and need support?
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No matter where you live, please contact me as I may be able to travel to you and if not, I will certainly be able to recommend someone else to support you.

When is a consultation useful?
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There is no bad time. I offer consultations to people who are pregnant, have just had a baby, have a toddler or pre-schooler and people who care for children as a grand parent or foster parent. Whenever you want to learn more about using slings, I can help.

What if I need a consultation and cannot afford it?
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If this is the case, please contact me as there are several options to consider. These include: gift vouchers, payment plans and attending sling meets (depending on your needs).

Workshop questions

What workshops do you offer?
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We are currently considering adding workshops to the services we offer. These might include: 

  • Introduction to using slings
  • Introduction to back carrying
  • Feeding in slings


If you are interested in workshops please let us know as this will push us to get it set up.

The NFS team run the meets as volunteers, providing a warm and friendly atmosphere where you can enjoy a relaxing drink and snack and let your children play while you chat to other parents and carers.

Our sling meets are also our library hire sessions. Slings in the library are available to hire for a period of one month at a time for a fee. Fees from hiring slings go back into the business to make the service better.

The team will see anybody who wants help or advice (regardless of whether they intend to hire a sling) in the order in which you sign in to the meet. Sometimes, if your questions are more complex, you may have to wait longer until someone more experienced in that area can help you.

All the slings in our library are available during the sessions (as long as they are not currently on hire) for you to try out with our demo dolls and discuss with each other. You do not need our permission to pick up a sling and try it out.

- We are NOT paid to do any of our work for slingmeet  – we are fuelled by passion. We are 100% non-profit so ALL monies (excepting the £2 on the door fee which pays for hall hire) goes to buying new slings/carriers for the library and growing and promoting the slingmeet.

Is it possible to arrange a private workshop?
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Yes of course, though really this is a consultation. If you have a group of people already, please let me know and we can organise a session.

How is a workshop different from a consultation?
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A workshop is usually taught in a group, and on a specific topic. It is a session that the facilitator structures and delivers interactively, being responsive to the audience on the day.

A consultation is a session tailored to all your needs after initial discussion with your consultant. Although the consultant will guide the session, they are led by you. For this reason, a consultation costs a little extra.

Sling questions

How do you care for the slings at NFS?
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We try to keep all of our slings in the best possible condition. All of slings are hired often and are therefore in used condition, some older and more worn than others. We regularly check all slings for general condition and more importantly for any safety concerns. Any slings which don't met our high safety standards are removed and replaced. If you are concerned about the condition of a sling you have hired, please contact us immediately.

What do I do if a sling gets damaged while I have it?
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First - breathe. Things happen.

​Please contact us immediately. Do NOT try to fix the damage yourself. It is possible that we will be able to fix it or have it professionally mended quite cheaply. If costs do occur then you will be responsible for covering them up to the amount of your deposit. However, we will always try to avoid any unnecessary cost to you. Trying to repair the sling yourself will likely cause more damage and result in your full deposit being lost. If we have to replace it, we will also try to get the best price and return any remaining deposit.

​We will never be angry, we will just sort it out.

What about washing a hired sling?
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Ordinarily we ask that you do not wash the sling whilst in your care. If there is a small mark on the sling, you can spot wash it with water and a cloth. If you really feel that the sling needs a wash, please contact us for instructions.