What is a sling meet?

What is a sling meet?

When some of us explain we volunteer for a slingmeet we are often met with blank or confused faces…so we thought we’d try and clear it up for you all!

– New Forest slingmeet is a social group with an emphasis on helping other parents and carers with slings/carriers.

– advice is completely free but we do ask for £2 donation per family as we now have to cover hall hire ourselves

– we exist to help you see many types of slings/carriers ‘in the flesh’ and we can do demo’s to show you how to use them and then have a go yourself with our weighted demo dolls.

– we have a sling library available to hire a sling/carrier (£10/month)

– we have a warm and friendly atmosphere for you to simply have a cuppa and cake or to get specific help

– we are run by volunteers and are lucky to have three trained peer supporters on our team, all of our volunteers are experienced babywearers. All our volunteers wear a purple top for easy recognition of who to ask for help 🙂

– 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 (with the exception of 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.

– we are impartial; we do not promote one brand of sling/carrier or one way of thinking. We pool our collective experience to help you on your babywearing journey.

– we run from a large room in Calmore Community Centre with loads of space for the many toys we have out to play with.

– Children are obviously always welcome (including older siblings of any age) and meets run throughout the school holidays.

We are often asked how much support we are able to give at slingmeets, this explains what we can and can’t do

At slingmeet 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 (£10/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

At slingmeet we CAN’T:

– 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.