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By Gemma Edwards

Finding a suitable baby carrier or two can make all the difference for us as visually impaired mums. A properly fitting sling will hold your baby comfortably against you, with her weight well distributed, leaving your hands free and your baby feeling cosy and secure. You can use a sling at home, to calm your baby and keep her occupied while you get on with chores, and of course, a carrier can be a great alternative to using a buggy when you’re out and about, particularly in crowded areas, on narrow pavements or on public transport.

Deciding on which carrier to buy can be a problem though. The high street options are often quite limited, and the choice online can be confusing, especially without having full access to the pictures!

For many mums, the solution can be to find a local “sling consultant”. Sling consultants are mums with plenty of experience of “baby wearing”/using carriers, who have also been through specialist training. During a one to one appointment, a sling consultant can demonstrate how to use different types of carrier, to help you decide what suits you best. She can give you detailed instructions on using the one you choose, including ensuring you are using the carrier safely with your baby in a good position. Often a sling consultant will be able to visit you at your home, bringing slings along to try, and many also run sling libraries or hire schemes, so that you can literally try before you buy for a week or two.

In addition, your sling consultant may be able to link you up with other baby wearing parents at a local “sling meet” – these are casual gatherings where mums get together to chat about all things slings, so they are a good place to get your hands on different carriers and compare the available options with mums who are actually using them.

To find a sling consultant qualified with School of Baby Wearing, you can search by post code at
http://www.babywearing.co.uk/localsupport
You can also find sling meets and sling libraries on that page
Alternatively, the British Association of Babywearing Instructors have a consultant search page
www.babi.me.uk
and you can also find sling libraries here:
http://ukslinglibraries.wordpress.com/find-a-sling-library-near-you/

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