As a sling librarian and carrying consultant I see families in group situations, as well as privately in 1:1 appointments. The arrival of 2017 marks my fifth year as a practising and active carrying consultant. I am extremely lucky to have worked with many families since I first trained in 2012. In total, I have trained with 3 schools and continue to attend a variety of CPD events. This blog considers the reasons to consider booking a 1:1 appointment.
Here are my Top 5 reasons why I believe you should pay to have a private consultation with a trained babywearing consultant.
Something we all wish we had more of is time. During a sling library session, I can see anywhere upwards of 10 families in just over an hour, with typically 15-20 families, each with their own individual needs to meet. A private consultation appointment is a minimum 60 minutes long (with a standard consult lasting for 90 minutes), so we can take a more relaxed approach, tackling your family’s requirements personally, keeping you and your baby at the heart of the appointment. During this we can explore options together, you can have a drink, your baby can be fed or changed or we can even go for a walk together to check the carrier is right for you and your baby. Extra time is especially important if either you or baby have additional needs which need to be considered.
Typically, I can only spend 10 minutes per family in a library setting. This means I can usually only demo and fit one carrier and limits how many times you can try to put a carrier on. We cover the basics of what the carrier does and how to wear it safely but there is not time to discuss every individual element of the carrier or the different ways it can be worn. During a consultation, we can look at different styles and types before trying those which best fit your needs. As consultations are normally held in my office I have access to all carriers we have rather than just those I can fit in the boot of my car. For home visit appointments, the pre-consult questionnaire allows me to make professional judgements to bring what is suitable. I am often asked how I know which carrier to choose for a family but after fitting carriers for almost 6 years you start to instinctively know what will work.
3) Sling hire is included
Sling hire alone is £5 for 2 weeks. As part of a babywearing consultation you will always get a minimum of two weeks hire but due to the fact I link return of slings to library drop in sessions families often benefit for 1,2 even 3 weeks’ free sling hire. I want the sling to work for you and your baby, by able to take it home for an extended period of time you are able to see if it is right for you, without having the feel like you are being rushed to make a choice.
4) It is just you
Consultations are private appointments. It’s just you and me. You are always welcome to bring your partner or a relative along too (there are toys for baby and older children as well). If you have a sling and just want to learn how to use it or use if more effectively then bring it along. We will work together to make it work for you. If you have previously bought a carrier for an older child, but now need a newborn insert to use it with a small baby; if it is one we stock, you can take it home as part of your hire package. Each appointment is tailored to what you want and need: one size does not fit all. A babywearing consultation allows us to think outside the box to find solution for you.
5) Support doesn’t stop
At the end of the appointment, you receive my contact details in the event you need to ask any more questions. Ongoing support is available via phone, email, FaceTime or Skype for as long as you have your carrier on loan. Our booking system allows me to make a record of all the slings tried during the appointment, allowing me to quickly find you an alternative sling if you want to swap or try another for longer. You are also welcome to swap your carrier at any point during the hire period; simply just pop into one of our drop-in sessions. Follow up consultations can also be booked at reduced rates if you would continue to prefer 1:1 support.
You can book a private appointment via our booking site. A standard consultation is £30 for 90 minutes and it’s just £20 for a sling clinic appointment to troubleshoot your own sling.
I know a carrying consultation will not be something everyone thinks they need or can afford. For families in receipt of means tested benefits or in the event of PND, disability, premature birth (or life limiting conditions for baby etc.) please talk to me. I will always do what I can to help, from reduced fees to free hire. But, if you don’t tell me, I don’t know and cannot help.