Workshop Trials

I am looking to run trials of each of the following workshops:

1)An Introduction to Babywearing (Ante-natal version)

2)An Introduction to Babywearing (Post-natal version)

3)An Introduction to Babywearing (Older babies)

4)An Introduction to Wearing your Newborn in a Wrap (covering both stretchy and woven fabrics)

The trials will run with just two participants in each at my home in Borstal.  Please find me on Facebook or contact me via my contact page to express an interest or ask for more information.

For more information about what each workshop involves please visit my workshops page

Case Study 7: Gemma and Jacob


Gemma contacted The Sling Doctor asking for advice on which sling she could use with Jacob.  Jacob had been born by emergency c-section at 34 weeks due to reduced growth.  He was 4’10” at birth but was gaining weight well and at the age of 5 weeks had reached 6’5″.  Jacobs weight, although much improved still put him below the minimum weight limit on most buckle carriers.

Jacob had been prone to vomiting after feeds so Gemma had been advised to keep him upright for 30 minutes after each feed. This meant that Gemma was spending a lot of time holding Jacob and was hoping a sling would enable her to be ‘hands free’ during this period.

Gemma had been warned that Jacobs positioning in the womb put him at increased risk of hip dysplasia which would need to be assessed in the future. Gemma wanted to take this into account when choosing a sling for Jacob.

Gemma had noticed that some slings and carriers have a minimum weight limit of 8lb and was concerned that some carriers might exacerbate any potential hip problems Jacob had.

The Consultation 

I talked Gemma through Babywearing safety focusing particularly on maintaining Jacob’s airway and optimum hip positioning.


I explained that newborn babies like to curl up as if they are still in the womb.  This positioning is ideal for their lower bodies but, as babies do not need to breathe in the womb, does not protect their airway.  To keep the baby’s airway clear in the sling it is crucial that:

  • Baby’s chin is kept off their chest; you should be able to get two fingers between their chin and chest.
  • Baby is not allowed to slump; the sling holds them close to the wearer and supports their back well, so that if you push them on the back gently towards you, they do not move.
  • Baby’s mouth and nose is unobstructed; e.g. from clothes, fabric or breasts.
  • There is good airflow around babys face.
  • The wearer continues to be aware of and monitor baby’s positioning in the sling.

Optimum Hip Positioning

Optimum hip positioning in a sling is a position where the ball (femoral head) of the ball and socket hip joint is held centrally in the socket (acetabulum) of the child’s pelvis.  This encourages the deepening of the socket which would decrease the risk of dysplasia. Optimum positioning in a sling will decrease the risk of hip dysplasia and actually mimics the effects of the Pavlik harness which is the current treatment for hip dysplasia.  In order to achieve this optimum positioning the following needs to be achieved:

  • The sling should support the baby from knee to knee.
  • The knees should be held higher than the baby’s bottom so that they are level with their belly button.
  • The baby’s pelvis should be tilted inwards so that their tailbone is pointing downwards.
  • The baby’s knees should not be separated more than is developmentally appropriate (see diagram).

For more information on hip dysplasia and Babywearing please see this informative article. 

Sling Options

I suggested that Gemma and Jacob could achieve safe positioning for his airway and hips in any of the following:

I suggested that Gemma and Jacob avoid buckle carriers for now because he is below the minimum weight limit and that they avoid narrow based carriers due to his increased risk of hip dysplasia.

Gemma was keen to see how each of the options worked for a small baby so I demonstrated all four options with a newborn sized demonstration doll. Gemma decided she would like to try the stretchy wrap herself and thought if she found it too hard she would try the caboo.  I talked her through how to use it and she managed to achieve optimum positioning with the demonstration doll.

Gemma was so happy with the stretchy wrap that she didn’t want to try the caboo or the woven wrap. Jacob was content so we agreed to try the stretchy wrap with him.

Gemma was able to get Jacob into the optimum positioning.  He automatically tucked his pelvis in as she picked him up so she was careful not to interfere with his hip positioning. His head and neck required a little more work but Gemma found that she was able to tuck the back of Jacob’s head in the cross-pass enabling him to have his head supported in the correct position without her hands.

Gemma decided to buy a stretchy wrap and was able to get next day delivery.  I will be happy to offer her reduced price follow ups and short sessions should she needs to more help with using the wrap or if she would like to explore her other options as Jacob gets bigger.

I wish them all the best in their Babywearing  adventures.

Case Study 6: Nikki & Lucie


When Lucie was a small baby Nikki wore her in a Baby Bjorn Carrier and got on well with it.  As Lucie grew bigger Nikki found she preferred to use the pram and later the pushchair.  They do not have car so get about by walking a lot. Now Lucie is a two year old she sometimes wants to get in the pushchair, sometimes wants to walk and sometimes wants Nikki to carry her.  Nikki often ends up carrying Lucie while pushing the pushchair, which she finds very uncomfortable.

Nikki contacted The Sling Doctor asking for advice on which buckle carrier to buy. She felt overwhelmed by the options and was not able to travel to one of her local sling libraries.

The Consultation

We met at Nikki and Lucie’s home and discussed their options. We discussed basic sling safety and the safety features on buckle carriers. I explained that Lucie would need a ‘toddler sized’ carrier and that the way in which toddler buckle carriers vary in several ways including:

  • The amount of padding
  • Where the waist belt sits
  • Whether the shoulder straps disconnect and if so, where
  • How many adjustment points there are and which direction the adjust in.
  • Whether you can cross the shoulder straps on your back
  • Whether you can wear the shoulder straps uncrossed (like a rucksack)
  • Whether there is a chest belt between the shoulder straps

Most of these points come down to personal preference for both wearer and wearee; there isn’t a ‘best carrier’ for everyone.  There is, however, probably a set of carrier characteristics that each person prefers.  A detailed comparison of buckle carriers has been written by my colleague Zoe at The Sling Consultancy.

There are so many toddler buckle carriers available to buy that I am not able to stock them all.  For the purposes of consultation I try to demonstrate the individual features and provide samples of at least two very different carriers.  I hope that this will help the wearer to work out which options suit them best and to become familiar with how to achieve optimum positioning in different styles of carrier.  This information should enable them to identify the features they want on their carrier, or at least a shortlist to take to a sling library.

I took Nikki a Toddler sized Connecta and a Toddler Sized Lenny Lamb Buckle Carrier.

The Connecta

The Connecta has no padding,  this means it folds up really small. The waist belt sits high up and the fabric of the main panel decends from it creating a deep seat for your child.  It has detachable shoulder straps so it is possible to cross the shoulder straps.  There is no chest strap but there is an accessory strap which is seperate but can be used like a chest belt.  It is often recommended as a cool and lightweight option, available in a wide range of appealing fabrics.

The Lenny Lamb Toddler Buckle Carrier

The Lenny Lamb Toddler Buckle Carrier has a padded and structured waist belt and shoulder straps.  The shoulder straps detach and there is an integrated chest strap. The waist belt is worn lower than that on the Connecta.  I originally bought mine because it was a good low budget option, however,  they have since increased in price and are comparable with others on the market.


Nikki tried on the Lenny Lamb Toddler Buckle Carrier with a demonstration doll first.  She seemed to like it immediately and was keen to try Lucie in it.  Lucie happily obliged and got into the carrier.  Nikki described feeling shocked by how light Lucie felt in the carrier.  They both seemed very comfortable.

Nikki and Lucie also tried the Connecta but didn’t find it as comfortable.

Nikki was so impressed with the Lenny Lamb that she decided to buy one.  They were both happy with a front carry for now but might like to explore back carries in the future.

I hope they enjoy their buckle carrier and will be happy to provide reduced price follow up consultations on other uses,  such as back carries in the future.

Case Study 5: Katharine and Annabella


Katherine and Annabella have enjoyed Babywearing since Annabella was a small baby. They have used both a stretchy wrap and a baby bjorn carrier.  Katherine found that despite liking the idea of the stretchy wrap, it was not very practical for meeting their needs and ended up reaching for the baby bjorn much more.

Both Katharine and Annabella have enjoyed using the Baby Bjorn, however, at the age of 8 months, Annabella has grown considerably and it has become progressively less comfortable.

Katharine contacted The Sling Doctor asking for advice on finding the right sling or carrier to help them continue their Babywearing journey.  She did not have a strong preference for a type of carrier and was happy to visit me at my home address which was ideal as we needed access to all of my slings.

The Consultation

We discussed the problems Katharine was having with her existing slings:

The Baby Bjorn

Katharine was finding that although they both liked  a front, chest to chest carry in this carrier, after about 10 minutes it began to hurt her lower back and was no longer a sustainable option.  I explained that the Baby Bjorn does not support the hip tilt (bottom tucked in, tailbone pointing down) in the way many other slings do.  This causes the child to have a straight back which means that their weight is carried further away from their wearer.  In more ergonomically designed carriers the child’s pelvis is tilted which allows their back to curve around the parent (see diagram below).

This positioning means that the child’s head automatically falls towards the parent and their weight is carried closely. This is similar to the difference between carrying a load with outstretched arms or hugging it close to you. When a sling or carrier is correctly fitted it should not feel like you are carrying your child, rather, that your weights are combined and you are heavier.

While babies are still relatively light the weight distribution provided by the Baby Bjorn may not be a problem for the wearer, however, as the baby gets heavier a different carrier, designed to hold the baby as seen above, will be more comfortable.

The Stretchy Wrap

Katharine and Annabella had not got on very well with this sling when Annabella was a newborn, finding the length of fabric overwhelming and too time consuming to be used regularly.  While stretchy wraps can be used beyond six months, if the child is heavy, and/or the stretchy wrap very stretchy, they would need to have additional passes added to the traditional three layer carry.  Given that Katharine and Annabella had not got on well with the three layer carries it seemed unlikely that more layers would be an attractive proposition.

Katharine was keen for Annabella to be able to look around but still wanted to be able to make eye contact while she was in the sling. We agreed hip carries would be ideal for this but that any carrier should also have the option of a chest to chest carry to minimise back strain.

We explored the following options:

1) Woven wrap (such as a Kokadi) tied in a Coolest Hip Cross Carry.

2) Ring Sling (e.g. Amazonas) worn on the hip or the front.

3) Mei Tai (e.g. Hoppediz) tied on the hip or the front.

4) A Buckle Carrier (e.g. Ergo 360) worn on the front or the hip.

I demonstrated each of the options then Katharine chose to practice the woven wrap and buckle carrier option.  She was drawn to the beautiful fabric options of the woven wrap and was able to tie the Coolest Hip Cross Carry effectively but decided it was not fast enough to meet her and Annabella’s needs.

We explored buckle carriers in more detail.  I had a Manducca, Ergo, Boba 4g and Beco Gemini available for exploration.  We quickly worked out that having the option of crossing the straps on her back was going to make using the carrier more comfortable for Katharine.  This is not an option with the Boba 4g so we ruled it out. The remaining carriers all had detachable straps but different parts of the straps were adjustable.  Katharine was naturally drawn to the Beco Gemini as its padding made it more closely resemble the Baby Bjorn Carrier. Once confident with the demonstration doll Katharine was able to put Annabella in the carrier and cross the straps on her back.  She was surprised by how little she could feel of Annabella’s weight and was able to get her into an ergonomic position, with her knees higher than her bottom and her pelvis tilted as below.

Annabella seemed to like being in the sling, but it was apparent that she would soon outgrow it, her knees sticking out a couple of inches on both sides.  We agreed it would be sensible for Katharine to buy the next size up. I would recommend the carrier which is most similar most similar to the Beco Gemini, this is the Beco Toddler which is available from Slumber-Roo with a 10% discount when you quote the code SL10-SLINGDOCTOR.

Katharine and Annabella took advantage of my Model deal which also entitles them to a reduced price follow up consultation.  I would be happy to provide further consultation on the use of the new carrier and perhaps, later,  how to back carry in it.  I wish them both all the best in their Babywearing adventures.

Case Study 4: Amy and Molly


Amy contacted the Sling Doctor and asked for a consultation for her and her daughter Molly who was two weeks old.  Amy had been discussing the benefits of skin to skin contact with her midwife and was keen to try Babywearing despite also feeling  overwhelmed by all of the options and safety advice.  She hoped the skin to skin contact would help with breastfeeding, enable her to get jobs done around the house and aid Molly’s physical and emotional development.

Special Considerations

Molly was born at 36 weeks gestation and, at the time of the consultation, weighed 5 pounds and 11 ounces.  This meant that she was too small to safely use any of my buckle carriers, even with the newborn inserts.  As with all young babies Molly’s positioning needed careful attention to ensure it was not obstructed in anyway.


I met Amy and Molly at their home where we discussed their background, the benefits of Babywearing and safety considerations.  Given Amy and Molly’s circumstances I had taken three options for exploration:  A Woven Wrap, a Stretchy Wrap and a Close Parent Caboo.

Woven Wrap

Probably the most versatile of carriers, a length of woven fabric designed for Babywearing can be used safely with a tiny baby.   Because the fabric is not stretchy,  one layer is very supportive, making it one of the coolest options. Most of the single layer carries require retying each time it is used however, and the skill acquisition required can feel a bit overwhelming.

Stretchy Wrap

The stretchy wrap, is a length of stretchy fabric which can be pretied around the wearers body before they position the baby in the carry they have created.  It is simpler to use than a woven wrap and the multiple stretchy layers mean that the baby can be taken in and out of the wrap without re-tying each time.  Multiple layers can also make it a bit too warm and parents can find the length of fabric a bit overwhelming.

The Close Parent Caboo

The Close Parent Caboo is made of the same fabric as a stretchy wrap but has been constructed to fit in to the wearer without them having to wrap them selves. It is fully adjustable by feeding the fabric through two sets of metal rings which sit just above the wearers hips. The baby sits in the carrier just as she would in a stretchy wrap meaning that it can be used to preserve the child’s natural back, hip and leg positioning.  Like the stretchy wrap, it can still feel a bit hot but it benefits from not requiring as much skill aquisition. Unlike other, more structured, carriers the lower weight limit is 5 pounds, meaning that this was a reasonable suggestion for Molly.

After discussion I demonstrated the use of the Stretchy Wrap,  Amy liked the way the demonstration doll looked in the wrap and appeared to feel confident that it was a secure option but she was a bit concerned about how long it would take her to feel confident about using the wrap alone.  She wanted something she could use straight away with minimal learning. We agreed that the Caboo was the best option and Amy tried it out with the demonstration doll.

Once she felt confident with the doll we tried with Molly herself, who appeared quite content in the sling.


Amy decided to buy A Close Parent Caboo and managed to get a next day delivery.  As she has received a full consultation from me I will offer reduced price follow up consultations to her in the future, either for help with the caboo or for learning new skills like breastfeeding in the sling or exploring other Babywearing  options as Molly grows. It was lovely to meet Amy and Molly and I hope they enjoy their Babywearing adventures.

Case Study 3: Amalia and Molly

I had the pleasure of consulting for Amalia and Molly over the weekend. They have been kind enough to let me share the details of their consultation.  


Amalia has worn Molly in a stretchy wrap and an Ergo since she was a few weeks old.  She reported finding the Ergo tricky to do up without help from another person and found the panel went too high up Molly’s back.  Amalia wanted to try to improve the usability of the ergo by optimising the front carry .  She also wanted to try a hip carry with the Ergo and a woven wrap to see which she preferred.  

Molly is a healthy 6 month old baby who can roll and sit with a little support. She enjoys being carried on Amalias hip and is keen to interact with the people around her.

Ergo Optimisation

Using a demo doll we experimented with placing the ergo waistband higher on Amalias waist. We allowed the panel to fall down from the waist band and placed the doll so that its bottom sat level with the bottom of the waistband in a seat of fabric made from the main panel of the ergo.  This tweak made the panel sit lower on the dolls back which Amalia found preferable.  Next, we experimented with different ways of doing up the carrier across Amalia’s back during a front carry.  She had been reaching over her shoulders and attempting to connect the chest strap (the small connecter between the two shoulder straps) this way but finding she wasn’t flexible enough to achieve this. We tried moving the strap lower on the arm straps and doing it up by reaching behind, under her arms. Amalia also found this difficult.  Finally we tried pre-fastening the chest strap but loosening the arm straps so that she could pass the chest strap over her head, then secure the carry by tightening the arm straps.  Amalia found this to be the easiest option so we practiced it a couple of times. 

Ergo Hip Carry

We experimented with the ergo in a hip carry as per the manufacturers instructions.  Again we found this required a higher degree of mobility than Amalia found comfortable.  So we tried a hip carry on a woven wrap.

Hip Carry in a Woven Wrap 

I demonstrated and walked Amalia through both a Single Hammock Hip Carry and a Coolest Hip Cross Carry(CHCC). For my Single Hammock tutorials please click here, and for my Coolest Hip Cross Carry tutorial please click here. Amalia tried both out with the doll and, although she liked the single pass of fabric, and therefore, how cool the single hammock was, she preferred the added security of two (cross) passes in the CHCC. We practiced this a few times with the demonstration doll before trying with Molly herself (see photo above) who seemed very happy in this position.  Amalia is going to practice this carry and come back to me with any issues.  We will either optimise her CHCC or look at other options for hip carries, or maybe, when Molly is a little bit older,  back carries.  

Case Study 2: Mark and Elsie 


Mark visited The Sling Doctor for a consult on how to get his granddaughter, Elsie, onto his back In a buckle carrier.  Elsie is 23 months old and has always used slings or carriers as her primary mode of transport. She also uses them to get to sleep, especially if she is away from her mother or is somewhere unfamiliar. 

Mark has babysat Elsie on a couple of occasions and found the sling helpful for getting Elsie to sleep.  He has also worn Elsie on his back for a short walk but relied on other family members to get Elsie on and off his back.  

In two weeks time Mark is going to look after Elsie while her mother and grandmother  run a 10k race. He wants to be able to walk several miles with Elsie and to feel confident getting her on and off his back. 

Using a demonstration doll, I showed Mark two methods of getting a toddler on to his back:

1. The Hip Scoot

  • Identify the hip you normally naturally carry your child on. This is your hip scoot side.
  • Put the carrier on as if you were going to do a front carry but do not put on the shoulder straps.  
  • Lengthen the shoulder strap closest to the hip scoot side.
  • Place your child on your chest and pull the body of the carrier up over their back so that the child is secure when you hold the two shoulder straps in one hand. 
  • Gently scoot the child and carrier around under your arm.
  • Reach around behind you for the extended strap and pull it onto your shoulder and tighten. 
  • Place your other arm in the shoulder strap. 
  • Check child’s positioning and adjust accordingly 

2. The Sofa Lift

  • Put the carrier’s waist belt on and move the body of the carrier around you so that it is laying behind you on the sofa or arm chair. 
  • Place child behind you and, with one hand each side, reach behind yourself and move the toddler onto the carrier until they have one leg either side of the carrier and are sitting as close to your back as possible.
  • Pull the carrier up over the back of the child and put the shoulder straps on as if you were putting on a back pack. 
  • Check the child’s positioning and adjust accordingly. 

We agreed that it would only be safe for Mark to attempt to back-carry Elsie if she agreed to go on his back. 

When transferring a baby or toddler onto your back the child must have their weight supported, and something preventing them from falling at all times.  At each stage of the transfer it is worth asking yourself, what is holding the child’s weight? What is preventing the child from falling? The answer to both questions should be either a) me or b) the carrier.  If the answer is ‘nothing’ then the practice is unsafe. 

Until you are confident and experienced it is advisable to only put your child in your back when you are able to do so over a bed or sofa, or have someone available to intervene. 


Mark practiced both methods with the demonstration doll until he felt confident. He preferred the sofa lift and asked Elsie if she would mind trying it out.  Elsie agreed and they successfully achieved a back carry. Mark found he had to tighten the carrier significantly more than he had expected to stop Elsie being able to lean too far back.  Once this was done they both looked and felt comfortable and secure. I hope that their morning out together is a success and that Mark finds his newly learned skills helpful.  

Case Study 1: Victoria and George


Victoria attended her Sling Doctor consultation on a hot day in July with her 8 week old baby George. George was born full term, was not underweight and is developing as expected. Victoria is recovering well from the birth and also has an energetic toddler and a dog to keep up with.  They had been using a beautiful hybrid 1-way stretchy wrap by Wrapsody in the traditional Pocket-Wrap-Cross-Carry (PWCC) style.

PWCC Optimisation

Victoria asked for advice on the PWCC:  She was finding that the fabric on the top rail (edge of the wrap) of the two cross passes nearest her neck and going down over George’s back were quite tight.  This was making them uncomfortable and difficult to flip over her shoulders (to create space around George’s face). Victoria also asked was there was a way of supporting George’s head without tucking it under one of the cross passes? She found that when he was awake he did not want the back of his head covered, this was meaning that she needed to support his head with one of her hands.

Victoria and I went through the basics of the PWCC, looking for places where she might be over-tightening or introducing excess slack in the fabric.  When Victoria placed the Demo doll in the tied wrap we found that the top rail was, as she had said, tight.  However, the top rail of the pocket (the external wrap pass) was slightly loose.  I showed Victoria how to feed the slack from the pocket, along the top rail, round her back to the cross passes on her shoulders and chest.  This relieved the problematic tension and allowed her the space to flip the shoulders of the wrap as she had wanted to.

In order to support George’s head without tucking it under a cross pass we tried rolling up a muslin cloth, placing it over the front of the wrap and folding the top part of the pocket over it so it sat in the nape of his neck.   This enabled Victoria to go ‘hands free’ while George was awake.

Single Layer Carries with a 1-way Stretchy Wrap

Victoria asked if there were any cooler ways of wearing George in the 1-way stretchy wrap.  The PWCC results in three layers of fabric over the baby, which can make it too hot on warm days.  As Victoria’s wrap is a 1-way stretchy and her baby is still relatively light she is able to use carries that only involve one layer of fabric.  I showed her how to do a Front-Wrap-Cross-Carry (FWCC) and a Kangaroo Carry.  As George gets bigger Victoria will notice he begins to slump with just one layer of fabric,which will make the carry less safe.  when this occurs Victoria will need to introduce another layer of fabric or transition over to a woven wrap.

Follow Up

I have sent Victoria links to video tutorials for both the FWCC and the Kangaroo Carry.  I am available to troubleshoot both and will be happy to help her when she reaches the next step in her babywearing adventures.