What is a Babywearing consultant and why would I go and see one/train as one?

A babywearing consultant is someone who has been trained to advice parents about slings and teach them how to carry their child safely and comfortably.

I have been showing parents how to use slings for 6.5 years which is nearly as long as   I have been using them and also nearly as long as I have been a parent. I started my training to become a babywearing consultant in November 2008. Why some people asked me did I feel the need to go on a training course when I had already been advising parents for nearly 4 years. For me the answer is simple. I needed to know that the advice I was handing out was accurate and safe. I also wanted to learn how to teach people effectively.

Coming home from that first course my head was overflowing with information. I had never imagined that it would be possible for me to learn so much more about babywearing!

At first it felt strange to start charging people for a service that I used to give out freely. But then I thought about it. Before I did my course I would always be happy to help someone and would stand up and teach someone while my children played at my feet. Teaching someone generally involved tying a child to them or tugging on strands of material. Now as a babywearing consultant I set aside 1.5 – 2 hours of my time to teach someone a specific carry or teach them how to use a specific carrier. Gone were the days of pulling and tugging. And the children playing at my feet were gone too as when charging someone to come and see me I did feel I had to make sure I could focus my attention on them and not on my own children. I also noticed a difference in how people felt when I was finished with my consultation. Without fail they all left feeling confident in their ability to carry their child. Some coming back for another consultation but for most of them it was just the initial skill set they needed and then they were able to build on it themselves.

Teaching someone how to do a specific carry or how to use a specific carrier is a world away from enabling someone to use slings. Tweaking, troubleshooting, hints and tips are all still part of the free service I provide when out and about at meets and groups. I am more then happy to help someone!

So why do people still come and see me for consultations? Because they want to have that service and dedicated time from a trained professional. Unbelievable to some but it has taken me years to feel happy with that label. Still it is what I am I started my training in November 2008 and have done several more courses and projects to continue my professional development. The learning never stops which with an ever changing industry is a good thing. Being a babywearing consultant connected to a recognised school hands me this on a plate as not only do I get to benefit from my own learning and growing but I get to share in the journey that others are undertaking too.

In Germany where the concept of a babywearing consultant is much more accepted cities can have more then 10 successful consultants. Competition can increase business as well as creating a local network of skills.

For more information on training as a babywearing consultant please see www.trageschule.co.uk ( where you can find out more about me in the trainer section too!) and for information on where to find a consultant local to you please see www.slingguide.co.uk

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