The South London Sling Library is run by me. I’m Emily Williamson, part-time student and business owner/manager, and full time wife and mum to two very different children; Arthur, aged 7 and Isobel, aged 2. I’ve been using baby carriers since my son was born; have been demonstrating slings since 2010 and running a busy Sling Library since Spring 2011. In February 2012 I completed an accredited Babywearing Consultant’s qualification and am now fully insured to run private classes and group workshops.
Feedback for my services can be found here: Feedback
Here’s more than you’d ever need to know about me…..
My background in babywearing:
I first used a baby carrier with my newborn son in 2005 and have since tried almost every type of carrier available in the UK (though not quite all of the many brands and variations…yet), as well as several different types of buggy! After spending hundreds of hours researching and trying the different options out there we now exclusively carry our 24 month old daughter (though we do still have an unloved buggy abandoned in the shed!)
I’ve experienced many of the pros and cons of the huge range of options out there and know how the different temperaments and preferences of children (and parents) affect how a carrier can work in practice. I’m always looking to expand my knowledge of the different carrier options and love finding out about how others experience babywearing differently. I’m not biased in favour of any particular method, carrier or parenting style and I’m not a carrier retailer so I can offer completely independent and impartial advice.
Helping others with carrying:
I’ve had a lot of practical experience carrying my own children in a very wide range of carriers and in helping others to do the same. I started demonstrating carriers to others in 2010 and since the Spring of 2011 I’ve offered free, independent baby carrier information and support to parents through the busy South London Sling Library. At Sling Library Open Sessions I describe my own experiences of baby carrying, demonstrate a wide range of carriers, and provide as much free information about slings and carrying as possible. I do this on a completely voluntary and free basis, following the international tradition of passing the knowledge and experience of carrying from parent to parent.
I’ve also made various different kinds of baby carrier for my own use, and now also run my own sling sewing service making wrap conversion slings and carriers. I can help direct you to useful tutorials and sources for more information about making your own slings and babywearing on a budget. If there’s anything I’m unable to help with, then I’ll do my best to find out where you need to go for more advice.
From June 2012 I’ve been an instructor for The School of Babywearing, facilitating their Peer Supporter training and co-facilitating Babywearing Consultant training courses too!
Sling Consultancy, Classes and Workshops:
In February 2012 I completed a Certificate in Babywearing with the School of Babywearing to qualify me as a Babywearing Consultant. I am now fully insured to run workshops and private classes. In these classes I’ll be able to advise you on the best carriers to suit you, teach you how to use a wide range of slings, give you tips and techniques for ensuring a safe and comfortable carry, and to troubleshoot any problems that they might be experiencing. Using baby carriers is a skill that gets better with practice (both for you and for your baby); I can’t make you into an experienced expert in one session, but I aim to give you all the tools and information you need so that you can go home and practice your carrying skills confidently in your own time.
I dearly wish that I’d been aware of how easy and accessible it can be to carry your baby regularly when I was first pregnant 7 years ago. So I try my best to give unbiased information to help others to make the best choice for themselves and their children. Carrying my children has definitely made me (and them) happier and I hope I can share that with as many others as possible!
Qualifications (Babywearing and other):
I believe in life-long learning and am continually looking for opportunities to extend my knowledge and experience. If there’s any training that you think might interest me, or have relevence to what I do then please do let me know!
2008-Present (still in progress): part-time BSc (Hons) Psychology, The Open University.
November: Applying Psychology, The Open University (FHEQ Level 5)
June/July 2012: Completed a full 12 hour Paediatric First Aid Certificate.
February 2012: Certificate in Babywearing, The School of Babywearing (OCN Level 3)
January 2012: 6 hour “Life Saver and Essentials” Course in Paediatric 1st Aid
April-July 2012: Introduction to Counselling (FHEQ Level 4)
July 2011: Introduction to Babywearing Workshop, The School of Babywearing
2010: Understanding Children, The Open University (FHEQ Level 4); Teaching Children with Special Literacy Needs (OCN Level 3); Understanding the Austism Spectrum, The Open University (FHEQ Level 4).
2008: Child Development, The Open University (FHEQ Level 5)
2007: BA(Hons) Philosophy, Kings College London, 2:1
Recent Work Experience:
My most recent work experience has been to facilitate Babywearing Consultancy and Peer Supporter training courses for The School of Babywearing. I’m also currently in the process of setting up my own handmade Sling business Spaghetti Slings. Over the past 2 years I have been setting up, managing and running the busy South London Sling Library as well a successful limited company. Until 2011 I worked as a Research Assistant in the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre (part of the Institute of Psychiatry), and did this alongside a voluntary position as a Literacy Tutor for children with special literacy needs in a mainstream Lambeth primary school until the birth of my daughter in 2010.
Other things I’m interested in:
I’m an enthusiastic crafter and especially love crochet, sewing, dyeing, facepainting and baking (my personal, crafty and sling making blog is www.itsnotspaghetti.com). When I have the time I enjoy many types of dance (I’m a great fan of bellydance for helping to regain core muscle strength and tone after childbirth!) as well as yoga and cycling. From my own experiences, I’m also always happy to share and chat about washable nappies, breastfeeding, home vs. hospital (and natural vs. assisted) birth and post natal depression.
I’ve written a lot of articles for my blog and for this website. Here’s a list of the best of those, plus related articles I’ve written that have been published in print or online elsewhere:
Why do you still need a carrier for your 2 (or 3 or 4) year old? – written for the SLSL blog, September 2012
Getting Out and Getting Fit: Why using a baby carrier or sling can be a life saver! – appeared in the Croydon NCT ‘Babytalk’ magazine, Summer 2012
A Light Through the Clouds – written for my personal blog, May 2012
Slinging in the Sun - written for the SLSL blog, May 2012
Terminology for Parts of Wrap Carries – written for my personal blog in July 2011 and copied to the SLSL blog in May 2012
The Disadvantages of Not Carrying Your Baby – written for the SLSL blog, February 2012
‘Jabberwrappy’ - a runner-up prize winning poem for the Connecta-Rhyme Competition, January 2012
Choosing a Baby Carrier – written for the SLSL website, January 2012
Celebration of Babywearing – written for the Natural Mamas Forum, October 2011
I have 2 articles due to be published in print during summer 2012, plus planned guest blog posts for other websites. I’ll add them here as soon as they’re published!