What is A Babywearing Educator? It is a catch-all phrase for those who support parents who wish to use a carrier or sling. They can be trained to the highest level or just be passing on their own experiences through a sling meet. It’s a vital role in our fledgeling community and helps to promote babywearing to those who are unsure or have no clue what babywearing is or what a carrier/sling is. The roles of each kind of educator should have identifiable boundaries. Similarly to a healthcare worker, nurse, GP or specialist.
4 Types of Babywearing Educators
The role of a Peer Supporter
A peer supporter is a role of support to a parent. Peer Supporters will be able to give simple help with slings and carrier, such as demonstrations on how to put them on. They may express their own experiences but they are not teachers. They will have a foundational knowledge of safety and best practices but anything beyond this they will refer to a consultant with training and more experience.
The role of a Sling Librarian
A basic peer support trained librarian or self-taught, will support parents in deciding what kind of carrier or sling may suit their needs. Demonstrations of usage for a sling or carrier will be offered, but they will not be able to teach. Complex cases will be passed onto a consultant. They will offer a service of hiring carriers for a small fee and will be able to support families with safety and best practices. Depending on their experience they may offer further private help.
The role of a Babywearing Consultant
A babywearing consultant is fully trained and will be insured to reflect this. As a minimum, they will be trained with one of the many babywearing schools across the world. They will have the ability to teach families about the usage of carrier and slings, safety, special considerations and adapting a carrier or sling to the wearer’s individual needs. They will have many hours of experience in teaching and babywearing and most will have their own unique take on how and what to teach.
The role of a Babywearing Trainer
A trainer is the highest qualified of educators. They have not only a thorough knowledge of supporting a family, sling usage, safety practices, and other roles of a consultant, with an extensive teaching ability for both families and other educators. They usually have many many years of babywearing experience and have continued to train in other aspects of babywearing to extend their knowledge past just sling usage.
Where will you find educators?
Most towns have a babywearing educator of some sort, whether it be through a sling meet, library or personal service. The internet is full of services and a quick google search will usually find your local service. Sling Pages offers a comprehensive list of services in the UK. Other countries will have similar resources. Facebook is also a great place to find babywearing help from educators. Babywearing groups will very often have many educators that can offer advice if you have a question. Do be careful when seeking advice though. Many babywearers will happily give their own point of view which can often be biased and cannot be guaranteed to be safe. So when seeking advice try to identify the educator from the general babywearer.
Sling LIbrary Sessions
What are sling meets?
These informal get-togethers with babywearers and often an educator, although some meets to happen without an educators present. These often take place in free public areas and involve general help, advice and support between those attending.
Sling Library Sessions
These sessions are often a paid for service to attend. They take place in halls, play centres, children’s centres etc. They offer free or paid advice and the ability to hire carriers for a small fee. Usually, run ‘not for profit’. The librarians often gove their time for free. The session is quick short periods of help rather than full-blown teaching.
These are usually babywearing consultant sessions, depending on what the educator offers a consultation can happen in the consultants home or the family paying for the service. Sometimes group sessions will take place in a hall.
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