Photo Competition for International Babywearing Week 2013

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International Babywearing Week is here again! Since last year our group has grown from 175 members to 650+! And since not all of our members are in Sheffield, or able to get to all our meets due to work or other commitments, we're repeating our hugely successful photo competition for everyone to take part in.

Just like last year, we have a week full of meets. Kiddicare store on Monday, Dog friendly walk Tuesday, Café @851 Wednesday, Demo Stash meet at the Victoria Centre (with a gorgeous lunch!) on Thursday, Flash Mobbing Sheffield Train Station on Friday (and celebratory cake afterwards) and a family walk on Saturday… not to mention the other mini-meets and spontaneous last minute gatherings we're famous for!

We know that not all of our members can make these meets. Some work during the week, others have limited transport, and some are too far away to get to us. We wanted to involve all of our 650+ members in our celebrations for IBW, so we are holding another photograph competition during the week.

There are 10 categories which include: carrying newborns, carrying older children, extreme babywearing, biggest wrap fail captured on film, and a special children carrying toys/siblings category.

Prizes have been generously donated by admins, local and babywearing companies and include:
◾a voucher for a premium Lego minifig from for the best phot of a babywearing daddy
◾a fiddle necklace and bracelet set given by for the best photo of a newborn or baby up to 1 year old
◾a custom taggy blanket made by for the photo of your best memory while babywearing
◾a free hire and demo from
◾a free hire and CSL mug from
◾a children’s Mei Tai
◾a pamper hamper of Avon products
◾a custom pair of babylegs
plus many other goodies!

The competition begins on Saturday 5th October and entries can be posted until 11th Oct. Voting by the members will then start, with the winners announced on the evening of Sunday 13th Oct.

The winning photos from last year are at the bottom of this post.

Good luck to our members! 😀

Rules of the competition:
1. Any Sheffield Sling member can upload photographs, with no limit (within reason) to the amount of entries allowed.
2. Entries need to be uploaded to the appropriate album and not onto the board. If you have problems adding the photo to the album, you may put it on the main board temporarily- tag any admin in the comments and say which category you are entering- the admin will then move your photo for you.
3. Voting will be done via the ‘like’ function in Facebook. Please wait until Saturday 12th Oct to vote so all members have time to upload their photos. You may vote more than once, and for your own photos.
4. Voting closes at 5pm on Sunday 13th Oct.
5. The winners in each category will be the photo with the most ‘likes’.
6. Winners will be announced and tagged on the boards on Sunday evening. The winner with the most ‘likes’ overall will be asked to choose their prize first, followed by the second winner and so on until all prizes are allocated.
7. Categories 1, 2, 6, 9 and 10 have specific prizes allocated to the winner of that category.
8. This competition is being run by Sheffield Slings for the members of the group, and is intended as a fun activity. No profit is made from this competition.

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Happy Birthday Sheffield Slings!

Wow- we can’t quite believe how quickly time has flown, but this weekend marks a year since Sheffield Slings was founded by 5 slinging mums. And what a difference a year makes:

  • We now have over 470 members in our Facebook group (www.facebook.com/groups/saturdayslings) where parents come for chat, for advice on slings and parenting questions, to share highs and get support on the low days. To show off their beautiful little ones- and their lovely carriers! To arrange meets all over the city, and to coordinate day trips further afield. And of course, to have a good giggle!
  • In October we won the International Babywearing Association’s Best Babywearing Outreach Programme 2012 Award. A very proud moment for us all!
  • We have held meets in most parks, cafes, museums, and public spaces in Sheffield and surrounding area. With an average of 3 meets a week, that means over 150 meets have happened over the year! We’ve taken dogs on walks, rambled in the Peaks, had train trips to Grindleford and York, wandered the aisles and escalators of Meadowhall, crossed rivers on stepping stones, and gone many other places that buggies can’t reach.
  • We have taken part in Peace in the Park, Party in the Park, the Sheffield Children’s Festival, the Breastfeeding in Sheffield’s Breastfeeding awareness picnic, a Zumba flash mob, Chance to Dance and One Billion Rising events.
  • We have helped numerous new parents find the carrier that suits their little one, their body shape, their lifestyle and their budget. Our demo stash has been used by hundreds of mums and dads as they try out all the different options.
  • 13 of our members are now Babywearing Peer Supporters, after completing the course which covers safety, carrier types and good positioning in slings amongst other things.
  • 1 of our members, one of the 5 founders, has gone on the complete the Babywearing consultancy course and is now qualified to do small group and 1-1 consultations for parents. She has set up Sheffield Sling Surgery (http://sheffieldslingsurgery.wordpress.com) and has been very busy helping new parents and old hands in equal measure!
  • We’ve organised mass meets with sling users from other parts of the country, invading the National Railway Museum in York!
  • We’ve appeared in the local paper, featuring on a double page spread and taking over the letters to the editor.
  • We have done demos of slings to groups from the NCT, breastfeeding groups and baby and toddler groups all over the city, with more planned each month.
  • …and so much more!

We are celebrating our first birthday with a family picnic on Saturday 8th June at Ponderosa public park in Sheffield, and a number of our members are taking part in Race for Life on Sunday 9th June- walking / jogging the 5k while carrying their slings. At time of posting we had raised over £600, and you can donate to our cause at http://www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/sheffield-slings

We are looking forward to seeing what the next year brings. Want to be a part of it? Come on in!

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Love, Life and Sheffield Slings

Have you all seen this lovely video made by one of our mums? It was fitting, as we have just reached 400 members!

It really sums up the atmosphere of the group 🙂

We have three set meets a month:
1) First Monday of the month in the morning at Hagglers Corner, Queens Road, S2 10-12am
2) 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month in the morning at St Thomas Playtime, Gilpin St, S6 10-12 am. The full and extensive travelling library of siings (for reference purposes and playing) is at these two meets.
3) We also have numerous informal sling meets and gatherings all around the city and further afield all days of the week and on some weekends, all very flexible. Slings can be brought on request! People are encouraged to make their own meets, and may range from waffles and bacon butties in someone’s home to a day out at the National Railway Museum, or just a cafe get-together.
We do demonstrations for breastfeeding and other parenting groups, such as the NCT, upon request.

Please do get in touch! you can email us at sheffieldslings@gmail.com
or find us on facebook
http://www.facebook.com/sheffieldslings (facebook page)
http://www.facebook.com/groups/saturdayslings/ (facebook group for chat, advice, friendship, connections)

Looking forwards to meeting you!

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One Billion Rising FlashDance

On Valentine’s Day, a gaggle of Sheffield Slings parents went to a flashdance in the city centre – the One Billion Rising global event – and danced with their babies in slings to raise awareness about the terrible prevalence of violence against women and to be united in protest about this. One in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime..

It was great to be part of a worldwide movement and showing solidarity with our sisters in dancing together. Some of us had better moves than others – and Beth Roche of local Zumba fame helped us learn the routine!

http://www.onebillionrising.org/pages/about-one-billion-rising

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Sheffield Slings in the Star!

We’re a double page feature in the Sheffield Star today – hugely proud of what we’ve achieved in the last eight months. You can see the article below, and read it here http://m.thestar.co.uk/community/we-let-the-slings-take-the-strain-1-5401688

If you want to join in – you can find the link to the facebook group by clicking here or copying this URL (https://www.facebook.com/groups/saturdayslings ) into your browser. The group is closed to protect our children as we share photos there, but if you’re interested in slinging do join up! You can also follow our facebook page here (https://www.facebook.com/SheffieldSlings)

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An antidote to boredom!

What a busy week I had thanks to Sheffield Slings!

I was forced to miss the first two meets of the week (a girly pamper session where everyone minded the kids while their mums were massaged or hair was cut, and a wintery sling walk through the woods for ice-cream), due to a domestic crisis with the washing machine but I made up for it the second half of the week!

Wednesday was our regular Playtime event at Hillsborough. We ate lots of cake and spent some time catching up with old friends and making lots of new ones. I helped mums try ring slings, back carries with woven wraps  and different types of baby buckled carriers whilst my toddler ran herself ragged with all her friends. There were so many slings coming out of the stash box and being used! It was wonderful to relax and have fun knowing my little girl was safe and enjoying herself. The event finished with a visit from a reporter and photographer from a local newspaper who were interested in Sheffield Slings, so we all got to show off our best smiles for the camera! There were over a hundred people through our doors that day – so many that we’ve decided to run Playtime fortnightly, double the fun! (2nd and 4th Wednesdays).

I am part of the Sheffield Slings demo squads, so on Thursday I did a demo with some other squad members at Charnock children’s centre. We got to show new mums all the different options when it comes to slinging and all the reasons why it’s a good idea. Lots of mums were interested and joined our facebook group afterwards for a chat, to find out more and to look up some local events they could join in with.

On Friday I started the day with a trip to Weston Park Museum to meet up with some other Slingers. My little girl had an amazing time running amok with the other small children and I had a lot of fun having some adult conversation. After a leisurely lunch with them all I jumped on a tram to start the journey to the next meet! After a power nap in my sling my little girl was raring to go again. We had a great time on our walk around Rother Valley, she rode happily on my back, shouting at all the dogs brought by other slingy mums we met up with and looking at the ducks. I had very sore feet by the end of the day!

They didn’t have long to recover though as the next morning myself and the whole family saddled up and went to my final sling meet of the week – Clumber Park! A great family day out was had by all as we wandered around the park, played at the soft play area, and had wacky races on scooters. And no, I wasn’t referring  to the kids at that last point..  Lots of us got to try out a new prototype ring sling made by Firespiral Slings; it was so lovely we all queued up to try it and it was brilliantly comfy. As we all collapsed in the car at the end of a fabulous week I can’t help but feel so lucky to have made the decision to use a sling with my third child. It’s not just because they are useful, pretty, and give me lots of wonderful cuddles to remember long after my baby has grown.  I’ve also made some wonderful friends and had some great experiences, and I’m never bored with Sheffield Slings!!

If you want to get involved in this group that I love, our FB group is here, with new events being added weekly… it’d be great to meet you!

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