Advice and support
Safety and Considerations

Always follow the safety  TICKS guidelines! These are particularly important with younger children and children with poor muscle tone/head control but should be followed in using a sling with children of all ages.

Be aware of your child's comfort levels with touch, eye contact, pressure. Is there anything in your child's history which would make touch frightening or particularly uncomfortable for them? Be aware of any negative experiences your child may have had with touch in the past, known or even suspected. Speak with your worker and the current/previous carer if you are unsure.

If your placement is fairly new be careful to take the introduction of a sling/carrier slowly. 

Make sure you are comfortable with how to use the sling/carrier before attempting to introduce your child to it.

Practice with a teddy bear or weighted doll if you can access one, using a mirror is very helpful. If you are nervous your child may pick up on this. 

Always make sure that you and your child are in a good mood! Don't try and practice when you are tired, hungry or irritable!

If your child shows signs of discomfort or irritability stop and try again at another time.

As with any new form of exercise, build up slowly the amount of time you carry, especially if your child is bigger. Start with 5/10 minutes around the house.

Build up your confidence levels with the sling around the house incase you need to adjust or remove and put back on when out and about.

Each layer of sling/carrier counts as a layer of clothing so bear this in mind when dressing. A number of layers of clothes are best as opposed to one thick layer so that you can more easily adjust your child's temperature. Remember sun cream on exposed skin in sunny weather and hats, gloves and boots in cold weather.

Try to use an ergonomically designed carrier, one that holds the child in a seated 'M' position with their knees higher than their bottom. Many high street carriers have a narrow base which allows the legs to dangle downwards. This can exacerbate any underlying vulnerability to hip dysplasia. The medical history of many adopted children is unknown so this is especially important.

Babywearing consultancy

A babywearing consultant is trained and qualified in all aspects of sling use and safety. They can help you choose the right carrier for you and teach you how to use it safely and correctly. They offer one to one sessions as well as some group workshops looking at specific carries or sling types eg back carries, ring sling use.
To find a babywearing consultant near you - http://www.slingpages.co.uk/sling-advice-resources/

 

Sling meets, libraries and buying slings

Lots of local sling meets take place regularly up and down the country. It's a great way to meet people who are either also new to babywearing or who are more experienced. There is often a qualified peer supporter or consultant running it, though not always. To find your nearest sling meet - http://www.slingpages.co.uk/sling-advice-resources/
Retailers
Sling pages (guide and extensive list of vendors) - http://www.slingpages.co.uk/