Our Babywearing Advocate of the Month is
Ellie Thouret from Stockport.
Tell us a bit about you?
I’m a freelance copywriter and work-at-home mum to Lucas, 13 months. My husband Guy and I started carrying Lucas in a sling when he was just a few days old, and we’ve tried many different slings and carriers over the last 13 months!
We have two cats – Freddie and Pancakes – who unfortunately do not like babies or children. My hobbies are reading, knitting, sewing and eating (I love food)!
I am one of the librarians of Stockport Sling Library and Slingmeet .There are now five volunteers running the library and our meets get busier each month!
We meet on the first Monday of every month in a church in Stockport. Please check out our Facebook Page for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why do you love babywearing?
I love the physical closeness of carrying my son, especially as he grows up and wants to be more independent! I have tattoos on the back of my neck and Lucas loves to stroke them as I carry him on my back. I also love the convenience – when Lucas is fussing, I can quickly pop him in a wrap or carrier and head out for a walk, and he usually calms right down.
Tell us about your babywearing journey.
I didn’t know anything about babywearing when I was pregnant. Someone had given us a Baby Bjorn carrier, which Guy and I both found uncomfortable. We were lent a Moby Wrap, then I borrowed a gauze woven wrap during a heatwave and bought one of my very own! It has all gone downhill from there really and I now own quite a few slings! I love taking the opportunity to try different carriers and there are so many of them.
What was the first sling/carrier you used?
When I had Lucas, my cousin-in-law lent us a Moby Wrap, which had already been used with our two nephews. I was confounded at first but after a few practice tries, I was convinced and loved the hands-free snuggles – finally, I could make a cup of tea!
Which is your most used carrier/sling?
That is a difficult question; may I choose one in each category?! My husband loves our Monkey Mei Tai wraptai, made from a Girasol Northern Lights wrap. I love our Wompat buckled carrier and my new favourite is our Girasol Amitola diamond weave size 4 wrap.
What is your dream carrier/sling?
I’m hearing excellent things about new British company Firespiral Slings! I’d love to own one of their wraps before my babywearing journey is over.
What is the best comment you have received when carrying?
A lady in our local Co-op told me that I’d inspired her to try back-carrying her toddler after she saw me with Lucas on my back. I loved that, because I hope to show people that it’s not hard to babywear!
Tell a bit about how you help others to babywear.
In late 2012, I posted on a local Facebook group asking if there were any slingmeets in Stockport. As there was not one in central Stockport, Lou Baxter, Sarah Turner-Bagot and I decided to start one, and Stockport Slingmeet was born!
We started loaning out carriers in March 2013 and we are really enjoying expanding both the meet and library to meet the overwhelming demand. So far we’ve helped people find slings for newborns, taking on holiday and hauling heavy toddlers around!
We want to encourage peer support in the local babywearing community, and welcome all to our slingmeets – whether you’re newbie or an experienced babywearer! Everyone helps each other at meets, and in between we have a very active and helpful Facebook group, Stockport Slingchat.
Anything else you would like to say?
I encourage all parents to try babywearing – it doesn’t have to be expensive, and the benefits to the parents and child are wonderful. You can find a local slingmeet or library and try a few different slings before you buy, as well as getting advice from seasoned babywearers.