Free Stretchy Wrap Hire scheme for all Sheffield parents with babies under six weeks old, from any of the Sheffield Sling Surgery and Library drop in sessions, workshops or consults.

We believe that every baby benefits from close and loving contact with their parents or carers. Strong evidence exists for the benefits of such close contact in the early weeks and months of a child’s life; one of the most important is the building of a strong and secure attachment relationship with the primary caregivers. The ongoing positive reinforcement of such a relationship is the foundation of strong and resilient future mental health, and can be a very helpful buffer against adverse childhood experiences. We believe that it is worth investing in children’s mental health right from the start, building resilience and self-esteem.

We recognise that the way we live now does not make it easy to care for children in such a responsive and nurturing way. There are many demands on our time and we do not belong to small communities where the parenting load can be shared among many. We are aware that perinatal mental health disorders are rising even though parents may not share their feelings with those around them.

Using a baby carrier is one way to bring all these things together. A carrier that is safe, makes baby feel loved and cared for, and that gives parents/carers their hands back, is a very valuable tool for any family.

free stretchy hire scheme

Why have this Scheme?

Our free stretchy hire scheme is for all parents and carers in Sheffield who have a baby under six weeks old. Our aim is to reach parents in the early weeks, and to make slings accessible early on, so the benefits of carrying can begin as soon as possible and become part of the family foundations.

Why a stretchy wrap? This is because these carriers fit all sizes of baby and parent, are easy to wash and quick to dry, and do not have to be adjusted depending on whether babies have “unfolded” from their early days. Most babies love the feel of the all-round cuddle that is so reminiscent of their time in utero; these early months of wanting to be held on their parent/carer’s chest is commonly known as the “fourth trimester.”

Our  library staff are all trained in baby carrier demonstration and sling safety, particularly with young babies in stretchy wraps, so we can ensure you know how to use the sling safely before you go. This is also why we loan only from library sessions, not as fast-track hires.

How does the scheme work?

Who is eligible?

  • all babies under 6weeks  (or premature babies under 6 weeks corrected)

How long is the hire?

  • Four weeks free hire of a stretchy wrap. This is subject to availability and is only for a stretchy wrap.

Where can it be hired from?

  • The sling will be loaned from a Sling Surgery library session/consult/workshop only (not from a visit to the Sling Spot shop). All slings are loaned with an email that contains videos and instructions attached. We provide online support for queries and parents/carers can attend any of the drop ins for tweaks and checks and help.
  • Library session dates can be found on the website here or on our facebook page events here

Hiring the stretchy wrap

  • £15 refundable deposit to be paid at the start of the hire, and some form of identification is required. This can be paid by card, cash or paypal.
  • We will record your name/address/phone number/card details on our secure MyTurn catalogue system, and there is an agreement to sign electronically.

Using the stretchy wrap

  • You will have been shown how to use your wrap by a volunteer.
  • Please check your MyTurn hire email for video reminders or see the guides on this page.
  • Please get in touch if you have any queries via email or in our FB group

Returning the stretchy wrap

  • The stretchy wrap should be returned to the same library session you borrowed from, to keep stock available in each region and avoid depletion.
  • If this is not possible, the wrap can be returned to the Sling Spot shop which is open daily 10-2pm Mon to Sat.
  • You are welcome to return the wrap before the four weeks is up and join the standard library hire scheme. We do not swap stretchy wraps for other types of carriers within this four weeks.
  • On return of the wrap, the £15 deposit will be refunded in full.
  • We will ask you to sign that you have received your deposit back (or chosen one of the alternatives below).
  • Alternatively, the £15 can be used to pay for a second month’s hire of any carrier and will be recorded in the hire system.
  • Alternatively, the £15 can be used as credit towards the purchase of a new stretchy wrap from Sling Spot, you will be given a voucher.
  • Alternatively, the £15 can be donated to the Building Bonds scheme to pay for a month’s hire for a family in need (such as financial hardship, child with disability or severe perinatal mental health disorder). Your donation  is much appreciated and will be recorded for data collection.

Unreturned wraps

  • Please return your stretchy wrap so we can continue to help other people.
  • If the wrap is not returned, the deposit is forfeit.
  • If the wrap is returned late, we may be able to part-refund the deposit.
  • We reserve the right to charge for the cost of replacement should you fail to return your wrap within a certain time frame.

Putting your stretchy wrap on

Guides and Troubleshooting

If you are unable to afford the £15 deposit (eg you are in receipt of Healthy Start Vouchers) but feel a carrier would make a significant difference to your family, our Building Bonds scheme exists to help you. Your health visitor, midwife, GP, social care supporter etc can refer you for reduced price or free long term loans, depending on the circumstances. This applies for all ages of child, not just those under six weeks.

If you have a baby older than six weeks, our normal library service is happy to help you!