Choosing to train professionally 

This article has been written by Kiri Porter, a Babywearing Consultant from the Carry ar Kid library in Barnsley and one of our resident consultants at the Sheffield Sling Surgery.

Kiri and Felicity


This weekend I’ve been fortunate enough to revisit my Slingababy Consultancy training right here in Sheffield; it’s been a great opportunity to brush up on my existing skills and watch my new colleagues start this amazing journey who are training for the first time.  

For explanation, a ‘babywearing’ or ‘carrying’ consultant is a title adopted by someone who teaches others to carry their children. They may choose to offer services such as group workshops, one-to-one appointments (also known as consultations) and antenatal classes.

I’m sure some people would question why I decided to revisit the course as I’m already a trained Slingababy Consultant.  Why go again? Before I address that, I think that it’s important to explore the reasons why we should formally train in the first place.

Here in the UK, it’s not a legal requirement for someone who teaches carrying children to be trained as there is no regulatory board. Anybody could set up shop and start ‘advising’ on how to carry a child in a sling; so if we don’t have to spend time and money training, why should we?


There are many different slings/carriers readily available on the market and these come with their own instructions (usually). However, they are not always very clear and sometimes they omit very basic safety information or give outdated advice. New research is carried out all the time, it can be a slow process for manufacturers to update instruction manuals.  There is a also a “pre-loved” market where you may purchase a sling/carrier that comes with historic instruction information, or even none. When someone attends a session with a trained Peer Supporter or Babywearing Consultant they know that they are going to be taught how to safely use that specific carrier but also how to keep their child or young baby safe in any kind of sling. With training, you will be better equipped to know how to transfer your knowledge of one carrier to another.

Within that teaching relationship both the teacher and the pupil are responsible for safety to ensure any and all risks are reduced. Do you already know how to minimise all of these risks? When we add a child, we add a further element of complexity and risk. Parents and carers are learning a new skill which again creates a greater risk of mistakes or confusion, especially if they are tired, or nervous. Are you currently confident enough to address all of these complexities? Do you know with absolute certainty that the child and wearer are safe? What if that child or the wearer has a disability? Do you know without a shadow of a doubt that the advice you have just given them is safe for their specific situation? It is important to recognise your own limitations too.


Do you think you know it all? You don’t, because no-one ever can. You will always learn new things because every person is unique; that goes for the wearer and the child. By taking this profession seriously and undertaking training, you broaden your knowledge base, you come across scenarios and situations you hadn’t even considered before. This means you can be better equipped to support others in their learning.


Mid way through a Slingababy consultancy course


Being able to do something competently, confidently and most importantly safely yourself, does not necessarily mean you have the skills to teach someone else to do so. When you undertake a training course, you are taught these invaluable skills and how to adapt them to different people. You may have your own way of doing things but training can help you develop those skills into a teachable form and it can also show you alternative ways of achieving a safe carry.

Confidence without the knowledge and experience to back it up can be potentially dangerous; training will give you and your client reassurance.


Without relevant training you will find it very difficult to find an insurance provider to cover you as you have not proven your abilities to them. If something went horribly wrong, would you know how to deal with it or would you have the financial security to make sure that damages were paid? To put this into perspective, some insurance companies cover up to several million pounds.


So why did I revisit the course?

Even on the best day, you can’t possibly retain all of the knowledge you are given and a Consultancy course contains so much information that you may miss the first time round. You will take something new away each and every time you do it.

Professional babywearing/carrying consultants also commit themselves to attendings Continuous Professional Development (CPD). CPD is the holistic commitment of professionals towards the enhancement of personal skills and proficiency throughout their careers. Some schools will offer this as part of their package so once trained they will support you in continuing your learning; this may take form in continued contact, update days or the opportunity to revisit the course entirely. There is a lot of information to retain from the course and it is impossible to cover every circumstance. New research is carried out all the time and ‘best practice’ can change. The course you attend will be up to date at the time of learning but re attending or going to CPD is an incredibly useful way to receive important updates.

Some people choose to train with multiple babywearing schools so that they can broaden their knowledge further and gain a different perspective; some are happy to stick with just the one.

We are very lucky here in the UK that there are now several schools who offer consultancy training which all have different course content as well as their own ethos and style of teaching. I would recommend you research each school and see which suits you best at the stage you’re at now in your babywearing journey as often this changes.

Some schools offer both consultancy or peer supporter courses, some offer one or the other.

Born to Carry



Je-Porte Mon Bebe

School of Babywearing


So there you have it, some but not all, reasons to formally train as a babywearing/carrying consultant. For me it is a combination of the above. I am fully committed to serving the parents and carers that I come into contact with. I want to give them the confidence, security and the skills they can reproduce at home that enhance their lives.