Hands Free Hugs Project - Babywearing Awareness

Hands Free Hugs Project - Babywearing Awareness

Help us raise awareness of benefits for parent & child of using baby carriers through printed leaflets & posters lots of rewards for pledges

Unfortunately, this project was not successful

 **We MUST reach our target by 6th February 2016 in order for the project to go ahead, Please help **

Help Sling It to make the benefits of carrying babies in carriers & slings (babywearing) more well known among new parents & healthcare workers by producing support resources (posters & leaflets) and distributing them to healthcare professionals & new parents.

 We love carrying our babies close to our hearts & being hands free.  



"Sling It babywearing is a not for profit organisation run by volunteers who are members of various sling libraries across the UK"



Our aim is to boost the profile of babywearing across the country through exhibitions, blogging, social media promotion and the introduction of babywearing related health promotion resources aimed at display in & distribution by healthcare settings.

We are passionate about making babywearing resources accessible to more families and promoting the benefits of babywearing particularly to breastfeeding mum’s, those suffering with Postnatal Depression & helping dads to build strong bonds with their babies. 


Here's the plan.....

We have started to build interest from health & social care workers so now we need to get some printed support resources out into the wider community to encourage new & soon to be parents to find out more, help them to find support and to highlight important points to keep their babies safe.

We have been conducting a survey to help us to use the most effective imagery & information in these resources.

Thankyou to everyone who completed our survey

With your help we have decided to theme the Posters & leaflets from our project around 'Hands Free Hugs' as being hands free was the most favoured fact about babywearing to highlight particularly by dads.

An infographic with several short facts was also highlighted as the preferred format for presenting the information with a babywearing family portrayed in a photograph being the image of choice. 


Now the survey results are complete we will work with babywearing graphic designer Kim from Northern sun art prints (designer of our gorgeous website banners) and Laura toomer photography to capture a great family image (see above).  

Kim will design an A3 poster, A4 poster, postcard size doubled sided handout and a business card sized safety reminder card with space to add details of the local sling library or babywearing consultant (these would be ideal for healthcare staff to have in the back of their ID badge holders for quick reference when asked, or for babywearers to keep in their bag, pocket etc to give out when asked about their sling).

Resources will contain facts about the benefits of babywearing, The T.I.C.K.S guidelines for safe babywearing and have space for the contact details of the local sling library or babywearing consultant with eye catching images & infographics.



  • Babies carried for 3 or more hours in a day cry upto 43% less

  • Carrying your baby in an upright position for at least 20 minutes after feeds can reduce symptoms of reflux.

  • As many as 1 in 5 babies suffer from Colic, holding baby close & gentle motion can help to soothe them during a crying episode. 

Using a baby carrier can help parents to acheive all of these benefits for their baby whilst remaining hands free to enable them to carry out day to day tasks, look after themselves & care for older children reducing the stresses of becoming a parent and the strains on relationships with partners and siblings.

This project is not solely to provide to NHS settings rather to reach the wider community through children's centres, nurseries, health centres, parents support groups, sling meets, independant healthcare providers etc. However to ensure NHS settings can use them they will be designed to meet the standards required for use in NHS settings all information to be used on the posters & flyers will be fact checked & a covering information pack will be supplied to the recipients with references to the articles and papers the evidence for these facts was found in and how to access the papers from which the information was taken.  There will be no logos or endorsements on posters, leaflets or safety cards. 


Phase 1 - crowdfunding & pledges

We MUST reach our target by 6th February 2016 in order for the project to go ahead.

We are crowdfunding to raise the money needed to cover the design & printing of all of these resources, postal supplies and postage costs for distributing the packs to those who have requested packs in exchange for pledges or nominated another recipient.  

Where the packs are donated to a healthcare setting and to be delivered direct to them we will make contact with appropriate staff within the chosen location to discuss the use of the items and hopefully establish a link and address any questions they may have.  

On a local level we have already gained these type of contacts through two Stockport based babywearing consultants and myself within Stockport NHS Foundation Trust we will be distributing the leaflets to contacts in the following departments:

  • Neonatal unit & Transitional care unit - Poster & leaflets in parents room.
  • Maternity ward - Poster & leaflets
  • Antenatal clinic - posters & leaflets
  • Childrens ward - poster in parents room
  • Pharmacy department - Inpatient & outpatient pharmacies
  • Infant feeding team which runs breastfeeding support groups in 4 of the Sure Start Children & family centres within stockport who will hand out leaflets at these locations.

Through a local babywearing mother who works for Royal Manchester Childrens Hospital we have arranged for leaflets & posters to be distributed throughout the hospital for display in parent areas and outpatient areas.

The leaflets and posters will be distributed to these contacts in late March along with contact information for the local sling library and babywearing consultants which will be added to the blank area on the posters & leaflets designated for local contacts.

We then intend to provide a pack to all those who attend the talks for healthcare workers at Sling It event in April.  Packs will be available to babywearing consultants & sling librarians attending the event (details will be released later).

Finally for this phase a digital downloadable version of the resources will be added to our website for free access to all.



(This information will help us put together a map to show the reach of the project)


Phase 2 - Further distribution - NHS settings, independant healthcare settings

We will then distribute packs to Sure Start children's centres, Maternity units, independant midwives, doulas and community groups working with pregnant women and babies to make the most effective use of the resources.

In order to make this work we have been reaching out to healthcare workers through our website to gather contacts who are interested in finding out more about babywearing and accessing printed resources this will give us a foot in the door so to speak.  We already have a number of interested GP's, midwifery teams, Health visiting teams & specialist nurses.

Through these contacts we can begin to get babywearing and its benefits more well known in each of their local areas.  Where sling libraries or babywearing consultants already have links with these services we would love for them to make use of the resources and we will happily supply posters & flyers free for these purposes.

If you are a healthcare worker & would like to register interest in receiving resources or attending talks click here.

Over the coming months we will be making contact with healthcare workers in key areas of work across all of the north west hospitals & community services to invite them to attend the free talks at Sling It event in April.  All attendees of the talks will be supplied with a starter pack of posters & leaflets they can use in their departments.  Anyone unable to attend but interested in these resources will be supplied with a pack free of charge.

If you have any questions please email us Slingitnw@gmail.com

A bit more about us.....

Sling It launched in 2015 with our first event Sling It North West held in Stockport in October which was well attended with around 600 through the doors & 3 local press articles about the event.  

We attempted to set the record for the most babies carried in carriers although we didn't hit Guiness world records target of 250 babies we did get a brilliant 179 babies carried at one time during the set time for the record attempt on the day which is a fantastic acheivement and got babywearing noticed locally.




In 2016 we are aiming high!

We have our next event scheduled for Saturday 2nd April at Salford University's Maxwell Hall.  This free event will play host to many of the top wrap & carrier designers & makers from the UK scene alongside smaller home businesses. A well stocked sling library supported by postal sling library 'Its a sling thing' and a collaboration of local sling libraries and babywearing consultants to offer advice, demonstrations and practical help in choosing a carrier to suit you and your baby.

We will be reattempting to set the world record. More importantly however; we will be offering a series of free talks to healthcare professionals & babywearing consultants on a variety of topics from Kangaroo care in neonates to Babywearing benefits.  We have already helped to build links between interested GP's, Midwives & Health visitors with their local sling library or babywearing consultant who can offer additional support when needed.


Peer supporter Melinda giving advice in the sling library at Sling It North West



If you are as passionate about babywearing as we at Sling It are please help us in whatever way you can with a pledge or a share to help make this project happen and introduce as many families to the babywearing love, fun, camradery & practicality we enjoy.


A huge thank you in advance from all of the Sling It Babywearing team x