Running a Sling Group

There is no right or wrong way to set up your babywearing library during a meeting. Many libraries have the carriers set up on tables or hanging on clothes hangers where they are accessible to families.

You will want a spot for running your demo, a spot for your admin to take place (this is best near the door so that families can sign in without your assistance), a space for children and babies to play, and a good place for families to be able to sit.


Start by introducing yourself and any of your volunteers present so that people know who to go to for help. Remind people to sign in so that you have a record of attendees. Talk about your library and how it is run i.e. your hire and membership fees, hiring duration and any other information that you feel is relevant. Talk about a few of the benefits of babywearing or how you got started on your babywearing journey.

Carrier styles

You want to cover the basics of babywearing such as showing the different carrier styles. You could do this by doing a demo of each carrier showing how to put the on, or you could just focus on showing the carriers that you know that your families would like to see.

Safety briefing

Do a brief safety talk covering babywearing safety. You could talk to them about a safety checklist such as T.I.C.K.S, H.A.N.D.S or A.B.C’s so that you cover correct positioning, clear airways and comfort. You can choose which ever checklist you would prefer to use, or not use one at all. These checklists just help to ensure that you don’t forget key safety measures. You could have them displayed by the sign in sheet for members to see, or have it in the library information that you send our via email when you hire out a carrier.

Trying on the carriers

Then open up the floor for people to come up and try on the carriers. Grouping the carriers by style can help families to narrow down what they are wanting to try. You could also go a bit further by writing up a brief information sheet about the individual carriers so that families can find out some information about the carriers before trying them on such as what positions it offers, what age range it is suitable for, what style carrier it is, and where you can buy the carrier.

Membership and hiring of carriers

This can be done at any point of the meeting, but most often it is done near the end. Some libraries ask families to return any carriers out on loan before the start of the meeting to allow you time to check over the carrier before putting out for others to try on.
Some libraries only allow members to hire a carrier after a particular time in the meeting so that other families can try it on first before it is hired out. This is more common in smaller libraries where you only have one of two of a particular carrier style. If you have more than one volunteer for your library, it makes this stage of the meeting much easier as one member can help with the paperwork while the other is helping to fit carriers.