What is Babywearing?

Babywearing is a term for carrying a child in a sling.

Who are the courses for?

Our courses are for those who want to teach others about babywearing.

Do I need any qualifications or experience to take part in the course ?

No – anyone is welcome.

Are you able to cater for people with disabilities?

Yes! It helps us if you contact us before the course so we can make sure that any adaptations needed can be considered as soon as possible before the course.

Will you run a course local to me?

We aim to run courses where participants want them. If you want to be involved in organising a course local to you please get in touch.

Do you offer any other courses, seminars or workshops?

Yes we can tailor courses to the specific needs of a group before the course and we have a range of workshops and seminars that we offer as well.

I already know a lot about babywearing – will you cover anything new for me?

Every participant has learned something new on our courses. Learning about babywearing is a never ending always exciting journey and we believe we have the skills and the experience to make it exciting to every participant. All courses are tailored to the groups needs so no course is exactly the same.

How can I organise a course in my location?

We’d be delighted to look into a possibility to travel to facilitate a course local to you. If you want to organise a course close to where you live (and save on travel and accommodation costs for yourself and other participants who are local), email us to enquire about our availability with the selection of dates over three months that would suit you, and we’d be happy to work with you to bring a Trageschule course close to you.

What do I need to do to organise a course?

We ask you to find a course venue that would be suitable to our specifications, to find as many other interested people as possible (whilst we also would be able to advertise for remaining course places), and to take a delivery of a parcel or two with course packs and bring them to the venue. You can share these tasks with other people who are interested in having a course in your location!

Can you run a course over the weekend only (as opposed to the usual hours of Friday 5pm -9pm, and the weekend)?

This is the option that we offer to those groups where someone would not be able to attend a course that would cover Friday evening. This option has a potential to have more intense pace, so may not be ideal if you prefer a usual amount of time to assimilate an already rich and intense course content. We do strongly recommend that you explore a possibility to do a course over Friday evening and the weekend if you are low on energy, want more flexibility to keep up with the course whilst also having lots of nursing breaks, or are having your baby-in-arms with you and no back-up childcare on the course,

Is there funding available for financing my course?

Some of our babywearing consultants’ training had their course fees paid by their local Chidren’s Centre s. The availability of such funding may vary from place to place. Also, it may help if you have been volunteering for a while for your Children’s Centre or similar organisation which may provide funding.

Some of the ways that our past course participants have found useful for raising some funds are:

  • car boot sale
  • sling walk fund raiser
  • finding friends and acquaintances who would like a consultation once you have done the course, and offering them reduced rate for a prepayment before the course

Some people have found that their investment in the training fee (into the basic course only) have paid off in the space of the first ten initial consultations, or fewer. Obviously, this would depend on whether you have any additional expenses running your sling consultancy, or the demand in your area that you may manage to generate.

Are babies-in-arms welcome on the course?

We welcome babies in arms on the course : we recognise that this may be the only way possible for some parents to attend the course. We intend to provide opportunities for nursing breaks if this is what anyone in the group needs. If, for whatever reason, you find that you need to go out to attend to your baby’s needs (whether it’s you who’ve been looking after your baby-in-arms during the course, or your baby’s caregiver got in touch with you to ask you to go out to attend to an older child), we do our best to arrange your catching up on what you missed before the end of the course.

I have heard that Trageschule consultants are independent consultants in that they do not recommend manufacturers or brands. I sell slings, so can I sell slings and be Trageschule consultant at the same time? What about when I am asked which sling is good for a particular person? Thinking of it, if they are looking at the slings that I offer to try out, won’t they decide that only these slings are good (obviously, I can’t have every possible sling in the market in my demo stash!)?

We believe in letting a parent to decide – and also, to make their own fully informed choices. We believe that a role of consultant there is to provide a parent with skills and information as fully as possible, so that they are in a better position to decide. We believe that this may support a parent to feel knowledgeable, empowered, and to take full responsibility for their choices. At the same time, many of our graduates/Trageschule Babywearing Consultants sell slings, and as long as they do not try to steer the parent’s choice (e.g. ‘this is the only sling type which is any good’ or ‘this is the best sling manufacturer’) but offer opportunities to try things out, information, and answers to parents’ questions, we believe that this is within the remit of not recommending particular styles or brands or manufacturers and staying independent.

Why is there limited range of carries with a wrap that we learn during the courses?

The range of the carries that we offer to learn with a wrap is intended as an instrument to further our consultants’ understanding of working with a particular type of a sling, helping people with different body types and different babies to learn how to use them, to understand developmentally and physiologically optimal infant positioning in a sling. I.e. we use a limited number of carrying positions in main types of the carriers as an example for course participants to develop deeper understanding and to learn the above skills. These skills are transferable to carriers and carries not covered in the course (we would love to include every developmentally and physiologically optimal position in a sling that is out there – and there is only so much it is possible to cover in twenty or so contact hours!). Our consultants say that these skills are invaluable for working with parents and caregivers, and transferring the deeper understanding and knowing what to look for when they are putting the baby in a sling or are carrying their baby in a sling.

Do I have to show the parents only the carrying positions that I learned in the course?

During our basic course, we offer the course participants an opportunity to learn a number of carries in a variety of slings, which makes for a versatile tool kit, that contains the tools for working with a variety of parents’ needs and a variety of baby’s ages (from newborn upwards). We build on this knowledge in the advanced course, by widening the repertoire of our consultants (which they can also apply to special needs’ situations, covered in the advanced course). From this vantage point, we encourage our graduates to apply the knowledge and transferable skills they have gained in the course to helping parents learn other positions and slings, not covered in the course.

Why do I have to use a babywearing doll if I have my baby with me on the course?

Being able to work with a babywearing doll is another tool for your tool kit that so many of our consultants find useful. Using a babywearing doll in your consultations may provide a useful back-up option for those times when your client is nervous, or the baby is not willing, or as a useful tool to flatten a learning curve.

We ask you to try any technique that is new to you with your doll first (unless you have strong objections against it, in which case we can work with you to find an option that looks suitable to you) – just so that, to start with, you can focus your attention on learning the technique alone.

What are the things that I need for the Foundation Course ?

We provide relevant handouts, writing paper and pens (you do not need to write much during the course), a handbook, and some other bits and pieces you’d need for the course!

We ask you to bring with you on the course:

  • a weighted doll, suitable for babywearing;
  • a strecthy wrap;
  • a ring sling;
  • a long wrap;
  • (if you choose to use your own short wrap rather than get one with Trageschule logo, which is a part of your course pack) a short wrap.
  • a Mei Tai (a soft structured carrier is optional)

Does it have to be a special babywearing doll?

We believe that working with a doll makes for an important part of the basic course learning. We also believe in a participant’s choice, that would meet as many participant’s needs s/he is aware of at the time as possible. So whilst we strongly recommend to use a weighted doll that meets the below criteria, to maximise your learning on the course, the choice is yours, and we believe it would be the best one possible for your circumstances! Below is some information that, hopefully, would be useful for you to make this choice.

Ideally, your doll would be realistically weighted, to emulate the way a baby of a similar size would handle in the adult’s arms (e.g. neck/upper torso control/’floppiness’, ability to bend legs to demonstrate developmentally optimal hips position etc).

A variety of manufacturers produce specially made babywearing demo dolls (some of them are also suitable for breastfeeding or antenatal classes), ranging from c. EUR 90 to EUR 150. At the same time, many people have made their own dolls, by weighting a doll of a suitable size, or making a soft (‘Waldorf-style”) weighted doll. And still, some have used a rag doll, or a non-weighted doll to use during their course.

When we run the courses locally, a limited number of commercially made babywearing dolls may be available for hire. Also, when we run courses further away, we can post a doll to those who wish to hire it for the duration of the course (please bear in mind that it may be not the most economic option, with a doll being close in weight to a six-month old baby). Please ask us for our hire conditions and a doll hire form if interested in this option.

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