Sally Hogg Caterham & Oxted NCT Chairman sporting a sling with her baby son.

Sally Hogg Caterham & Oxted NCT Chairman sporting a sling with her baby son.

NCT volunteers have recently held a picnic for Caterham and Oxted parents, babies and tots, as part of a week of activities to mark the launch of a new sling library.

The picnic, which took place in Master Park in Oxted, featured a bake sale, cricket match, races and a KangaRocks dance class – where mums and dads can dance with their babies in a sling.

The event is one of a number of fundraising activities undertaken to support the new sling library, which has also been generously supported by Caterham Rotary Club.

Using a baby carrier or sling has proven benefits for parents and babies. These include:

  • Supporting bonding between the parent and the baby.
  • Helping to keep babies calm and reduce their crying.
  • Enabling parents to move around more easily (including accessing public transport).

Slings are increasingly popular with new parents, but can be expensive. And with a wide array of choices on the market it can be a daunting prospect trying to decide which one will best suit your family and budget, as well as learning how to use it safely.

The new sling library will enable local parents to find out whether using a sling or baby carrier works for them and their baby; to get information about and test different slings, and to identify the most suitable style of sling for them before making a purchase.

The library will run at Caterham Children’s Centre every Thursday morning, and – with the help of volunteers -will also be available in a range of other times and locations.

Slings will be available for any new parents in the Caterham and Oxted area, not just NCT members. There will be a small donation for hiring the slings, but this will be waived for parents in financial hardship to ensure that everyone can access the service. Any income generated by the library will help us to service and renew our stock, train volunteers, and to support our other local activities for parents and babies.

Sally Hogg, NCT Branch Chair, said:

“We are delighted to be able to help local families to find a sling that works for them and their baby, without having to spend a lot of money. Using a sling can be a great way for parents to get out and about with their baby, and to have the close contact that we know is so important for babies’ development.”

Roger Easter Marketing & Communications at Caterham Rotary Club said “Caterham Rotary Club is delighted to be associated with this excellent initiative and we are very happy to have made a contribution which will be of benefit to the parents of newly born children in our community.”