December and the Festive period at NESL.

Merry Christmas everyone and Seasons Greetings to you all.

As we are fast approaching December it is time for my annual post about changes to the library during December and Early January. Old hands will realise Christmas is the only time when I close completely every year: I don’t reply to emails, I switch off the Facebook “message” facility and I relax. This year will be no different, especially as I am a very lucky lady and have a trip to Lapland to enjoy. As such there will be changes to our sessions. I am also now almost fully booked for 1:1s and am booking for January onwards.

Sessions until 10th December will run as normal. However, the 10th December will be the only Saturday Slings Session as the other should be on Christmas Eve. I love the library but Christmas Eve means meeting family, mince pies and Mass. Two week hires will not be available.

Durham City Sling Meet and our North Shields sessions on Thursday 15th December and Wednesday 21st December will run as normal too.

We will return in January 2017 with our session’s largely running as normal but there will be no 1st Wednesday Birth and Baby session. The first one of these will be Wednesday 18th January. 

Dates for your diary

In January you can find us at:

Tesco Consett Community Room on Thursday 5th

Ace Playce on Friday 6th January 1.30-3

Miss Tina’s – Washington on Friday 13th January 1.39-2.45

Saturday Slings at Home on Saturday 14th January 2-4

Birth and Baby family drop in on Wednesday 18th January 10.39-12

Durham City Sling Meet on Thursday 19th January 10-12

Saturday Slings at Home on Saturday 29th January 2-4


Henry’s Hogs and Isaac’s Dogs.

Depending on when in my carrying journey people have met me will effect what sling they associate me with. I have three that are extremely close to my heart. The first is Didymos Silver Geckos which took my nearly 18 months to find in the right size. The other are Connecta Baby Carrier and finally there are the Hogs.


I first fell in love with Michael Miller Hedgehog Meadow when I was sourcing fabrics to coordinate with a custom Ocah Baby Carrier I was having made. I loved that sling, so much I ended up with toddler and standard size versions. Next came a custom change bag, change mat, and several accessories to match. The Hogs just made me smile. I was very sad when Henry and then Isaac outgrew their custom carriers.

The vibrancy of the print I have always felt would be perfect for a Connecta Baby Carrier and I have hoped that it would come true. When I was given the opportunity to place an Exclusive order I jumped at the chance. I wanted to order two prints to represent my boys but which were unisex. The Hogs was an easy choice. They are me, they are Henry. Isaac proved harder. I had seen a print while ideally browsing the Michael Miller fabric website (for curtain fabric of all things) and it was then it hit me. This would be perfect too – Bot Dogs or Isaac’s Dogs as they are now called. Isaac loves animals, he especially loves dogs. There is something about Isaac and dogs which mean they just click. One day I am sure he will be a vet.

This exclusive collection of Connecta Baby Carrier will be available only from our website. There are a mix of both designs across all the 3 sizes and including petite straps. There is also some with vanilla coloured straps to coordinate with the hogs. The library will be retaining one Henry’s Hogs in preschool and one Isaac’s Dog in standard for posterity. I hope you love these carriers as much as I do. The first batch will be available to order from Saturday evening with further stock added in the coming weeks.

Are you #henryshogs or #isaacsdogs?



Sling Possible: Who said you can’t carry a baby in a cast?

connie1This blog is another guest blog in our series on carrying babies with additional needs. It is written by Sarah and tells of her experiences of carrying her little girl both before and after a late diagnosis of Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH). DDH is typically identified in babies during their newborn and 6/8 week check but in some cases it is not identified until much later. For Sarah and Connie this diagnosis came on Connie’s first birthday. DDH is a developmental condition which means the hip joint is not fully formed, with the socket part of joint being too shallow. DDH is a controversial topic when it comes to slings as there are many who suggest that the use of narrow based High Street Carriers can cause it. This is not the case. You can read more about healthy hips and slings in this article by Sheffield Sling Surgery. Now let us allow Sarah to tell her story.

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Change is as good as a holiday they say. 

Hi everyone. In July I wrote to say that I was off back to the world of work and as such sling library sessions would need to change a little. Well I have survived a half term. Well I survived the first half term unscathed but laryngitis has hit at the start of the second. However, work means more changes are afoot. I have been asked to do additional hours 3 afternoons per week. I am very happy to be asked to do this. I am loving my new role.

So what’s changing? Well I am going to be working all day on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in addition to the 5 mornings already doing. From December the 2 sessions currently held on a Monday and Tuesday are going to be moved. The online calendar has been updated to show new dates.

Ace Playce, Killingworth will be moving to the 1st Friday of the month 130-3.

Miss Tina’s, Washington will be moving to the 2nd Friday of the month.

The remaining sessions remain unchanged. One to One appointments will now only be available on a Thursday (not 1st Thursday of month) and 3rd and 4th Friday’s of the month, and weekends/evenings by arrangement.

The cancelled Tesco Consett session has been rearranged for Thursday 10th November. Apologises for having to cancel but my voice isn’t up to talking.

Childfree and loving it!!

I love my boys. They are my world but anyone who has met them will know how full on they are and sometimes you need space.  Three years ago I spent October half term in the sun in Ibiza and left them in the UK with their grandparents. Three years later, not as exotic, but once again I have spent most of half term away from them. 

Three years ago I was the lowest I have ever been; I was at breaking point. My week in the sun was as much for personal survival as it was a holiday. Fast forward three years I am in a much more stable place. I am no longer taking mediation for depression and anxiety. Although there are days when I can feel both trying to take over I am able to manage them more. 

This time my child see half term came about after my boys chose to ditch me for a trip to Grandad and Granny’s house. A visit to their Godfathers and a prebooked day on holiday club meant I haven’t seen them properly for 6 days. I feel really guilty saying it but I have loved it. I have loved not being woken up at 6am. I have loved being able to watch what I want on the TV. Being able to go away for a few days with my husband and what’s more go out for a meal and drinks too without having to arrange a babysitter or deal with hangover and children has been bliss. We went to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Leeds, are at the fabulous Tharavadu (the Adu Cheera Mappas is delicious if you need a recommendation) and made an enjoyable trip to Harrogate Turkish Baths and Spa. None of this would have been possible if we hadn’t been able to go childfree.

Loving our children does not mean forgetting about yourself or your relationship with partner. My hubby and I very rarely get to spend much time together. We have no family in the North East so it isn’t possible to ask them to “have the boys for a couple of hours”; it requires advanced planning if we want to go out.  It might be a rare opportunity but I will grab it with both hands the next time the chance to be childfree for a few days occurs. So remember whether it is 6 minutes, 5 hours or 5 days make the most of every childfree moment you get. It doesn’t mean you love your children any less than you should, it just means you can acknowledge we all need some me and us time too.