A midwife and mum-of-one is hoping to create a baby sling library in Thanet.
Rhiannon Frame, partner Jack and son Rowan, 18 months old, moved to Margate in February.
The 32-year-old has been using a baby sling for her little one since he was just a few days old and says benefits include freedom of movement for parents but also mental wellbeing for parent and baby brought about by the physical closeness.
Rhiannon said: “I lived in London and had a tiny flat so there was no room for a buggy. Someone said about using a sling and so when Rowan was five days old I went to a sling library.
“There are hundreds of different slings but they talk you through them and how to use them properly.
“I loved it, it changed my motherhood experience .It was a way to keep him close but also be able to be active and be out and about hands free because there is no buggy.
“As Rowan grew I tried different types of sling and I loved them all. The sling library really supported me and at 18 months I still can carry him. My partner loves it too and has his own sling.”
Rhiannon says the library would stock a variety of slings that parents can try out with the option to buy if it suits their needs.
She said: “Slings can be really expensive, some are hundreds of pounds, so if you don’t know they type you want you are taking a shot.
“It is really important that parents can carry their baby safely and so there are lots of checks and as a sling consultant I have the skills to teach people how to use them.
“They are really good for parents and for babies’ mental health, it helps them feel safe and it has been shown that baby gets more sleep, so parent gets more sleep too. Parents report that it makes them feel good, as humans we want to be next to our babies.”
The sling library will be the only one in the Thanet area and Rhiannon is hoping to raise funds to initially stock around 20 different types.
Parents will be able to try out the sling for a fortnight and then buy it if they like it. A payment plan can also be organised for families on lower incomes.
Rhiannon said: “A really nice sling can cost £150 but through the sling library this can be paid over the long term.”
Rhiannon is currently running the library and sling consultancy from her home and is hoping to raise £1,000.