Soul Meh Dai

My first encounter with a Soul Meh Dai was way back in June 2016. We had a beautiful blue one visit the library. It arrived to my house and obviously was tried out as soon as the package was ripped open!

From that moment I knew I wanted one of my own. I had been using various Meh Dai since the twins were about 4 months old and had always loved them. But there was something different about this. Despite the padded shoulder and the extra wide wrap style straps it didn’t feel like it was loaded with gimmicks. It felt like a panel and four straps. Simple but elegant.

The Carrier

So lets first talk numbers. Suitable from 15lbs to 40lbs (aprox.).  The body panel is 15″ across and 16″ high (from the top of the waist band. The straps are padded at the shoulder but also include wrap width fabric at the same point offering the comfort of padding along with support offered by wide straps.  Produced in linen, woven wrap fabric cotton and cotton there is a Meh Dai suitable for everyone.

So let’s get back to me and my Meh Dai.


I’m a huge fan of wrapping. I love it. It took me a long time to learn. It’s a skill like all forms of carrying. But you can be creative with wraps in a way you can’t be with buckles for example. The same is true of many Meh Dai.

As much as I loved that traveller I couldn’t afford to buy beyond what I currently owned. So it was forgotten about. A few months later I tried a different brand also with wide straps and a seat the same width as the Soul one and it longer fitted so I put it out of my mind. With a slight hurumph and foot stamp! 😉

Fast forward to 5 months ago and I saw a video of someone using the wide wrap straps to effectively create a larger seat for their pre schooler. By this time we had added several Soul carriers to our library but Meh Dai’s had never been popular so we had overlooked it. But now? My desire for a Soul Meh Dai had been rekindled and I knew exactly which one I wanted.

I fell in love with this design straight away.  The black and the white are great but the addition of grey straps instead of black just work perfectly. So I searched it out discovered its name was Eclipse on Grey and went off to try to get my hands on one. I put out a request on the Soul Family UK page and it was answered almost immediately. Within a few weeks I had the carrier. It was as beautiful as I had expected. Made from 100% cotton. But not just any cotton. This is described as Ikat cotton. Ikat cotton, from my limited (so far) reading is a form of resistance dying. Instead of the already woven fabric being dyed the yarns are dyed before the weaving process. This process is repeated several times and then woven. The alluring blur comes from the intricacies of lining up the dyed yarns to form the desired pattern.  I can’t do justice to this elegant art form with just a few sentences but needless to say like their hand block printed full buckle carriers this cotton beauty is art as well as function. Needless to say I was smitten and wore it a lot over the next several weeks. A lot!

I got to know what it was capable of over those weeks. Saw its versatility, experienced its comfort. I wanted others to see how amazing it was. So I took photos, I made videos, I took it to sling meets. Hopefully I am showing people this style of carrier has it’s place here in Salford. That Meh Dai carriers like this, with those wide straps, can offer so much.

They can actually be a great way to learn how to wrap or even to improve wrapping for those already experienced in it. I learned to wrap while using buckles. I would practice at home but buckle when out. Then I would venture out in my wrap but have a buckle for the way home. What a wrap strap Meh Dai can offer is the comfort of knowing there is a seat already there securing your child but the straps to practice the technique of a ruck or double hammock for example.  For me having that seat firmly in place has helped me revisit and improve on carries that I couldn’t make work like the Strangleproof Ruck. Knowing that there won’t be slack while I take the pass across my chest has been an amazing aid to my learning.

Strangleproof Ruck with a Meh Dai

Getting Fancy
So what about some fancy finishes? Carrying has been one of my most valuable parenting tools. But it’s also been amazing fun and has let me express my creativity and truly taken me out of my comfort zone. I love fancy finishes. I have run fancy finish workshops. Made videos. Made friends. All because of fancy finishes. People love them. But they also don’t think that you can do those things with a Meh Dai. I want to show them they can! That a Meh Dai can be a way to practice for wrapping but that it can also be all you need.

So I did some videos. Firstly just showing how to use the straps to widen the seat with a Tibetan Finish. Then followed a Strangleproof Ruck with a ring added. You know. because rings are always fun! Then a Heather Finish. Then Rapunzel. Then removing the waist band and doing some fancy side plaits! (video for some of these on my Facebook page and YouTube linked below) I have barely scratched the surface of what this carrier can do. I am looking forward to getting to know it even more.

I was lucky enough to receive a Jacquard Woven cotton version of Soul’s Meh Dai recently. Tor has only just arrived and has so far stayed in bag on our adventures out this Christmas. But with the return of our commute I am really looking forward to trying it. It feels different to the others.

They all have a lovely weight to them. Weight is the wrong word in this instance. They aren’t heavy.  They drape.  The “weight” makes them fluid. Especially with the Jacquard. The linen is thin but sturdy as you would expect from linen. The cotton slightly thicker, a tight weave but still so airy. The Jacquard woven thicker still but soft and mouldable. And all three offer a comfort that I haven’t experienced from any other Meh Dai inspired carrier.  The size of the panel, the width of the straps offers such incredible support that my 30lb boy shaped twin felt weightless. Truly. I loved my first Meh Dai. It really was a just panel and four thin straps. But for me it stopped working. So to find something so versatile, so well made, so comfortable, so beautiful that I can use now, with my twins over 3 years old is just amazing. Never mind the wrapping. Never mind using the Meh Dai as a learning tool. Never mind the buckles. The Meh Dai alone can be enough.

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Soul. So much so that I became a brand Ambassador for them on September 2017. My association with them in no way influences my opinions in this post. ❤

Further reading
Soul Website:
Soul Facebook Page:

My Facebook Page:

Wikipedia page about Ikat:


Soul Bags and Sustainability

I recently received a Suma toddler full buckle from Soul Slings. When looking at the description of it on their website it describes this beautiful hand block printed carrier, as well as all their other carriers as possibly showing

“colour variations, loose threads, tiny slubs, snags or unevenness that are characteristic of natural fibre textiles. These variations should in no way be considered flaws or defects as they do not affect the functionality of the carrier. It is the nature of the fabric and these imperfections highlight its natural beauty and uniqueness.”

Soul Suma

This blog post isn’t about this carrier, nor about any of their other carriers. This blog post is about the box and bags these carriers arrive in. I mention my stunning carrier and the description of it’s natural beauty through these variations because the packaging mimics what is inside it. Imperfect in the eyes of some perhaps, rough around the edges, but absolutely beautiful and equally importantly, sustainable.

Soul is all about sustainability.  Actually that’s not true. They combine form, function, comfort, beauty and sustainability with ease. Each has equal importance. It starts with the fabrics they use, their jacquard fabrics are produced in a mill in Southern India that uses only wind and solar energy and then they send any surplus energy in to the grid to benefit the local community.  Cutting out unnecessary waste is clearly very very important to this company. Everything is designed, made and shipped from it’s home in Bangalore.

So on to the bags. well, in a minute.

I did a photography degree. Way back when 98% of us still used film. I loved how physical a process it was. It could be imperfect because of the process and the unpredictability of science behind it (not that I understood a great deal about that!) It could of course also be crisp, perfect. The imperfection and rough around the edges is what I loved. I used fibre based paper, spent most of my final year in the wet darkroom. It also made me really open to the possibilities of what a photography degree could be. In my first year I would never have imagined that my degree show would have been an installation featuring photography, vitrines, empty boxes and incorporate the view of the gallery across the road. Nor that I would get to that by sitting in a room full of detritus from previous years students counting buttons and making greetings cards out of a paint colour swatch and someone’s fake sunflowers.

What does all this have to do with those lovely canvas bags Soul products arrive in? It’s all about repurposing. About looking at things differently and not simply seeing something to put aside/away or worse throw away. My art was about reappropraition of things other set aside as leftovers and I think that’s why these little bags speak to me. They are rough around the edges. They are simple. They are more than just packaging for the carrier inside.

Of course in the babywearing world bags with carriers is not uncommon. Everyone likes a little something extra. They are all beautiful and make excellent shopping bags. The difference with Soul ones I think is once again their simplicity. These unbleached cotton bags show off the core of their business standards yet they are beautiful.

Before we talk more about the bags the box needs a mention too. Who reading this has a stash of envelopes stored somewhere for those parcels you send out at birthdays and Christmas? I certainly do. I can’t remember the last time a bought a padded envelope. Who needs to when you can peel off or cover the last recipient (sometimes to reveal that this envelope is already on it’s 2nd or 3rd addressee) and reuse. I recently received an envelope back after it had travelled to several other people. It made me smile that it found it’s way back and to know that others care about reducing waste by reusing. So the box. It looks like it’s been used before. That’s not to say it’s not fit for purpose and won’t protect the contents. It certainly does. Despite being new it’s been selected by Soul because it uses no plastic coating, it’s as simple and eco friendly as it can be for a new box. And can be added to my pile of envelopes to regift in.

So, back to the bag.  Like I already said, they are made of unbleached cotton. Nothing that’s not needed and it’s practical too. Soul suggest that when your carrier is not in use for extended periods this bag is the perfect storage as it contains nothing harsh. It’s all natural.


But honestly, who stores their wraps that neatly 😉. I try to fold mine and put them away but I use them so frequently that often they end up in a beautiful, messy pile. (I’m a big believer in being careful with my carriers but at the same time loving them and living in them without too much worry about them getting dirty and wrunkled). So, my bags don’t get used for that. But they certainly don’t sit gathering dust.

About a year ago I started to crochet. To my absolute delight it turned out I was quite good at it and so my wool collection quickly grew. Some of my projects are quick and easy but some are ongoing. Thankfully Soul bags make perfect project bags. PERFECT! And it keeps all my wool neatly separated.  And the fact that it’s a drawstring bag instead of tote bag is great for messy me as I can throw, drop, shove without worrying that it’s contents will spill and the twins will run off with my wool to return with it as a tangled, “scarf for you mummy” or “beautiful dress mummy.” My life is messy, my wool collection is not!



So perhaps the Soul bags are the solution I’ve been waiting for to clean up my chaotic household? I have more bags than ongoing projects so I’ve already started using them for toys. Dressing up bag, building blocks bag. When my wrapping days are over should I just keep ordering from them just for the bags?!

Dressing up bag
Dress up

So did I really just write a blog post about some small drawstring bags?

The twins are currently going through a WALL.E phase. We watch it about 3 times a day. They are an inquisitive pair and so we talk about what is going on. Why the Earth has been left behind, what all the cubes WALL.E crushes are made of. Clever Pixar, doing it’s job well. They notice and condemn the rubbish on our streets now. I hope I am teaching them to do better than we are and with companies like Soul getting it out their on a grander scale, it helps the “what difference can I make, I’m just one person” people out there see that we can all make a difference.

So this blog post isn’t about Soul carriers. Neither is it really about Soul bags. It’s about a company that thinks about it’s impact on our environment, a company that shows how larger businesses can make a difference with what they do and what they teach by being vocal about what they do.


Look deeper…….
Check out Soul’s Website
And their FaceBook page:
They also have some lovely facebook groups which are lovely, friendly communities.


(full disclosure: I recently became a Brand Ambassador for Soul Slings. I chose to do this because I have been a fan of the company for a few years and my official association with them has no impact on the thoughts I have written here).

Review: Jacq & Rose Tri Tanote Teal

Back when the weather was colder and wetter…..Oh wait. No. Back when the weather was colder……..Nope still not right. Back in November 2016 when the weather was much like it is now, I had the pleasure of hosting Tri Tanote Teal by Jacq and Rose. In my new “just write and let the words come” phase of review writing I decided this wrap deserved to be written about. Not that Jacq and Rose need reviews. They have become hugely successful in their short time in the wrap manufacturer world. People have cottened on to just how brilliant these wraps are already, but I would like to write down what I thought of the visitor.


So, Jacq and Rose Tri Tanote Teal. Part of their Tri Oceanic range this wrap is 100% combed cotton and weighs in at 280gsm. That’s the facts. Oh apart form that it’s warp is ecru. Now you know everything. Except what makes this wrap so special.

At the time I was given Teal I wasn’t carrying much. Just the 20 minute walk to Nursery 2 days a week (thankfully that has changed in the following months) so I was worried about how much I would actually get to use it. It was handed over at Winter Wovenland. Brilliant. The only other time I got to carry was when in town. But at just over 2 years old the twins, more than ever, just wanted to walk. It was late, we were hot, I didn’t have the energy to be mum and put my foot down (hahaha. That made me laugh!) so we all walked.  From the Northern Quarter to the Christmas Market in Manchester’s Albert Square. On tiny 2 year old legs thats a long walk. By the time we arrived Henry was resting his head on my arm as he walked holding my hand. As I ordered my lunch he fell asleep in my arms. I hobbled, balancing food in one hand, Henry in the other and a bag dangling from my arm to the covered food court and dumped everything on the floor.  Why am I telling you this? Because finally asleep, I could get him in the wrap. And wrapping a sleeping child is a very different experience, especially in a crowded market under the gaze of strangers eyes.


With Daddy off chasing girl shaped twin I was left to sort out Henry on my own. Wrapping a sleeper, like I said is very different and for me normally much harder. I always end up having to retighten because of how relaxed and slumped baby is initially. But with this…….I still think of it as possibly one of the best wrap jobs I’ve ever done. One of the most comfortable certainly. Surely this was some kind of amazing blend? I’ve never been one to think it couldn’t be supportive but for some silly reason I was suddenly questioning the mighty cotton!

she lasted another 10 minutes

I don’t profess to be an expert in textiles. I can finally, confidently tell you which way the warp and weft go. I think. And I’m learning a little about weaves as I go along. But basically I know what I like and don’t like. Certainly back then I couldn’t have said that maybe it was the well thought out weave structure that made this wrap, with its lovely diagonal stretch so beautifully mouldable with a lovely balanced bounce and recoil. That perhaps it has a looser weave that gives it a blankety softness and amazing cush with not one dot of dig with a heavy sleeping toddler on my back. That these combined have created a wrap that is soft, bandage tight with very little effort and incredibly strong.


The thought doesn’t stop with how the wrap has been constructed. It continues in its triangle design. The smaller triangles flowing in to larger (or the other way if that’s what floats your boat) is a beautiful design but it is also functional. It splits the wrap in to sections giving a beginner wrapper a visual aid to distinguish the the top and bottom of the wrap. But this isn’t just a wrap with triangles on it. Their placement is considered creating something visually different every time you look at it. It’s brilliant and beautiful.

It turned out I got to use this wrap several times over the week I had it, each time with a different carry and a different twin to properly test it. It passed the ruck test, the one shoulder test. I took it to our Sling Library where it was hugely popular with squish to toddler. We loved it so much that when Tri Diadema was released we snapped it up. The visiting Teal was a versatile size 4. For the library we went for a scary for some size 3. Could this wrap work as a shorty? In a word, yes. Yes yes yes!


I was lucky enough to see and stroke some new design ideas while at The Wrap Show in London earlier this month. Very different but just as striking. I can’t wait to see what comes next from the amazing Jacq and Rose.

Additional Photographs

Further Info
Like everyone Jacq and Rose have a Facebook page

And a lovely Chatter Group

And a website

I also have a Facebook Page

Sycha Slings Retrobots review


I recently played host to Sycha Slings Retrobots Spring Sky. Part of her affordable Main Line range (with a percentage going to charity) this 100% organic all cotton wrap has a weight of 235gsm and is 75cm wide. I was already aware of the lovely maker from her Facebook page Sling Sally so I was fully aware of her passion for babywearing and was really interested to see how I would feel about this wrap.

Retrobots stay was a short one but it was fun. I will admit I hugely underestimated this wrap. But in light of the amazing all cotton beauties that have been produced by several new wrap makers over recent months I shouldn’t have expected anything different from this one.

Not as soft and blankety as some of my recent visitors, this wrap has a tough skin but it hides a very gentle nature. With a tight, dense weave, it’s lovely snap should have been my first indicator of how well this wrap would perform.


I had a quick go, just with a demo doll, at our Sling Library’s Wrap Geekery session so couldn’t get a proper feel for how it would preform with my toddlerbots.  But I did’t hate it so I guess it was off to a good start. As I didn’t have a willing traveller I decided to explore the wrap through photographing it. Looking closely the colours, which can’t help but jump out at you, changed. It wasn’t just a glaring, juxtaposed blue and green. These colours sit beautifully with each other and really show off and enhance different aspects of the design on both sides. The green robots on blue is subtle, softer than the the opposite side which invites closer inspection as it brings different details in to focus.

The fun design, though initially not to my taste really grew on me and it’s refreshing to have a wrap maker think about what might appeal to the traveller as well as the wearer.

So now the carrying of an actual child bit! How did it do? We walk to nursery. Well, I walk. If we all walked the 20 minute journey would easily take an hour. So I walk with one twin on my back and one in a buggy.  On this day it was boy shaped twin’s turn but not before some ooos and ahhhs from them both.


I went for a ruck, my preferred carry of late, with a Tibetan finish. And here again I was surprised by this wrap. It moved beautifully in to place, moulded well around Henry. With just a little bounce it held impeccably on the 20 minute walk down to nursery with absolutely no sag. That snap….. it makes it strong! I had a little dig on my left shoulder just before reaching our destination but that was totally down to me and my arms during the process of wrapping and not the cloth itself. The ruck is a misunderstood carry, I think partly because we are taught it as an easy beginner carry. But it’s intricate and takes time to get to know, just like each wrap we use. And Retrobots and the Ruck work perfectly together.

It’s a fun journey, (we chat, we laugh, we do bin slalom) and on this occasion this wrap couldn’t help but make it even more so. It’s design, it’s comfort, it’s colours which perfectly matched my little boys wellies!

I feel bad about how many times I have written about my surprise at Retrobots. It deserves more. But actually sometimes it’s nice to be surprised by something. To have your expectations and “set in your ways” way challenged. And on this occasion I was happy to be surprised.

Additional photos


Further information

Visit Sycha Slings on Facebook

And join her chatter group for even more and a chance to test the wraps for yourself

And for all you non Facebookers there is also a website

And whilst you are looking at all these pages why not head over to mine for a quick peruse!






Ruck n Roll Handwovens Sparkly Artemis Review

We are lucky enough to have some amazing handwoven wrap makers in the UK. One of those is Jo-anne from Ruck n Roll Handwovens. And I was lucky enough to have the amazing Sparkly Artemis here for a few days and wanted to tell everyone about just how good it is.

The Arrival
It arrived just in time for Salford Sling and Meet’s Saturday Wrap Geekery session having been kindly sent at very short notice by the lady behind the loom (or is it in front of it?). I picked it up from the post office and couldn’t even wait to get back to the car before ripping open the packaging.


I am always a fan of a wrap that comes with a little bit extra. That something that makes the receiving of it an experience too. It doesn’t need it. The wrap speaks for itself in terms of quality and style but in this case it’s a thoughtful gesture and it was lovely to open the post bag to find an amazing Ruck N Roll bag. The bag turned out to be very useful on the nursery run so it had practical uses and was by no means just a gimmick.

Inside the bag, tied up with ribbon was one of the plumpest and softest wraps I’ve felt. If I had to pick a word to describe it that word would be smooshy! I instantly wanted to wrap myself in it, or at least rub it against my face (like something out of an a advert for fabric softener!) But the twins wouldn’t let me. They were instantly all over it and the seal of approval from them really is something. What caught Matilda’s eye? The beautiful blues and purples gradually blending  into each other. A fan of Frozen she overlooked the ice white with its gentle shimmer and the sparkle of the stellina. 

My (and the twins) initial exploration of the wrap was really positive. Made up of 75% Merino, 20% Silk and 5% Sparkle Magic (totally true) with a Tencel warp I was pleased to discover it was uber soft but with none of the scratch I feared as a wool hater. It was floppy and draped beautifully over the edge of the drawer unit it was opened on. So after taking several thousand images I packed it back in the bag and headed to the geekery session where someone might actually get to wrap with it.

The Geekery Session
We have some brilliant wrappers in our group and they were eager to give Sparkly Artemis a go. There were lots of comments on it’s softness. But also a lot of comments about how well it wrapped, how easily it slid in to place, how well it held. I was left disappointed that my children wanted to paint and play with balloons (we run at the same time as a craft session) rather than go up! 😉 

The Nursery Run
Finally it was my turn to use it. To actually see how it wrapped, to see how it held my 2 and a half year old girl twin, smaller and lighter than the boy shaped one but much more bouncy! He tests for weight, she tests for wriggle. And to see how I coped with wool. This is a blend I had never tried before, not being a fan of wool (or so I thought) and I am completely new to Tencel.

Artemis is heavyweight, something that was noticed at the Geekery session. But it’s 347gsm weight is disguised and hidden beneath it’s airy fluffiness and is forgotten as soon as you start to wrap. 

So on to the wrapping. I went for a Double Hammock finished with a Kia Belt with girl shaped twin. It’s odd, the softness of this wrap meant that the pleasure from using it started instantly with the tactile sensation of just picking it up. It felt cosy and familiar so I wasn’t worried about having to get to know it and it’s wrap qualities. I hope that makes sense! To use the normal descriptors, the second hammock pass slid in to place beautifully, it wrapped like a bandage, incredibly mouldable, it was so easy to tighten, it had amazing grip. I already said that Matilda likes to wriggle and bounce and this wrap allowed for that but with a rock solid hold. There was no dig, no slippage, just the right amount of bounce and recoil. But it was also so much more. I keep coming back to this word. Cosy.   

Fresh instead of sweaty


And what about the blend? I have always believed that wool is hot. Everything wool I have ever tried has been hot. And itchy. Of course I had no idea that there were different types of wool. I never understand that actually its temperature regulating and I think that combined with the breathability of the Tencel makes this wrap just outstanding. Normally by the time I get my traveller all wrapped up I’m sweating and more than a little rosey cheeked but with this I still felt fresh when I finished. And it was a pretty warm day. 


As well as all of that this wrap is also fun. It’s bright, it actually sparkles and it can happily hold a dancing toddler while her mummy sings “Oh the Grand Old Duke of York”. Repeatedly!

I was totally won over by Sparkly Artemis. I’m normally team mono but I have a soft spot for a pop of a nice blue and the tones of this work so well together especially with the contrasting black that I fell in love. That in addition to it’s amazing wrap qualities and I was totally smitten.

Additional Photos:
My “I don’t want to send it on but maybe it will be OK if I take another 1000 pictures to remember it by” photos!



Further Resources:
Head on over to Facebook to find out more about Ruck N Roll Handwovens.

My Facebook page, Milly’s Hugs Babywearing Consultancy

Salford Sling and Meet

Tencel (a few blog posts)

What next?

So I’m back staring at that blank page again, struggling with what to write next. I have several posts I want to write so what’s stopping me?

I could write a list. It wouldn’t be a long one but the few things I would put on it would probably not be true. Well not entirely true. In truth its confidence. Plain and simple.

But I’m working on that and hopefully my page and book will be filled soon.


The Salford Sling and Meet origin story. 


Our Story

So where did Salford Sling and Meet come from? In early January 2015 I was chatting to Sam in the Vine cafe at a regular Friday parents coffee group. She said she had been talking to one of the mums about revamping the small sling meet that said mum, Michelle ran and turning it in to a more structured organisation. There were some fantastic libraries around back then in Stockport, Bolton, Warrington to name just a few. Salford, however had nothing really local and already Michelle and Sam could see the need for a Sling Library.

I had met Michelle in 2014 when the twins were just over a week old and she showed me how to use my Close Caboo. I had then gone on to buy a buckle carrier. It was while wearing Henry in the carrier and pushing Matilda in the buggy that I ran in to Sam one rainy day in December in the queue for a cash machine. She was also wearing one child and pushing the other. It was the first time I had seen anyone local baby wearing so while we then queued for coffee in The Vine we got chatting.

But back to January 2015. By that time I was keen to learn more about the world of babywearing and was just starting to learn to wrap so I was quick to offer my very limited services in any way I could. At the same time Sam was also getting to know the very lovely Hayley, also with a new baby, also a babywearer, and also keen to be involved.

So two very quickly became four and we starting making decisions on how to proceed. Do we run as a charity, an unincorporated association, a full business? You know, all the fun stuff! And all stuff I will admit it took a while to fully understand. Then location, days to meet, how often to meet, how do we start building a library of carriers with no money, what carriers do we buy?

Sam quickly set about rebranding and with her ideas and her husband’s expert design skills the Salford Sling and Meet brand was born.


Our first meet was on a Wednesday morning in The Vine Cafe. We had a handful of carriers and lots of tea, coffee and cake. Now we just needed some parents. And we got some! We weren’t overwhelmed but we had a good few turn up for that first session. Most already had a little experience, a few were complete beginners. Everyone got the help they needed and we all got a chance to chat about our shared interest over coffee and cake. We were all buzzing.

We very quickly outgrew our first location. It was great to see so many new people come week after week and we wanted to be able to offer them a bigger space. Obviously our biggest concern about a move was losing such easy access to coffee and cake! We quickly found our new home at Salford Elim Church and were relieved to find that there were two kettles and that not only did the local Aldi have lots of cake but that there were a few not bad bakers among the group. Phew.

People come to baby wearing for many different reasons but what they take away from it often reaches further than they ever expected. For this reason we are not just a sling library. We are also a social meet. A place people can come if they need to chat, if they need company, if they want someone else to hold their baby for five minutes while they drink a cup of tea AND eat a biscuit at the same time!

Thankfully in our new location we continued to grow, seeing an endless stream of Mums and Dads come through at different points in their baby wearing journey. Some come just once, some still come now. Lasting friendships have formed between parents and first friendships made among the children.  So once again, after several months of growth and two fundraisers we were ready to move on to another location. Now down at SAYF Salford with a library of 100 carriers, what our current location has in common with all the others is that it is right in the heart of our community.


Why do we do it?

I talked briefly about the “boring” stuff about setting up a library. Business, charity, unincorporated association? What was always important to us was the community.

Support within the local community is essential for new mums and dads. Whether it’s a parenting support group, a stay and play or a coffee morning, the more opportunities for parents to find the help, support and sometimes just company they need the better. I have lived in this area for 16 years but didn’t feel part of the community until I became a mum. With Salford Sling and Meet I get to give back to that community that embraced me when I most needed it.

This belief in the much needed support system was one held by us all so when it came to how we would run there was never any question. We would be a volunteer run organisation. We charge a donation based entry fee and we have a hire fee, but none of us take a wage. The “profit” we make goes back in to the library. To increasing the range of carriers we offer, to paying for training for us and our growing group of amazing volunteers so we can offer the best advice we can. We decided to do this because we wanted to help people.

The Future

So where to now? Myself and Sam recently did our consultancy training and will be joined in February by Hayley. What does this mean? It means we have had extra training, more in-depth training. It means we will be able to offer one to one sessions and group workshops. It will mean more me, more Sam and more Hayley focused on you. Babywearing, the carrying community and the people that visit Salford Sling and Meet  have helped me realise that my future lies in baby wearing education and this has led to the creation of my consultancy.




One of our group recently described Salford Sling and Meet as her village. People often talk about finding their “people”, their family not though blood but through the bonds of friendship.  Not just within parenthood but all walks of life.  To hear that is just amazing. I guess it means we are doing and achieving exactly what we wanted to.

Our village (Additional Pictures)


Review of Barbarian by Coco-N

I’ve never reviewed a wrap before. I know a lot of wrap lingo – weave, bounce, cush, stretch, picky etc. – and even what most of the words mean. Sometimes I even use them in the correct context (self high five!) but generally I worry that I will use them wrong and seem foolish. But I’m going to give it a go. With or without the use of the correct terms is yet to be determined!

So, Coco-N Barbarian. Coco-N is a new brand from the people behind the lovely Mokosh. When I received this wrap they were still in the testing stage but Barbarian has since been released. The lovely Ellie messaged and asked if I would like to be among a group who would get to host this intriguing beauty. (The more I get to know it the more intrigued I am!) Never one to say no to trying a wrap I was quick with my yes.

It arrived just as we finished loading the twins in to the car and had the key in the ignition to head out for their birthday picnic. The postman, even if he doesn’t know what’s in the parcels, has clearly come to the know how happy they make me as he almost pounced on the car to make sure I didn’t leave. Thank you kind kind man! Obviously it came with us.

No fancy unboxing this time. The packaging was ripped apart in the boot of the car. A quick “Ooooo” at the white bag in the matching Celtic inspired pattern as the wrap itself. Another “Ooooo” followed by a “that’s lovely” at the black ribbon with the silver pendant attached to it. All tossed aside (carefully 😉) so I could get my sleeping boy shaped twin wrapped and up the hill (we were running late!) to consume mountains of food and cake.

I have always loved thin wraps. Big fan of all cotton initially and over time got to know, appreciate and then love blends. But always on the thinner floppier end of the spectrum. I don’t have particularly picky shoulders but as the kids have grown I have needed more Cush. How am I doing so far with the wrap language?!

Thanks to a lovely friend I have had the opportunity to try out some lovely wrap brands. Her taste and needs lean towards thickness and having the chance to try these as my babies grow has been a real eye opener for me.

So while I knew Barbarian had a high GSM, a dense weave and was thicker than I am used to using on a daily basis I was pleasantly surprised by how light it felt in hand. Thick but not scary “I’m not sure I can wrap with this thick.” It had a lovely texture but an equally lovely smooth softness to it that surprised me. And then of course the colour. That beautiful deep green almost juxtaposed but working perfectly with the teal/green/blue mix of the “wrong” side.

So my first “up” with Barbarian was the a Double Hammock with a candy cane chest belt. Henry (the boy shaped one, 2 years old, 24ish lbs) was fast asleep and remained so while I wrapped him. Wrapping a sleeping child is a very different experience. I have done it many times but it doesn’t always go perfectly. I can sometimes tell the quality of the wrap by how successful a process it is and if by the end baby is still asleep. This time was a successful possibly because of the fantastic qualities of this wrap. I was pleased by how easily it slid in to place, how tight and snug I managed to get the chest pass. There were chunky handfuls of wrap but it wasn’t unwieldy or difficult to wrap with. Sometimes wrapping a sleeper leads to sagging which leads to digging. But I didn’t feel any at all. The wrap held in place perfectly, the texture and pattern giving it a lovely grip.


Henry woke soon after reaching the top of the hill and that normally requires quick removal from the wrap so he can play. But not today. Today there was an absolute refusal to being removed. I take that as a sign of a good wrap rather than the mood he is in. He did eventually come down and remained down for the rest of the day. Too nice to throw into a bag it became a lovely if somewhat oversized scarf!

As the twins have grown and tandem carrying had become harder I have become more of a weekend wearer when there are two of us around. But after selling my unused double buggy and getting a single I have had much more opportunity to wear and walk to the places I would normally drive. So I was pleased to be able to give Barbarian another go.

Up Matilda (girl shaped twin, also 2, 21ish lbs) went in a Ruck Tied Tibetan for the 20 minute walk down to the local stay and play. She’s a fairly dainty compared to Henry but at 2 she’s not squish light. I was incredibly impressed by how comfortable Barbarian was in this carry. I don’t hate the Ruck but it’s not a go to which is why I really wanted to try it.  The wrap had just the right amount of bounce to stop it being diggy but not so much that it became saggy. It stayed in place perfectly and she was as high at the end of the journey as at the start. For the 25 minute journey home (it’s uphill all the way!) Matilda was replaced by a heavier Henry in a simple ruck and I will admit to some slight digging by the time I got home but with new buggy envy he was not the most willing wrapee on this occasion!


So after a week and more chances to wear than I had hoped for I was sad to have to pack up Barbarian. Perhaps not one I would buy I was still not looking forward to saying goodbye. Having missed out on the unboxing I decided to document my reboxing before sending it on to the next person to enjoy.

To look at, Barbarian wouldn’t be my first choice in terms of design. I’m not a huge fan of geometric, repeating patterns but the intricacies in this on closer inspection were really lovely. For me the lower contrast “wrong side” softened the pattern and it really looked beautiful. It’s the wrap qualities that really make this a great wrap. I don’t know enough to know if that’s because of the blend, the weave, the design (or just my awesome wrap skills!) but maybe that doesn’t matter. Beautiful grip and glide, lovely subtle bounce and a decent amount of cush. What more could I need?

The wrap: CocoN Barbarian 65% ELS cotton 15% EF merino wool 10% Tencel 10% Pima cotton
The Wrapee’s: Henry and Matilda twinlets. 2 years old. 24lbs and 21lbs
The carries: Double Hammock CCCB, Ruck Tied Tibetan, Ruck

More photos



Unwrapping a wrap


I’ve never owned an Ali Dover. I have tried and loved several but don’t have one to call my own (yet). On release day I tried for Sweet for my amazing friend while others tried to get a Steel for our library. We were all unsuccessful. When I managed to grab one of the cancellations on Monday I was as excited as if I had scored for myself! Never mind the adrenaline rush of a fastest fingers release, this had my heart beating even more. Knowing there was only 2. Knowing that I wouldn’t be the only one with notifications switched on. I was shaking when the success message came up!

Then the wait for it to arrive. It wasn’t long, less than a week, but it felt as long as the last few weeks of pregnancy. Or like waiting for Christmas Day. Basically a lifetime! I was upstairs folding laundry when it arrived. My husband called up “I think a wrap is here” Thundering paws down the stairs, I snatched it from him and told him I needed time to open this one!! As I write I am thinking how ridiculous this must sound, especially as this wasn’t even for me! It’s just a piece of fabric right? (Obviously we all know that’s not the case. No matter the wrap or the company it came from it’s never just a piece of fabric).

I took the brown paper package upstairs and cleared the top of my bedside cabinet ready for photographs. Inside I found a small brown paper bag and inside that Steel. An Ali Dover luggage label held in place with a string bow. Perfect in its simplicity.

And then the three stripes. The three monochrome stripes. The beautiful thick dark grey stripe perfectly just off centre. So far this wrap was made for me.

I quickly decided that the dark wood was not right for this wrap beyond this initial surface exploration so moved to the clean white and dusky grey of the nursery and continued my journey.

After obsessing over the string and luggage tag for several (possibly too many!) photographs I was finally ready to untie and then noticed the sneaky slither of orange tempting me in.


Unfolding revealed more waves of coloured stripes, the bold tones beautifully complimenting the greys and creams. I had seen lots of spam but I wasn’t prepared for how amazing it would be in real life.


It seems silly to get so excited about opening a wrap. Surely the memories are made with the wearing of it? A beautiful package doesn’t a good wrap make and a wrap that arrives in a plastic postage bag doesn’t make it sub standard. But it’s the small, thoughtful and personal touches that stick.

Was the wrap meant to be revealed this way? Did Ali fold each wrap the same with the reveal in mind? Maybe this was the only one folded this way, maybe they all are but my expectations and the hype surrounding the brand has changed my experience of it? Who knows? Who cares?

So the wrap is revealed. Now to photograph the crap out of it!

It’s impossible to take a bad photo of this wrap. Folded, rolled, thrown in a heap on the floor. I thought I did’t like stripes but Ali Dover stripes are not normal stripes and Steel’s stripes are just wow!

Remembering that this is a wrap for the library with punters ready to hire it, I put it in the wash and hung it to dry on my mums long washing line. And there was Steel in all it’s glory, described by someone as an Ali Dover flag.


Like I said, I don’t own an Ali Dover but I’m a fan. I see the effort and thought that goes in to her process, the ethics that her company is built on and this shows in the way this wrap looks and the way it wraps (I did eventually wrap with it!). What an amazing experience!