ABOUT

Sandy McGivern-Butler

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Sling and Carrier Consultant

Hi, I’m Sandy. I went to my first babywearing group meet up before my daughter was born, and knew instantly that keeping my baby close in one of those carrier things was what I wanted to do. So before she was born, I made a mei tai, bought a stretchy wrap for me (to help me build up in confidence to woven wraps one day…) and a buckle carrier for my husband, and I was given a ring sling at my baby shower. Then my daughter arrived, and within two weeks we were using the carriers with her…. and discovered that it’s not just about what you might want to use, but hugely about what the baby prefers too! My daughter never liked a stretchy wrap, hated to feel her arms and legs hemmed in by a carrier, but was happy for hours in a ring sling. So I got particularly good at using the rings sling (4 years later it is still her preferred carrier), and over time we worked out buckle carriers, mei teis, and eventually I got to learn how to use woven wraps as well. Now, with a four year old, I still need my carriers, as I couldn’t carry her for more than 5 minutes without one, and my preschool sized mei tai, or my thicker ring sling are still essential equipment that live in the boot of my car.

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Having discovered how incredibly useful babywearing is as a tool, I wanted to help show others, and so I started helping out at my local babywearing group meetings, and have been a volunteer instructor with Babywearing North Shore for over 3 years now. I also organised weekly babywearing walks around Auckland for about a year until I broke my foot and had to leave that behind. But I enjoyed getting out and going for walks with my daughter on my back, and meeting other mums while I did that, and I made some very good friends during that time too.

slingababy-training-shot-me-1When I heard that the wonderful Lorette Michalon of Slingababy UK was coming to New Zealand to do our first babywearing consultant training here, I knew I just had to be on the course. It was one of the best things I have ever done, even though I had my mind blown on a daily basis as well as shedding a few tears from time to time, but I was right in that the training has enabled me to take what I teach and how I help people to a whole new level.

I love helping people find out about babywearing, or find ways to do what they are doing in a way that suits them or their child better, and I know first hand what an amazing tool this is, at whatever age and stage you and your children are at, but I also know that not everybody can get to their local babywearing meeting, and not everyone does well learning with other people around. I also know that there are times when being able to use a carrier means the difference between sanity and despair, as we try and give our children what they need. This is why I wanted to become a qualified consultant the most, so that I can help people who need something sooner than the next meeting, or need someone who can come to them, or they would like a more relaxed setting and plenty of time and one on one assistance, or they want more specialised help because they have different circumstances (for example carrying multiples, premature babies, or physical circumstances that may need a different approach) or because they want to take their babywearing skills to a new level. This is the service that I am happy to provide, and I look forward to meeting you. 🙂