Babywearing Ireland’s Wear A Hug Fair
Ireland’s biggest Babywearing and Natural Parenting Expo
On Saturday 6 October Babywearing Ireland, a country-wide voluntary organisation will welcome over 1000 visitors to its seventh annual Wear A Hug Fair at The CityNorth Hotel and Conference Centre in Gormanstown, Co. Meath. The Wear a Hug Fair which will open from 10:30am to 5pm is firmly established as Ireland’s biggest Babywearing Expo with the largest selection of slings, carriers, babywearing accessories, children’s clothes and natural parenting products on offer in Ireland.
On the day visitors will be spoiled for choice with over 50 trade stands (many selling high quality products not available in high street shops), a series of talks, sling demonstrations and free entertainment for children. The Babywearing Ireland National Sling Library will be on site offering the opportunity to see a wide variety of slings.
Babywearing is the ancient tradition of carrying infants and young children in a piece of cloth known as a sling, which allows the wearer to carry on with daily tasks while keeping young children conveniently and safely close. Babywearing Ireland was set up in 2006 by Irish parents to enable others to learn about and find support on how to keep their babies close in a safe and enjoyable manner.
Fair organiser and mum of two Dearbhla Cronin is looking forward to welcoming experienced babywearers and those curious about finding out more to the fair: “There is huge interest in babywearing in Ireland. We have a new venue in the CityNorth Hotel this year, just off the M1 north of Dublin City and just 15 minutes from the airport. There are great transport links, good food, free parking, kid’s playground, talks, demos, super shopping with vendors coming to join us from all over Ireland and the UK. Everything you need for a great family day out!”
“Our organisation is something special”, Dearbhla added, “It is run completely by volunteers. There are about 100 of us all passionate about educating and enabling parents and carers to wear their babies and toddlers. Finding the right sling for you can be overwhelming, we run almost 30 sling meets (with libraries of demo slings) throughout the length and breadth of Ireland where you can try out slings, get advice from other babywearers and rent different types of slings for a small fee. We also have a postal sling library. The sling meets are also very social, offering a welcome space to chat with like minded parents.”
Babywearing Ireland offers impartial and comprehensive information on all aspects of slings from safety to fit. The organisation believes that slings are powerful tools for parents and caregivers, helping them meet the needs of their baby or toddler while having their hands free to get on with the all the other tasks busy family life brings.
Babywearing Professional Olwen Rowe, who co-founded Ireland’s babywearing school Die Trageshule Ireland explains: “We are hearing more and more about ‘infant mental health’—now part of our National Maternity Strategy—because there is a growing body of evidence-based research about the importance of responsive care for babies and children during their early years. Research tells us that when babies are kept close that they feel safe and secure, that their parents can get to know them better and understand their cues, and that when parents hold their babies, both parents and their babies feel calmer and happier. By keeping their babies close, getting to know and understand them, and in this way learning how to respond, parents help babies grow into secure and independent children. Sling and carriers are a practical way of keeping babies close and they also give parents free hands to mind themselves and to care for other members of their families—all essential for parents’ mental health!”
Olwen who will be speaking at the Fair adds that “Babywearing is a win-win solution for families: the practice allows parents to care for themselves and to meet the demands of daily life, all while keeping their babies close to their hearts where they can snuggle and connect, enjoying life together. I believe it is vital that when parents receive important information about keeping their infants close that they also learn about practical ways of doing this, ways that also allow parents to care for themselves. This is why the work of Babywearing Ireland is so important and necessary in Ireland.”
The Wear a Hug Fair takes place during International Babywearing Week 2018 which runs from October 1-7. Tickets (costing €6.50) are now on sale at www.wearahugfair.ie you can find out more about Babywearing Ireland at www.babywearingireland.ie.
For more information on Babywearing Ireland or the Wear a Hug fair please see:
For more information
Dearbhla Cronin (Fair Organiser) email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sinead O’Higgins (Babywearing Ireland PR) email: email@example.com
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Babywearing Ireland (BWI) is a completely voluntary organisation run by a network of volunteers all passionate about promoting safe babywearing and its benefits for both children and caregivers. As a volunteer organisation Babywearing Ireland (BWI) organises sling meets every week across Ireland and currently has 29 sling libraries and a National Sling Library which offers postal rental. In 2016 Babywearing Ireland celebrated its tenth anniversary. Babywearing Ireland offers a number of services such as Sling Meets, Sling Libraries and Online Support.
Olwen Rowe meets regularly with local professionals and volunteers in Galway who are passionate about promoting perinatal and infant mental health in Galway. In March she was delighted to attend the launch of a poster project called Building a Happy Baby, produced by the HSE in partnership with CYPSC and Galway Parent Network http://www.galwayparentnetwork.ie/building-a-happy-babyposters.
The project was created to share evidence-based information about what babies need (and bust myths that undermine the parent-child relationship). One of the four posters includes a photo of a mother with her baby contentedly sleeping in a sling and the message with it is that “New babies have a strong need to be close to their parents, this helps them feel secure and loved, like they matter in the world!” If you would like to know more about the links between babywearing and infant mental health please get in touch and we can arrange an interview.