We spoke with the founder of a ‘sling library’ that supports fathers in carrying their babies.
Mel Pinet, a mother of two living in Bethnal Green, has created a sling library. Wrap A Hug is a space for people to try on slings, wraps, baby carriers and to help them find the one that’s best for them.
Mel’s main goal is to have fathers carry their babies more. Her sling library is designed to save parents the hassle of buying a sling doesn’t fit well once you get home and start using it, or simply have their own slings properly fitted.
Mel says some people visit the library to discover the different types available of slings before they’ve even had their baby. She offers consultations – either 10, 20 or 40 minutes long – that include one sling hire. There are also private consultations and workshops on offer. She says all types of consultations include a free follow up and free support.
Elsewhere, a community of fathers carrying their babies can be found on Facebook. There, members can share their testimonies and tips with the group. “The best thing a guy can do is carry the little one in a sling. I love it!”, says member Peter.
“It’s a much more convenient. You get to interact with the kids at the same level as you, so it’s easier to talk about things on your walks. It keeps them warm and secure when it’s cold,” says Simon, a father of a two.
Wrap A Hug holds a monthly parent meet up for locals and professionals who give advice for free. The Tower Hamlets Family Meet-up welcomes everyone, regardless of where they live.
As Matteo says: “It feels preposterous to define what it means to be a man by a set of actions which might be defined as “manly” or “unmanly” but here we are: the manliest thing to do is to be able to bond with your child by letting them feel they are loved and by doing this you are showing them that being a man means not being afraid to show feelings of nurture and care for your loved ones.”