In 2006, a new mom named Courtney Hughes had a daughter that constantly needed to be held. Courtney struggled to wear her new daughter, but knew no one to offer her guidance and could find no local support group. She searched online and found many videos and chat rooms, such as http://www.thebabywearer.com, and she struggled to learn many new carries from these videos.
Hoping to help other moms learn to wear their babies, and to not have to do it alone like she did, Courtney found a larger group called “Nine In, Nine Out” (NINO) from which she created a local affiliated group. NINO advised her to create a lending library of slings for her new group, yet Courtney had no money for such a large expense. Courtney created a book called “Happiness is Babywearing” and sold about 100 copies online to raise money for the group’s first lending library.
Sling Babies grew very quickly in the following two years with more leaders, a new online forum, both weekend and weekday monthly meetings, “slingouts” to local attractions, various babywearing workshops, an expanding lending library, and new literature for the group.
Based on Sling Babies’ strong following, a new nonprofit group called Babywearing International (BWI) invited Sling Babies to join its new group. Sling Babies officially joined BWI in August 2008, and remained with BWI until January 2010. It was at this time that Courtney and the other leaders decided to step down from Sling Babies and pass the torch to new leaders. The new leaders all agreed that it was in the best interest of all of the members to keep the group local, and changed the name back to Sling Babies.
Today, Sling Babies leaders continue as an independent baby wearing group, offering capital district residents knowledge and support for baby wearing and beyond.