Image of blackboard: "think outside of the box" is written in chalk in capital letters over a square shape.

Consults, creativity and problem solving

I had a brilliant consultation this afternoon that I’d been worrying about slightly beforehand. Background: client has been to our drop-in sessions on a few occasions and for various reasons we have not been able to find a comfortable front-carrying solution for her and her baby. We suggested that the time allowed in a consultation in her home might be useful, and she booked in.

Now, this is really unusual. We can almost always find a way for baby and wearer to carry comfortably *enough* in drop-ins, and consults tend to be for trying multiple carriers, learning new skills or just because it’s nice to be able to take your time with something new.

So the brief here was different: we needed time for Sally or I to be able to apply all of our skills and training in coming up with something that would work for this dyad. While it’s always exciting to face a new challenge, it was a bit unnerving for all of us. Sally and I have been doing this job for years and there are fewer and fewer scenarios we haven’t tackled as the years tick by.

But I’d forgotten how wonderful it is when we work with motivated clients on something ‘outside of the box’ and we get into The Flow! I’d done some preparation beforehand and so had the client- I had some ideas and she had a carrier she felt had a chance of working reasonably.

We started with her carrier and between us took it from a narrow-based complicated-looking carrier to something she can use confidently and relatively comfortably. We discussed some airway protection issues specific to that particular position and how she can still use the carrier safely. This kind of thing takes time and can be hard to tackle comprehensively in a drop-in.

The client was up for exploring back carrying as a possible alternative, which was fantastic. However, her baby is not quite 4 months old. Far too little for buckle back carries, but with no wrapping experience, how was I going to support her to back carry with a wrap in a way that felt achievable and didn’t just put her off the whole thing?

I explained at the beginning that if we were going to explore back wrapping, it would be hard work. We would make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. And then make different ones. But she was up for it and we got into the learning zone: The Flow. I did have a trick up my sleeve in the form of a Je Porte Mon Bebe wrap: strong enough for back carrying yet more forgiving than a woven in terms of comfort, and easier to learn in terms of tightening technique.

She absolutely rocked it. The first few attempts with a doll had some tricky points but she tried and tried again and experimented and we worked out what worked for HER. When I left baby was comfortably snuggled on her back, having had a nap there!

Learning needs time. Learning needs a connection and teamwork between facilitator and client, and that needs time. Learning needs creativity and the opportunity to make mistakes and those things also need time. Learning needs time. Consults give us that time and I love them!

Charlotte x