Award-winning Portland Nurseries Group has adopted the use of baby slings in all its five Huddersfield nurseries to help aid the attachment and settling in process for babies in their care.

Huddersfield-based Portland Nurseries, which was founded in 1991, has recognised the benefits of babywearing, including supporting and building a safe and secure attachment with nursery staff.

The slings are effectively calming and will enable children to take comfort and rest from what can be a very busy nursery environment during any times of over-stimulation or over-tiredness.

The move has been introduced across all five settings – Portland House (Lindley), Oakwood House and Harlequin (Edgerton), Holly Bank (Birkby) and Bradley House (Bradley).

All staff working in the baby rooms have received training from Yolanda at The, who said: “As child development becomes more understood, more and more people are using responsive parenting techniques and babywearing is one of those.

“Portland Nurseries came to me after extensively researching the benefits to both babies and staff members.

“Using a sling will benefit the nursery practitioners, as it reduces stress on their bodies and enables them to support all the children in their care, safely and effectively, whilst carrying one child.”

Joint MD of Portland Nurseries, Anastasia Murphy, said: “Our staff in the baby rooms work on a 1:3 ratio but using a baby sling allows them to have 1:1 time safely while continuing to care for the other children.

“We recognise that babies in slings are more receptive to learning and display enhanced visual auditory alertness.

“When babies are held close, the adult and child can see each other’s faces, leading to both verbal and non-verbal interaction, enhancing speech and social development.

“We are confident that using sling supports in our nursery settings will support the children’s development in line with the Early Years Framework and help create a sense of security, which can lead to greater confidence and independence later in life.”

Anastasia confirmed that as with any new scheme that is introduced, all risk assessments have been carried out and staff are already noticing the benefits.