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Sling Safety

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Last week was a big one for baby-wearing in the news. The New York Times printed an article about the baby-wearing trend in their Fashion & Style section, of all places. And no sooner had I finished last week’s blog did my friend Kate send me an email with the subject: Interesting, scary, and could be devastating for baby-wearing if not handled the right way. In the email she linked to an article announcing that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was preparing to issue a warning about the danger of baby slings. Inez Tenenbaum, head of the CPSC, does not single out specific slings in the warning, but baby-wearing experts are quick to point out that “bag style” slings are the most dangerous, as it is impossible to get the baby into an appropriate position — the “C curve” position baby takes in such slings can easily cause them to suffocate since their airway may become obstructed when their chin is pressed to their chest.

Like the proactive natural parenting advocate she is, Kate contacted her local news station, which visited her at her store A Child’s Garden in Northampton to address safe baby-wearing. Click here to view the segment.

Baby-wearing is safe (and healthy) if done correctly. If you have a sling, wrap, or backpack-style carrier and are unclear as to how to use them safely and effectively, here are some useful how-to videos:

Ring Sling:

Wrap:

Ergo:

Mei Tai (Asian-style carrier):

There are countless videos on YouTube demonstrating the use of a variety of carriers in a number of positions — use your best judgment when consulting them for instructions. I chose the ones above for their clarity and accuracy based on what I have learned first-hand from baby-wearing experts. If you are still unsure how to use your carrier safely and correctly, contact the manufacturer directly for instructions.

kangaroo sling sutemigear.comPhotograph courtesy of www.sutemigear.com

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