Babywearing: Is my sling safe?

There’s been a lot of media attention surrounding baby carriers in the last few days, and certainly if you’re one of our followers on Facebook, you’ve seen the links we’ve posted. So what’s the deal? Why is everyone so freaked out about slings all of a sudden? The CPSC is issuing a statement today regarding “baby slings”. What they really mean is “duffel bag style slings”. The slings and carriers that we offer at REgarding Peanut are safe, have never been recalled, and have not been involved in any infant tragedies. The slings pictures at the bottom of this post? They have. Sixteen babywearing manufacturers (including CatBird Baby and Wrapsody) issued a joint statement yesterday regarding sling safety. Please read through it, and if you feel so inclined, share it!

Guest blogger, Jane, owner of QuirkyBaby.com, helps to explain it for us:

Consumer Reports warned in October 2009 of the risks of using bag-style carriers, linking the Infantino SlingRider to two documented deaths. As explained at the BabySlingSafety blog by a registered nurse who has tested babies’ oxygen levels in the SlingRider and similar bag-style carriers, the design of these carriers forces baby into a C-position with chin tucked to chest, potentially obstructing baby’s airway. Bag-style carriers may also enclose baby’s face in fabric, increasing the risk of re-breathing exhaled carbon dioxide. Although many babies will wriggle and squirm or cry to indicate their discomfort as their oxygen levels decrease, not all babies are capable of doing so and, as so tragically demonstrated, some babies will die.

In positioning a newborn or very young baby in any carrier, always make sure you can:

  1. See baby’s face at all times.
  2. Put two fingers under baby’s chin, ensuring it is not tucked against baby’s chest.
  3. Hold baby securely in the babywearing zone between your waist and your collarbone; baby’s head should be close enough to kiss.

Avoid C2C (chin to chest), or a curled C position, in any baby carrier.

The Babywearing Safety page on Facebook hosts many pictures of babies being worn safely (and unsafely) in various styles of baby carriers and features a growing collection of resources on safe vs. unsafe babywearing. If you have any concerns or questions about choosing and using a baby carrier safely, please email me at katy@regardingpeanut.com

Below are pictures of bag-style carriers that I consider to be absolutely unsafe for newborns (and uncomfortable for babies of any size). If you own one of these carriers or a similar one, please destroy it. No, really. Cut the straps and throw it in the trash.

PreMaxx

Newer Infantino

Munchkin Jelly Bean Sling

Munchkin Jelly Bean Sling

Lamaze

Eddie Bauer

Boppy Carry in Comfort

Infantino

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