Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

My Babywearing Story

October 3, 2010

I suppose you could say I came to babywearing in a pretty typical way. I was working in my shop, about 6m pregnant, and saw a woman come in with her baby all wrapped up in fabric. It was red, and looked far sassier than the ubiquitous navy blue carrier that I’d seen everywhere else. Her baby looked so close and snuggly, I stopped her to ask what it was and where I could get one. I think I went out the next day and bought my first Moby wrap. I couldn’t wait for the baby to arrive so we could try it out.

Michael and I both loved it. Peanut was born pretty little, just over 6 pounds, and wouldn’t have fit in that other carrier. The Moby wrap was perfect. We wore it ALL THE TIME. I wore it so much, I thought, hey, there must be other stuff out there that we may like…let’s do some research. I spent most of my summer quarter that year sitting in class, reading on The Baby Wearer about other carriers. I decided that a Hotsling would be perfect for us: easy to put on, snuggly, and cute! I loved my Hotsling even more than I loved my Moby, and we soon found lots of other amazing carriers.

The things we were able to do with Ryan in a carrier was amazing. People often commented on how well-behaved Ryan was out in public, how she never cried, how she seemed so content. Studies certainly support that children carried more cry less, and are generally calmer, no doubt because their needs are attended to more quickly. Babywearing also helped us become more confident parents. We were able to sort out Ryan’s needs quickly, and we learned more about her as we wore her in slings and carriers. We knew our daughter amazingly well, and could anticipate her next move.

We were also able to go on with our lives as we liked them (to a point!). Ryan just came along in the slings and carriers! She napped anywhere, through anything. She went on 20+ flights in her first year and we were always complimented on her wonderful behavior. Of course she was happy, she was close to her parents! We went to fairs and festivals, big cities and small road trips. None of which would have been as easy if we hadn’t had carriers.

Through all this, REgarding Peanut was born, too…so you could say that babywearing helped me give birth to my second “baby”. My little business has offered me an outlet to help new parents, and was a gateway towards finding another passion: childbirth education. I plan to become a doula some day, and would probably have never found this path without carriers.

Fast forward 4.5 years to the birth of our second daughter, Finleigh. I honestly don’t understand how one can parent a subsequent child without a baby carrier! Finleigh spent the first 3 months of her life almost exclusively in a sling. It was easy to nurse her when necessary, but still tend to Ryan’s needs. I was able to take Ryan to her usual playdates and parties, while keeping Finleigh safe and warm on me. I am able to make lunch for Ryan, take her to ride her bike, and help her get dressed, all while wearing Fin. Without carriers, one of my two daughters would have suffered the loss of mommy’s attention. Ryan would have been plugged into the TV while I tended to Fin, or Fin would have been relegated to a bouncy chair while I tended to Ryan. Babywearing is a win-win.

And scientifically, babywearing is a win-win for all involved. It’s THE SAFEST WAY TO TRANSPORT YOUR BABY. Hands down. Over 7 million slings have been sold in the last 20 years, not including those made by desperate mothers needing to calm an upset baby. True, 9 babies have died while in slings. None of those deaths (though tragic) were found to be the fault of the sling. Slings are good for babies. They’re good for parents.

If you feel this way too (and I know you do, you’re here!), please consider joining the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance. A baby sling recall is imminent this coming week, and the BCIA needs our help in several ways:

If you can find $25 to join as a supporter, please do.

Share your babywearing story on your blog, on a friend’s blog, on my blog (email me to have your story included), or on the BCIA page.

Write to your Senators and Congress people about how babywearing affects your life, and the lives of those you love. They are our representatives in government, and they have the ability to control or alter the scope of the CPSC. They are the ones who can help us most.

If it comes to it, we may be asking you to contact your local media outlets in support of babywearing.

Please stay tuned for more information, and more ways to support babywearing. Our childrens’ futures literally depend on our actions today.

Babywearing: Is my sling safe?

March 12, 2010

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