News that has shaken the Baby-wearing world
The Sling manufacturer Infantino have issued a recall on 1,000,000 of their slings in the US alone and have warned all parents to immediately cease using the "SlingRider" and the "Wendy Bellissimo" in their range. From the Infantino website "CONSUMERS SHOULD IMMEDIATELY STOP USING THE SLINGS AND CONTACT INFANTINO FOR A FREE REPLACEMENT PRODUCT" http://service.infantino.com/SlingRider.html
The risk being that as it is a handbag style sling and holds baby deep in the sling in a c-shaped position that this can cause the baby's chin to be pressed against it's chest which can cause compression of the airway and asphyxia/suffocation. Also, it is thickly padded and made from synthetic materials therefore not breathable.
This leads us to the question, what is a safe Baby carrier or Sling and how should they be correctly worn?
Some suggestions when looking at purchasing a baby sling and how to wear safely are as follows:
1. Make sure that baby is put into the sling with back as straight as possible, and that baby's chin is leaning slightly back from it's chest (to do this, put sling on then have baby chest to chest in an upright position, take sling over babies head, then put babies bottom into sling, pull any excess material down toward babies bottom)
2. Have baby sitting high up in the sling, tighten straps as much as you need to to achieve this (an adjustable sling is needed to do this)
3. Make sure that baby is not lying deep down inside the sling
4. Be sure that nothing is obstructing babies access to fresh air, such as fabric, or railings, and that babies face is not leaning in toward caregiver
5. Do not pull the railing up between you and baby
6. Do not carry baby on your back
7. Do not leave baby alone in the sling
8. Hold onto your Baby for extra security
9. Take off extra layers of clothing and blankets so that baby is not too hot, avoid using synthetic materials
10. Make sure that the sling that you use is 100% natural materials and is breathable, and also that fabric is not too thick.
11. Do not drive a car, ride a bike, horse etc when holding baby in sling
12. Watch babies head while going through doorways etc so that babies head is not banged
13. Make sure that slings has safety strap and it is buckled up
14. Make sure that you can hear audible click when you do up buckle
15. Always check the condition of the sling before use that the fabric is not torn and buckles are intact
16. Be sensible, continuously check on your baby when using the sling
Baba Slings Safety Check List
|Is the Baba Sling adjustable?
|Can baby sit up in the Baba Sling?
|Does the Baba Sling have a safety strap?
|Is the fabric on the Baba Sling 100% Cotton?
|Is the fabric used on the Baba Sling breathable?
|Is the Baba Sling a handbag style sling?
|Does the Baba Sling hold baby in a c-shaped position?
||No (Baby should sit with straight back)
|Can you hold a small baby in an upright position in the Baba Sling?
|| Yes (because of the unique double adjustable strapping system, you can have the bottom railing longer and top railing tighter, which holds baby in a very secure position)
Baby wearing common sense and diligence
Hearing the news fear may come up for new and seasoned parents alike now, as to whether or not it is right to carry their baby in a sling. To put things into perspective, remember that babies have been carried for centuries in all kinds of different slings and carriers and if you carry your baby responsibly and follow the above suggestions then you will be able to enjoy this ancient practice that has been handed down through the generations in many cultures worldwide. Baby carrying in a sling is something that we can safely do and reap a great deal of benefit from.
That this has happened is also a blow to the International baby-wearing community, and also for new parents, who are already unsure as what is the right for their newborn. Wearing your baby is such a gratifying experience for both baby and parent. If people fall into fear they will miss out on the all important bonding that takes place when baby is carried.
Like anything with children you must check them continuously, this is what it is to be a parent, and yes there are many dangers that come along with raising a child, all the way though, and it doesn't stop once they are out of their babyhood. While babies are robust, care must be taken with anything and everything that you do with them. Even whilst holding your newborn baby in your arms you must keep an eye on them that their face has not rolled in toward you, even when breast-feeding.
Sometimes I have watched mothers (with larger breasts) breast-feeding and they have been so busy chatting away that they are unaware that their whole breast has covered the babies face, I have had to point it out to them, as a little baby can't let you know. Breast is best, but could you imagine, that if the same thing happened whilst a Mother was breast-feeding, would the health department warn Mothers against breast-feeding, something that is so beneficial to baby and gives baby the best start not only on a physical level but also emotionally and mentally. I am pointing this out to show how absurd this would be, as is the case with what has happened, with the warnings on slings in general.
I understand that if there is a faulty product that of course it should be recalled, however please don't throw the baby out with the bath water, as Sling wearing is the next best thing to breast feeding, and I urge parents to use their own common sense when reading these stories on the internet, and at the same time use common sense and diligence when using a sling or carrier.
Warm Wishes,Shanti McIvor