Saturday, March 27, 2010

Unsafe baby slings??

I am a HUGE fan of "baby-wearing" and like I said in this previous blog post my Hotslings sling is my favorite carrier. Recently in the news there has been stories about unsafe baby slings and a recent recall of one brand of slings. Here is a news story about it. I can totally see why they would be unsafe BUT I honestly think it's not the slings fault completely. I believe a big part of the problem is that it's not being used correctly. There are warnings on the labels and packaging of all baby slings. I've watched my Hotslings video MANY times before I ever used it to make sure I was using it correctly. It showed how to use it correctly and that if it wasn't used correctly that suffocation could occur (the main position that could cause suffocation is when a baby is placed in the cradle position like this which is for babies ages 0-4 months which is why they are saying it's not safe to use a sling until a baby is 4 months of age). I have actually never used my baby sling in the cradle position. I tried but I never felt I had them in there right and they always seemed to be in too much of a "C" position where their airway could be restricted. So I used my good judgement and didn't put the baby in like that. And another reason I didn't use it much in their first few months of life was because my babies just didn't seem to like being in there like that. BUT they LOVED the sling when they could be carried facing out in the front-carry position (for babies 2-8 months of age) or carried on my hip in the hip-carry position (for babies 6 months & up). I have a feeling this media attention brought to slings is going to give them all a bad rep. I am STILL 100% pro-babywearing and pro-baby slings. BUT I do feel it's important to use them correctly and if you aren't sure they are being used correctly or don't feel they are being used correctly then definitely don't use them. That is just common sense isn't it? The same goes with any baby item. Car seats for example--just think of all those babies placed in car seats and the straps aren't secured correctly? Should we not use them since some might not use the correctly? NO but we educate parents on how to safely secure their baby in the car seat. People have been "wearing" their babies for centuries all around the world. There are many benefits as well as convenince to wearing your babies. Just use common sense and your better judgement. The slings themselves are not what is "unsafe" for the most part. I believe it's the users error that has made them unsafe. I believe that parents need to gain wisdom on how to safely wear their babies. I hope that this new finding of "unsafe" baby slings doesn't cause people to feel the need to express their opinions to us "babywearing" mothers out there. Those that aren't educated on baby wearing are the ones that I can see making comments to us when our babies ARE in the carrier the correct way and making us feel as though we are doing harm to our child. After reading this news article it does make me more conscious of the possible harm that can be done by wearing a baby incorrectly. If I do have any more babies I would probably not wear my baby in the cradle position just as a percaution which is what I have done in the past as well. Not saying that people out there shouldn't, I'm just saying for me personally I would choose to wait until my baby is about 2 months old and use the front carry where I know there are no possiblities of suffocation. With the past two babies I've used a sling for that is what I did. Yes, I did try the cradle carry but by not feeling 100% comfortable with it, I chose to not use it that way. That is common sense don't you think? So for you baby wearing parents out there continue to wear your baby but pay close attention to how your baby is being carried to ensure your baby is as safe as possible. To those opininated people out there that always seem to have some type of unwanted advice or opinions on how parents are raising their children please keep your negative comments to yourself. Its not fair to us who are making sure our babies are taken care of and safe to feel uncomfortable. This article here tells about the recalled Infantino slings. I think it's great that they did recall that item since that particular one has been the cause of harm to many infants. I'm not familar with that actual brand of sling so I'm not sure how versitile it is and if it can be used in the same positions has the hotsling sling can. If it can only be used in the cradle hold then it's probably a good idea that it was taken off the shelf to keep people from using it incorrectly and to keep those that wouldn't use it with caution. By writing this blog post, I don't want you to think that I think it's wrong that they pulled those off the shelf, I'm writing this to state my opinions about it and to make my readers aware that not ALL baby slings are "bad" and should not ever be used. I believe it's important for all of us "baby-wearing" parents out there to use this finding as a warning of how important it is to use our slings correctly. Okay, I'm off my soapbox now!


If SHE can figure it out.......... said...

Hey Shawna,
I carried Baby E in the cradle position with my sling lots of times (even as a newborn) - I would check on him frequently to make sure that he was positioned correctly. I will say, though that I noticed when my sister tried to carry him that way, he got really scrunched up and looked not only unsafe, but uncomfortable as well. We figured out that because of where the sling fell on her body (she has a very short torso) it was causing him to get squished, but on me (my torso is a lot longer), the sling came down much farther an gave him extra room to straighten out a bit. Anyway, I love my sling and I'm not going to stop using it just because some people can't figure out a safe way to carry their baby in it!! Use some common sense, people!

Shawna said...

See, that must be why I couldn't ever carry my babies in the cradle position. I do have a short torso. I thought maybe I was just doing something wrong...but that makes sense! Yup, people need to just use common sense...if they aren't postioned correctly...then don't use it! :) Glad to hear you will still use your sling.