Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Baby Slings

While I don't judge the way other people parent their children, I am pretty solid in the way that I want to raise mine.  I am a very attached parent. This means I don't believe in the "cry it out" or "CIO" method.  If one of my children call for me or cry, I respond as immediately as possible.  We co-sleep, which means she is with me or right beside me while she sleeps at night.  I also "wear" my baby.  This means that my youngest daughter, who is 12 weeks old, is usually attached to me in some way.

I have several different slings.  I have a New Native Baby Carrier, which is my favorite.  The New Native is more of a cradle close to my body.  While it is non-adjustable, the child can sit in different ways, to allow for a newborn all the way to a 35 pound child.  It's available in many types of prints and materials.  You can also choose to buy an infant support pillow with the sling, which is for smaller babies.  I love this sling because it doesn't hurt my back and it offers discreetness for breastfeeding. 

I also have a Moby Wrap, which comes in at a very close second to the New Native. It's a completely adjustable wrap, and can be a little overwhelming at first.  However, their website offers great step by step instructions and even video to help you get started.  The best part about this wrap is that it offers you many different ways (at least 10!)  to carry your baby. 

The last two slings that I have are the Infantino Euro Rider (this is an Amazon link because Infantino no longer makes the Euro Rider), and the Infantino SlingRider.  I love the Euro Rider for face-to-chest contact with my baby.  That means she is facing against me, with her arms and legs loose.  It makes her feel comforted without being tucked away, and it keeps us together while I'm playing with her big sister or doing housework.  Once she can fully support her head, she can face outwards and see the world around her.  I like that sling a lot as well, but I've never used my SlingRider except with my chihuahua and my shih tzu.  They loved riding in it while we were outside or at the park, but I've never put a baby in there.  And that's a good thing, because I recently read about a massive, $1 million dollar recall on the Infantino SlingRider, and the Infantino Wendy Bellissimo sling.

I felt like this affected me, because not only do I own the SlingRider, I have also used a sling for my daughter since birth.  I have always followed guidelines and recommendations, and my sling was approved for infancy.  However, along with this recall, The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a warning for children under four months of age.  Obviously, there is not a lot of neck control in newborns, and experts are now saying that no sling is safe for a child of that age. 

In researching incident reports from the past 20 years, CPSC identified and is investigating at least 14 deaths associated with sling-style infant carriers, including three in 2009. Twelve of the deaths involved babies younger than four months of age.
Slings can pose two different types of suffocation hazards to babies. In the first few months of life, babies cannot control their heads because of weak neck muscles. The sling’s fabric can press against an infant’s nose and mouth, blocking the baby’s breathing and rapidly suffocating a baby within a minute or two. Additionally, where a sling keeps the infant in a curled position bending the chin toward the chest, the airways can be restricted, limiting the oxygen supply. The baby will not be able to cry for help and can slowly suffocate.
Many of the babies who died in slings were either a low birth weight twin, were born prematurely, or had breathing issues such as a cold. Therefore, CPSC urges parents of preemies, twins, babies in fragile health and those with low weight to use extra care and consult their pediatricians about using slings.

Parents, please check your child's sling.  Make sure that they are adequately supported in the sling.  Even though most don't come with a pillow, you can purchase them separately if you plan on using your sling with a newborn.  Also, if you own the Infantino sling that is being recalled, you can click here for information on returning it.

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