With the sling recall all over the news, I’m sure there are some parents out there who are nervous about using them now. I hope this doesn’t deter you from babywearing.
In fact, I don’t even consider the recalled carriers slings at all-they are more of a bag you carry your baby in-and babywearing experts agree with me on this. It’s a little frustrating, because they’ve mass marketed the carriers and made them seemingly easy to use, since all you do is put it over your shoulder and put the baby in it. Before I knew anything at all about babywearing I saw a friend using one of these bag type slings, so I urged my sister to buy one. Her baby didn’t like it (thankfully) and she passed it to me for my newborn. Even though I had no experience, I instinctively knew something wasn’t right about this type of carrier. My baby seemed curled up with no support, and way too far down in the bag. I was never hands-free as I was always supporting his neck because it seemed crunched. It was also extremely uncomfortable on my shoulder, and nerve-wracking since I checked to see if he was breathing every five seconds… seriously. Then I started asking around and reading about more traditional types of wraps and slings and went to a wonderful baby store in New York City where I was shown exactly how to use a ring sling and a wrap.
I share this because we need to get the word out about safely wearing a baby. There are websites and books devoted to the subject, and many many moms who are enthusiastic about showing others how to use them. I love it when people ask me about my various slings and carriers.
So please don’t let the recent news discourage you from babywearing. Just learn the correct way to do it and try different types to find the one that is the most comfortable for you and your child. Borrow one from another mom and have her show you how to use it. Don’t give up and trust your instincts. It’s proven that babies who are carried cry less, have reduced or no colic, and sleep better at night. It’s also much more convenient than lugging a stroller around.
Also, one last note: never wear your baby facing out. This is a scary, overstimulating and confusing position for a baby. She has no concept of object permanence, and even though you are right behind her, she can’t see you and feels insecure and vulnerable. If she is facing you, she can control the amount of visual stimulation to let in and retreat into the comfort of your chest when she needs to feel secure.
Click here for some sling recommendations.