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Is your baby sling safe?

 
After 1 million baby slings are recalled in the US, we take a look at what makes a baby sling safe or not.
By Robyn Addinall

Pic: iStockphoto.com

Article originally in Parent24
The safety of your baby is something that should never be compromised. That’s why something like 1 million baby slings being recalled is so scary.

According to OnDeadline, the 1 million Infantino baby slings were recalled after being linked to 3 infant deaths. It was stated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission that the babies could easily suffocate in the soft fabrics of the sling. Frightening isn’t it?

Baby expert Megan Faure, who is also the author of Baby Sense and a sling manufacturer, speaks out on baby slings.

Not all slings are created equal

It is important to note a few facts:
  • Firstly slings are enormously beneficial to babies as well as being convenient for parents.
  • Secondly the slings in question are a particular style that at this stage are not available in South Africa. These bag slings are generally connected by a clip that is not safe in my opinion and also position babies in a way that may inhibit breathing. I believe that by using one of a multitude of safe style slings according to the instructions, one should not see any risk to babies.
Benefits of baby slings

Over thousands of years and in most cultures women carried their babies in slings. Sadly this tried and trusted method went out of vogue in the 1900’s when modern prams became a fashion item.

Sadly babies lost out on the benefits of being carried and nurtured close to their mom.

In recent years we have seen a trend back towards natural methods of childcare and sensory based parenting.

Research by respected baby care medical experts such as Dr Urs A. Hunziker and Dr Ronald G. Barr support the numerous benefits thereof.

Some benefits include:
  • Calmer - babies who are carried in a sling are conclusively calmer than babies who are not
  • Social benefits – the baby is at the parent’s level, reading signals and seeing the world with the parent.
  • Bonding – the parent has a greater opportunity to read the baby’s signals and connect with the baby at close proximity
  • Developmental – the vestibular input provided by slings facilitates motor development of tone, balance reactions and later motor milestones
  • Breastfeeding 
  • Language development – the baby and parent communicate more and benefits may be seen in verbal IQ
Avoid baby slings that:
  1. Have elasticised edges
  2. Use drawstrings that pull the fabric over the baby
  3. Are deep sling bags which position the baby low on the mother’s body
Characteristics of a safe baby sling:
  1. The simpler the better
  2. Make sure that the sling has been tested and approved by a standards organization
When you’re wearing a sling or carrier, don’t forget the T.I.C.K.S.:
  • Tight               
  • In view at all times        
  • Close enough to kiss        
  • Keep chin off the chest         
  • Supported straight back    
Do you use a baby sling or a pram to move around with your baby?
 
Read more on: baby
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