ring sling

Lenore Skenazy perfect sums up my feelings on the whole ZOMG SLINGS ARE DANGEROUS!!! thing:

Perhaps you read the other day that now even baby slings are regarded as “risky” by the Consumer Products Safety Commission. This because, over the course of 20 years, there have been a reported 13 baby sling-related deaths.

It is really hard to write “death” in any story about children without sounding cavalier when adding, “Does that really mean a product is risky?” But still, that’s what I have to write. The odds are so overwhelmingly good for babies in slings — fewer than one death a year — that to label a product like this “dangerous” is to label doing almost anything on earth dangerous. In 1999, 624 people died falling off of furniture. So is sitting on furniture risky?

Read more on Free Range Kids.

Comments on Yeah, so about scary slings…

  1. I gotta say… my first sling WAS dangerous… i felt like it swallowed izzaq up even though he was withing the weight range. I was always to scared to use it and sure enough… about a month after we got it, it was recalled. Since then I have had 3 and love them all… NOW. people ask me why I dont sell them in the store (since I make my own, but I do sell a H2O pouch sling that I co/op with my logo on it.) Why? Because some parents are just really really stupid. And I refuse for my store to go down because some idiot parent wasn't paying attention walking through a door way, knocks their kid on the head and gives them a concussion… right? Or the parent that doesnt have the toddler in all the way and the wiggle out the bottom, the silly stupid mistakes could be endless. so dangerous? Yeah, it could be if in the wrong hands… but I would die without my sling… its been a LIFESAVER in having the boys so close in age…

    • I would take it easy on the parents… they certainly didn't intend to put their kids in harm's way, and they probably were under the common illusion that, in buying something sold by the thousands in big-box stores, they were buying something proven safe. These (few) families are probably hurting enough! There are probably a million ways my kids could have been killed over the last 3 years, including the occasional bump on their head, etc. I think we're all doing the best we can.

  2. I think the real issue here is that people are lumping all slings into one category! If you carry your baby in a purse, basically, then yeah… you're setting yourself up for a risk! Instead of people automatically blaming sling companies, they should do their own due diligence and research, research, research. Not all slings are made equal! Check out http://thebabywearer.com… good place to start your research.

    BTW, a little background on that picture: I borrowed that sling from a neighbor, to try it out before purchasing my own. It turned out to save my sanity a few weeks later, when Alice got her first round of shots and was so cranky, refusing to sleep or be put down into a swing the ENTIRE WEEKEND. If it wasn't for that sling, she wouldn't have slept at all during the day and would've basically cried non-stop, and I would've had to throw myself out the window.

    • I realize this is off-topic, but I *love* your glasses. Would you mind sharing the brand? I've been looking for clear plastic frames for months but haven't seen any I like as much as yours.

      • Hi, sorry it took me so long to answer (and to everyone else, sorry to hijack the thread a bit…)
        The glasses are Ray-Bans. I really liked them but they are definitely not kid-friendly, so guard them with your life. 😀

  3. I agree with PP about the problem with slings being that they are all lumped in the same category. Not all slings are created equal. And just like you can mess up installing a carseat, you can use a good sling incorrectly as well (we use special technicians sometimes to install our carseats, it would make sense for people to seek out a babywearing educator to correctly wear their slings — oh yes, there are many, many out there, both in person and online willing to help). For safe babywearing tips from Babywearing International — http://babywearinginternational.org/pages/InfantS

  4. Thank you for this! I talked to my DH about this issue and that was basically his reaction (to this as well as co-sleeping and baby hammocks concerns)– we're talking about how many fatalities out of how many users? No one wants to be cavalier about a child's safety, but everything in life involves a cost-benefit analysis and once that's been done, we just have to do our best to reduce the risk associated with our chosen activities.

  5. The bottom line is that babywearing has a learning curve. Parents need to educate themselves on how to safely get a baby into and out of a sling, how to make sure that they are breathing correctly, to adjust safely, etc. If your carseat wasn't installed correctly, it wouldn't work either.

    The store where I work has babywearing demos once a month — anyone can come in with their sling and we'll give them a tutorial. I think of more stores that sold slings and wraps did so, there would be much less panic. But YouTube works in a pinch — really.

  6. I adore all of my slings and carriers. From the bjorn to the slings to the my new fav the scootababy. My daughter is now 27 pounds so the hip is the only place that I can put her for a long period of time but the beco is nice for when she wants to sleep on a walk. But like the others have said, I totally agree that new wearers should watch a few youtube videos before actually wearing the baby in it – I have seen super tiny babies in a few carriers that made me nervous. My daughter sleeps pretty good and is a really happy smiley baby and I truly believe wearing her made all the difference.

    With that said, if for some reason you can't (don't want to) wear your baby don't freak out about it. One of my best friends is super tiny – probably 120 pounds when she was 9 months pregnant – and she had a 10 pound baby. After he was about six months old, she physically just could not carry him any longer and she felt horrible about it. She would literally got all choked up when she would put him in a stroller on our walks.

  7. I followed at least seven of those articles, and I have to say it's all absolutely ridiculous. Every article stated the curling up of a baby in the sling leading to a crushed or blocked airway. The slings list this on the instructions. It's annoying to me when someone doesn't follow instructions or doesn't educate him or herself, has a problem, and wants to blame someone else. (It comes from years of running amusement park rides.) Every one has a responsibility to pay attention to instructions, especially when it comes to a baby.

    Slings are really awesome. I had to try out several before finding the ones that worked for me, as did all of my mom and nanny friends. I would never go without a sling. They just make life so much easier. Plus, I really liked having baby snugged up close to me, head resting on chest, easily viewable. (I would never use a backpack. The lack of visual bothers me.)

  8. A few months ago, my son's crib was recalled because of four deaths in 10 years and five million cribs. And all the incidents were because the rail was installed upside down. I don't want to downplay the tragedy of these deaths in any way, it's just… come on… let's get some perspective! It made me wonder whether Health Canada was going to start recalling balconies and pots of boiling water.

    I have to say, I could never get the hang of getting my guy into a sling in a way that felt safe (totally operator ignorance… I just couldn't get it). So I didn't use one – I used an Ergo and that worked great for us. We all just need to do what we feel is best for us and our kids. Period.

  9. First of all, my heart goes out to these families – a preventable newborn death is a tragedy. The wider issue, I think, is that in these modern times, people have freaking forgotten how to do everything! A few hundred years ago, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, siblings, and friends would have been a woman's midwives and child-rearing teachers, using the techniques that had worked for millenia, like how to properly sling a baby, how to successfully bed-share, when to introduce solids, when to wean, how to give birth and naturally ease pain, how to hygienically and environmentally handle waste and when to potty train, and how to eat for conception. Don't even get me started on non-baby things like getting your own food and fuel. Nowadays, I'm just waiting for the gasps of horror when I inform the grandparents that I'm aiming for a home birth, that I plan to breast-feed for 2-3 years (I know, I know, things might not work out that way, but I can dream), that I have absolutely no intention of using formula (I know, I know, just my Imma be a Perfect Mommy dreams, bear with me) no grains until the child's several years old, and liver will be the first non-milk food. I'm so sad that so much wisdom has been lost, and now we have to spend hours reading reviews on different products, trying to educate ourselves, since our mothers and grandmothers didn't bother to. Surely the parents had convinced themselves that these products were safe, based on erroneous recommendations and too many It Worked For Me's. Back in the day, these people's families would have made them proper slings with adamant instructions on how to use them, how the baby should be positioned, and how to constantly be checking the baby's breathing.. With warnings about staying away from reptiles, falling coconuts, and other ridiculous comparisons 😛 We just don't have that kind of instruction anymore, as the family and village is slowly eroded, and that will make me a very nervous mother when the time comes.

  10. I noticed that the recalled slings held baby like a bag. My Peanut shell sling held my son kinda flat against my body, much like how I'd hold him, I bet that makes a difference, having baby strapped in close and snug vs. hanging loosly in a pouch. (Seems like that would hurt moms back too) I just hope that this does not discourage baby wearing, only makes people aware that there are important differences in products and its crucial we understand that only we are responsible for ourselves and our choices we can't rely on any company to 'take care' of us. I hope the familes who have lost their little ones find the comfort they need and deserve.

  11. And Heather your 'perfect mommy dreams' are not unrealistic. Think about it, you exclusively nurse/pump for roughly 6 months…totally do-able….after solids come in its easy to nurse a few more years….its even a bit tough to stop, for me its the lazy moms best secret 'weapon'. And I present my birth plans this way "We are having a home-birth for safety reasons." Its true and its good for opening dialogue that doesn't involve attacking/fear mongering ect. and I can 'teach' a little about being a savvy consumer when it comes to maternity or medical care, we hire providers to work for us, not to treat us as subordinates, a respectful provider will remember that they work for you.

  12. Gosh, I don’t know what I would do without my SleepyWrap. My MIL went crazy about it, too, when we brought my son home from the hospital. My email was full of links to news articles about that poor woman’s baby. I’m thinking about getting a Maya sling sometime, too, just because it takes some time and space to put the wrap on.

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