By: Lindsay Chancellor
Most parents will use some sort of carrier for their child, many will choose to use a sling style carrier. Slings are one of the most popular carriers for an infant because they seem more natural and soft for the baby as opposed to a carrier with buckles, harnesses and straps. A small infant does look more comfortable in a sling, pressed against mom, nice and snug. However, there are a few safety concerns regarding slings that many moms and dads do not know.
A recent survey found that one in twenty babies have been injured or narrowly escaped injury in a baby sling as their parents are confused over safe positioning. Fourteen babies have died in the United States alone in the last twenty years. One problem is suffocation. While wearing your baby in a sling, make sure the baby is in an upright position and their lips and nose are ALWAYS “visible and kissable!” When an infant is not positioned properly in a sling, it can cause their chin to press against the chest, constricting their airway which can lead to suffocation. A more common issue with slings is the risk of baby falling out because the sling was not tight enough on the parent and baby.
Slings can be a great way to carry your little bundle of joy, especially in the first few months. Those who have used slings rave about them as it creates baby bonding, is a convenience in baby toting and is economical. The position of the baby is the key. The baby must be upright with their lips and nose uncovered at all times, NEVER with their chin pressing against their chest. Also, the sling must fit pretty snug on the parent so the little one will not fall out of the top or the bottom of the sling. If you are set on a sling style carrier, look into a product like the Baby K’Tan or Moby Wrap that offers extra support versus the one ring sling.