Hi, my name is Rebecca Wolf.
Here are some excerpts from my e-book, "Thriving
How to Use Baby Carriers
from Around the World
Promote the Healthy Development of Your Infant"
Okay, there's a lot of cool stuff out there for hip moms and dads.
Here's my list of "must-have" products.
to Safely Use Your Baby Carrier
(excerpt from the Thriving
Babies E-Book Manual)
Section One: Research on babywearing injuries
is a summary of the information from research articles on injuries
related to improper babywearing. Heed these lessons and we can help
decrease the already low injury rate related to baby carriers.
a safe carrier.
number one cause of injury was due to faulty product design.
It’s not enough to rely solely on a company’s
reputation. Several big name manufacturers have recalled carriers
because babies were injured due to faulty parts and/or design. Here are
a few examples:
- The Baby Bjorn Active carrier, which
was just recently introduced and even pricier than the Original, was
found to have a defective buckle. You can find out if your Bjorn was
recalled on their website: http://www.babybjorn.com. The company will
replace the buckle for you, if requested.
- Maya Wrap used 1/8 inch thick sling
rings on some of their baby slings in 2001, which resulted in 20
reports of the rings breaking and one fall, with no reported injuries.
These slings were recalled and the company now uses 1/4 inch thick
sling rings exclusively. You can get more information regarding the
recall and how to replace a recalled sling at:
If you are buying a used carrier, make sure that it has not been
2. Even if your carrier hasn’t been
recalled, be sure to check the condition of the carrier and all parts
before each use.
3. Examine how your child fits in the carrier.
Many smaller infants have slipped through leg holes or other gaps in
carriers that are too large for a newborn or preemie. On the other
hand, is your carrier strong enough to hold the weight of a larger baby
or toddler? Most manufacturers have weight guidelines, but you still
need to check how the carrier fits your specific child to gauge its
the condition of your carrier regularly.
second major cause of injury was due to old, worn carriers.
I have already mentioned this, but it bears
repeating: ALWAYS check the condition of your carrier before you use it!
how to use your carrier.
third major cause of carrier injury was improper usage. You are taking
a necessary precaution by reading your carrier instructions and The
Thriving Babies Manual to help you learn how to use
your carrier safely. Section Two below outlines some helpful safety
tips. But always keep in mind that YOU alone are responsible for the
safety of your child. Please exercise common sense when using any baby
carrier. Your knowledge, prudence and awareness are your
child’s best defense against injury!
sure your baby can breathe properly.
study also raised the issue of adequate ventilation. Always be sure
your baby can breathe and that your carrier allows for good air
circulation. Certain carriers are made in fabric that is more
breathable, such as Solarveil, or authentic rebozos. If you live in a
hot climate, these breathable carriers may be especially comfortable
for you and your baby.
Pre-term (and special needs) babies are
particularly sensitive to inadequate ventilation because their lungs
are so immature. If you aren’t sure if your baby is getting
enough oxygen in the carrier, don’t do it and/or seek medical
counsel. The effects of oxygen deprivation can be debilitating and
permanent, so always be sure your child can breathe properly. (This is
also one HUGE reason why you
should NEVER let a newborn cry it out alone.)
Practice builds confidence. Your child will feel more relaxed in a baby
carrier if you are comfortable wearing it.
This is why I wrote the Thriving Babies Manual -- to guide other
parents through the maze of babywearing! Please refer to the Complete
Thriving Babies Manual for all of my practice suggestions and
step-by-step photo instructions.
Three: Potentially dangerous
activities to avoid
Please exercise common sense when using your carrier and remember that
you are the only one responsible for your baby's immediate safety!
Using a carrier while in a moving
vehicle of any kind (this includes airplanes).
Activities that will bounce or
shake your child.
Loose fabric or ties. (You can tie
the tail of the sling around the rings, or tuck excess fabric away so
it doesn’t catch on anything.)
Drinking hot liquids while carrying
Hot cooking, especially with hot
oil that may splatter.
Using sharp knives that a carried
baby can inadvertently grab.
Lifting or moving heavy objects
while carrying your baby.
Leaning over too far. (Always try
to bend at the knees.)
Putting toys or other items in the
carrier with your baby that could poke, choke, or otherwise harm your
Not protecting baby from the
elements. (Remember to use sunscreen on your baby if you are going
outside, or wind resistant fabric for cold winds.)
A good rule
of thumb: If you are unsure about the safety of any
DON’T DO IT! Nothing is worth putting your precious
baby at risk.
Four: Airplane safety
is easy to assume that holding a lap baby in a sling or carrier during
take-off, landing, or heavy turbulence may make your baby safer, but
frankly, there is no replacement for a carseat in a car or on a plane.
Wearing a baby in a carrier may actually put you
and your child at even greater risk for injury in the event of a crash
or very heavy turbulence. Some airlines have rules against anyone using
a baby carrier during landing and takeoff. If there were a lot of
turbulence or an accident, the excessive force on the wearer could
result in a back injury – a liability the airline would like
to avoid, hence the rule.
I have heard a lot of discussion about airplane
safety and baby carriers and wanted to address the issue here.
Basically, the best place for an infant on a plane is buckled into her
own carseat, with the seat belt securing the carseat. Now, some folks
don’t want to buy the extra seat for an infant, especially if
money is tight. That is a personal decision you will have to make.
But here is some information for you to
consider, before you make this potentially life or death choice for
It is very common for lap children
to be catapulted to the ceiling during heavy turbulence, especially on
In minor crashes, the crew can
often help everyone to safety, but lap children get thrown and are
often impossible to find, so they get left behind.
Holding your child on your lap
could be the most dangerous place for them because guess where your
torso is going to go during a jolt? Your chest will slam into your
legs, possibly crushing your child, if she isn’t already
If you put your child in a carseat
while you drive, why wouldn’t you take the same precaution at
even greater speeds?
you STILL choose not to purchase a ticket for your infant, you can
request an “infant block” where the airline will
basically save the seat next to you, until all the other seats are
taken. Then, you could still bring and use your carseat, without paying
for an extra ticket, if the flight isn’t full. There is no
guarantee that you will get the extra seat, though, so it’s
A True Babywearing Story
"I was at the airport
in baggage claim and I went up to a skycap to
ask for help with my luggage. At the time I had my 19 mo in my
frankenkozy on my back and was holding my 3 1/2 yo in my arms. He told
me to wait where I was and he would help me.
We were talking while I
waited for my luggage and my 19 mo saw something and leaned out to the
side. The skycap's eyes got really big, he hadn't even noticed she was
babywearing, how else
could I have carried 54+ pounds of tired kids around Sky Harbor baggage
Story Submitted by Shannan