baby carrier instructions  Baby Sling Secrets
Meet The Author
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Hi, my name is Rebecca Wolf.
Here are some excerpts from my e-book, "Thriving Babies:
How to Use Baby Carriers
from Around the World
to Promote the Healthy Development of Your Infant"

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Beyond Baby Carriers
Okay, there's a lot of cool stuff out there for hip moms and dads. Here's my list of "must-have" products.

How to Safely Use Your Baby Carrier
(excerpt from the Thriving Babies E-Book Manual)


Section One: Research on babywearing injuries


Here 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.

First, choose a safe carrier.

The 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: http://www.mayawrap.com/n_faq.php#recall

The lessons here are:

1. If you are buying a used carrier, make sure that it has not been recalled.
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 true safety.

Second, check the condition of your carrier regularly.

The 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!

Discover the carrier safety check I developed for myself in
The Complete Thriving Babies Manual here!


Third, learn how to use your carrier.

The 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!

Fourth, be sure your baby can breathe properly.

One 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.)


Section Two: Practice

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.


Section 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!

BEWARE OF:
  • 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 your baby.

  • 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 child.

  • 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 activity
DON’T DO IT!  Nothing is worth putting your precious baby at risk.


Section Four: Airplane safety

It 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 your baby:
  • It is very common for lap children to be catapulted to the ceiling during heavy turbulence, especially on international flights.

  • 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 airborne.

  • If you put your child in a carseat while you drive, why wouldn’t you take the same precaution at even greater speeds?


If 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 not foolproof.


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 there!


I love babywearing, how else could I have carried 54+ pounds of tired kids around Sky Harbor baggage claim ???"

 Story Submitted by Shannan






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This website is for informational purposes only.
It is not meant to replace the advice of the appropriate health-care of child-care professional
or specific baby carrier instructions given by the manufacturer.


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