Thursday, March 11, 2010

It's a sling thing!

Most of you know that I love carrying my babies in slings from the time they are born. I carried the first three in my Kangaroo Korner sling and swore that there was nothing better. However, once Whitaker was born I started having back and shoulder pain when I wore it and I was at a loss what to do!

I came across the Moby Wrap and now cannot imagine any other baby carrier. It supports both of my shoulders and back, whereas the sling went over one shoulder. Yes, the wrap was fidgety at first since it is one long piece of fabric, but once I got the hang of it (with another mom's help), there was no turning back. (Man, I wish I was being paid for promoting them!)

I have been planning to write about my new love for the Moby Wrap for some time now, but have not gotten around to it for one reason or another. Oddly enough, I opened the paper today to read about the warning that will soon be issued regarding such carriers.

Infants can and have suffocated in slings and wraps, so while I know this warning is important it's my hope that moms don't abandon these altogether. Education is KEY so hopefully the warning will not poo-poo the use of slings/wraps entirely, rather teach the do's and don'ts.

So, here are my thoughts on safe baby-wearing:

1. Make sure the sling you purchase is the right size for you. Slings are sized to be snug and secure. Too loose, not good. Too tight, not good. (Wraps are a little different in that they tend to be one size fits most.)

2. Your baby should be worn high enough that you can kiss the top of his/her head and/or can see their face at all times. 

3. Wear your baby close to you. I have seem moms wearing slings that are so low that the baby is around their waists- more like a purse than a sling. Think of it this way, your baby is not an accessory, they become an extension of you when you are wearing them correctly. They should not flop around in your sling/wrap.

4. If your baby is a newborn and lacks neck muscle control, make sure their chins are not tucked into their chest which can restrict breathing.
5. Don't let this warning scare you away from wearing your baby! It is done around the world and has been done for thousands of years. Read your sling manufacturer's baby wearing suggestions and enjoy this precious time of being close to your baby! :) 

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