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Baby slings safe?

Mothering Responds to CPSC Sling Warning: Babywearing Is Safe
On March 12, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a Federal Agency, issued a warning in regard to the use of baby slings. The CPSC asserts that there is a risk of slings suffocating infants who are younger than four months old, and that caution should be used when carrying babies of this age group in slings.

Mothering puts the CPSC warning in perspective: Babywearing is safe, but some slings and positions are not. While baby carriers are as old as civilization, modern babywearing has exploded in the last four years. Along with this rapid increase in use has come the creation of some unsafe carriers, in particular bag-style slings that have a deep pouch, excessive fabric, and an elasticized edge. These deep, bag-style slings can be especially dangerous for premature or small babies.


Asked by Bellarose0212 at 10:19 AM on Mar. 20, 2010 in General Parenting

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Answers (12)
  • In my opinion just looking at the slings they are selling in Wal-Mart and other stores these days it is obvious that they could be dangerous. Seems to me that they are made out of the same materials as the crib bumpers that they are now telling people not to use?? ..and just about as thick too! I also think it has to do with the baby wearer themselves.. Who doesn't look down and check on their baby frequently? I know I do.. I had a Maya Wrap with both of my boys and loved it! This time around after the first few weeks I am extremely excited about using my Earth Huggy carrier! :)


    Answer by MamaMulder at 11:24 AM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • Some general guidelines for safe babywearing:

    1. Only choose a sling that allows you to see your baby’s face.

    2. Be sure baby is not curled up tightly, chin to chest. This position can restrict breathing, especially in newborns or in infants who cannot yet hold up their heads.

    3. Make sure that the sling fabric is “breathable,” and keep baby’s face clear of fabric.

    4. Do not press baby’s face tightly against the sling wearer’s body.

    5. Position the baby’s face upward.

    6. Reposition baby if there are any signs of respiratory difficulty: rapid or labored breathing, grunting or sighing with every breath, restlessness.

    For more information, see Mothering’s Special Report on Babywearing

    For babywearing safety tips, see “Babywearing 101”

    Tune in to Mothering Radio

    Answer by Bellarose0212 at 10:19 AM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • Tune in to Mothering Radio at 11:30 PST on Monday, March 22, for an exclusive one-hour show featuring Glenda Criss-Forshey, president of Babywearing International; M’Liss Stelzer, author of “Babywearing 101”; Jane McClintock, of Quirky Baby, an online baby carrier distributor, and Alma Gordillo-Webb, moderator of’s babywearing community. Look for our feature article on slings in the July–August 2010 print edition.

    Answer by Bellarose0212 at 10:20 AM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • if you are an intelligent mother who has common sense, IMO they are perfectly safe.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:20 AM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • I agree with anon :20 - I really think this is all due to user error. While I can see why that particular style sling would be more dangerous, I still don't understand how the wearer isn't checking on baby or can't feel baby's breathing & movements.

    Answer by Wheepingchree at 10:27 AM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • {Personal note- there are also lots of baby carrying options that aren't your traditional sling. We didn't really find a good sling fit when my DD was an infant. The only one that we were able to get her in with a good position for BOTH of us, was a wrap sling, but it was difficult for me to do the whole wrapping process in parking lots, etc. We found our good fit with a front buckle carrier- the Ergo, when my DD was about 4 or 5 months old. Next time, I'll use the Ergo with an infant insert, or a similar carrier (Beco, Earth Huggy Baby Carrier).


    Answer by Bellarose0212 at 10:28 AM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • Find what is right for you- *do google searches for carrier comparisons- *check out this site with comparisons of carriers and "ask the slinglady" and find local moms who have carriers and try it out for a day with your baby or look for "sling libraries"}

    Answer by Bellarose0212 at 10:28 AM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • I agree! The mom-made and mom-designed stuff is always better! The first buckle carrier I had was an infantino and it sucked! My back hurt after 5 minutes in the store, but I took my Ergo to Disney and felt fine! I also had the infantino sling and never used it for DD because just placing her in it she didn't fit right and it was ALL WRONG! Those big baby companies are trying to get in on the sling/carrier action except they don't want to do their research and come up with a good and safe design! Unfortunately its the unsuspecting mommies who aren't all that educated on carriers and just see them in the stores who suffer- or who just get turned off from using them all together!

    Answer by Bellarose0212 at 11:53 AM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • Ahh, it's so true- but definitely not necessarily user error. A friend of mine had her daughter in one of the side slings that has an opening to nurse- she was nursing and choked and you know- normally kids are fine after they cough a few times they keep nursing and quiet down? Well, she quieted down because she couldn't breathe and then ended up spent four days in the NICU!

    Answer by LishaBee at 12:42 PM on Mar. 20, 2010

  • Maybe your friend should have checked on the baby.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:30 PM on Mar. 20, 2010