You all know by now (or if you don't, you do now) that I had an Infantino sling that was recalled. It was a bag sling that turned HB's body towards me and laid him more or less horizontal so that his head was pushed close towards his chest. These are both big no-nos since they can cause a child to suffocate. Plus, it was hard to look down at him. I would periodically check on him by moving the fabric. Fortunately, he is fine. Several other infants were not hence the recall.
Since then the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has taken a hard look at all baby carriers. And I say rightfully so. Bag slings are the worst in baby carrier saftey because they don't carry the baby upright as they should.
Unfortunately, the rumor is that the CPSC is going to remove all slings from the market. The problem is that not all slings are designed badly. A vast majority of the slings are designed so that even young babies are sitting upright with their head visible to Mom or Dad. They are similar to the way Mom and Dad carries a baby in their own arms.
I've mentioned that there are times when you don't use a sling or any other baby device, but I should tell you some of the safety precautions that you should take when using one.
I've stolen this list from Adventures in Babywearing. I'm sure that she won't mind.
* Your baby should be in a position similar to holding them in your arms
* You should be able to kiss the top of their head
* Your chest, back, or sling fabric should not obstruct baby's face
* Do not wear a carrier that is too tight or too loose, or not properly fastened
* Read and follow your carrier's instruction manual
* Be aware of baby's temperature; don't let them get too hot or too cold
* Do not perform any activities that you wouldn't normally do while holding your baby in your arms
Here are some additions:
* Make sure that the baby's butt is at or above your navel area. Any lower and the baby is sagging and puts pressure on parts of your body that are weaker.
* Make sure that if you are using a sized carrier that you are using the size that works well for you. If it's too tight or too loose, get a different brand, different size, or buy a one-size fits all adjustable carrier.
* Before wearing each time, check to make sure that there are no tears, holes, or unraveling in the fabric. If there is, discard the carrier and immediately replace it. Don't be tempted to fix it. This leaves a weak spot in the fabric and is a sign of fabric weakness overall.
* Do not handle anything hot or dangerous (like chemicals or cooking hot foods).
* Do not do a lot of bending over. If you have to, squat.
* Do not go jumping on a trampoline or heavy running. The motion is too jarring for baby's brain.
* Be sensible. Look at your baby and make sure that if his/her head is flopped over that you can pull the fabric up to support their head.
Please add any additional thoughts in the comments section. I'm sure that I've missed something.