The do’s and don’ts of baby carriers

By admin
20 May 2014

Consider a sling when you start taking your baby out. But be sure to choose one that’s safe and works for you and your child. Here’s help.

Consider a sling when you start taking your baby out. But be sure to choose one that’s safe and works for you and your child.

It’s something most parents don’t even want to think about – the injury or death of their infant in a freak accident. Even more unthinkable is if it were to happen while using a product designed to keep your baby safe.

Yet sadly this fate recently befell Marianne Matthews (35), a British mother who took her five-week-old baby for a walk using a baby sling. When Marianne arrived home, she discovered her child had suffocated. It turned out the sling she’d used had prevented the baby from breathing.

Baby slings are common, and the tragic death of little Eric Matthews shocked many parents. But slings aren’t necessarily dangerous. We asked nurse and midwife Sister Lilian Paramor for tips on choosing the right baby sling.

“It must be used safely,” she says. “The moment a parent relies on any device or aid, you give away half your power. You can never let down your guard.”

  • Check that the child’s airways are open. This includes making sure fabric or bedding is kept away from their face, that they face sideways when lying against you and that their chin is off their chest. “Newborn babies tend to want to go back into the fetal position, which can constrict their airways.”
  • If you can’t see your child’s face, they are in danger. “Parents should always be able to see whether the child is breathing. Sometimes parents are worried about exposure to the cold but having a baby’s face open is good – it lets them breathe fresh air and can keep them alert so they know they have to breathe.”

Choose the right sling

- Dalena Theron

Extra sources: babywearinginternational.org, kangapouch.wordpress.com, ombaba.co.za, snuggybub.com, babywearingsouthafrica.wordpress.com, sisterlilian.co.za, babysense.com, alphamom.com, cpmagazine.co.za

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