Thursday, March 25, 2010

Would you put your baby in a duffel bag?

***edited to add: My live traffic feed says quite a few people from Europe are reading this. I'm really curious how you  are finding me! Please quench my curiosity by commenting!!***

I was already annoyed and planning to blog at some point about the idiocy of the CPSC's warning about baby slings.  Now that they have named and forced a recall of the one that killed 3 babies in 2009, I'm even more annoyed. 
At first, when it was just a general warning, I thought if anything, slings should just be added to the list of SIDS dangers, like stuffed animals and blankets in the crib. 14 deaths in 20 years, 12 of which were preemies and/or had respiratory issues anyway. Doesn't everyone know 8lbs is the minimum for sling riding?  I wondered how a parent could be so clueless that they wouldn't notice a baby not breathing. When I'm wearing my itty bitty babies in my DreamSlings or other slings, you can feel the movement of the breathing because they are so close to you, and if you can't just feel it with your belly, you can put your hand on the outside of the sling and feel the breathing. Most babywearers that I know do it frequently, just like we feel our bellies while we are pregnant.

To me it's like publishing a general warning about carseats rated for 20-65 lbs because a two 16 pound babies didn't make it through wrecks in 4 years. Those babies shouldn't have been in those seats in the first place. Failure to follow weight guidelines and pay attention to less than 1 kid/year does not warrant the amount of news coverage and bad press that this has gotten!

So then, yesterday a facebook friend posted about the recall of the Infantino SlingRider. I went to see what it is, and it's the big fluffy, funky sling sold at Wal-mart, I'm not surprised which one is recalled. Have you ever seen one of those used? I never once saw a person using it correctly. I saw a dad wearing a brand-new-from-the-hospital baby in one one time, and it was hanging so low it actually flapped against his thighs as he walked.

I noticed that even in the pictures on the package, the sling is worn more like a duffel bag than how real pouch and ring slings are worn. This thing even has a 3 point seatbelt to keep the baby from falling out. A REAL sling doesn't need a seatbelt because they baby is held CLOSE to the wearer, and a properly fitted or adjusted sling isn't going to let the baby fall out. WOULD YOU PUT YOUR BABY IN YOUR GYM BAG? That's what this Infantino Slingrider is. An open top duffel bag with a seatbelt.
A properly fitted pouch sling (like the picture on the left) has the baby's  butt at about the wearer's belly button, and the baby is worn with his head above the butt. The SlingRider, as advertised (middle pic), has the baby lying down, and the bag they are calling a sling hangs low, more like a duffel bag (last pic).

I HAVE seen "instructional" YouTube videos that show you how to carry a baby in a sling with the head down by your hip, with the feet going up toward the shoulder. SERIOUSLY? Would you walk around with your baby upside down? NO. So why would you plop it into a sling upside down?

It's really going to suck if the Government puts out rules about all slings when this is ONE poorly designed baby killing monster of a "sling." That big fluffy monster is NOTHING like a ring sling or a pouch sling.

If people aren't smart enough to make sure their baby can breath, I don't think a government illustration like this is going to help:

I have to wonder how much money was spent getting an illustrator to make those FANCY drawings above. Wouldn't it have been easier to show a picture like this: 

While we're at it, lets put out a giant scary warning about ALL tricycles because SOME certain ones are tippy, dangerous, poorly designed pieces of crap.

Summary: The Infantino SlingRider isn't really a sling. It should not be called a sling, let alone be allowed to ruin babywearing for responsible parents everywhere.


Sharon said...

Bravo! Bravo! *clap*clap*clap*!!!

Well put! I couldn't agree with you more!

But you forgot to put out the warnings about the trees and acorns! LOL

You are exactly right in your description of the Infantino "SLING" looking much like a duffel bag! I saw a woman with one and that is EXACTLY how I would've described it!

Excellent post!

Afnan said...

looooool great ideas and they're so cute and funny ;p

MaryElizabeth said...

wow, people are ridicules.
Thank you for writing this!

People should really do their homework,
maybe they would figure out the dangers
of not baby wearing. :D


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