As a huge babywearing advocate, I will tell everyone and anyone to get themselves a sling and start wearing their baby as soon as they can. It is also important that people wear their baby as safely as possible too.
A recent babywearing tragedy has been reported to the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) by Dr Brierley, a consultant intensivist at Great Ormond Street Hospital. A baby was smothered whilst being carried in a ‘soft fabric bag-style baby sling’ around London by his mum (read the alert here).
The poor mum thought that she was doing her best at keeping her baby safe, and yet every parent’s worst nightmare happened to her. Of course, accidents happen each and every day. That is why we do our very best to try and prevent them happening. We secure our TVs to the wall, put stair guards on our doors and cover the sharp corners of all our furniture. If you, like me, still want to babywear then make sure you follow simple rules to make that as safe as you can.
The simple safety advice for wearing your baby in a sling is to make sure that it is tight, the adult can always see their baby’s face by simply glancing down, the adult can kiss their baby’s head by tipping their head forward and the baby should never be curled up so their chin is forced onto their chest, as this can restrict their breathing.
A very good rule of thumb for parents who use carriers is the TICKS mnemonic:
In view at all times
Close enough to kiss
Keep chin off the chest
Remember there are many different types of sling available for you to use, we have used ring slings, Mai tais, buckle slings and woven wrap slings. If you are still worried, or feel you need extra help or advice then I strongly recommend you go to your local sling library and have a talk with one of their extremely qualified and experienced babywearing consultants who will be able to give you all the safety advice you need to feel comfortable.