Reviewed by Renee Alli on August 03, 2014


Baby Sling Carriers Raise Safety Concerns, Consumer Infant Deaths Prompt CPSC Warning About Sling Carriers for Babies, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

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Video Transcript

: (pretty music)

Ellie: Touch is so important to a newborn's development.

Melissa: And to the bonding between parent and child.

Melissa: (pretty music)

Ellie: One way that both mom AND dad can keep baby close throughout the day is in an infant carrier.

Ellie & Melissa: We're Ellie and Melissa, the Baby Planners and we're here to help you sort through the options, step by step.

Ellie: There are two basic kinds of carriers for baby's first year: the traditional front carrier; and the sling. For safety reasons, backpacks shouldn't be used until after one year of age.

Melissa: Traditional front carriers are designed for hands free use. Most models come with back and shoulder support – and are a great choice for a heavy baby or a parent with back issues.

Ellie: Newborns should ride in a seated position facing your chest, with their knees as high as their hips. Be sure the model you buy has a padded headrest to support baby's head and neck. As neck strength improves, baby can face forward to see the world as you walk.

Melissa: Slings are hammock-like pieces of material that allow baby to ride at your waist in a comfortable sleeping position. There are a variety of styles and fabric choices available, adjustable to one size fits all.

Ellie: Because it's so quick and easy to access baby, slings are also a great choice for a nursing mother.

Melissa: But slings do require more awareness because there are no safety straps.

Ellie: And there's another issue. There have been cases of very small babies suffocating in slings.

Melissa: That's why the Consumer Product Safety Commission advises parents to be extremely careful.

Ellie: When using slings with infants younger than four months. And remember always keep baby's face uncovered and in view

Melissa: and check on them often.

Ellie: If you decide a baby carrier is a purchase you need, look for the following features:

Melissa: Size and adjustability: you want to be sure the carrier fits both mom and dad well;

Ellie: machine washable — it's guaranteed to get dirty;

Melissa: back support — test various carriers to see what works for you;

Ellie: price — more expensive models will come with lumbar support and extra padding, so don't automatically choose the least expensive option.

Melissa: And above all, be safe. Follow manufacturer's directions carefully.

Ellie: Remember, carriers should never be used while driving, riding a bike, jogging, using exercise equipment, or while cooking.

Melissa: Never get on a step stool or reach for things in high places while wearing a carrier.

Ellie: When you lean over it's important to bend with your knees or use your hand to hold baby securely in place.

Melissa: And watch baby's temperature —

Ellie: studies have shown that babies can become overheated.

Ellie & Melissa: For WebMD, we're Ellie and Melissa, the Baby Planners.

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