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CPSC and Infant Sling Safety


In light of the recent advisory by Consumer Product Safety Commission regarding baby sling safety, Babywearing International would like to remind caregivers that using a well-constructed carrier and proper babywearing techniques are of utmost importance when wearing an infant. Wearing an infant is a very safe method of carrying an infant, but we encourage parents to be informed on proper infant positioning.

Babywearing can be just as safe as, or safer than, carrying a baby in-arms.  Slings and carriers do not have muscle fatigue and are a wonderful option for transporting a wiggling child.  At BWI, we view babywearing as a skill that can be learned: many volunteers across the United States and throughout the world are committed to helping mothers learn baby carrier safety and proper babywearing methods.

"Slings are wonderful parenting tools when used properly and safely," said Dr. Lois Balster, a pediatrician and a member of BWI's board of directors. "Using a sling incorrectly is not unlike using an infant car seat without proper installation, infant positioning, and restraints. It is always important to position your baby safely in any carrier or infant-carrying device."

A baby carrier should mimic how you would hold a baby in your arms. A normal in-arms holding position is fairly snug to your chest and somewhat close to your face ("Close Enough to Kiss"). Babywearing advocates have been teaching about the importance of correct newborn positioning for years and warning against the use of slings that do not allow for safe wearing positions.

Here are some important guidelines to remember when wearing an infant:
  • Check to ensure that your baby is not curled up tightly in a chin-to-chest position; this compresses your baby's airway. Making sure there is a fingers' width or two between their chin and chest is a good guide.
  • Make sure your baby's back is straight and supported.
  • Monitor your child at all times. Make sure nothing is obstructing their face.
  • Be aware of how your movements affect the baby: avoid any bumping or jarring motions.
Babywearing International welcomes the CPSC warning as an opportunity to better educate caregivers and the general public about babywearing safety. We remain committed to promoting babywearing as a universally accepted practice, with numerous benefits for both babies and their caregivers.

For more information on safe babywearing, please see our Babywearing Safety page.

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