Lately there has been a lot of buzz about babywearing and most of it hasn't been good. Slings in particular are getting bad press because of a recent tragedy of a baby suffocating while in a sling. A few years ago a certain brand of slings issued a major recall because parts were breaking and babies were falling. Even my mom has been influenced by the latest media blitz on slings. She called me this week telling me that I was NEVER to wear Avin in my moby wrap again because it was too dangerous! It took forever to get her calmed down and properly educated about babywearing but she finally settled down and decided that maybe it would be OK to keep wearing him. (Gotta love moms "letting" you do things with your own children!) The point is that a lot of moms who are unfamiliar with babywearing or new to babywearing are going to react the same way to this negative media. As smart, educated babywearing momma's we have to spread the word that when properly used slings, wraps, and carriers are perfectly safe for babies and actually provide a lot of benefits.
Babies who are worn often cry less, are more comfortable and secure feeling, and often fall asleep while being worn. Parents who babywear find that they can be comfortable keeping their baby close for long periods and are not as restricted in what they are able to accomplish. They also feel good about themselves because their babies are happy and content. For mothers who breastfeed, babywearing is especially convenient. Most slings, wraps, and carriers allow for a mother to breastfeed while on the go with little exposure. That is great news for momma's with frequent eaters or who may be shy about feeding in public.
I hate that any parent experienced the loss of their child but to put a ban on all babywearing as a result would be like banning beds and cribs due to SIDS. Yes, precautions should be taken but most slings are still a great choice. Not every type of sling, wrap, or carrier works for every person. I personally don't use slings because I am a plus size, large breasted momma and I've never found a sling that allowed me to comfortably carry Avin without feeling pregnant all over again. I love my Moby and it has been great for both my husband and I to use while wearing Avin. Don't be afraid to experiment with different types of babywearing devices to find what works for you. Yard sales and online classified such as Craigslist are great places to find carriers, wraps, and slings at heavily discounted prices. Your local cloth diaper or baby stores can be a great help in choosing the right carrier for you. Lots of shops hold babywearing workshops to allow you to try different carriers and to educate you on how the different carriers work. I encourage you to attend one if you haven't already!
I will be continuing to wear Avin because it works for us. I'm still proud to be a babywearing momma! I welcome curious glances and questions about "What is that?" because that means I get the chance to educate one more person.