So babywearing has been in the news lately because of a recent recall that Infantino had to do after a baby died in one of their SlingRider baby slings. As an avid babywearer, I can’t resist the urge to rant a little on this topic. Babywearing is all about parent-child connection. The whole point of it is for baby and mother (or father) to be intimately connected, both physically and emotionally. The baby should be close and snug to the mother’s chest. Their breath and heartbeat starts to form a beautiful rhythm. She should ideally be able to breastfeed in the carrier. The mother should be able to FEEL her baby breathing at all times, even without looking or touching. That being said, if its done right, the mother will be compelled to look down at her child constantly and gaze into his beautiful face, talk to him, and place her hand on his back and feel him breathing. In other words, babywearing, when done right, automatically lends itself to constant monitoring– something not possible when baby is in a stroller or carseat.
If a carrier is made in such a way so that the mother can’t have this experience with her child, then what’s the point? If the mother wears her baby around her neck like a bag– like a burden– then that defeats the entire purpose of babywearing. Infantino obviously doesn’t get it! They not concerned with enhancing the parent-child bond. Their only interest is in selling products to a market that they see as ripe.
There are some extremists who would throw the baby out with the bathwater on this one (no pun intended) and would advocate against all slings. This is ridiculous. Babywearing is a safe and beautiful way for parents to bond with their child and a convenient way to make life easier for mom as well. Check out what Mothering has to say about it. Let’s just make sure that our motives for babywearing are right– this includes being educated about the reasons for babywearing and especially educated about the safety of carriers. It should be a conscious choice– not just another thing to throw on a baby registry. I never trusted Infantino products before this came out, and my suspicions have now been completely confirmed.