Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Media misleading

I'm a huge fan of babywearing.  I currently have three different baby carriers, and love having different ways to carry my little one.  I love the feeling of having him close to me to snuggle, and we have such a laugh and a giggle together when we're walking along.   In the main the comments we receive are positive but very occasionally we get the odd negative comment from people who mistakenly believe it is dangerous to wear your baby.

What I get really annoyed about is the media getting it wrong. The latest example is the BBC programme "In the club", which showed this scene...


This particular baby carrier is not safe at all. In a bag sling, there is no safe way to position the baby. They have to lie lengthways and the sling curves them into a C-shape, pushing their chin into their neck and can restrict their airway. The design of this also means that any air they can breathe is re-circulated air.

There have been deaths associated with this sling. Wearing your baby is easy but it must be done safely for both baby and parent.

If you want to baby wear, please do your research and please find your local sling library to try before you buy, and learn how to wear your baby safely.

There are so many benefits to babywearing:
 1. Wearing a baby is convenient.
When we carry a baby in a sling, we can walk around freely and not have to worry about negotiating steps, crowds or narrow aisles with a stroller. Car seats are heavy and awkward for parents.Babies often look uncomfortable, and they are kept at knee level.  Prams are often cumbersome and bulky in heavily pedestrianised areas.  A sling can block out excess stimuli when breastfeeding an easily distracted (nosey) baby, and it allows for discreet nursing in public places. A sling can also double as a changing pad, blanket, or cushion when away from home.

2. Wearing a baby promotes physical development.
When a baby rides in a sling attached to a parent, he is in tune with the rhythm of their breathing, the sound of their heartbeat, and the movements they make – walking, bending, and reaching. This stimulation helps him to regulate his own physical responses and control his balance. The sling is in essence a "transitional womb" for the new baby, who has not yet learned to control his bodily functions and movements. Research has shown that premature babies who are touched and held gain weight faster and are healthier than babies who are not. Mechanical swings and other holding devices do not provide these same benefits.

3. Babies worn in slings are happier. Well mine is anyway :P

4. Baby-wearing is healthy for you!
It can be challenging for new mothers to find time to exercise, but if you carry your baby around with you most of the day or go for a brisk walk with your baby in hissling, you will enjoy the dual benefits of walking and "weightlifting". A long walk in the sling is also an excellent way to help a tired but over-stimulated child fall asleep. Slings are usually associated with infants, but they can be very useful for toddlers as well; most slings accommodate children up to 35 or 40 pounds. The world can be a scary place for toddlers, who feel more confident when they can retreat to the security of the sling when they need to do so. Toddlers often become over-stimulated, and a ride in the sling helps to soothe and comfort them before (or after!) a "melt-down" occurs. It can be very helpful in places like the zoo, aquarium, or museum, where a small child in a stroller would miss many of the exhibits.

5. Slings are a bonding tool for fathers, grandparents, and other caregivers.
Slings are a useful tool for every adult in a baby's life. It makes me smile when I see a father going for a walk with his baby in a sling. The baby is becoming used to his voice, heartbeat, movements and facial expressions, and the two are forging a strong attachment of their own. Fathers don't have the automatic head-start on bonding that comes with pregnancy, but that doesn't mean they can't make up for this once their baby is born. The same goes for babysitters, grandparents and all other caregivers. Cuddling up close in the sling is a wonderful way to get to know the baby in your life, and for the baby to get to know you!
Instead of running loose in crowded or dangerous places, a child in a sling is held safe and secure right next to your body. Slings also provide emotional safety when needed, so that children can venture into the world and become independent at their own pace.

6. They're budget friendly
Slings cost far less than strollers, front-carriers or backpacks. Many mothers consider the sling to be one of their most useful and economical possessions. Inexpensive used slings can be found second hand and new ones can be bought for about £30 -£100 - not bad for an item many parents use daily for two years or more! A sling can also be sewn for the price of a length of cotton, some rings and batting; sling patterns are available.

7. Slings are calming.
Studies have shown that the more babies are held, the less they cry and fuss. In indigenous cultures where baby-wearing is the norm, babies often cry for only a few minutes a day – in contrast to Western babies, who often cry for hours each day. Crying is exhausting for both the baby and his parents, and may cause long-term damage as the baby's developing brain is continually flooded with stress hormones. Babies who do not need to spend their energy on crying are calmly observing and actively learning about their environment. Baby-wearing is especially useful for colicky babies, who are far happier being worn, but placid, content babies and children will also benefit greatly from the warmth and security of being held close.

8. Baby-wearing is fun.
Who doesn't love to cuddle a precious little baby? And when your baby is older, having him in the sling makes conversations easier and allows you to observe her reactions to the wonders of the world around her. It's also fun for baby, because when she is up at eye level, other adults notice and interact with her more. Your child will feel more a part of your life when she is in her sling, and you will find yourself becoming more and more enchanted with this special little person.


It really isn't dangerous as long as you follow TICKS . 




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