Thursday, March 11, 2010

CPSC Warning?

Well, there has been a big flap in the babywearing world in the past couple of days. It seems we are about to be warned that "slings" are unsafe by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The problem is this: No matter how you wear them, no matter how you cut it, BAG SLINGS ARE ALWAYS UNSAFE (You can see one in the photo to the left). I teach this all the time in babywearing classes. A bag sling can not support your small baby in a safe position and I ask parents who bring them to me for help to simply throw them away (many have!). When a baby is crunched into the bag part of the sling the baby has no support for a safe spine and head position in this style of carrier. A child can get curled up with chin mushed against chest and can have what is called Positional Asphyxia, or PA, which basically means, they can't breathe because their tiny airway is crunched up. So, yeah, bag slings are bad.... however, many carriers support children in safe and comfortable ways to support their back and head in a way that is safe and appropriate for their developing spine and neck.

The problem is, this is one style of carrier and the media seems to be jumping on all baby carriers and slings as being potentially harmful. Well, let me say this... most things are potentially harmful if used incorrectly, whether it be your baby's car seat, their crib, their swing, their stroller, or their sling or other baby carrier. The important thing that most media sources are failing to report is the information that parents need for safe carrying in a sling or other style of carrier. As parents we are given more instruction on how to keep our babies safe in cribs and car seats (though not enough) Here are some guidelines for safe babywearing:

1) Your baby should always be CLOSE ENOUGH TO KISS. That means their head should be high on your chest.
2) Your baby's knees should always be higher than his or her bum so that your baby is sitting safely on their bum.
3) Your sling or carrier should extends up your baby's back to their armpits (if they have head control) or to support the back of the head (if they do not yet have head control).
4) Your child's face should NEVER be covered by the fabric of the carrier or by your clothing.
5) Your baby's bottom should never be below your waist level (if they are close enough to kiss they shouldn't be below your waist).
6) Your baby's head should always be higher then their body.
7) Your baby's head should always be supported unless they have complete head control.
8) Your baby should be snug against your body, not dangling or flopping away from you as if in a sack.

This is a good list of guidelines, and most carriers if used correctly by parents meet these criteria.
If at any time you, as the parent, feel that your child is not safe or comfortable you should take the carrier off and seek help to make it work correctly.

There will be a class on babywearing safety and safe positioning at the Center For Breastfeeding in Sandwich, MA on March 22 at 10:30. If you have questions or concerns I urge you to email me ( or come to the class. I am always available to help with slings and carriers.

Let me just say it again... Babywearing is a good thing, but bag slings are bad.... like anything, babywearing can be done incorrectly (just as there are accidents in cars, cribs and strollers!) and things can go wrong. But when done right, babywearing can be your most treasured and special baby bonding expirience. You, as the parent, need to be educated about all aspects of taking care of your baby and it can be a tough job, but babywearing should be something that you strive to do because you and your child will benefit by it. As with everything in life, it is hard to separate fact from fiction sometimes... but the facts in this are simple, babywearing is safe when you follow the rules... just like driving and swimming and using a carseat... all safe and good things, when you are educated and informed.

Here are some useful links to other sites with information about bag slings and sling safety.

What is a bag sling?

Correct Positioning

Common Sense

NY Times Article

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Next meeting is going to be

Sunday July 12
at Tafts Playground/Belltower Field, Woods Hole

see previous posts for directions, or Google "Bell Tower Road, Woods Hole, MA", the park is at the end of Bell Tower Road.

There will be wraps, mei tais, and ring slings for sale at the meeting or you can bring your own acarriers for help and pointers or just to hang out with other slinging moms and babies!

hope we see a bunch of you there!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

June 28th meeting

Hi everyone!

I just wanted to let you know about the upcoming Cape and Islands Babywearers meeting.

June 28
1:30 PM
at Taft's Playground/Belltower Field
Woods Hole.

There will be a raffle at the meeting for a new Freehand mei tai. Freehand mei tais are a wonderful lightweight carrier for newborns to toddlers. Raffle tickets will be $10 each. Freehand mei tais normally retail for $72, so if you win it's quite a good deal! All proceeds of the raffle will go to publicising and running Cape and Islands Babywearers meetings and events!

At the meeting I will be there as a leader of the group and as the owner of Pinkletink Baby
I will have some beautiful wraps, mei tais (asian front and back carriers), and ring slings available for sale, but primerily I will be there to help people try carriers and will have my personal stash of carriers available to people to try as well as the carriers for sale. I am happy to help you learn new carries with your current carrier if you are having trouble or if you just need a few tips to help everything be more comfortable!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tuesday June 2nd babywearers play in the park!

This Tuesday, June 2nd at 10:00

come and play in the park in Woods Hole! We will have carriers to try and experienced babywearers will be there with their own carriers and expertise :)

here are the directions

These are from the Bourne Bridge. So, from there you would stay on Rt. 28 and follow signs to Falmouth. You will just stay with 28 until you come to a set of lights, at which point you will go straight through and continue following signs to Woods Hole and the Vineyard ferries. This will have you coming into Woods Hole on Woods Hole Rd. You will go through another set of lights eventually, then on for a ways until you see a little harbor on your left, then you will see signs for the Woods Hole Library on your right, and then Pie in the Sky bakery on your left as you stay to the right around the slight curve in the road... this part of the road is very tight and it may take a few minutes to jockey through it with all the traffic. You should be on Water St going past Pie in the Sky. Take a right on School St. You will go past an old school building and see Eel Pond (actually a little harbor) on your left, then take a left on Millfield St. Take your first right on Bell Tower Ln (you will see a white church at the corner and a stone bell tower across the street). The park where we are meeting is at the end of the road. If parking is tight we will just have to park along the road. It should take you about a half hour to get to Woods Hole from Bourne.

I hope we see you there!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

May play date in the park

Hey everyone!

After a very long winter (and, at least at are house, a lot of illness and general difficulties of various sorts!) I am hear to say that we are getting back in the swing of things and setting some dates for Cape and Islands Babywearers events.

The next event is going to be a play date at the park with our little ones (and bigger ones too!)

Through the summer and into the fall we will be meeting at Bell Tower Field in Woods Hole on the last Thursday of each month at 1:30 to hang out and play and talk baby carriers, parenting, and whatever else comes up. The next Thursday play date will be May 28.

We will also be meeting in the morning at 10:00 on the first Tuesday of each month at Bell Tower Field in Woods Hole. Same applies to this as the Thursdays... come and talk parenting, babywearing, and whatever else comes up... bring your kids and your carriers and we will have a blast. The next Tuesday play date will be June 2.

I would also like to let people know that Pinkletink Baby has a new owner, (ME!) and is now on the mainland in East Falmouth. Pinkletink Baby is one of the only local vendors of slings, mei tais, and wraps, and offers full service and and help with learning to use your carrier. Free consultations are available, or you can catch up with me at a play date at the park and check out some of what I have in stock.

Please feel free to email me with questions or to get on the Cape and Islands Babywearers email list!

Happy babywearing!

-Nora Gardner

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

December Meeting

Hey everyone!

Our December meeting is just around the corner and I hope we see lots babywearers new and experianced there for a fun babywearing holiday bash! Come and check out carriers or get a little help with the one you already have.

Thursday December 4th at 3:00
at the Center for Breastfeeding, 327 Quaker Meeting House Rd, Sandwich MA

I hope we see you there!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

directions for November meeting

Ok, to get to the meeting today you may need directions, so click this link and get directions where you are to the Sandwich Public Library at 142 Main Street, Sandwich, MA

Hope that helps! Seeya soon!