Friday, October 30, 2009

Infantino SlingRider is (quite literally) a death trap.

Infantino killed another baby.

Consumer Reports blames 'slings' and wants to see some kind of safety regulations in place for them. Given that many wonderful slings are indistinguishable from blankets, scarves, shawls, or table linens, this is useless. They are (unknowingly) advocating against a practice, not a product. You can't regulate what people *do* with what they buy, find, or make.

As an avid babywearer, sling hobbyist, and educator, this is infuriating. Infantino's negligence is being called a 'sling death' not a 'large corporation ignores known problems' death. But they knew, and did nothing. M'Lis's work predicted the death of baby Derrik. My heart goes out to her, as it does to his family.

I find myself in an untenable position, thanks to Infantino. I am not going to stop using slings, which are not a luxury, fad, or accessory to me, but a vital feature of my parenting/lifestyle. And I won't stop answering questions about my slings, or helping others use find them and use them correctly. I am going to trust the centuries of 'testing' that cloth slings have undergone rather than the clearly limited impressions of Consumer Reports.

Slings can be used incorrectly. Some slings are easier to use incorrectly than others. That's the reason that I won't gift a pouch sling to a newborn. It is the easiest type of sling to use poorly, in my experience. Some slings, when used incorrectly, expose babies to increased risk of positional asphyxiation. Infant carseats can also increase this risk. This is why I gently forbid the parents of newborns from using the cradle position, even in an adjustable sling.

Some 'slings,' like the Infantino SlingRider, are impossible to use safely because of their design. There's the rub -- all slings can be used incorrectly, and some slings, when used incorrectly, are more dangerous than others. But a sling that is impossible to use safely should not exist.

It horrifies me that a well-meaning parent, seeing someone like me using a sling, might log on to Amazon, find the SlingRider, and think, "well, that looks even better/easier/cheaper/cooler!" It can kill their baby. And Infantino doesn't seem to care.

My opposing fear is that if Infantino does go down, it will take many well-designed, well-intentioned slings with it. From makers who are passionate about safety.

As unfair as it would be for responsible sling makers lose their livelihoods over Infantino's negligence, it seems a small price in comparison to that paid by Derrik's family. Nothing will return him to their arms, though, and no sacrificial scapegoats can turn back the clock.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Baby Turns One

Today, Caleb fed me the last strawberry from his tray. Not before he sneezed on it, twice. Then he was angry with me for eating his last strawberry. He stacked two blocks, and then carefully put them away and closed the drawer.

He rocks his 80's hair to 90's alternative music, and takes every opportunity possible to beat my laptop into submission. He climbs like a monkey and sings like a small pink elephant.

Last year, at this time, he was doing whatever mysterious thing it is that babies do to terminate their uterine tenancy.

Happy birthday, little(r) man.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Newborn (or Tummy) Hip Cross Carry

Probably my favorite newborn front carry. It is called the Newborn HCC because it evolved from the HCC. It's essentially the same carry -- just in a slightly different orientation.

There are doubtlessly other (and better) videos of this carry on the 'net, but this one is mine. ^_^

I like this carry for a number of reasons...

1) It's pretied. If mama (or daddy) is coming from a stretchy wrap background, this is familiar ground.
2) It uses a short wrap. I can eek it out with a 2.7m, and I'm not wee.
3) It's comfy under a coat, and good to tie in wet, muddy parking lots. Both of these relate strongly to #2.
4) The same carry allows for the baby to be a number of positions: upright, cradled, and even facing out (legs in)

I didn't imagine this to be my first *real* blog post, but I am happy to share it.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

In the beginning, there was Chaos...

...and into the Chaos, she brought forth two Sons. And the Chaos multiplied, and spread over her life.

So she decided to start a blog.