Carriers and slings
- Buy a new carrier or sling. Take your baby with you and try different models. Make sure the carrier supports your baby’s head and holds her weight evenly. If you can’t bring your baby to the store, try the carriers on with a teddy bear or doll.
- Make sure the snaps are sturdy and do not come apart easily.
- The pads on the shoulder straps should be wide and firm so that the straps stay on your shoulders. Make sure they adjust so that your baby is snug and secure.
- Look for a mesh panel in the front or side panels of the carrier that you can unzip or unbutton. This keeps your baby from getting too hot.
- Mail in the registration card. That way, you will be told if the model is recalled. You can also check recalls at recalls.gov.
- Adjust the fasteners so that the carrier or sling fits you before you put your baby in it.
- Adjust the leg openings in a carrier to the smallest size that is comfortable for your baby.
- Hold your baby over something soft, such as a bed or sofa, when you put her in the carrier or sling.
- Check a carrier often to make sure there are no ripped seams, sharp edges, or missing, loose, or broken snaps, buckles, or rings. If you find any of these, stop using the carrier.
- Use a sling only for normal walking. It is not sturdy enough for fast walking or running.
For more information, visit Babies & Kids on the Consumer Reports website.
Update: In March 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning about the use of slings; they may pose a suffocation risk for babies. The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine issued a response to that warning.
June 2008/March 2010
Copyright 2008, Consumers Union of United States, Inc. All rights reserved. No redistribution allowed.