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Baby slings are soft fabric carriers that are tied or attached to your body and are used to carry babies or young children. They do not have a solid back or frame like other types of baby carriers.
You should take care when using slings to carry babies as there have been incidents of babies suffocating while in a sling in an unsafe position. Babies are at risk if they are not placed in the right way in the sling because they are not yet old enough to move out of a dangerous position that can block their airway. Also if in slings that cover the baby's face, are baggy and loose.
There are 2 positions that increase the risk of suffocation:
Babies who are premature, have low birth weight or breathing difficulties are at greater risk. You should talk to a doctor before using a sling with a premature or sick baby.
The sling should be tight with your baby positioned high and upright with head support. Any loose fabric may cause your baby to slump down, restricting its breathing.
You should always be able to see your baby’s face by simply looking down. Ensure your baby’s face, nose and mouth remain uncovered by the sling and/or your body.
Your baby should be close enough to your chin that by tipping your head forward you can easily kiss your baby on top of its head.
Ensure your baby’s chin is up and away from its body. Your baby should never be curled so that its chin is forced onto its chest as this can restrict breathing. Regularly check your baby. Babies can be in distress without making any noise or movement.
Your baby’s back should be supported in a natural position with its tummy and chest against you. When bending over, support your baby with one hand behind its back and bend at the knees, not at the waist.
A qualified baby wearing consultant can help you learn how to wear your sling safely. Nest 2 Me provides this service and are qualified, approved Babywearing Consultants with Babywearing School Australia. The following leaflets were prepared by Qld Government in collaboration with Babywearing School Australia. Further Information is available from the Babywearing School Australia.
Information sourced from Qld Government Website, created in collaboration with Babywearing School Australia:
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