There’s a recent post on the Consumer Reports blog that has a lot of people pretty upset, and I don’t blame them. Their recommendations for what parents should NOT buy for their babies include two very popular products for attachment parenting – cosleepers and baby sling carriers.
Not specific brands of these products, cosleepers and slings in general.
The problem I have with this is that if they held other products to the same standards, they’d never recommend any products at all. Children get injured or even die in all kinds of products. Accidents tragically happen.
Babies get hurt or even die in car seats. In strollers. In cribs and cradles.
But no one attacks these as a category. They’re what we’re used to.
Cosleeping and using a sling can have risks, but if the parents learn the proper precautions they’re very safe. Both are practiced regularly in other cultures. Cosleeping in particular is dangerous mostly when done wrong, such as with excessive bedding or an intoxicated parent. Otherwise it helps the parents to be very aware of the baby’s breathing and sleep patterns. It even helps mothers to get more rest at night.
The fact that they’re quoting 4 deaths in 5 years for baby slings only serves to accent how poorly thought out the post is.
Tell us the brands that are unsafe and why; don’t just condemn the product as a class. That’s where Consumer Reports normally shines.