Mothering magazine responds to the CPSC sling warning


Mothering Responds to CPSC Sling Warning: Babywearing Is Safe

PRESS CONTACT: Elizabeth Carovillano 505.984.6289 | Office 505.690.0040 | Cell | E-mail

SANTA FE, NM (March 18, 2010) — On March 12, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a Federal Agency, issued a warning in regard to the use of baby slings. The CPSC asserts that there is a risk of slings suffocating infants who are younger than four months old, and that caution should be used when carrying babies of this age group in slings.

Mothering puts the CPSC warning in perspective: Babywearing is safe, but some slings and positions are not. While baby carriers are as old as civilization, modern babywearing has exploded in the last four years. Along with this rapid increase in use has come the creation of some unsafe carriers, in particular bag-style slings that have a deep pouch, excessive fabric, and an elasticized edge. These deep, bag-style slings can be especially dangerous for premature or small babies.

Some general guidelines for safe babywearing:

1. Only choose a sling that allows you to see your baby’s face.
2. Be sure baby is not curled up tightly, chin to chest.  This position can restrict breathing, especially in newborns or in infants who cannot yet hold up their heads.
3. Make sure that the sling fabric is “breathable,” and keep baby’s face clear of fabric.
4. Do not press baby’s face tightly against the sling wearer’s body.
5. Position the baby’s face upward.
6. Reposition baby if there are any signs of respiratory difficulty: rapid or labored breathing, grunting or sighing with every breath, restlessness.

For more information, see Mothering’s Special Report on Babywearing

For babywearing safety tips, see “Babywearing 101”

Tune in to Mothering Radio at 11:30 PST on Monday, March 22, for an exclusive one-hour show featuring Glenda Criss-Forshey, president of Babywearing International; M’Liss Stelzer, author of “Babywearing 101”; Jane McClintock, of Quirky Baby, an online baby carrier distributor, and Alma Gordillo-Webb, moderator of’s babywearing community. Look for our feature article on slings in the July–August 2010 print edition.

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Warning About Sling Carriers for Babies

I just received this alert. I met it with mixed emotions. What do you think?…

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20207

March 12, 2010
Release #10-165

CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772
CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Infant Deaths Prompt CPSC Warning About Sling Carriers for Babies

WASHINGTON, D.C.- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is advising parents and caregivers to be cautious when using infant slings for babies younger than four months of age. In researching incident reports from the past 20 years, CPSC identified and is investigating at least 14 deaths associated with sling-style infant carriers, including three in 2009. Twelve of the deaths involved babies younger than four months of age.

Slings can pose two different types of suffocation hazards to babies. In the first few months of life, babies cannot control their heads because of weak neck muscles. The sling’s fabric can press against an infant’s nose and mouth, blocking the baby’s breathing and rapidly suffocating a baby within a minute or two. Additionally, where a sling keeps the infant in a curled position bending the chin toward the chest, the airways can be restricted, limiting the oxygen supply. The baby will not be able to cry for help and can slowly suffocate.

Many of the babies who died in slings were either a low birth weight twin, were born prematurely, or had breathing issues such as a cold. Therefore, CPSC urges parents of preemies, twins, babies in fragile health and those with low weight to use extra care and consult their pediatricians about using slings.

Two months ago, the Commission added slings to the list of durable infant products that require a mandatory standard. Additionally, CPSC staff is actively investigating these products to determine what additional action may be appropriate. Until a mandatory standard is developed, CPSC is working with ASTM International to quickly complete an effective voluntary standard for infant sling carriers.

CPSC recommends that parents and caregivers make sure the infant’s face is not covered and is visible at all times to the sling’s wearer. If nursing the baby in a sling, change the baby’s position after feeding so the baby’s head is facing up and is clear of the sling and the mother’s body. Parents and caregivers should be vigilant about frequently checking their baby in a sling.

CPSC is interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are directly related to infant slings. You can do this by visiting or call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772.

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Homemade Almond Milk


For those of us avoiding dairy, finding a good milk substitute is imperative. I prefer almond milk of all of the choices. Not only does it have the best taste, but almonds have a bit of calcium in them, making almond milk a better calcium-rich choice than soy, rice or oat milk . Of course there is a commercial brand of almond milk out there, but making it at home is easier than you think. You will need the following tools: blender, measuring spoon or scale, and a jug for storing the milk. The ingredients are simple, as well. You will need 1 cup (or 5 oz) of blanched almonds, 4 cups purified water, dash salt.

Step 1: Blend 1 cup (or 5 oz) of blanched almonds on high speed until powdery. You may need to scrape the sides of the blender down.


Step 2: Add a dash of salt and 4 cups of purified water to the blender. Blend for about 1 minute. The mixture should look cloudy and resemble cow’s milk.


Step 3: Pour into container for storing in the fridge and keep chilled for up to 4 days.


* If you desire a smoother consistency, strain the milk through a 2 layer cheesecloth. Cheesecloth can be found at art and craft supply stores such as Michael’s of Jo-Ann Fabrics.

* Some people like to add a teaspoon of vanilla to the mixture. I prefer mine plain, but add at will.

* There are other ways to make almond milk. One is using raw almonds and soaking them overnight. Check out this recipe.

* We recently did a cost analysis on homemade versus commerical almond milk. When Almond Breeze is on sale for $1.99, it is cheaper to buy it than to make our own. Almonds are pretty expensive, even when we get them from NutsOnline. So, homemade almond milk is not something that I make all the time simply because it does not always work out to be cheaper.

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Dairy-free & Gluten-free Spaghetti and Meatballs

img_32331serves 4-5

1 spaghetti squash
2 T. oil
1 bunch asparagus, chopped
1/2 c. shredded carrots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jar marinara sauce
1 pkg. Aidells Chipotle meatballs
1 T. dried oregano
1 T. dried basil
1/2 t. salt
1/4 c. nutritional yeast*

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and pulp and discard. Bake covered with tin foil for about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand.

In a large non-stick pan, heat oil. Once oil is warmed, saute asparagus on medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Add carrots and garlic and saute until all vegetables are cooked. Set aside. Add meatballs to the non-stick pan, turning frequently until heated through — about 8 minutes. Remove meatballs from the pan and lay out on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels to soak up any grease. Wipe out the pan and combine the asparagus mixture with the marinara sauce, oregano, basil, and salt over low heat to warm. Separate the strands of the spaghetti squash by running a fork through it from “stem to stern.” Serve by putting the spaghetti squash on the bottom, then sauce, then meatballs. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast. Enjoy!

* Nutritional Yeast is a source of protein and vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins. It is also naturally low in fat and sodium. It has a strong flavor that is described as nutty, cheesy, or creamy. It can be purchased at most natural food stores.

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Yeast Diaper Rash

Oh my. Oh my. We’re cloth diapering and our son got a yeast diaper rash. I learned a lot through this whole experience, much of it with the help Karen (who sews our cloth diaper covers); the rest of it from internet research. Here’s what I learned. product_diaper_rash_relief

1. Only certain diaper rash creams should be used on babies wearing cloth diapers. Most commercial creams create a barrier on the inner material and cause the diaper to repel instead of absorb moisture. Others contain cod liver oil, such as A&D Ointment, and there’s nothing worse than fishy diapers.

2. Only certain detergents should be used on cloth diapers. Check out the list here.

3.  The yeast on the cloth diapers needs to be killed or the rash will continue to come back. I added a tablespoon or so of bleach to every hot water cycle, then added vinegar to the rinse cycle, and finally ran an extra cold water rinse with nothing in it until the rash was gone.

4. Some disposable wipe solutions will feed the yeast. So, I continued to use my cloth wipes and a homemade wipe solution. For the solution I mixed 2 t. vegetable oil, 1/8 t. Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild liquid soap, and 1 c. water.

5. There are natural ways to treat a yeast diaper rash on a cloth diapered baby. We laid our baby out to air dry during the day. I rubbed virgin coconut oil (it has anti-fungal properties) on him and hoped he didn’t get too cold (since it’s in the 20s outside). He had to be in a diaper for naps though, so we used MotherLove cream since it is safe for cloth diapers and fights yeast. I also gave him acidophilus powder to suck off my finger since it is known to stop the growth of yeast.

Our babe is now better, but I am going to run one more cycle of bleach and vinegar in his diapers to make sure the yeast is long gone! Phew!

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Dairy-free living

It has been 3 months now since I’ve been dairy-free. My infant son has a cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA) and because I am committed to nursing him, I have cut all dairy out of my diet. It was hard at first, but I can say that my cravings have significantly subsided now. That’s pretty amazing since I was a huge dairy consumer — milk, cottage cheese, cream cheese, yogurt, and hard cheeses. Yes, cheese has been the most difficult item to go without. There’s just no substitute close to smoked gouda. Mmm. At any rate, I wanted to share some dairy-free resource for anyone else who might be in the same boat. I hope you find them useful. I also plagodairyfreen to share dairy-free recipes this month. Stay tuned.

Informative Websites
Go Dairy Free
No Milk
Whole Foods Market

The Spunky Coconut
Avoiding Milk Protein
The Milk Free Life
Ashley’s Dairy-free cooking

Go Dairy Free
The Milk-Free Kitchen: Living Well Without Dairy Products
Levana Cooks Dairy-Free

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Turn the fan ON

imagesYoung infants who sleep in bedrooms with fans have a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome than babies who sleep in less well-ventilated rooms, research shows. It’s possible that fans improve air circulation, preventing infants from rebreathing exhaled carbon dioxide, which can pool up in the gap between a baby’s face and the mattress. Researchers concluded that sleeping with a fan lowers SIDS risk by more than 70% so turn on those ceiling or countertop fans!

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