Babywearing in Jeopardy in the U.S.?
US Consumer Product Safety Commission
In this speech, Chairman Tenenbaum talks about baby slings being added to the list of products that will be subjected to the 104 rules in the future.
In the past, baby sling manufacturers have enjoyed very little oversight, if any, and have made wonderful products that we, the babywearing community, have all grown to love and trust. It seems that in the future these freedoms will be taken away and strict policies put into place that may very well destroy the companies that are doing a good job in providing safe carriers for us.
This all started when the commercial companies tried to cash in on the popular trend of babywearing. They made slings to appeal to women who had no idea what babywearing really was, but just wanted to look cute carrying their babies. These commercial companies (Infantino is an example) made slings that were not up to par with the ones made by the Mom and Pop companies we babywearing Mamas know and love. In essence, these commercial companies did not know what they were doing. It appears they just rushed out with the first thing they could put together to cash in on a big trend. Now it seems, because of their greed, we (the true babywearing community) have to suffer.
All babywearing Mamas are not created equal just as all babywearing companies are not created equal. There is a big difference in the natural mothers who learn about babywearing first and then seek out the best products for themselves and their children and other mothers who just want to do something because it's in style or popular.
I remember going into a big chain children's store a few years back and looking at the products being sold that passed for baby carriers. I knew right off the bat something wasn't right with them. I had done my research and spent the time and effort it takes to get to know about babywearing and the products available (usually NOT available in brick and mortar stores). Those being sold in that store were missing key elements in their design that would make babywearing safe. I wanted to scream at every woman looking at that display that those carriers were fakes and not to be taken seriously as valid baby carriers. Since I couldn't do that, I just talked about the basics of babywearing with a mother I noticed browsing the display nearby. I hoped I had conveyed the danger I felt adequately.
There is a group of concerned natural parents forming to combat the negative stereotype of babywearing and the oncoming assault of restrictive policies form the gov't. It's called the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance (BCIA) and has a Yahoo group forming at:
http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/BabyCarrierAlliance/. If you are a manufacturer, retailer or supplier of babywearing products, join now to learn all about their efforts and how you can help other Mom and Pop babywearing product businesses from being unjustly persecuted.
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