We noticed comments on the Cotton Babies Facebook page this weekend about a picture posted of a mama wearing an older baby on her back using a stretchy wrap. She was shopping our Cloth Diaper Garage Sale this weekend and clearly enjoying her day… Understandably, a few people were very concerned about the way she was wearing her baby. Don’t go look, to protect her privacy we deleted the photo. However, this raised a pretty hairy topic this morning that I thought we should discuss with you.
The way the baby was being worn isn’t recommended by the manufacturer. It also isn’t recommended by Cotton Babies. When worn on the back using a tie-style carrier made of a stretch material (like jersey), the baby can easily fall out of the carrier and get hurt. Nobody wants their baby to get hurt.
So, we know this.
Some of you know this.
Clearly, not everyone knows this.
If I had been there on Saturday, I probably would have politely mentioned to the mom that Moby Wrap was now recommending against carrying babies on your back due to the risk of falling. However, I would have thought about my wording very carefully for quite a while before saying anything to her. Put yourself in her shoes. If one of our staff members told you that you were wearing your baby incorrectly, you might feel embarrassed or defensive. Maybe it’s something you do *all the time* and you’re not worried. Or worse, imagine yourself having that encounter at your most hormonal, vulnerable moment… We don’t want to embarrass you. We also don’t want to send you into an emotional tailspin. However, we want your baby to be safe.
I really try to pick my battles. As we’ve worked through the major issues over the years, I’ve realized that most of the things that I would have taken a stand on with my first child are issues that I now know aren’t issues worth loosing relationships over. We work very hard at Cotton Babies to respect every mom where she is at. You’re going to parent your child better if you don’t leave our store feeling like you are an inadequate mom.
Baby carrier safety is something that we’ve never chosen to address… I’ve seen some crazy things in my store and usually, the most unsafe situations are moms who are NOT new to baby wearing and should know better.
So, what do you think we should do? There’s a definite line to walk between respecting the mom (who may be understandably defensive) and protecting the child (who we don’t want to get hurt).
How would you feel about having a Cotton Babies staff member let you know if your baby was being worn in an unsafe manner (knowing that they could help you resolve the safety issue)? How would you want us to say this to you? Would you prefer to ask for advice rather than to have a staff member offer it? Or is it none of our business?
I’d like to hear from people who consider themselves activists on this issue… but I’d also like to hear from everyday moms who are just slugging through life with a baby (or two or three or four). In your comment, please tell me who you are, why I should listen to what you say and what gives you credibility.
Sound off… tell me what you think. I’m listening.