12.03.2013

Babywearing: Mamaway Ring Sling

These days, motherhood has evolved. When I had Annika 8 years ago, there was no active campaign for breastfeeding, attachment parenting, and the like. Now, I am happy that there are so many moms out there who are more than willing to help each other out by teaching one another how to's on breastfeeding, babywearing and more.

What is babywearing? Babywearing is the practice of wearing and carrying a baby in a sling or in another form of carrier. It has been practiced for centuries, but has recently gained popularity due to the influence of advocates in attachment parenting. (source: Wikipedia)

Eight years ago, I remember I bought a sling online. I wanted to carry Annika with me conveniently. I got the sling via mail and the instructional CD that came with it. However, I NEVER used it. It seemed awkward to me at that time. I didn't know anyone else who used the sling. The sling literally felt alien to me. I was interested in using it, yes. However, I was scared that I might not be doing the right thing. Without proper support on how to use it, the sling was left in the closet.

Fast forward to this year. Since I gave birth to Kali, I researched all over again on how to best take care of a baby and I soon learned about babywearing. Aside from the Breastfeeding Pinays group on Facebook which I mentioned here in my post, there is also a separate group called Filipino Association of Babywearers. Here, you will find mommies who will advise you on the best carrier, how to use any carrier, and willing post photos of them carrying their little ones in their carriers. It's a whole new world!

With the renewed interest in babywearing, I bought a ring sling from Mamaway in Rustans before I gave birth. I went to Rustans and asked about their different carriers. At that time, what the salesladies showed me where the pouch and the ring sling. Unfamiliar with the pouch, I decided to buy the ring sling. The saleslady was nice enough to show me how to put it on.

I didn't use the ring sling until Kali was around 6 weeks old. After reading an article about the sling being a suffocation hazard, I decided to wait it out before using it on Kali. I watched the instructional DVD countless times before I was confident enough to try it with Kali.

mamaway ring sling
Kali enjoying her sleep

The first time I used it, I stood over the bed to make sure that Kali will be safe. I always use the tummy-to-tummy position where Kali's legs are in a froggy position. Kali slept so well while she was in the ring sling. I just had to support her neck from time to time since she couldn't fully support her head yet on her own.

On the brand Mamaway, I like it that the fabric is thick, and the rings are thick and wide. It makes me feel safe knowing that the fabric will not easily slip and lose its grasp. On hot days though, the Mamaway fabric can make the little one sweaty underneath. There are other ring slings in the market with thinner fabric. It depends on which one you prefer. 

The Mamaway ring sling fabric is also long and makes a good breastfeeding cover. Here I am breastfeeding in public. We were in a store waiting to finish our transaction, and little Kali was conveniently nursing under the sling.
There's a little baby under there!

Overall, I love my Mamaway ring sling. It helps me carry Kali for long periods of time and not feel the strain on my arms. Once you get the hang of it, the sling is also easy to put on. I hold Kali in one hand and put the sling (with the threads in place) over my neck and then position her into tummy-to-tummy position. Before you attempt to use the ring sling, make sure you read the safety articles and watch instructional videos. 

For those interested to know about the safety hazard of ring slings, here's a copy of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warning for your reference:

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.
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.

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2 comments:

joei ♥ said...

I've seen this in malls and it seems so easy now to bring your baby (especially siguro if sanay na sanay na yung mom). Pretty cool! Would probably get one of these if I had a baby ;)

Anyway, thanks for dropping by my blog. More South entries to come! :)

www.joeiandme.com

Mitz said...

Thanks for also dropping by Joei!

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