The Short of It
Being a new mom is hard, especially if you're Jill Duggar Dillard, a reality star raising her first baby in the public eye. Still, concerns over the way the star mom was recently photographed wearing her 3-week-old son, Israel, are totally legitimate.
A picture of Jill taken at a conference in Texas on April 25 has many parents and experts questioning the new mother's babywearing method on the Duggar Family News Facebook page. The reality star is seen wearing baby Israel in a sling that appears to be droopy and hung very low. Israel's face is covered with the fabric of the sling, creating worries over whether he can breathe.
Critics point out a baby should be worn higher and more securely on the mother's body, and the baby should be in an upright position, so he can breathe easily and mom can regularly check on him.
I have practiced babywearing with all three of my children, and in Jill Duggar's defense, I will say it's easy for baby to slip out of the perfect position, especially if you're wearing him for an extended amount of time. Also, most slings stretch out or give a bit after time. Moreover, this is just one photo, so I don't want to come down too hard on her.
That being said, the dangers of improper babywearing are extremely serious. A baby can die from suffocation if his airway is obstructed. Hopefully, seeing this picture of herself will serve as a reminder for the reality star to be more aware of her baby's position.
Yahoo Parenting offers these tips for proper babywearing, courtesy of Adriane Stare, who is a certified babywearing educator in New York:
- Wear the baby snug and close: A good rule of thumb is your baby should be worn high enough on your body so you can kiss baby's head. "A carrier should honestly feel like a replacement for your arms," says Stare.
- Baby should be worn with his chin up: "The real risk of misusing a baby carrier is compromising breathing," explains Stare. So make sure baby's chin is up and off his chest, so his airway is open and his face is not covered by any fabric.
- Baby should be in an upright position: Tummy to tummy is the safest way to carry your infant, despite the versatility of many baby slings.
What is your reaction to seeing this photo?
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