Babywearing is a good, happy thing. Mama is happy wearing baby in the fabulous carrier, baby is happy being snuggled close to Mama….until.. :riiiiip: What was that? That sound? Ripping?! Oh no! It is extremely important to check your carriers every time before you put your baby/toddler/child in them. You don’t want that carrier to fail when your child is in it. They could potentially fall and be hurt. There has been an instance of a product failing lately. After a mama posted about it on The Babywearer.com other mama’s with the same wrap conversion carrier tested theirs with similar results. The manufacturer is taking steps to fix the problem, but please test every carrier before you wear it!
Safety Check for Ring Slings:
Check the rings themselves. Are they bent, or out of shape? Check the whole ring by sliding it through the fabric. It may be easiest to unthread the tail to do the safety check. Check the stitching that holds the rings in place. Is any of it coming undone? Give the fabric near the rings a good tug. There should be no ripping or loosening of the stitches. Look over all of the fabric of the sling, but especially where the rings slide along the fabric. There should be no wear marks, no thinning of the fabric and no holes. If you find any of those things, stop using your ring sling immediately.
Safety Check for Pouches:
If it is an adjustable pouch, check the fasteners. All should be in good working condition. Check the seams of the pouch and tug on them. They should not be loose or have strings coming out. Check carefully where baby sits and where the pouch lays on your shoulder. There should be no tears or hole or worn spots. If there is, discontinue use.
Safety Check for Mei Tais/Pods:
Inspect all 4 straps of the mei tai, especially where they leave the body of the carrier. Tug on each strap by holding the strap in one hand and the body of the mei tai in the other. Pull at the angle the strap leaves the body. Check for holes or worn areas on the body and straps of the carrier. If you find anything that makes you question the durability of the carrier stop use and write to the manufacturer of your carrier.
Safety Check for Soft Structured Carriers:
Check all the buckles. Make sure there are no cracks in any of them. Slide the webbing back and forth through the buckles to make sure they are working properly. Tug on the webbing where it is attached to the body of the carrier. The same as for a mei tai, hold the webbing in one hand and the body of the carrier in the other and tug. Everything should stay attached. Do this for every spot that has webbing attached. Also check the carrier straps where they are attached to the body of the carrier. Tug at them. Make sure you also check the waist belt where the body is attached by tugging while one hand is on the waist belt and the other in on the body of the carrier. Check for loose seams and thread. Contact the manufacturer if you find anything amiss.
Safety Check for Woven Wraps
Inspect the entire length of the wrap, looking for pulled threads, shifted threads or holes. If you find any suspect imperfections look at where they are on the wrap. Are they near the tail, or near the middle? That will help you decide if it is a major problem or a minor one. If they are near the middle, where the wrap will be bearing weight, that is a bigger problem than if the imperfection is not where your baby will be held. Each wrap also has it’s own imperfections even when new, so inspect your wrap when you first get it to get to know what’s normal for your wrap and what could be cause for concern.
Ideally you should check your carriers before every time you wear them, but I know that life happens and you grab and go with the carriers. At the very least you should check your carriers once a week. It’s better to take a little bit of time, to give them a once over, and make sure everything is okay, than to have your carrier fail while you are putting it on, or while you are wearing your baby.