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Home >  Babywearing 101 --  > Babywearing Safety > What Are Bag-Style Carriers, and Why Are They Not Safe?

What Are Bag-Style Carriers, and Why Are They Not Safe?

The type of carrier that caused the suffocation deaths warned about by the CPSC is known as a bag-style sling. You should never, under any circumstances, use a bag-style sling with a newborn or young baby.

Bag-style carriers resemble a duffel bag, with a flat bottom and two sides that slant upwards towards an elasticized or padded top. These carriers are unsafe even when used as directed because:

  • The bag carrier forces baby into a prone, C-shape position, tucking baby's chin to chest and potentially impeding breathing.
  • Even if a mesh panel is present, the baby's head being enclosed in fabric may cause baby to rebreathe her exhalations that are high in carbon dioxide.
  • Because baby is too low, and because baby's head may be enclosed in fabric, it is difficult, if not impossible, for parents to view baby's face at all times and monitor breathing.
  • Babies may roll towards the side of the carrier and end up with their faces pressed into fabric, obstructing breathing.
Consumer Reports warned in October 2009 of the risks of using bag-style carriers, linking the Infantino SlingRider to two documented deaths. The BabySlingSafety blog, started by a registered nurse who has demonstrated that babies' oxygen levels drop in bag-style carriers, has been warning of the dangers of these carriers for several years.

Which Companies Make Bag-Style Carriers and What Do They Look Like?

Manufacturers and brands of bag-style carriers include: Infantino SlingRider, Munchkin Jelly Bean Cargo Sling, Lamaze Close Comfort, Boppy Carry in Comfort, JJ Cole Premaxx, Eddie Bauer Infant Sling, and similar designs. Please be aware that although some manufacturers may have discontinued certain of these carriers, they are often still available from retail outlets, second-hand and consignment stores, eBay or Craig's List, and as hand-me-downs.

If you own a bag-style carrier resembling one of those pictured below, please do not use it, sell it, return it, or give it away. For the safety of your baby and other babies, please cut the straps and throw it out.

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