oops I posted this in the worng forum so sorry for the double post.

I am a volunteer doula and work with mostly low income women interested in natural childbirth and breastfeeding.  Many don't have the money to buy baby carriers, breastpumps,  etc.  I am wondering if any of you know of a group where women who want to sell or donate their gently used slings/wraps, baby clothes, breastpumps etc? Or what do you think of me starting one? How would I go about doing that? I know there must be alot of women who's babies have grown out of their slings right?  :)  Thanks Chandi

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I've had great success with a local on-line forum formed for parents in my community. We have a classifieds section where many people give or sell at minimal cost gently used baby and child supplies. We encourage giving by giving-- when someone posts something to give away it usually serves as a reminder to someone else. And it feels so good!

I've also used craigslist.com for supplies-- people who aren't connected to a community or people who really need some money in exchange seem to use it for pumps, slings, strollers, etc.

There is a babywearing forum on the Mothering site too. Though, I would suggest staying as local as possible. Good luck!

www.askyourfriendkira.com
You could check out twoshirts.org. That is a free site where people can post their needs and post items they want to give away. They have expanded a lot in the past few years, so they may have something local for you. If not, you could e-mail them about that need in your community.

Rachel
Don't use slings! The FDA is now in the process of banning them- too many deaths from obstructed airways.
Um Sara, are you kidding?
I've used a number of different kinds of slings/baby carriers and have had no problems. I love them, my kids love them and they have helped free up my hands to get things done or comfort my older child.
Perhaps people need to take a class on how to use them correctly. A properly used sling will not cause death.
It all depends on the design of the sling. Pouch slings made by Infantino are the only ones specifically cited as dangerous. Women from other countries and other cultures have been "wearing" their babies in "slings" of all types for hundreds of years with no apparent problems or deaths because of it. As DoulaChandra said a properly used sling is not dangerous.

In cultures where women always wear their babies it is an art and skill passed down and actively taught from one generation of moms to the next. Since, we don't have that opportunity in America (babywearing with traditional style wraps and slings is considered "radical" and not very common) we don't have the chance to learn it from practiced elders. Classes, videos, and groups if you can find one are all ways to seek out the art of babywearing so that it is a safe and pleasurable experience for both moms and babies. Many Drs. and child development experts support and advocate babywearing since it has so many benefits to the baby and the bond between the caregiver & baby. Check out www.wearyourbaby.com for more info.

I have worn both of my boys. Often and always. It beats the hell out of a stroller for outings. It is the quickest way to calm an overstimulated fussy overtired baby. And best of all I never have to choose between letting one child scream so I can fix dinner for the other :)
Sara-
The FDA is not banning slings...in fact, the FDA has nothing to do with it. Regulations for product safety are maintained by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. And they have not banned all slings, either. Infantino Brand issued a voluntary recall of their slings due to the death of 3 infants in 2009. The "C" shaped design of this particular brand is believed to cause unacceptable curling of infant body posture, which can lead to recirculation of carbon dioxide close to the baby's mouth and nose. Also, with these type of carriers, the baby is far away from the mother, out of sight. (almost in a purse!) Baby wearing advocates have been warning about this type of sling for a long time.
Here is a recent article on the recall:
http://www.rttnews.com/content/MarketSensitiveNews.aspx?Node=B3&...
Wanted to say that www.wearyourbaby.com has patterns and instructions on how to make your own wraps and slings. A very economical alternative to buying the expensive marketed ones. I made 2 from fabric I got on clearance. Total Cost? $1.50. The only difference between those and my Moby Wrap is a little tag that says Moby. And about $40 :)
Hey, my bad. You ladies were right. The website I was checking- babyproducts.com had it linked with an FDA recall for some Tylenol products. Oops. The recall WAS by the CPSC, and some Canadian agencies have joined in as well. At least 14 deaths, 3 last year.
And the reason I posted was because I was so excited to use these slings and mobys when I had my firstborn, and that was a huge mistake- FOR ME. You ladies might be able to figure it out, and keep your kids safe, but my son almost suffocated after we hiked with him in the sling. He was blue when we checked him, and I will never use one again. I much prefer the upright ones- I can still have my kids on my chest, and I can cook and clean without worrying.

Here, I'll paste it:

Infant Deaths Prompt CPSC Warning About Sling Carriers for Babies

WASHINGTON, D.C.- 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.

Two months ago, the Commission added slings to the list of durable infant products that require a mandatory standard. Additionally, CPSC staff is actively investigating these products to determine what additional action may be appropriate. Until a mandatory standard is developed, CPSC is working with ASTM International to quickly complete an effective voluntary standard for infant sling carriers.

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.

CPSC is interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are directly related to infant slings. You can do this by visiting www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/incident.aspx or call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772.

And Chandi, sorry to take over your post. Hope there are people willing to donate! If I had anything we weren't using, I'd send them over. Maybe I still can after we're finished having babies.... :) Oh, you could start a blog or a website, and get a po box for others to send things? Or yes, I like those suggestions about craigslist and twoshirts. Some smart women on here.
I am pretty sure the recall only had to do with one particularly poorly designed sling: the Infantino.

DoulaChandra: I have a gently used Rockin' Baby sling that I'd be happy to donate. email me at lynn@yourdoulabirth.com on how I can get it to you.

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