Baby-wearing is an age-old parenting trend. Mums were using fabric slings to get their little ones from A to B long before Bugaboos were around. But is there an age that parents should stop ‘wearing’ their child? One US shop manager certainly thinks so.
A mother from Florida has been a criticised by Mindy Domingo, the manager of jewellery shop Icing, after she was spotted shopping while carting her five-year-old daughter around in a baby carrier.
Erica Kalnins was browsing the shop in Tampa with her two children in tow – and had no idea she was simultaneously being shamed on social media.
Domingo sneakily snapped the pic without Kalnins knowing – and proceeded to post it on her personal Facebook wall.
“This is the kind of ignorance that gets passed down to kids and ppl enable their children to be independent,” Domingo captioned the photo. “This girl is at least 5, but what you don’t see in this picture is the 1 ½ yr old in the stroller. God People are f**king stupid!!! [Sic]”
Kalnins spotted the photo of her daughter, after it had been shared on hundreds of Facebook pages and other baby wearing social media sites. “It’s just completely unacceptable for someone to take what I did by shopping with my kids to turn it into something to cause hurt and pain,” she says.
While it’s unusual for a child as old as five to be carried in a baby carrier, Kalnins explains that it’s not something that usually happens. “Actually, we just stopped [at the shop] because my daughter wanted some bracelets. She was excited but she wasn’t feeling well so I said we’ll stop real fast so I put her in the Tula on my back.”
The mum of two has since received a huge amount of support from parents globally. “It has nothing to do with being a lazy parent – it just has to do with us moms wanting to carry out babies close because they’re not small for long. We want to educate people that it’s not a weird thing to carry your baby, it’s totally normal.”
The company has since apologised for Domingo’s actions, saying, “We were appalled by the views expressed by this manager on her personal Facebook account. Her personal views in no way reflect the views of Icing, and we have taken the necessary appropriate action with the individual.”
Lots of parents opt to use baby carriers. They’re way less hassle than a pushchair and leave your hands free – but there are some potential health risks to them, too. Some experts have suggested that they could cause hip dysplasia in babies, because some carriers cause a child’s legs to hang straight – the opposite of the fetal position. This position can put too much pressure on the hips, which may lead to problems later in life.
Ryan Reynolds came under fire recently for using a baby carrier incorrectly. The actor’s wife, Blake Lively, shared a photo of their daughter James in a carrier – but her feet could be seen poking out of the bottom of the carrier, prompting fans to encourage the new parents to get better acquainted with the instruction manual.
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