1 million baby slings recalled after three infant deaths

Posted March 24, 2010

— More than 1 million baby slings made by Infantino are being recalled because the products have been linked to three infant deaths.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says babies can suffocate in the soft fabric slings. The agency is urging parents to immediately stop using the slings for babies under 4 months.

The recall involves 1 million Infantino "SlingRider" and "Wendy Bellissimo" slings in the United States and 15,000 in Canada. It follows a warning earlier this month from CPSC that sling-style baby carriers pose a suffocation risk to newborns.

CPSC officials said they are aware of three reports of deaths that occurred in the slings in 2009 – a 7-week-old infant in Philadelphia, a 6-day-old infant in Salem, Ore. and a 3-month-old infant in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Infantino President Jack Vresics says the company will offer a free replacement baby carrier, activity gym or shopping cart cover to any affected consumer.

Infantino sold the slings in the United States and Canada from January 2003 through March 2010 at Walmart, Burlington Coat Factory, Target, Babies “R” Us, BJ’s Wholesale, various baby and children’s stores and other retailers nationwide, and on the Web at, for between $25 and $30.

Consumers should stop using the recalled slings immediately and contact Infantino to receive a free replacement product, with a choice of a Wrap & Tie infant carrier, or a 2 in 1 Shopping Cart Cover, or a 3 in 1 Grow & Play Activity Gym. A Jittery Pals Rattle will also be provided.

Contact Infantino toll-free at 866-860-1361 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at


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  • Jack Flash Mar 24, 2010

    No worries, Killian. "Negligence" was my take, but apparently not your intended meaning. Thanks for clarifying.

    The recall indicates to me there is too small a margin of error w/ this particular sling.

  • Jack Flash Mar 24, 2010

    "I bought one of these for my baby"

    I forwarded this article to my wife and she reminded me that we bought a sling by this company on a road trip where we'd forgotten our usual sling. It wasn't this sling, but it was terrible.

    You ought to try a sling from a different company. If you get the right one, you and your child might really like it.

  • Killian Mar 24, 2010

    Jackflash -- I see your point, and if I implied negligence, I apologize. Those parents who lost their infants may well not have been. But there ARE parents who misuse normal products, or fail in their parenting, and then blame the product.

    Many cultures, especially those in Africa and the Caribbean, use slings for their babies from day one, with no problems. The mothers who do so have been found to actually be -more- in tune with their infant's needs, whether it's a need for food, time to eliminate, a need for sleep, whatever. The constnat contact provides a bond that helps the mother read her infant very well.

    The sad fact is that in the US, we have moved away from a system of bonding with infants in favor of convenience. Baby formula (as an option, not for those who cannot breastfeed), bottle propping, cribs instead of co-sleeping, they all reduce the interaction between a caregiver and child, when the child's brain is developing the most.

  • Killian Mar 24, 2010

    Ounces -- just a thought, but when he gets older, he may love it. It works beautifully to carry a baby or toddler on your hip or your back in a store, etc, while leaving your hands free. Sometimes smaller babies don't like the cocoon feeling, but it allows older babies to sit up with their back to you, facing the world, or on your hip/back like I mentioned.

    NOT trying to tell you what to do, or convince you not to return it...just offering a thought. I used slings with my kids til they were too old to carry.

  • Jack Flash Mar 24, 2010

    I agree w/ Killian on the benefits the sling, but not on the parental mistakes involved here. Babies breathe very lightly. I don't think a parent's being unaware of respiratory distress is necessarily a sign of negligence. That they would choose to use a sling in the first place -- considering that slings are not a default, mainstream accessory for all -- suggests that they have a certain level of awareness that speaks well of their parenting intentions.

    I'm not a fan of condemning people for innocent mistakes.

  • HowManyOunces Mar 24, 2010

    I bought one of these for my baby and he screamed whenever I tried to put him in it. I quit using it. I couldn't find the receipt, so I didn't take it back. I still have it. I'm going to send it back to them and let them replace it with something I can actually use. I'm thankful that nothing happened to him while I was using it.

  • atmom Mar 24, 2010

    I agree! Hold your baby!!! You won't be able to do that for long, enjoy it while you can!!

  • Killian Mar 24, 2010

    Crena1968 -- No, baby wearing is supported by the World Health Organization, and several other health groups. The lazy parents are the ones who plop their kids in an infant seat with a propped bottle. Slings allow full time contact of infants to their caregivers, allowing breastfeeding mothers to nurse on demand (which is how it SHOULD be).

    If an infant is in respiratory distress and the parent doesn't see it or ignores it, that isn't the fault of the sling, but the wearere. Just because it allows the caregiver to be hands-free, doesn't mean you don't pay attention. An intelligent parent keeps the sling open to the air so s/he can see the child's face at all times.

    Go troll somewhere else, instead of spouting misinformation.

  • crc1968 Mar 24, 2010

    looks like a purse to me! would you put your baby in a purse, no so don't use a's just lazy.