First The New York Times wondered whether newly hip baby slings were safe. Then, on Wednesday, two brands of baby slings were recalled. But some highly unscientific anecdotal evidence suggests that the baby sling isn't going away so fast.
Not having a child myself, I haven't had much exposure to slings, but I did used to live around the corner from Keri Russell, and every so often I'd see her toting her baby son, River, in a baby sling that looked like a piece of cloth. She seemed so happy and carefree! Whenever I saw her I would think, This is what "cool moms" do, they carry their babies around in slings and act like it ain't no thing. But since I no longer live in Keri Russell's neighborhood, and my reporting needed a larger sample size, this afternoon I headed to Park Slope, the much-derided epicenter of touchy-feely, hippie-yuppie, upper-middle-class, mostly white, self-righteous, PC parenting. Surely, I thought, the parents in Park Slope—perhaps best known for an epic listserve fight over whether a child's winter hat should be described as a "boy's hat"—would have opinions about the Baby Sling Brouhaha of 2010! They would all, I assumed, have their babies safely in prams.