Berkeley Granola Moms Beware

Federal safety alert concerning suffocation set to be released this week

A staple of the Berkeley granola moms may soon be out of fashion.

The government is set to release a safety warning about baby slings -- a cloth wraparound baby carrier so popular with Bay Area mothers.

The report will warn parents that slings can suffocate babies. At least seven unfortunate newborns have stopped breathing in a sling, according to an Associated Press report.

The carriers are popular with new mothers in Berkeley, Oakland and Marin area because it carries a baby in a way that simulates how he or she was cradled in the womb. Some advocates say the "C-like" position calms fussy babies and helps them adjust to the lower world.

The slings have become a stereotypical fashion piece used to identify mothers (and fathers) into alternative child rearing techniques. Speciality shops across the Bay Area sell slings and at least one San Francisco midwifery program gives new mothers the clothe carrier as part of a gift basket. While the slings are used mostly for newborns and younger babies, some can be used for children as old as 3.

The government's warning -- due later this week -- centers directly on the dangers associated with the C position. The safety alert however does not mention any specific slings, any other positions to be concerned with or Birkenstocks.

Sajid Farooq is a new granola dad whose daughter hated her baby sling the first time she saw it.

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