Friday, March 12, 2010

Joint Press Release

Tadpoles & Butterflies and The Edmonton Babywearers’ joint statement on the safety of baby slings.

On March 12, the American government released a statement warning against unsafe positioning in baby slings. The warning was in response to 3 deaths that took place in 2009. We have been saddened to hear of each of these deaths and wish to share our sympathies with the parents of these babies.

The North American babywearing community is closely united; this is an issue that impacts Canadian parents as well. Poor positioning and flawed product design place all babies at risk. It is imperative that parents recognise the difference between the unsafe positioning being warned against and the safe methods that knowledgeable educators promote. We have long been warning of the dangers to babies when they are positioned chin to chest in any infant product.

As babywearing educators, our primary goal is to advocate for carrying babies in the safest way possible. Babywearing (ie, carrying a baby close to the body in a soft baby carrier) is the way in which infants and toddlers were meant to be cared for. Babywearing is an essential parenting practice that increases the success of breastfeeding, minimises infant crying as well as the effect of Post Partum Depression and makes caring for a baby as simple as possible for new parents.

Carrying safely is a teachable skill. We offer many avenues for Edmonton area parents to learn to wear their babies, including monthly meetings, private consults, telephone help and online resources including an instructional blog. We also train health care professionals and those working with new parents on how to use babywearing as an appropriate public health tool.

For more information, please contact

Arie Brentnall-Compton, Certified Babywearing Educator, Edmonton Babywearers’ group leader & partner with Tadpoles & Butterflies.
Lee-Ann Grenier, Lactation Consultant and Edmonton Babywearers’ group leader.
Samantha Johnson, CRST and Edmonton Babywearers'group leader
Kelly Laffin, Edmonton Babywearers'group leader

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Our Efforts to be Ethical

You might notice that there are quite a few products typically found in a baby boutique that we don't carry. This is deliberate on our part, so I would like to take a few minutes to explain why. As consumers, we often vote with our feet, choosing products & companies that we believe to be ethically minded whenever we can. We want to encourage you to do the same by making you aware of the reasoning behind some of our choices.

First & foremost, Tadpoles & Butterflies follows the WHO Code on the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. This means we do not advertise (or, in our case, sell) products that are known to undermine breastfeeding when they are marketed. For us, this means we do not sell bottles or pacifiers. If you are interested in learning more about the Code, check out Infact Canada

We also do not carry:

-Pacifier clips: soother use is known to interfere with breastfeeding & even to shorten the duration of breastfeeding. When babies are not breastfed to recommendation (exclusively for 6 months, then continuing with complementary foods to 2 years & beyond), we all pay. This is a serious public health issue that affects everyone in our health care system. So, we choose to not carry products, like soother clips, that normalise the use of a product that can cause harm.

-Nursing covers: breastfeeding anywhere, anytime, is a woman's legally protected right in Canada. We do not want to reinforce the concept that public nursing is only acceptable if the mother is "covered up" by selling products designed solely for that purpose.

-Crib sheets, toys, etc: It is clear to us that babies are born expecting to sleep in proximity with their mothers, so we steer clear of products that add to the uniquely Western idea that babies ought to sleep by themselves. If you would like to learn more about safe cosleeping & proximity sleep, please check out Dr James McKenna's work.

-Swaddle Blankets: Babies are born expecting to be carried! The practice of swaddling, especially to attempt to have babies sleep longer periods (which can lead to apnic sleep & increased risk of SIDS) is one that worries us. Some babies certainly do like to be cuddled tightly in- we believe that a good baby carrier can meet that need!

Babies are born expecting only a couple of things- to be carried close to their mother and nursed at her breast, to have their cries answered & their elimination needs met. We want to help you meet those needs for your baby while caring for yourself & the rest of your family. We choose to offer the products & education that help you do that- high quality baby carriers & accessories, cloth diapers & EC products, along with evidence based educational opportunities & parenting groups.

We do know that there is a time & place for every product, & that many people do choose to use the items we have mentioned. When products such as those are ubiquitous, new parents often believe that they are needed for raising children. By choosing to not carry them, we hope to counter that concept!

Thank you for supporting
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions!