I am lucky enough to be an adopted member of Sheffield Slings. Not a sling library and 2 hours from Durham. This fab group has had lots of success as they try to being slings to the masses. In 2012 they won the International Babywearing Week Award for Best Outreach Programme. Since their inception in 2012 they have grown from strength to stength.
This included featuring in their local newspaper The Star on Tuesday 12th February. The article was fantastic. It can be read online here http://www.thestar.co.uk/community/we-let-the-slings-take-the-strain-1-5401688
In the print version it included this photograph
1) You fall over, whether carrying shopping or not instinct means you put you arms out to protect yourself. Most likey hurting yourself to protect baby.
2). Using a buggy does not guarantee baby is safe. I have personal experience of this.
I had the foot plate (which wheel attached to) snap off our 3 wheel pushchair. This left my eldest (then only 4 months old) left hanging by the straps! Also if you fall over when pushing buggy how do you stop it rolling away? Possibly into road etc.
3) If the mothers in this photo had carried babies in arms and slipped they would have undoubtedly dropped baby.
There are very few activities you shouldn't do when carrying your baby in a sling;
Ride bike, ride horse etc. Taking a stroll is not one! When I talk to parents on Babywearing safety it is on the importance of positioning not a list of prohibited activities which we talk about.
I refer parents to the TICKS guidelines. This is what I stress and is the reason I will not advocate or teach the cradle position for example.
As for slings with headboards, I can only assume they mean a mass produced front pack and hey they have their own issues relegated to hip support and comfort to the wearer.
All I can say is if you are interested in carrying your child don't let naysayers stop you. Speak to experienced sling users, Babywearing consultants and sling librarians. Research infant development and you will soon discover babies are biologically designed to need carrying. If our ancestors had not carried their young, we would not have existed as a species, as for as long as we have needed to move, there had been a need to carry our babies. (Taylor, 2010 'The Artificial Ape').
And hey if we want to do this in a pretty sling go for it. We choose our othes to look good so why not our sling.