How Baby Slings and Carriers Originated3 min read
In every tribe and culture where babies are born, nature has placed certain fundamental traditional responsibilities for nursing and efficient up-bringing of babies upon mothers. One of such responsibilities obviously, can be seen in the area of carrying a new born baby from infancy through to toddler stage.
In different parts of the world, different types of baby carrying materials exist in different forms and shapes for the purpose of achieving one important goal which is carrying the new born baby, and maintaining close contact between the mother (or father, as the case may be) and the baby.
One of the ways in which this has been achieved is by investing in, and using baby slings or baby carriers as some people prefer to call them. From the beginning of Africa, to the end of Asian countries, different types of baby carriers have evolved both traditional and modern.
A typical West African mother would put her baby on her back and wrap him/her up with a piece of wrapper (piece of cloth) and then supports it with another one which she knots around her waist to support the baby from falling off. When the baby falls asleep, she raises the wrapper to his/her neck area in order to support the head from dangling.
In most of the Asian countries, the oldest type of baby carrier was designed in a similar fashion to one of the most popular baby slings in the market today. This is called Mei Tai. Mei Tai was predominantly used by Chinese women to carry their babies and even toddlers at home and at work. It was designed in a way that the sling could be worn either in front or at the back.
In Korea, mothers traditionally used what is called Podegi to wrap their babies. Closely related to the West African woman’s style, Podegis are quilted and wrapped on the mother’s chest with straps wrapped on the baby’s bottom thereby securing the baby on the back of the mother.
Ombihumo is the name given to the type of design used in wrapping babies in Japan. This particular design enables the mother to wrap the baby’s whole body in cloth, allowing the baby to rest fully on the mother’s back.
In Europe, America and indeed all parts of the world, many different versions of baby carrier have evolved for the purpose of performing the same function of baby carrying, perhaps in many different styles. Environmental conditions have also led to innovation in designing of baby carriers. For example, Amauti is a type of baby carrier which is made of animal skin and wool to protect babies from adverse weather conditions i.e. cold and snow..
Today, things have changed and baby slings and carriers are simply adaptations of whatever any culture normally used to carry anything heavy. Reflecting beauty, elegance and design, each type of the new slings or carriers is designed to suit every modern woman’s preference. More than ever is the fact that today’s modern slings are durable and certified for baby’s comfort and safety.