First Baby Carriers
The First Baby Carriers.
Your baby cannot be left behind when you are off out so you have no choice but to take him or her with you. A foray of a short distance may not require anything more than your own arms. But, if the travel involves long distances, you have to look for a carrier that can sit your baby comfortably during your journey.
Carriages and Backpacks.
There are as many baby transports as there are different cultures and different periods in time and different ages of the babies. There are carriers with wheels which are called baby carriages, strollers etc. Backpacks, slings, bicycle carriers, infant car seats and baskets are only some of the innovative ideas that have taken shape to aid nursing mothers to enable them to carry their babies about.
Perambulators that were widely used during the Victorian period were invariably heavy and it took some efforts to move them. However, with new materials like plastic and its variations being formulated in the late 1900s, “prams” or “strollers” got lighter.
But while some forms of babywearing are relatively modern inventions, many are still very similar to the first baby carriers. Items like a Baby Bjorn carrier or Snugli baby carrier are obviously of a modern design. While products such as the Maya wrap and Moby wrap have hardly changed since the originals came into use. It is still very easy to make one today using a baby sling pattern.
Ad Old as Time.
Some baby carriers are made to be tied to the body of the carrier. A backpack carrier and a baby sling belong to this category. Rigidity or flexibility depends on the locality, the tradition and the materials available to device a carrier. Babies who are too small to be able to sit or hold their heads steady without support usually stay put where they are made to rest on the mothers’ bodies.
The first baby carriers were simple slings which have been in use for millennia as witnessed by cave images from the Pharaohs’ time in Egypt. Older children who can move on their own too were put into variations of these sling devices when they were required to be carried over a distance.
A cradleboard is an innovative baby carrier that was used by Native American mothers that lent comfort both to the mother and the baby. In addition, the mothers could go about their chores unhindered by the load on their backs. Mothers attached these boards to their back straps that stretched from shoulders to hips. While riding a horse, cradleboards can be safely hung on the saddle.
Sometimes, infants that go into these cradleboards always went there even after they were able to walk. For cushioning and as diaper, shredded bark and moss were used. Flat pieces of wood were used as cradleboards but they were also made by weaving flexible twigs and cushioning with soft material that could also absorb the infant’s urine.
Western civilizations largely went by without any means to carry their infants. The first baby carriers to appear were soft packs which appeared in the 1960s. Soon, frame backpacks came on the scene and gained popularity among the mothers. Germany was the first country to introduce the wrap to carry toddlers as well older children. Ring sling’s invention saw mothers shifting their attention to it. Hawaii became the first state to start using the pouch carrier.
Like many things Chinese, their mei tai baby carrier, which had always been there in China was being manufactured in the West with many modernizations like padding and adjustments. It is now the most visible baby carrier around the world.