Monday, February 14, 2011

Babywearing through the ages

David and I went to the local Farmer's Market on Saturday, and as usual he was sitting pretty in the BabyHawk on my back.  If you ever want to see babywearing in action, go to a farmer's market - I counted over a dozen other worn babies. 

A random woman in line commented "Those things are all the rage".  An old (80+) lady with a strong accent replied, "Eeet was da rage when I lived in Moscow too!"  She went on to tell me about how she always wore her babies, and how it helped to keep them warm during the long Russian winters.

Babywearing's not trendy, it's normal.  It's practical.  It's beautiful!  Below is a collection of beautiful babywearing pictures from around the world and through the ages, from a friend's presentation to her high school Spanish class.  Enjoy!


Not sure where, but nice Mei Tai!

South Africa


Ancient Egypt
 
Bolivia

Bolivia

Bosnia

Brazil

Brazil

Burma

China

Congo (Way to get some work done, mama!)

Czech Republic - love the basket!

Czech Republic

Netherlands

Egypt

Eskimo

French Daddy on a bike (not recommended lol)

Ghana

Guatemala

Guatemala

More Guatemala!  Beautiful pattern

Inuit - such a beautiful photo

Japan

Mary and Jesus

Dark ages?  I think not!

Mexico, rockin the Rebozo Superman toss!

Morocco - babies wearing babies

Poland

Roma (Gypsy Mama anyone?)

Slovakia - what a happy baby.

Southern USA

Modern Day Texas

Wales

Namibia

66 comments:

  1. I love that there are SO MANY different ways. The one that always strikes me is the shoulderless. I am not brave enough...

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    1. shoulderless baby wearing is actually not so scary at all... and so easy and comfortable. Here's my tutorial: http://www.authenticparenting.info/2010/05/how-to-african-babywearing.html

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  2. Wearing my babies has been along with breastfeeding one of the most empowering things I have done as a mother. It makes me proud to be in the company of all these strong women. Now when someone comments on my sling at the store I'll be sure to let them know I'm not setting a trend, I'm just following the good example of so many women across the ages.

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  3. What a beautiful collection you made! Heartwarming to see all these parents in close contact with their children.
    The first picture is a Herero woman from Namibia, and the mei tai is of a type you find with the Himba people who also live in Namibia. So you come full circle with your last picture :-)

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  4. All of these photos are just beautiful!!

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  5. Every single one of these are just so beautiful and inspiring. I'm expecting my second baby in the fall and want to babywear so much more than I did with my first! I think it will be a necessity as well. :)

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  6. I loved baby wearing with my first son, in fact, We still wear him in the "ERGO" and hes 2.2 my daughter though... her Dad wears her more than i do :( I dont understand why but it feels so draining to wear her.. It makes me sad but i just have no desire and shes only 3 months :(

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    1. Maybe try some Motherwort, or a Postpartum Depression Aid Infusion... Susun Weed style. :)

      Post-partum Depression Aid:
      One part licorice root and rosemary; two parts RRL and skullcap.
      Mix herbs, and put a tsp (per cup of water) in a jar that has a lid, and pout boiling water over it. Steep for four hours, strain the liquid, saving it, and discard the leftover herbal matter. When it cools, it can be refrigerated for up to four days.
      Drink one to three cups per day.
      (Note: Skullcap may have a soporific effect on some people.)

      Hope that helps, mama!! <3

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    2. (If you saved your placenta with the intent of burying in later on, please consider encapsulating it; it is a WONDERFUL mood booster!!)

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    3. Are you getting enough rest? Sleep deprivation can really interfere with mood, bonding, everything else... xo

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  7. Beautiful, am *really* looking forward to wearing my new baby come August :-D

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  8. I have almost 7 month old twins. Is it possible to carry twins in something like this?

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    1. Absolutely! Try wearing one twin on your front in a wrap, and the other on your back in a soft structured carrier like Boba or Ergo. Or you can wrap both babies (front and back), or use two ring slings, one over each shoulder with a twin on each of your hips.
      There are lots of ways to babywear twins. Of course, if their dad is there, you can wear one and he can wear one.

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    2. I've done a mei tai/ergo combination with my boys

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    3. I'll bet what Emily meant to say was "If you have a partner, and they are present, they can carry one of the babies." ;)

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  9. Aw Susan I think sometimes we just go through seasons and after adding a second child sometimes our bodies just crave SPACE. Maybe it will be something that will pass and soon enough you'll be wearing again with energy left to spare. But if not...I am sure that the love will transmit to your daughter in so many other ways anyways!

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  10. Amy: The answer is yes! Most parents of multiples (or 2 under 2) seem to prefer wearing one baby on the back and another on the front, or a baby on each hip. Here's a good site for you:

    http://babywearingtwins.com/

    You can also google "twin babywearing" and click on "images" to see some great examples. :)

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  11. I plugged in" Images of twin babywearing " and went to it exclusively.

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  12. http://www.bgsever.info/br-38_2006/11taka4-adile_1.gif one more picture from Bulgaria, Europe (but this carrier and clothing are used in the distan past, nowadays there are no such a tradition)

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  13. *distant past, sorry :)

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  14. I posted a picture from Bulgaria and it disappeared.

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  15. Beautiful! Thank you!

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  16. while in honduras i saw a papi ride his bike with a little toddler on the back! I wish i was better at baby wearing i am a fat woman so carriers are different for me. I usually end up with a haard frame hiking backpack, but this babe i am going to have a Mei tie made for me

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    1. WTG, mama! I'm a really large womyn as well, and I made myself a Mei Tai with extra-long straps. And though the Ergo didn't fit me, the Beco did (I have a 55" waist), and I've had a lot of luck with high rucksack carries with "average size" wraps, where a "shortie" would normally be used. :) Best of luck on your babywearing journey!!

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  17. thank you for sharing such beautiful pictures!!

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  18. I just don't like the pic of the black woman wearing the white baby... Too many stories of black nannies in the south who raised white children with such love and guidance, only to be rejected by those kids as they grew up to be white supremacists.

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    1. Not all of them turned out to be white supremacists. Many didn't in fact. My husband (and his mother, as well) were partly raised by black grannies, who were a trusted part of the household, and thought of with affection. We visited my hubby's "yard man" recently, and had a great time telling stories of the fun times they had. When Willie started working for my father-in-law, he was only 16 years old and now he's 70, and retired. Same age as my hubby. They were like brothers, in a way...Great guy and his wife was a schoolteacher. wonderful times!

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    2. I'm sure he loved being the yardman while your husband, his age exactly, didn't have to do the yardwork. I'm sure they bonded well but there are still power dynamics at play in a situation like that, and glossing over them isn't a way to right them. Wonderful times for whom?

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    3. anonymous...so only black people worked at 16 and for only white people? You don't think there were white kids at 16 working for others white or black? I'm not sure I get what you are assuming.

      My brother, a little white boy, was sweeping driveways at 6 yrs old and made money from it. We did not have a lot of money growing up either, we were white....many people helped us and took us under their wing, even black families and we returned the help as well. I have a dress that I wore when I was 18 months old, it was given to my mom from her friend that her daughter had worn, who was black. This man's family allowed this young man to work to provide for himself and his family and was treated respectfully as it appears. Why does that have to be glossed over? People helping people.

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    4. Really? We're really just sweeping centuries of white supremacy under the rug bc some white kids had to work young and some white kids were nice to "the help"? That's really what we're gonna do here, huh. Oh.

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  19. It's so cool to see all the different methods!

    If I have another baby, I'm going to splurge on a woven wrap. They sound so nice, and I'd love to be able to do a back carry from day one. :)

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  20. @Susan: Take care of yourself. Make sure you are really well, and not struggling with any vitamin deficiencies like low iron, or any other health problems.Us moms need to take care of ourselves. Don't just chalk up your lack of enthusiasm/energy as some kind of personal failing.
    When my second baby came along, I couldn't understand why I didn't want to stare into his eyes likes I had with his older sibling. I didn't feel the same about him at all. I couldn't smile at him, which really upset me.I now know that I was extremely depressed although I had no idea at the time. Fortunately, I DID wear him around on my back in one of the old original Snugli carriers.I regret not carrying him more, but I did great considering. Life would have been so much more fun without the depression, and I would have enjoyed my baby so much more.

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  21. @Allison, I understand your feelings - I ultimately decided I liked the picture because the black woman is so beautiful and strong, and because the baby is very clearly happy to be with her.

    You're right - it's likely that the baby grew into a man who did not respect the woman who carried him, literally on her back. It's also possible that he grew up to support civil rights; we don't know.

    At least at the time of the picture, it's a beautiful shot. History is part of us, even the ugly parts.

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  22. I love wearing my babies.... my lil girl, 19 mo now never lets me hold her, but as soon as i get her in the sling, she's in another world. I can still carry my 4 yr old too! He's so cute. Thanks for posting the pics!

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  23. Hi Davied
    I read your post and was very impressed. I have some questions regards this post that I want to ask you by email.
    please send me an email to goren@onlife.co.il

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  24. In the pic of the Welsh women each is carrying her baby in traditional Welsh blanket or brychan, not just any old blanket. That's important, that is, as Wales has a weaving tradition that is documented back to the 14th century and is known to have been in place long before that.... ;o)

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  25. Oh I just love this! Will you please link up with our baby carrier blog hop? Would love to be able to include this!!

    Baby Carrier Fashion Show. Link Up!! | A Ruby in the Sunrise http://bit.ly/dS5uxe

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  26. The first Photograph is of a Woman from Angola :) South of Angola, Herero or Kuvale Woman

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  27. I loved looking at these pictures, thank you.
    Blessings,
    Rashel

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  28. Hey ladies interested in a woven wrap! You can use a bedsheet and turn it into one! They work great and if you can't figure out how to wrap it on your own than you can go to youtube! That's where I saw the idea! I made my own woven mei tai and it rocks ;o)

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  29. Wow great photos. Can I ask where you found them all? I'm on the look out for historic babywearing photos from around the world and would love some help in tracking them down. I'm at annajoanhughes@gmail.com if you wouldn't mind emailing me. Thanks :)

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  30. I think the black nanny and white baby is particularly touching. Babies don't see color. All he probably saw the was the woman who cared for him more than anyone else.

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    1. I can't even begin... Okay... Just look at this please, and then do some research into racism. http://stfuandlistenwhitepeople.tumblr.com/post/16405667801/a-compiled-list-of-things-white-people-say-that-are

      These are also good places to start:
      http://stuffwhitepeopledo.blogspot.com/2008/05/tell-black-people-they-dont-think-of.html
      http://grimhalla.blogspot.com/2008/04/uprooting-colorblind-racism.html

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    2. Hi Drea (I don't know how to make the ' above your name, I apologize),

      Thank you for sharing the links, especially the last two. I hesitated about posting the photo in question, but shying away from history and pretending it never happened would be a disservice. To anyone else looking to read more, this piece was very eye-opening for me as I seek to understand more: http://www.amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html

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  31. Love the photos, what a stunning collection! I'm surprised at how so many of the pictures show babies upright and not in a cradle hold, and I especially love all the back carries! :)

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  32. Nice photos.I love baby wearing primarily because I love the closeness. Our daughter slept better, ate better, and was far more peaceful when she was cuddled a lot during the day. Plus, I can't get enough of the tiny sweetness :)
    Thank you...

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  33. Ah, there is a beautiful one of a Maori woman carrying her baby. It would be a good addition to your collection, I'll see if I can find it...

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  34. Well there is this one of Ana Rupene in 1878 http://www.lindaueronline.co.nz/background/piecing-parts-of-a-puzzle-together-researching-ana-rupene-and-child- and this one of Ani Docherty on http://www.slingbabies.co.nz/Site/History_2.ashx

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  35. I would love one of the prints...the one from the Netherlands...any thoughts where I could find it...source of the picture?

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  36. Fab collection, love the welsh shawl and the morrocan little girl carrying the baby. Thank you!

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  37. I sure would appreciate it if you removed the caption from the first "Brazil" photo! :) Otherwise, lovely photo set!

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    1. Drea, I'm not sure how to remove it - the caption is part of the image and photo editing is not among my skills... if you are able to do so, I'd be happy to replace it with an edited version.

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  38. i love love love the photos! i'm wondering if i can use them for my presentation when i talk about baby wearing? :)

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  39. Almost 13 years ago women would come up to me and say ,"I wish we had those in my day.".. Um.. YOU DID!! I would go into the spill of how baby wearing isn't new at all. I do miss wearing my babies... I saved the "baby's" slings for when I become a grandmother.

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  40. Beautiful!!!!

    Please don't feel like you have to edit out captions that are on the photos or delete ones that shock us. It's our history! We need to see it, regardless of whether we still agree with it.

    This pictures are all really lovely! Baby wearing is really a universal and unifying thing!

    --A Black-White-Hispanic-baby-wearing mama raising seven Asian children

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  41. Great pictures. I love wearing my LO. I have to laugh a little on the inside whenever an older woman comes up to me compliments me on my carrier and says something along the lines of "they didn't have anything like that back when I was having babies." They didn't have fabric? :)

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  42. My friend is an avid baby wearer and has a very contented baby girl. She does get the odd weird look off passers by and the odd comment of wouldn't that child be better in a pram but one day as we were walking through town an old lady who must have been in her late 80s stopped us and said what you're doing is wonderful, it's the best way to carry your baby around, I used to do it with my children. She went into detail about the wonders of breast feeding and how she hates bottles etc. it was so sweet to get such positive feedback off a generation I thought didn't appreciate this natural way of parenting but then I think it's more our mothers generation that seems wary of slings, I know my mother hated mine and wouldn't walk around with me wearing it as she thought my baby was going to fall out!

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  43. I too am doing a research paper on baby wearing through the ages and your friend seems to have hit the jackpot of info because this has not been an easy subject to dig into! Lol thanks for the post )and the better grade the pics will get me! Lol)

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  44. i babywear all the time so much easier then trying to squeeze double wide stroller through doors

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  45. These are so sweet!I made something similar for a babywear Textiles product once and it was so cute customizing baby clothes!

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  46. I am happy from this blog because blogger written all information about the baby wear ages wise.

    Baby Wholesale Clothing

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