Baby carriers have been around since before the 1900s. It is said that the first baby carrier was invented by a woman named Anne Moore back in 1869, which she called a “Snugli.” Inspired by an African mother she saw who was securely carrying her baby on her back in Togo, Anne Moore, with the help of her mother, designed a carrier that would give her and her baby the same closeness she admired between the African mother and her baby. Even now, it is believed that baby carriers create closeness between the carrier and the infant, as well as improving their emotional relationship. It is also believed that it helps babies with their mental and emotional development.
Baby carriers are used around the world, and are called by many names depending on the culture and the country where they are used.
Here are some of the baby carriers around the world and their different names:
The Mei Tai is used in China, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. It is a carrier with a waist belt and double or single strap sewn onto a piece of fabric.
Podaegi, which is used in Korea, is a rectangular blanket or fabric with long shoulder straps tied around the carrier’s chest instead of over the shoulder.
The Kanga or Pagne, sometimes also called Kikoy if woven, used in Africa and Kenya, is also a rectangular piece of fabric worn only on the back.
Rebozos, used to carry babies in Guatemala and Mexico, are shawls or woven scarves in rectangular shapes which are also used as a women’s accessory, worn over their shoulders.
Onbuhimos are wraps and slings made from gauze, wool or cotton which are used in Japan. The baby’s whole body is wrapped on the back of the carrier.
The Capulana is a sling-like carrier in Mozambique wherein the weight of the baby is supported by the carrier’s shoulder.
The Manta or Awayo is worn in Peru and Bolivia to carry the baby on their back. Like most carriers, it is also rectangular in shape, and is then folded and tied at the carrier’s chest.
The Patadyong is a piece of woven fabric used in the Philippines to carry their babies.
Baby carriers are called by different names, but their purpose stays the same: to be able to carry your baby in a comfortable and convenient way. Prolonged carrying will make even the lightest baby feel heavy after a while, and mothers around the world have long since recognized the benefits of having a baby carrier, regardless of its primitive design or technological superiority.