Human feet are unique in the ape family, made for walking instead of grasping. For our babies this means two fewer grasping limbs to help cling to their mother, which means that during the evolution of bipedalism, infants had a harder time hanging on. How did our ancestors survive?
Dr. Sears claims credit for coining the phrase ‘Babywearing’ in the 1980’s but did you know interest in infant carrier cultures had been growing in popularity since the 1950’s?
With the talk of which culture has the exclusive rights to this or that, some have wondered if people of European descent should use infant carriers at all. To which I can only groan (and share this post).
It’s not just that human babies are helpless at birth, it’s that they’re so huge, at least when we compare them to the size of other apes’ newborns. Fortunately we have all kinds of technology to help us carry them around. But how far back in history were our evolutionary ancestors dealing with these big babies?
Learn how the peoples of Indonesia incorporate their infant carriers into their postpartum traditions.
This work is part of my project, The Evolution of Babywearing, which explores the evolutionary origins of the infant carrier and how it has shaped humanity as we know it. Many moons ago at a family gathering, a relative was complaining about her baby’s fussing, “He won’t let me put […]
Why is it that some mammals can just leave their babies in a den or nest, while others carry theirs around (or have them cling on) through out the day?
Learn more about Alma Gottlieb’s book “The Afterlife is Where We Come From” on the culture of infancy involving reincarnation and carrying among the Beng.
A lot has been said about Okinawan culture in the Attachment Parenting community, let’s set the record straight: from the moms who return to work after a few months maternity leave, to the siblings and grandmothers who strap the baby to their backs as they go about their days, and the hard-knocks school of weaning.