There are many types of baby carriers, but nothing beats nature. With an average speed of forty miles per hour, kangaroo moms can move quickly, even with a little one on board. That’s a good thing, because joeys may spend up to six months in the pouch before facing the outside world.
Humans have done more than watch in envy. Baby carriers have been around for many years and are found in civilizations around the world. They are created from a variety of materials including wood, animal hides and fabric. They may be unadorned, although some decorated with beads and shells are amazingly beautiful and are even featured in art museums. Check out the image at the right, which shows a square from a Chinese baby carrier. The beautiful design is created using multiple layers of folded silk fabric and is enhanced with raised embroidery. From a practical perspective, however, I have to wonder about the impact of baby spit-ups and leaking diapers on these works of art.
Although one can find online instructions for creating a simple baby carrier from a sheet, manufactured carriers predominate in our culture. I’m not sure how mothers choose between ring slings, pouch slings, buckle carriers and Mei Tai carriers. I found charts indicating the best type of carrier by age, by weight and even by activity. I’m envisioning parents heading to the nearest baby center to purchase multiple carriers. And I think I hear the sounds of kangaroo laughter.