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How it started in 1971

Zwillinge

Erika Hoffmann with the twins Lisa and Tina, 1972

We did not invent babywearing, this tradition has existed at all times, but Erika Hoffman has re-introduced it at a time when children were not allowed to sleep in their parents’ bed and when breastfeeding had to be done at stipulated intervals, when children had to “sleep through the night”, when mothers where separated from their newborn after birth for 24 hours in order to “recover” . An era when the prevailing opinion was that babies had to “function”.

 

The story of the DIDYMOS – baby sling started in 1971 with our twins Lisa and Tina (twin = ancient Greek didymos).

 

Once, when crying from the nursery was an unmistakable signal for: “Mummy, I have woken up!”, but a mountain of unfinished housework could not be put off any longer, I finally decided to tie the little crybaby around myself just as women in all parts of our planet had done for centuries.

 

Before then I had been fascinated by reports from distant countries where women pursued their daily work in a most uncomplicated way while intimately attached to their children. I owned a carrying cloth from Central America; but it seemed too exotic at first and that is why I had hidden it in the chest of drawers.

 

 

Spaziergang

Erika Hoffmann walking with Tina, 1976

But now the time had come: I tried for a while until I found the right method and walked through our village where we had moved a few weeks before the birth of our twins. Very soon we were the talk of the village and not all the comments were positive. But the twins convinced me. They started smiling as soon as they saw the cloth, and I also enjoyed the physical contact, once with Lisa, then with Tina, just like a prolonged pregnancy. It also had other advantages: My work did not have to be squeezed into the short moments when they were asleep, I could manage the household again and became more relaxed, knowing that the two little ones received as much warmth and physical contact as their brother and sister had when they were babies and I carried them around on my arm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Haushalt

Erika Hoffmann with the twins, 1973

When Tina was diagnosed to suffer from hip dysplasia and she had to wear a harness, I decided that she had to put on this  „corset“ only at night but during the day I spared her this treatment by wearing her in the sling. She was riding on my hip, her legs straddled.

In a follow-up examination, our paediatrician, whom I had not informed about this practice, was very satisfied with the results.

The carrying cloth would probably have become a nice memento of the our twins’ early years, but when the “Heilbronner Stimme” and “Stern” magazine published articles about us, parents all over Germany wanted carrying cloths from me, and I only had one myself…

How I founded the baby-sling company in a small village, with four children and living in a half-finished house is another story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Einkaufen

Erika Hoffmann holdings hands with Anna and Lisa in the wrap, 1972

However this much is true, I could not have done it without the baby sling.

 

 

Best wishes for you and your family,

Unterschrift EH

 

 

 

The back carry shown in these pictures was tied with a short (2 m) baby wrap. This is possible, however, it is not very comfortable. Today there are more comfortable methods for back carry. These require longer wraps, however.

Read more about the developments that have been made since 1972.