Why it’s good to ‘wear’ a baby
A baby’s body structure is very different from that of an adult. Babies have distinctly rounded backs, the angle of their hip joint sockets is very flat, and their legs are positioned more to the side and splay out sharply when resting. Although they can hold their heads from an early age, babies’ physical coordination is otherwise limited to grasping and clutching things. All of this is seen as physiological immaturity.
A baby’s anatomy
The rounded back can be put down to the lack of space in the womb before birth. However, the splayed position of the legs would not be advantageous in the small, in utero environment, which means that a newborn’s appearance is less shaped by practical constraints and much more by external circumstances that it has to deal with after birth. In this respect, a baby’s body structure is adapted to her age-specific behaviour. Read more
Born to be worn
Infants often adopt a typical posture. Particularly when they’re resting or picked up, they tuck their legs up and spread out their arms. It looks as if they want to grasp something, and there’s a perfectly good reason for this.
Back at the dawn of time, before the wheel and prams had been invented, our ancestors were constantly on their feet foraging for food. Those who couldn’t walk were carried and babies clung onto their mothers. Although the grasp reflex of the hands disappears after the first few weeks – being redundant when the mother doesn’t have any fur to hold on to – this clinging reflex remains present in newborns today; the spread-squat position of the legs in particular remains until the child can support its own weight and stand unaided.
It’s likely to take a few more thousand years for babies’ anatomies to adapt to prams. Read more
Curiosity and fear
A typical hearing test for babies: The doorbell rings and the baby looks around. He wants to see who’s making the noise and wants to investigate the unknown. In contrast, most animal babies are inherently afraid of anything unfamiliar. They don’t put themselves in danger, but therefore don’t learn much. A human baby does not have this fear and would crawl up to a lion or over a precipice without a seconds thought. Existential fears of height, large teeth or crawly, slithery animals develop from around the age of two years. For their own protection, babies are programmed with a special type of fear – fear of being alone. Being left alone is quite different for a baby than for an older child as a baby feels that his life is in danger. Read more
A person learns most in their first years of life than ever they do later on. We’ve only realised how difficult basic abilities are – e.g. coordinated movements or the meanings behind images and sounds – since we tried, rather unsuccessfully, to teach them to computers.
You need teaching materials and a relaxed state of mind to be able to learn things. When held close to her mother and father, a baby feels safe and relaxed and is given things to learn with every movement and every new perspective. From this point of view, looking out of a crib at the ceiling is not very productive.
At every stage in their development, babies are receptive for learning certain things. If they miss this learning window, it’s much more difficult for them to learn the same things later on. Read more
Few babies simply accept that sometimes adults have to do things that require both hands. When all is quiet in the cot, we can quickly rush around and get the essentials done until the little one demands our attention again. However, a baby that is not carried has to express their needs loudly in order to get attention.
A baby that is carried can use more subtle signals and parents notice most problems (full nappy, hungry, too warm…) before they really begin to annoy the child.
Therefore, a baby that is carried and whose needs are satisfied immediately does not need to scream to get initial attention.
During the first three months, a baby’s need for physical contact is very strong. A baby relies a lot on her sense of touch and when she can’t feel her mother, she thinks she’s gone. Then she feels lost and begins to scream due to her perceived sense of danger. Colic rarely actually has anything to do with tummy ache. Read more
Make it easy on yourself
Even though newborns only weigh a few pounds, carrying them around for any length of time is not gentle on your arms. This alone makes a baby carrier attractive. However, you should be careful when choosing one; if your back then hurts instead of your arms, you may need to choose a different carrier.
The carrier must also take the baby’s anatomy into consideration. You often see baby carriers that allow infants to sit upright with their legs almost fully stretched with hardly any support. If there is only minimal support, carrying will quickly tire you out, regardless of the fact that it can also affect the development of your child’s backbone and hip joints.
What makes a good baby carrier?
A good baby carrier supports the baby and distributes his weight evenly. It envelops both the body of the baby and the carrying adult. Both are so closely wrapped that the baby does not dangle while you walk or even run. Of course, a baby carrier should never pinch or rub.
It should facilitate various carrying positions (lying and upright on the front, sideways and on the back) and needs to work just as well with a 6 lb newborn as with a tired toddler weighing almost 3 stone.
Only a wrap can offer all this versatility. Read more about carrying
Quality of materials
The material of a wrap has to tick a lot of boxes.
It should be elastic, but not wear out and become too loose. It should be durable and tear-resistant, but not too heavy or warm. It should be able to be washed a lot without becoming fuzzy or loosing its shape. Finally it should look good, maybe pretty or brightly coloured, but as babies are bound to suck on it, it should not contain any dubious colours or textile finishings and the fibres should be organic.
It would also be great if the cloth was produced locally and not sourced from an anonymous, globalised manufacturer. DIDYMOS baby wraps fulfil all of these criteria. Read more about manufacture
Is it difficult to tie?
You’re asking someone who can! “No more difficult than tying your shoes”, we say of course. However, there are also people who say the same about tying a tie…
It’s best to read what other parents have written or have a look in our guest book. Or try it out for yourself: You can find instructions for possible carrying positions here.
With every DIDYMOS wrap, you’ll receive a detailed instruction booklet and a DVD. However, if you still have any questions you can contact a member of our team at any time by phone or by email.
Finally there’s the question of what to do with all the wrap when the child has grown out of it… Here are some examples.