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Anyone Wear their Baby the Traditional African Way?

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
I was just wondering how many othere mamas wear their baby on their back with a piece of fabric the way it is traditionally done in Africa. Do you knot the fabric or just tuck/twist? Which do you prefer? Who showed you how to do the carry? And do you love it?

Me? I knot the fabric--it feels more secure. I used to see my grandmother do it all the time when she was visiting the states. I knew when I grew up I would do it too. I love because it doesn't cost a lot of money, keeps baby out of the way so I can cook/clean, and is easy on my shoulders/back since all the weight is at my hips. My babe usually falls asleep so I love it!
post #2 of 36
Thread Starter 
Am I the only one???
post #3 of 36
I wear DC on my back in the ring sling but not the style you use. I've seen lots of people do it though and it looks really nice.
post #4 of 36
I have carried ds in the pouch on my back many many times
I do know what carry you are talking about though. i should actually try it....
I lived in rural Swaziland on missions years ago, for a few weeks. The women there ALL wore their babies that way. It was so beautiful, and just normal. No small children running around getting hurt- they were all secure
post #5 of 36
I'm not sure what carry you mean... do you have a pic?
post #6 of 36
Thread Starter 
Okay . . . here's a pic of the carry:
post #7 of 36
Thanks for posting that! I really liked the article!

I can't see enough detail to know, but it's a torso carry. I'm not sure how she ties it. Would be cool to learn.
post #8 of 36

I do, I do!!!

dd is a little too young to wear on back, she cant hold her head up really well. But I have done the hold, and love it. I just twist and tuck. But I think I might like the knot. I have worn my niece and nephew, they were 3 and 5 when i carried then. They loved it.

I learned the traditional way when living in Ghana. Then I married a Ugandan, so I get lots of traditional ideas from him

if i can figure out how to post a pic in here, i'll do it.
post #9 of 36
My dh is ethiopian, so I've seen it before and always wanted to get the hang of it. And there were a few west african mamas in our old apt building who would carry their babies to the laundry room.

It's cheap, safe effective. Perfect. Great skill to have
post #10 of 36
I'd love to try this but can't figure how how you get them on your back in the first place? How old does your child have to be?
post #11 of 36
Thread Starter 
Well, Muse, my baby just hit 4 mos. I've seen babies carried this way from almost birth it seems. The Mamatoto website had great videos but I checked and the site seems to be gone, much to my dismay.

You bend over and move the baby onto your back (you can put him on your hip first then bounce him onto your back). Then you take the spread out fabric and place it over the baby. The fabric goes under your armpits and you tie the ends into the first knot over your breasts nice and tight. Spread baby's legs out and take the bottom ends of the fabric and tie those in a knot too. Okay . . . not a very good explanation. I'm sorry.
post #12 of 36
Thread Starter 
I was wrong! The site is still there . .. sorry. Here's a link to the kind of carry I am talking about. There are directions and a video too.

post #13 of 36
I have used the ring sling to carry on my back, but not that way.

Have to say though that article is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would love to see it published widespread!!
post #14 of 36
I am looking forward to carrying my newborn African-style soon. My birth-doula spent five years living in West Africa, and for my post-partum visit she brought a native Zane (pronounced zah-nay) cloth that was 44" x 66" and showed me how to wear it. She used a twist and tuck method.

I'm of course a little apprehensive about the learning process, getting baby on my back etc, but am going to practice with a friend over to help me. It should be a big help in getting stuff done around the house and with my 2 1/2 yo DS. Now, I just need to find/make a piece of cloth in the right dimensions and practice...

With DS I wore him on my back in an ergo, but never managed to master the back carries with my wraps. It was such a shame...

This time, I am not nervous about doing a back carry, but since we practice EC, I am a little worried about getting the baby on and off in a rush!
post #15 of 36
I like that carry with a simple pareo or sarong. I tie rather than twist, thoguh. I actually have had a sling "playdate" with Tracey of mamatoto and she showed me how to do the twist, but I haven't had a small baby to try it with since then.

I recently got to play with my long Ellaroo wrap with my sister's large 4 mo and got him easily into a very comfy Tibetan. I'm looking forward to playing around with these when the new baby comes, because I ddin't have wraps when my others were teeny.
post #16 of 36
I have worn my dd on my back with a wrap in a Tibetan carry, but it is not quite like that torso carry

post #17 of 36
I do ......I do the knots.
post #18 of 36
Originally Posted by thorn
I have worn my dd on my back with a wrap in a Tibetan carry, but it is not quite like that torso carry

How do you do the tibetan carry?
post #19 of 36
I wear my dd that way. She's 8 mn and just loves it. SHe's always peaking around my hips to see what I'm doing. I use mostly around the house in the kitchen. I tie mine twice once w/ the bottom edges and once with the top edges. It's a great carry- not too hard on the back and very cheap to do!
post #20 of 36
I would love to try this, but what size and type of fabric would I need for it? Would a twin sized sheet work?
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