Anyone Wear their Baby the Traditional African Way? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 36 Old 12-29-2005, 12:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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!

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#2 of 36 Old 12-30-2005, 02:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Am I the only one???

Stay-at-home mom to 2 beautiful.busy.boisterous boys b. 08.17.05 & 12.29.08
Nirvana is . . . the living happiness of a soul which is conscious of itself and conscious of having found its own abode in the heart of the Eternal. --Gandhi
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#3 of 36 Old 12-30-2005, 02:29 AM
 
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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.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#4 of 36 Old 12-30-2005, 02:32 AM
 
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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

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
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#5 of 36 Old 12-30-2005, 02:38 AM
 
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I'm not sure what carry you mean... do you have a pic?
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#6 of 36 Old 12-30-2005, 02:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay . . . here's a pic of the carry:
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...rollers19.html

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#7 of 36 Old 12-30-2005, 03:19 AM
 
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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.
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#8 of 36 Old 12-30-2005, 02:11 PM
 
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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.
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#9 of 36 Old 12-30-2005, 02:19 PM
 
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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
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#10 of 36 Old 12-30-2005, 02:26 PM
 
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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?
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#11 of 36 Old 12-30-2005, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

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Nirvana is . . . the living happiness of a soul which is conscious of itself and conscious of having found its own abode in the heart of the Eternal. --Gandhi
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#12 of 36 Old 12-30-2005, 11:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

http://www.mamatoto.org/default.aspx?tabid=162

Stay-at-home mom to 2 beautiful.busy.boisterous boys b. 08.17.05 & 12.29.08
Nirvana is . . . the living happiness of a soul which is conscious of itself and conscious of having found its own abode in the heart of the Eternal. --Gandhi
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#13 of 36 Old 01-01-2006, 10:51 AM
 
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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!!
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#14 of 36 Old 01-01-2006, 07:13 PM
 
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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!
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#15 of 36 Old 01-02-2006, 03:31 AM
 
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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.
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#16 of 36 Old 01-02-2006, 12:04 PM
 
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I have worn my dd on my back with a wrap in a Tibetan carry, but it is not quite like that torso carry

http://www.strainstation.com/albums/...0_1781_001.jpg

Christine, mom to C(7.5) - E(5) - J(3) - B(10 mos)

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#17 of 36 Old 01-19-2006, 01:44 PM
 
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I do ......I do the knots.
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#18 of 36 Old 01-19-2006, 02:10 PM
 
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Quote:
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

http://www.strainstation.com/albums/...0_1781_001.jpg
How do you do the tibetan carry?
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#19 of 36 Old 01-19-2006, 02:30 PM
 
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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!
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#20 of 36 Old 01-19-2006, 11:44 PM
 
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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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#21 of 36 Old 01-19-2006, 11:50 PM
 
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I wear DD (20 mo) like that. She loves playing with my hair and laying her head on my shoulder. I do the chest belt and tie up near my chest area. Otherwise I'd totally selfconsious about how big my breasts look amidst all that tightly drawn fabric.
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#22 of 36 Old 01-20-2006, 02:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iris0110
I would love to try this, but what size and type of fabric would I need for it? Would a twin sized sheet work?
I think that would be too big. You would need something about the size of a beach cover-up/sarong. About 1 yd. and 1/2 long and 48" wide. If you do the knots, go with the 1 yd. If you do the twist and tuck, the fabric should be the longer length.

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#23 of 36 Old 01-20-2006, 04:35 AM
 
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When I first started with wraps, I used a Moby (stretchy) and had trouble with the over-the-shoulder carries, and found that back carries that way were no good with the stretchy ... so tied her lower down and around the waist, very similarly. It was very comfortable that way. But the wrap was way too long to do it easily, and I never left the house with it because it didn't feel too secure (and since a wrap is way too big for it, it probably wasn't).



After practicing and getting better with higher back carries have found the higher ones (as in over the shoulder, as in the Tibetan) better for me, so not doing the around-the-waist ones anymore.







There are wrap vendors that sell kanga-length versions of their fabrics, *much* shorter than the wraps. Or so I was told ... have not checked that out myself.
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#24 of 36 Old 01-20-2006, 06:16 AM
 
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wow what a great sourse of information you all are.

i am waiting 4 weeks for my tube sling, and have been using a long cloth kinda my own way, but i will try these methods, they look way better than what i was able to come up with, thanks
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#25 of 36 Old 01-21-2006, 12:21 AM
 
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Ok so I was so intrigued that I bought this http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWA%3AIT&rd=1
to try out as a carrier. I guess if I don't like carrying ds2 this way I can always use it as a sarong or something.
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#26 of 36 Old 01-21-2006, 12:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Very cool! Good luck. I'd like to know how it goes if you don't mind.

Stay-at-home mom to 2 beautiful.busy.boisterous boys b. 08.17.05 & 12.29.08
Nirvana is . . . the living happiness of a soul which is conscious of itself and conscious of having found its own abode in the heart of the Eternal. --Gandhi
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#27 of 36 Old 01-21-2006, 12:54 AM
 
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so how do they hold newborns ? or do they use a different type of carry?
i just cant imagine holding my 2 month old this way, but maybe i'm missing something?

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#28 of 36 Old 01-21-2006, 12:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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In my culture, Igbo from Nigeria, you don't do the carry until the baby is at least 4 mos., where his legs can spread across your back and he can properly support his neck and head. It makes sense because traditionally a new mother wouldn't be out and about before the baby reached 4 mos. Up until ds reached 4 mos., I carried him in a Moby wrap.

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Nirvana is . . . the living happiness of a soul which is conscious of itself and conscious of having found its own abode in the heart of the Eternal. --Gandhi
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#29 of 36 Old 01-21-2006, 01:10 AM
 
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ooh ok. thanks:

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#30 of 36 Old 01-21-2006, 01:56 AM
 
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I used to carry Emma on my back all the time in a Tibetan, I guess. Like this. I got some fabric and just put her back there. When she was youonger, I hoisted her over my shoulder, but now i put her on my hip and kinda shimmy her around. Emma's legs starting getting red and she'd push up in my wrap, so I started just putting her in a mei tei instead. Once when I was at my grandmother's nursing home, one of the aide's, who is from Africa, asked about my wrap (which didn't have the baby in it at the moment, my mom was holding her in another part of the place). He said, "That's how my mom always carried babies. Is that from Africa?" I thought it was really cool, especially since I didn't even have her in it and he knew what I was wearing. When I first started, I practice with a cabbage patch kid and then I only did it with my dh or somebody around to spot me till I got more confident. I could never just let my baby sit there like they do on mamatoto, m ine wiggles too much, so I have to use one hand to hold her and then other to manipulate the fabric around.

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