In 1986, a study was published showing that three hours of “supplemental” carrying reduced crying in newborns. The results were impressive: infants in the supplemental carrying group cried 43% less overall and 51% less during the evening hours than infants who were not given supplemental carrying. Contemporary babywearers often share these statistics as part of the benefits of babywearing to encourage people to try using infant carriers. But is that really accurate? Can the use of an infant carrier really reduce crying, or is there more to it? Continue reading
In 1966, Thomas and Hatsumi Maretzki wrote an ethnography of the Okinawan village of Taira, published as part of a series called Six Cultures: Studies of Child Rearing, which this article is a summary focusing on his observations of infant carrying.
Beginning one month after birth, a baby is kept in constant contact with its caregiver’s body and this continues until the child is around two years old, or whenever the mother becomes pregnant again.
“A child is strapped onto someone’s back from the time he wakes up in the morning to the time he is put to bed at night.”(Maretzki, 107).