Just a few days to go: for two days – 6-7th of July – Bristol will host babywearers’ most important event of the year.
The European Babywearing Conference is expected to attract hundreds of babywearing fans and advocates from countries all over Europe, who come to the United Kingdom to
- meet with and learn from other babywearing experts
- join various workshops and witness animating talks
- teach parents and other newbies about babywearing
- and give due respect to the diverse, international babywearing movement
manduca – we support the babywearing movement
We of manduca are Platinum Sponsors of the European Babywearing Conference and wholeheartedly support an event which, in our opinion, is truly special. After all, this conference is the first European conference on babywearing ever and presents the perfect networking occasion for babywearing advocates everywhere, from babywearing consultants to medical experts and psychologists. What is more, it offers an ideal opportunity to show all newbies the ins and outs of carrying your baby.
Of course, to wear your baby would be rather difficult without one of the good carrying devices available, and so the conference organisers brought the industry on board to jointly present and provide detailed information on a wide range of carriers. (And, of course, to raise the funds necessary to host such an event.) The feedback and suggestions of attending babywearing experts will surely be very welcome input for the various companies’ representatives and help to continually improve and innovate carriers. An all-around good thing, which we think is absolutely worth supporting!
Babywearing: Research and expertise
Only in the 70s did scholars realise how important being carried is for a child’s development: it was the time that Jean Liedloff introduced the “Continuum Concept” and William Sears coined the phrase “attachment parenting”. Apart from breastfeeding on cue and co-sleeping, carrying in close contact is central to these then-revolutionary concepts.
In the late 90s, the first Trageschulen (babywearing schools) formed in Germany to institute a professional approach to babywearing. By the way, did you know our founder and manduca-inventor Petra Schachtner was one of the first to train as a babywearing consultant with Ulrike Höwer at the Trageschule Dresden? No wonder Petra is so keen to have us all properly educated! It was only last autumn that all of us here at Wickelkinder, from product manager to storeman, were treated to such a two-day intensive class.
Had it not been for the babywearing movement, and the German Trageschulen in particular, wraps and Co. would probably still be known to a small circle of parents only. It was their many actions and events, their tireless drive to inform and educate, that turned the tide: Up until twenty years ago, mums and dads who carried their children were still exotic creatures and carrying in an upright position was downright frowned upon as it was thought to be orthopaedically damaging. It was Evelin Kirkilionis – a name now indelibly entwined with the history of the babywearing movement – who dispelled this myth and established scientific proof that
- upright carrying is beneficial to the baby’s spine, and
- has a positive effect on the development of the hip joints
Funny it took us so long, especially if you consider that carrying our children – and upright at that! – is no modern invention. To the contrary: from the origins of mankind and throughout history, carrying was the most natural way to transport children. It was a given. Many diverse carrying devices were invented because women usually had to get back to their daily work right after giving birth.
Increasingly, parents are becoming conscious not only of the positive physiological aspects, but also of the psychological benefits of babywearing. After all, on an emotional and psychological level, being carried is the best thing that can happen to a child because
- … eases a newborn’s transition into this world because it can still feel the proximity and heartbeat it has gotten used to.
- … helps strengthen the bond between parent and child.
- … nurtures the child’s basic trust in the world, and thus his or her confidence.
- … allows babies to actively experience this world: babies that are carried see the world as they will later when they’re able to walk. At the same time, the movement fosters the child’s sense of balance and body perception – all the while feeling completely secure. If the baby has received enough stimulation and input, she or he can easily withdraw and huddle up against their caregiver.
Oh, and last but not least: babywearing is simply so convenient!
manduca surprise at the Babywearing Conference
To duly celebrate this first European Babywearing Conference, we’ve prepared a little surprise! Of course, it will be about manduca in some way, but – hush! – we’re not saying another word. After all, we love to build up the suspense… Just take a look at our Facebook account from time to time, one of these days we’ll lift the secret.