Friday, 10 October 2014

Babywearing in Books - a post for #IntlBabywearingWeek

I've been meaning to write this post all week but a certain person is going through a nap-refusal phase! Anyway, I'm getting it in now before it's too late!

This week is International Babywearing Week. For those of you who haven't seen my guest post about my love of babywearing - and toddlerwearing - you can check it out here. But today I want to write about this love in relation to another love of mine - children's books!

It's hard to find images of babywearing in children's books because pushchairs, prams, buggies etc are so much the norm here. It's something that bugged me when Eleanor was younger as it was quite hard to find images she could relate to her own life - lots of prams and bottles, which were totally alien to her, but hardly any slings or boobs! Then last Christmas her godmother bought her a box set of Shirley Hughes books - and while reading Alfie's Feet I was delighted to see this picture:


OK, it's not a great representation of babywearing - how exactly is the baby not slumping out of the side? What's keeping the carrier up? But still, this is BABYWEARING! By a MAN! In a children's book from the EIGHTIES! Wow!

A few months later, my brother sent Eleanor a fantastic book called Around the World with Mouk by Marc Boutavant. It's a really bright, cartoon-style picture book which is fab for teaching - and learning - about different countries. And in the section about Burkina Faso (I know!) there's this cute little image of babyhippowearing:


Books about other countries and cultures tend to do well at showing babywearing, probably because it is so much more common in other parts of the world. Take these pictures from Mama Panya's Pancakes, a lovely story about Kenyan life:



Or there's these pictures from Off We Go To Mexico, a book which has made Eleanor desperate to visit the country:



Although it's great to see babywearing shown in other cultures (and it should be noted that the mother and baby in Off We Go To Mexico are tourists) I would love to see more books showing it in the UK. There is a growing popularity for slings and baby carriers and it would be great for babies who are carried to see more images they can relate to.

Do you know any other children's books feature babywearing?


2 comments:

  1. Babies Love Books has some babywearing in it, not the greatest examples but still babywearing.

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  2. I'll look out for that one - might be a bit young for Eleanor, but maybe next time round!

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