“Like many parents in New Zealand I was given more baby accessories than I needed. Among them were both a front- and back-pack. I gratefully accepted them and didn’t look at baby carriers any further than that. It was not until I came to use them that I realised how deficient their designs were. The front-pack had complicated straps that you had to cross over your body, and limited padding. Intuitively I had never liked to see babies with their legs dangling, and in practise I found it difficult to keep my daughter’s hanging legs safe while I was moving about – even sitting down became a problem! The configuration of the thin straps over my shoulders caused me to hunch forward, straining my back and becoming uncomfortable in only a short period of time. Sadly, my baby daughter was carried very little. I designed a Baby Sling for my second child…But that’s a different story.
Designing the ultimate baby carrier
At the end of 2010 I had the opportunity to purchase the carrier designs of another New Zealand Mum who had faced a similar dilemma and was marketing her solutions under the label of Puku Pouch. Natasha had designed a Pouch Pack and stretchy Carry Wrap that didn’t let babies legs dangle! Research has shown that infant hips are not designed to take the weight of their body before they are able to walk. This clearly indicates that a 3-month-old – even a 6 or 8 month old – is not designed to dangle from their groin in a carrier. The pack and wrap are designed to keep baby in a squat-position, much like they were in the womb, until they grow enough to put their legs out the side of the carrier. Baby’s hip flex in this position at the angle naturally assumed by an infant when they’re picked up. Infants biologically require being carried; the carriers simply make it easier to fulfil this need while living a busy modern life.
Natasha ingeniously designed the Pouch Pack to apportion the load onto the areas of the body best designed to carry weight. When wearing the Pack the wide waist band puts most of the weight onto your hips, while the wool-padded, contoured shoulder straps spread the rest across your back without straining any muscles. The stretchy knit Carry Wrap spreads the load so evenly that you feel as if you are carrying baby in a second skin. These carriers are a world away from the baby carriers I first experienced!”
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