Thursday, June 5, 2014

Babies on Backs

 Wherever you go in South Africa and probably in all of Africa, you see babies transported on their mother's backs. Although I have seen the mothers put the babies on their backs a number of times, I have not yet had a camera ready at the moment they are going through the steps to do so, and once they have them on and snuggly, I wouldn't ask them to take them off and re-enact :)  I've never seen a father with a baby on his back. In fact, I've seldom seen fathers carry babies at all, that is except in the LDS church meetings--there the fathers take care of their little ones and take turns taking them in and out just like they do in the states. 
The arrangement really looks a little precarious, considering you're carrying precious cargo and also considering that some of the babies tied are quite big, but I am told that the method is very secure and that they can't fall off. If you'd like to see a video on how the babies are tied here's one I found on Youtube that shows it exactly as I've seen it. The link is
It's amazing to see how immediately the babies quiet down as soon as their mothers bend over to tie them on. Once on and tied, they are so securely immobile that they have no choice but to be content to look around or, more likely, to fall asleep. In church one day we sat by a mother with a little girl who had a doll with her and a little blanket. When she turned around, her mother knew immediately what she wanted--she placed the doll on her daughter's back and the little girl turned to have her mom tie it in front in the same way that the big mommies do.

1 comment:

  1. That is so so cute! And so different than what most mothers do here- almost all carriers here are designed for babies to be on the front. Maybe I will have to try that in a few months. :) (Do they do it with newborns too?)