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The History of Baby Carriers

The first baby carriers were simply slings that mothers carried their babies around in. Slings and the practice of “babywearing” fell out of favor in the mid- to late-19th century in European and American cities, largely because roads started to be paved and being seen pushing a stroller down the street was considered a status symbol. Despite this, a few patents for baby carriers were filed during this time, but ultimately they didn’t catch on. Then in 1984, a variation of Ann Moore’s Snugli (a soft-structured carrier) was patented and became so popular that a version of it is still sold today. Part of the Snugli’s success was due to the introduction of attachment theory, which shifted parenting attitudes in the 1970s and 1980s toward more warm, sensitive care and physical contact. (It was previously thought that these types of nurturing were a threat to a baby’s development of autonomy.) After the Snugli caught on, many other manufacturers followed suit and created their own baby carriers, many of which are still popular today.

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