Carrying Children

Ember’s post about bare bottomed babies in China made me smile for sure. What humans do about potty-training is definitely cultural and part of our psyche.

Another thing I have noticed when I travel is how we carry babies and children around. When I lived in The Gambia, I never stopped being amazed by watching how women and even young girls could tie a baby or small child on their backs with a two-meter length piece of cloth and do anything– pound grain, hoe fields, walk for miles, sweep. It never mattered what the carrier did, the baby always managed to sleep and never slid off. If I did that, I’d drop a kid for sure.

I did try to carry my son in a front carrier, (too hot), tried a snuggly side thing, too awkward, and mostly ended up carrying him in my arms or on my hip. We did take him on a long boat in Krabe, Thailand and on a canal boat ride in Bangkok in a baby car seat carrier when he was three-months-old. There were brief moments when we handed him over the water to put him on a boat or take him off when we thought, “WHAT ARE WE DOING? ARE WE NUTS!!!” but our son was perfectly content to go along on any ride.

When he was about a year, we hired a sherpa to carry him in a Kelty carrier when we hiked in Dharamsala, but other than that, my husband usually carried him on outings that involved long walks. With the theme of how we carry children, here are some photos from various parts of the world.

A young girl and her baby brother. Taken by rogiro in Kenya. The comment of this one is sweet. Basically, the idea is, “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.”

A boy and his sibling in Laos by David Johnstone. It’s not too hard to tell which one is having the better time.

This is one way to carry a child and work on your triceps. Taken in Sapa, Vietnam by Han-01.

This is in Myanmar. I love the composition of the hats. Hats off to Romana Chapman.

Not me and not my son, but it’s the kind of carrier I was not that good at. Niall A snapped this one.

Taken in India by Betageri who has several lovely shots of children. Carrying just the child– or the wood would be hard enough for me.

This one is closer to my style of carrying a toddler, and the expression I get is about the same. Taken in China by Lindsey Timmerman.

A father in Armenia carrying his child on Universal Children’s day by Bayamin. Currently, my son’s favorite mode of transportation.

Need some baby carrying travel advice? Click read.