Babywearing for me is more like a hobby. I'm not ready to say that it's better than other ways of transporting your children. I personally enjoy the benefits of closeness and simplicity but my biggest reason for babywearing is convenience. It's convenient for shopping and getting things done around the house and in town. It's easier to wear your baby than get out all the gear and push them in the stroller. We have plenty of options when it comes to keeping our babies safe and out of the way while we work. If we put them in a carrier, it's because I want to. I rarely do it out of complete and utter necessity.
In Africa, women wear their babies because they have to. First of all, their aren't too many side walks in the village. Honestly though, with a surplus of black mambas and poisonous spiders and a lack of swings and bouncers, on your back is the safest place for your child to be. Women in Africa start the day sweeping their homes and fetching water at 5am. Between the washing, cooking and farming, women are going non stop. With so many physical responsibilities, wearing your baby on your back keeps them out of the way while still close to you. Elijah loved being worn on the backs of our Malawian friends. It was comfortable for him and he liked being a part of the action.
This is Happy, our gardener who wore Elijah while watering the plants.
Africans do so much physical labor throughout the day. Fires and machetes are usually things you don't want your baby to touch. By wearing their babies on their backs, they are keeping them safe while they get their work done.