“While pregnant with my first child and living in a small cottage, my mother-in-law suggested a baby hammock like the ones traditionally used throughout Malaysia and Singapore. She described the single pointed hammock attached to a spring from the ceiling.
Preferring natural materials, I designed our first hammock in calico with a wooden spreader bar and a folded New Zealand sheepskin made a great mattress. I remember waiting for Madelynn to be born so the hammock would no longer be empty, and then waiting for her to wake up because she slept so long and so well in it. We were very impressed with the security and comfort of the hammock, it kept her safely on her back and was the only bed she needed for her first 20 months.
With my second child, Toby, the hammock was an absolute life-saver. He was an unsettled baby who slept less and needed to be carried more. Having previously tried a front pack (which only offered one upright position for the baby), I once again looked to age-old tradition for a solution.
I found a sling pattern and made improvements. Toby and I were very comfortable with the sling, he could have a variety of positions and it was so easy on my back and shoulders. I learned to keep it on his car-seat like a hood so we always had it when we went out to Playcentre, shopping etc. Even at the age of 3, there were times when I would still carry him in the sling if he was too tired to walk.
I know how important it is to make the transition from birth as harmonious and loving as possible. It’s vital for babies to feel connected with their physical and emotional roots to develop well and to sustain them throughout their lives. If our products at Natures Sway can contribute to this process we have succeeded."
Regarding the purchase of Puku Pouch in 2011:
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.
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. 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 carriers I first experienced!