(this is Benny when he was about 4 or 5 months old)
I was carrying Joshua about making dinner the other day when I sighed and said to myself 'What did people do before slings?' Then I thought; actually we didn't. As a species we have always carried our babies and therefore we never really did without them.
As these things happen, I was listening to a radio program in the car on the drive back from a friends house yesterday. The program was an interview with Timothy Taylor of Bradford University talking about his new book 'The Artificial Ape' (which I might just have to read...what with my being interested in paleoanthropology and all).
Guess what? He claims that human evolution was facilitated by, amongst other 'inventions', the use of the baby sling by stone age women. In fact, he rates it as important as discovering fire!The sling basically allowed women to become marsupial. Larger headed, weaker babies could then flourish which allowed our brains to grow (in evolutionary terms). 'Courtesy of the baby sling, our ancestors got smarter.' It also meant, of course, that we could keep our babies out of the way of predators and regulate their body temperatures as well as being able to nourish and feed them while still spending enough time gathering food to ensure the survival of our species.
I never thought about slings in an evolutionary context, only really in terms of how it helps me.
Benny when he was about 9 months or so in our old chaotic house
Whatever way you look at it, you have to admit that slings are cool!