Bookreview: Evelin Kirkilionis – A baby wants to be carried

Evelin Kirkilionis A baby wants to be carried






Dr Evelin Kirkilionis has a background in Biology and Human Ethology In 1989 she completed her doctoral thesis on babywearing. Since then she been studying babywearing – for over 24 years now.

Her book ‘Ein baby will getragen sein’ was first published in 1999. My personal copy is a 10th (!) edition from 2009. I met Evelin at the Dresdner Tragetage in June 2009. She gave an inspiring lecture on the “clinging young” concept. We discussed how nice it would be if there would be an English version of her book.

And now, in 2014, five years after our conversation about the subject, it is finally here. At the request of Evelin itself I received a copy. I am pleased and feel honored. At last the reference work is available in English. I want to thank Pinter & Martin Publishers immensely for this. I think a lot of babywearing consultants in the Netherlands (and other countries) will agree with me on that.

The book has not only been given a whole new look (nice!), but the content has also been refreshed. It has been adapted to the latest insights and research, references have been expanded. I am therefore especially pleased that it is now more easily accessible, in English.
The first part is purely about the background of babywearing. Evelin takes us along our distant ancestors to the present, the physical development of a child and special situations, everything is discussed. The logic of wearing children is explained on the basis of historical, cultural, psychological and physiological aspects.

In part two ways and means to carry your child are discussed. Again, a clear explanation about why an ergonomic carrier is preferable to a non-ergonomic carrier. Furthermore, the posture of a child in a sling or carrier is discussed and all existing slings and carriers are presented. Very complete. My consultant eyes see that the recommendations for safe babywearing are not properly reflected in the photos that are included in the book. Thats unfortunate.

The other thing that bothers me is the so-called cradle carry and the fabric over the baby’s head. A child is supposed to be carried upright in a carrier. Using the cradle carry with a small baby increases the risk of suffocation. Safety is my priority. Therefore, I strongly recommend that children are carried in an upright position. With regard to the fabric over the childs head: if there is sufficient support up to the neck, and the sling is sufficiently tightened, then fabric over the head in order to fixate it is not needed at all.

Over all I am very excited about the book “A baby wants to be Carried”. The book, especially the first part, is a must need for carrying consultants. It is a great reference book for parents, babywearing consultants and others who want to know more about carrying children.