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Happybaby report-s

  1. 1. Happy Baby Uganda Research Trip and User Tests
  2. 2. Introduction Happy Baby Dream Carriers bonding families Design Process Time line of the project Uganda Research Trip Uganda Research Phase Overview of the trip to Uganda Research Methods Co-creation workshops Home visits Blogging the process Visited Sites Lira Kasese Nkokonjeru Methods of Baby Carrying Baby Carrying - using hands different positions as baby grows Baby Wearing - using a piece of fabric common method and modifications Baby Wearing - all methods Infant carrying - four straps method Traditional side carrying Engozi Ekikubiro Baby Insert Imported Carriers Users of Baby Carriers Being an Ugandan Mother Baby wearing: a woman’s thing Babies raised by a village Fathers’ Involvement in Baby Carrying Siblings’ Voice on Baby Carrying Baby Carrying Occasions Baby on the go Taking a baby to work Carrying load and a baby Answering a baby’s need Playing with a baby User Scenarios Outcome of the home visits to a Rural mother from Lira Urban mother from Kasese Rural mother from Nkokonjeru Introduction to the family Daily tasks of the mother Observations on baby carrying Baby’s Journey What does a baby do inside a carrier? Baby’s behanior in different positions Baby’s urination Current practices with nappies Elimination Communication Safety in Baby Wearing Traditional carrying with a piece of cloth Locall made baby inserts User tests Prototyping Process Initial prototyping Prototyping on site Feedback from Local Users Outcome of the user tests Design Work in Progress INDEX
  3. 3. Happy Baby Dream Design Process Bonding between mother and child is fundamental to the development of a secure and happy baby. Convincing research from universities and professionals around the world indicates that carrying the baby from birth to the time it shows a desire to crawl, facilitates the bonding process. The Happy Baby Project was initiated with a non-profit desire to facilitate the bonding process by designing and producing a comfortable, secure and easily made carrier that will be made available to every family around the world, regardless of their ability to pay. We hope to do this by creating small shops in towns and villages where carriers are needed. Our design team, with its award winning designers, Cansu Akarsu and Kübra Saygın, started the project with a five weeks research in Uganda. Collaborating with our local team mate, Josephine Nalugo, they broke the barriers of language and built trust in the communities to study the cultural and practical factors surrounding baby carrying. Over a hundred Ugandan parents and babies have participated actively in workshops and gave feedback on baby carrier prototypes. The refined models are now being tested under everyday circumstances by several volunteer families. The dream: Our stitcheries will spread all over the world. Millions of new mothers and fathers will carry their babies in comfort and security. As a result, babies will bond more effectively with their parents. Men will become more involved with their daughters/sons. Society will live more in harmony together. We are scheduled to open our pilot shop in Uganda spring of 2013. June September December March Trip preperations Initial Prototyping 3 Alternative Concepts Selected Concept New Alternative Concepts Research Report Preperation Project Movie Team Meeting Pilot Study Planning User Research on site Co-creation Workshops Home visits User Testing Long-term Experience Kits Uganda Research Trip
  4. 4. Uganda Research Trip in three regions of Uganda
  5. 5. Uganda Research Phase Designing together with end-users Baby wearing has been a cultural practice throughout the world. In order to design an improved carrier for the developing world, where long established traditional carriers are mainly in use, one should first look into people’s lives, traditions, needs, demands and further suggestions. By carrying out co-creation workshops, the aim is to collaborate with the locals and have the end- users actively involved in the innovation process. Three different sites Uganda consists of four main districts which differentiate by language, typography, life style and traditions of local people. In order to get an overview of all methods of baby carrying, to be inspired by different local materials and crafts, to hear different habits, preferences and concerns, three different sites are selected to be visited from Northern, Western and Central Uganda. Every trip involved a focus on both urban and rural setting with a mission to understand the occupation types, level of income and daily activities. Why Uganda? When operating in a foreign environment and culture, having a local person in the team is a key to success to break the barriers of language and to build trust in a community. Thanks to our local team mate Josephine Nalogo and her breast feeding consultancy initiative, Happy Baby has had access to an existing network of mothers’ support groups in Uganda. In addition to this opportunity, demographic figures have shown a potential: According to CIA, Uganda holds the forth place at total fertility rate in the world, with 6.14 children born per woman. Taking the bus from one city to another Lira Kasese Nkokonjeru Kampala
  6. 6. Research Methods Co-creation workshops During the five weeks research trip, eleven workshops were carried out, each including around 6-18 mothers and/or fathers, a total of 108 participants. Each workshop lasted about three hours and consisted of a set of sessions: • Ice breaking session where mothers/fathers introduce themselves, their relation to babies and tell about their expectations from the workshop • Open discussion going through a list of topics and questions to learn about the existing baby carrying methods, followed by demonstrations • User test of the initial prototypes with parents and their babies • Idea generation and suggestions for possible improvements in a new carrier To verify the outcome of the topics discussed in the workshops, and to get people’s final opinions, in two visited sites, selected participants from each workshop were invited to gather for a final dissemination meeting. Home visits Three mothers from different regions were visited in their homes for about half a day. The home stays allowed the design team to get a deeper understanding of the end-user by: • Following a mother continue her daily activities as she takes care of her baby • Observing the mother’s method of baby carrying, depending on her activity • Observing the baby’s journey, comfort and activities in the carrier • Building one-to-one relationship and empathy with the end-users • Understand the difference of living in an urban and rural setting in Uganda Blogging the process - happybabycarrier.org The research and design process have been presented in our blog, allowing our international team members and followers be updates throughout the trip 11 workshops 108 participants
  7. 7. Lira Lira Happy Baby’s first field study was held in Lira, a small bicycle city in Central Uganda. Lira welcomed our team with its adorable nature, hospitable local people, chubby buildings, bike traffic and a lot of mosquitos. To learn about how Luo people carry their babies traditionally, to test them with our initial prototypes, three workshops (with urban mothers, urban fathers and rural parents) were held, a rural mother was visited at home, and a dissemination meeting was organized with selected participants.
  8. 8. Kasese With the mobilization of UBFAN Uganda, first workshop (rural parents) took place at the foot hills of Mountain Rwenzori, and the other two workshops (urban mothers and fathers) were held in the city at a heath care center. A mother was visited in her house, which is also her CD shop, where she looked after her two babies as she worked. Design team also visited the weekly open market, where a local woman selling baby carriers talked about the considerations of her customers and what she advised them. Kasese
  9. 9. Nkokonjeru Nkokonjeru Only two hours drive from Kampala, Nkokonjeru introduced our design team back to nature and Buganda culture (with its highest population in Uganda). A local hair saloon was arranged to hold two urban workshops; a private garden was used for two rural workshops with mothers and fathers, and a young mother was visited where she lived and worked as a farmer. After seeing a number of kids taking care of babies, a spontaneous kids workshop was organized to get their voice on baby carrying.
  10. 10. Methods of Baby Carryingwith local improvements
  11. 11. Baby Carrying - using hands Carrying a baby starts with holding him/her in arms right after birth. A piece of cloth is used to cover a newborn baby while holding him/her in the front, commonly in cradle and shoulder positions. As a baby grows up to be an infant, the necessity of covering decreases. From 3-4 months on, babies are commonly held on the side position, with their legs starting to be apart around the waist. Holding a baby on the back by supporting the hips with both arms is practiced by both parents, especially when walking short distances. With the development of neck and back muscles, infants around 5-6 months are seated on the waist, shoulders, or other parts of the body with the help of hands. The duration of carrying with hands decreases as babies get heavier and start to walk. Toddlers are held on the back of the neck and shoulders especially during leisure time by their fathers. As toddlers get heavier, carrying a toddler in the side position causes one to bend the body to balance the weight. Babies are carried using hands starting from birth, continuing until late toddler years. The positions and holding methods change according to a baby’s age and development.
  12. 12. Obligation of continuing daily work and taking care of a baby has shaped a variety of traditional baby wearing methods. The most common method, practiced especially by mothers, is having the baby on the back position with the support of a 2m x 1m piece of fabric tied in the front. This carrier varies in quality and price; it could be a baby shawl, a baby blanket, a piece of new fabric bought from a tailor, a second hand cloth/towel or a piece of fabric torn from an old bed sheet. Families can buy it or receive it as a present from relatives or friends. Tying a piece of fabric on the back being the most basic form of traditional baby wearing, inspiring modifications and improvements on this method are practiced by women all around Uganda. Babies are carried all the time until they get to toddler ages. Baby Wearing - using a piece of fabric Sometimes the top knot is replaced by folding and tightening the layers of the piece of fabric. This method is used for a short time since the folded fabric easily gets loose. Folding the fabric A second piece of fabric is folded in half (taking a triangular shape) and tied overs the basic traditional baby wear for looking smart, supporting the baby’s neck, and providing warmth. Tied on the mother’s neck, calabash is a local plant, dried and crafted to be put on the baby’s head, as a shelter from the sun, dust and rain. As a baby grows, parents practice using a single piece of fabric folded in half and tightened in the front. This method requires one to support the baby’s bottom using arms. • Knots on the breasts cause chest pain and has a negative effect on the milk production. • Breast milk leaks due to the knots’ pressure. • Back position does not allow breast feeding • It is culturally considered as a ‘woman thing’ and is not practiced by most men. • The pratice causes lower back pain • Some babies are carried on the back soon after birth, earlier than the suggested ages. • Baby’s neck is usually not well supported. • Knots get loose, causing the baby to hang low and in some cases fall off. • Baby can communicate his/her needs • Skin to skin contact with the mother increases duration of breast feeding, reduces crying, creates family bonding. • It allows the wearer to be hands-free. • Using only a piece of fabric is simple and affordable by all families. • Wearer understands the baby’s needs • Skin to skin contact builds parenting bonds forthewearerforthebaby ChallengesAdvantages Starts at 3-4 months Practiced until toddler years $2to20 $ 1.90
  13. 13. Infant Carrying - four straps method In Northern Uganda, infants are carried on the back starting in the first months using the ‘four straps method.’ A 2mx1m piece of fabric is folded over two long fabric pieces, which are then used as four straps tied in between the breasts. This carrier can be found ready made from the markets - straps already sewn on the main fabric. After wearing the baby with this carrier as an inner layer, a second piece of fabric is tied on the surface to support the baby’s neck and provide warmth. Starts during the first months • Newborn babies are not advised to be carried low on the back; they should be close to mother’s face • Fabric straps are usually very thin,so they put a lot of pressure on the shoulders Challenges • Wearer can start working soon after a baby is born. • Straps distribute the weight on the shoulders and the knot is between the breasts, so there is no pressure on the breasts Advantages Home made: piece of fabric folded over straps Tailor made: straps already sewn on fabric $ 1.20 Traditional side carry is practiced by trying a piece of fabric loose from one shoulder to the waist, moving the knot to the shoulder, taking a baby in and positioning him/her on the opoosite side. While there is no specific origin of this method, today it is commonly practiced in Western Uganda. Traditional Side Carrying • The weight is carried by one shoulder, so the wearer gets tired in a short time • Single knot on the shoulder causes pain and bruises if used for a long time • The wearer’s body is observed to bend towards the opposite direction in order to balance the weight • The position is not hands-free: wearer is observed to support the baby with one hand • The wearer can not easily work as the baby has more freedon to move his/her body and head Challenges • Baby is able to look out from the sides • Side position lets the baby and the wearer see each other and interact • Baby and the breast can be positioned low enough to breast feed. • Using only a piece of fabric is simple and affordable by all families. Advantages Starts at 3-4 months
  14. 14. Engozi Traditionally found in Buganda culture in Central Uganda, engozi is a 2mx1.5m piece of fabric that each baby owns individually. It is used when carrying him/her on special occasions such as visiting friends or relatives, going to the church or a community gathering. The colour is usually white, or very light coloured, as it is believed to look smart and attractive when a baby is brought to public. On the go, engozi is used as an inner layer, covered with a colourful/patterned baby shawl to provide warmth. Getting engozi After giving birth, a mother can have a new tailor-made engozi for her size, buy a ready-made engozi from a baby shop or receive it as a present from a close relative. Engozi can pass on from a mother to child, from a grandparent to grandchild; and in case the parents can not afford a new one, it can pass on among siblings. Myths regarding engozi Engozi is a must-have item for a newborn baby in Buganda culture; families keep their children’s engozi in a safe place even after they grow up. A myth is that if a family loses the engozi belonging to their child, the couple would not have any kids any more. During the workshops, local participants shared stories about the myth and showed that it is still strongly believed in the community. Starts during the first months $ 2.50 Ekikubiro Gomesi, also called busuuti, is the traditional floor-length female dress in Buganda culture. The design shows how motherhood has a strong influence on the culture: its square neckline allows breast feeding and its loose fabric piece on the back, ekikubiro, allows baby carrying. A mother can put her baby on her back in the ekikubiro and tie the long fabric piece above her breasts, similar to the basic form of traditional baby wearing. Starts at 3-4 months Usage of gomesi While women living in urban areas wear gomesi on special occasions, such as funerals or weddings, rural women wear gomesi as a daily dress. During workshops, held in both urban and rural areas, it is seen that today, gomesi is considered as an old-fashioned clothing item by some urban women. In addition, the lifestyle in the urban setting does not allow wearing gomesi on daily occasions. Getting gomesi Women in Buganda culture order gomesi from local tailors, to be made in their size, in the colored/patterned fabric of their desire. Most women have a number of gomesis of different quality to be used on different occasions and purposes. $ 15
  15. 15. Baby insert Northern Uganda is where one can find the first steps of improvement in the traditional baby wearing practice. Ready or locally tailor made baby inserts are used by a number of families, both in the urban and rural areas. Inserts are commonly used in the back position with the support of a second piece of fabric tied over, in order to provide warmth and to straddle the baby’s legs around the wearer’s waist. Starts at 3-4 months • If the insert is not supported with an extra piece of fabric, baby’s legs hang down; proven to cause wrong hip development: hip dysplasia. • The insert is made with no adjustment details for big/small babies and wearers. • Small babies put inside an insert hang too low; cases of positional asphyxia have been seen. • Thin straps cause shoulder pain for wearers. • Some very poor families can not afford inserts. Challenges • Baby inserts can be used to carry babies in both front and back postions. • Front position allows breast feeding when a baby is positioned low towards the breasts. • The cap provides neck support for the baby. • Placing the baby inside an insert does not let him/ her fall out, so it creates a feeling of security in the local users. Advantages Baby inserts can be found in bright and colourful African patterned fabric, or in dark coloured (brown, black or green) corduroy fabric and they include an inner layer of thin sponge to provide a soft structure. Parents can buy baby inserts from weekly markets in rural villages or from retail shops in town. They are designed with no standard size or adjustment details for big/small babies and wearers, and are not sold in a fix price. Practiced until toddler years $ 1.20 $ 2.30
  16. 16. Imported carriers A small percentage of Ugandan families can afford imported carriers which can be bought new in retail stores of baby products in Kampala city centre, second hand from markets or can be ordered directly from friends who travel abroad. The ones found in Kampala are unknown brand carriers that distribute the weight on the wearer but lack in quality ergonomics for the baby’s hip. Discussions with locals revealed several cases where rural fathers who needed to carry their babies all day long (for instance if the mother worked in an office or divorced) found it embarrassing and inconvenient to practice the traditional baby wearing method and decided to buy a carrier. On the other hand, there are also urban fathers who simply know the benefits of being close to their baby and want to carry their babies proudly in public. • Most imported carriers in the market are low quality in ergonomics. Baby’s legs hang down; proven to cause wrong hip development: hip dysplasia. • Most families find them too expensive to buy. • Modern carriers are not locally manufactured. • They are sold in retail shops in city centres, so they can not be found in remote villages Challenges • Most imported carriers can be used to carry babies in both front and back positions. • Fathers do not see the product as a ‘woman thing.’ Male and female wearers feel confident in public. • Good quality carriers distribute the weight evenly on the wearer’s body. Advantages Starts at 3-4 months “I look smarter with the carrier! Everyone who sees me in public say I look like a cool daddy.” officer from IBFAN Kampala “I bought a baby carrier when my wife left and I was alone to take care of our son.” farmer from Nkokonjeru Non-ergonomic imported carrier Ergonomic imported carrier $ 13-26 $ 45 Second hand ErgobabyImported carriers in market (second hand is half price)
  17. 17. Users of Baby Carrierstheir roles and challenges
  18. 18. In an Ugandan community, babies are welcomed by all family members, relatives, friends and neighbours. Most mothers feel comfortable with different people carrying and playing with their babies. If a mother needs help, she can easefully give the duty of looking after the baby to the father, an elder sibling, a relative or a friend. Although babies are carried in hands by both men and women, traditional baby wearing methods are practiced mostly by women. A single piece of cloth for baby wearing can be used by women of various ages and sizes, whether she is a mother, a sibling, an aunt, a grandmother, a baby sitter or a guardian. Being an Ugandan mother Ensuring a baby’s attachment to the mother during the in-arms phase is a strong element in Ugandan culture. While being in close contact with the mother is the one and only way to provide this bond, raising healthy kids is one of the many responsibilities of women. Then how has baby wearing evolved to fit a mother’s and baby’s needs? Looking into the rural communities which cover most of the population in Uganda, women carry the burden of working, maintaining a household and taking care of their babies at the same time. There is simply no ‘maternity leave;‘ rural mothers continue their regular farming work as soon as they can, after giving birth. Throughout the years, this obligation has shaped different traditional baby wearing methods that allow mothers to be bonded with the babies and continue their daily work hands-free. Nevertheless, local participants’ words during the workshops show that the traditional baby wearing methods have not evolved to provide enough comfort neither to the mother nor to the baby. Baby wearing: a woman’s thing Although different regions of Uganda have some inspiring modifications and locally made carriers, the most common baby wearing method used by mothers is having the baby on the back position with the help of a piece of cloth tied in the front. This method has been practiced by rural women throughout the years, which has made it perceived as a woman’s thing in the eyes of most men and women. During workshops, the idea of ‘a father walking in public wearing his baby on the back with a piece of cloth’ was found funny and unusual by most local participants. As open discussions brought a new perspective, mothers showed a great interest in motivating their husbands to be more involved in baby carrying. Babies raised by a village • Several mothers take care of both their own kids and some orphan relatives. • Urban mothers working in offices or schools are not allowed to bring their babies along. • Husbands doing a seasonal work move away for several months and leave the responsibility of the whole family to the wife. • Almost all mothers face the problems that come with the traditional baby wearing method such as: knots getting loose and opened, pain in breasts and lower back, decrease in breast milk, etc. Challenges Mothers reap all the benefits of baby wearing: • Carrying a baby creates a healthy attachment between the mother and the baby. • By being in close contact, mothers understand the baby’s needs and respond quickly. • Skin to skin contact increases the duration of breast feeding • Babies cry less and build trust in the mother Advantages “Mothers carry their babies all day, anytime, anywhere” farmer mother from Kasese “I carried my siblings, my babies and now I carry my grand children.” farmer from Lira “Those mothers who work in the farms in the villages do it.” teacher from Lira
  19. 19. Fathers’ involvement in baby carrying Fathers’ involvement in child care depends on factors like the parents’ occupation, presence in the family, or simply personality, varying by families. If both mother and father are present in the family, the responsibility of a baby is mainly on the mother during the day; the father has a different perspective of baby carrying. He finds it to be a leisure activity he can do after work, to play with the baby or help his wife, especially when she is cooking. During this play time, the father likes to hold the baby in the front position in hands or on the lap, for better interaction. Other occasions fathers participate in baby carrying include a journey to the hospital or to the church. If a baby is old enough to hold his neck and back, fathers can be more creative with the ways they hold the babies on their body, holding them on one shoulder or seated on the shoulders, since they usually want to play with the baby and make him/her laugh. Fathers have several concerns with holding the baby for a long time: baby urinating, spitting milk, needing breast milk, etc. While some fathers spend hours playing with their kids, others tend to pass the baby to the mother after carrying for only a couple of minutes. The occasion when a father takes care of the baby the whole day is when the mother is not present: if the mother has divorced, gone on a journey, passed away, or if her occupation does not allow babies to be brought along. For instance when a farmer father was left alone with his baby for three months, he bought a second hand imported carrier and carried his baby working in the animal farm. Another father wore his baby to work using the traditional wearing method and put the baby on his lap as he continued to repair phones. When a teacher mother’s maternity leave was over, her carpenter husband took the baby to work every day, wearing a carrier and riding a motorcycle. During the workshops it is seen that baby carrying has never been a discussion subject before. As fathers shared their experiences and challenges around baby carrying, a variety of different habits and concerns were revealed. Although the meetings were not with an educational purpose, a number of participants appreciated the value of baby carrying, recommended educating the community on the benefits and encouraging father support. • Traditional baby wearing method is seen as a woman thing, so most men find it embarrassing to wear a baby with a piece of fabric in public. • Wearing a baby traditionally is difficult due to making tight knots and feels unnatural since fathers do not have breasts. • Most fathers carry babies in hands, which gets them tired in a short time. • Fathers are scared that the baby can urinate and spoil their clothes. Some babies smell urine during the day if the mother does not put nappies on. • Babies spit milk and spoil the clothes. • Babies are disappointed when they can not find breast milk in fathers’ chest • Some fathers are cautious about using too much power with their hands when holding their babies Challenges • Spending time with babies builds strong family bonds and in long term brings marital stability. • Men feel confident of being a father and get courage to make other babies. • A child grows up knowing and loving the father. Fathers who use an imported baby carrier • Get good feedback in public and feel smarter. Advantages Fathers who use an imported baby carrier • Feel too warm and sweaty on the chest when carrying a baby in the front position. • Ride a motorcycle or a bike while carrying the baby “I carry my baby when the mother is busy, especially when she is cooking near the fire place.” farmer father from Kasese “I can not carry my baby for long, I fear that he is going to urinate on me and spoil my clothes.” farmer father from Lira “I wear my baby on my back with a cloth at home, but that I would not do in public.” urban father from Lira
  20. 20. Siblings’ voice on baby carrying Ugandan kids help their families with daily house chores and take several responsibilities starting at early ages. For instance if a mother is busy, the task of taking care of a three month baby sibling, relative or a friend for several hours can naturally be given to a kid at the age of six. Several kids were observed to be carrying babies on the side by using their hands or on the back by tying a piece of cloth in traditional methods. Kids are given the responsibilty of carrying a baby after they pass the age of six and after a baby is one month old. Since the waist of a kid is smaller than an adult’s, a baby can easily straddle his/her legs around an elder sibling. A kid at the age of six carries a baby after school or on the weekends, especially when the mother is busy cooking for the family. There is no gender stereotyping among kids, both boys and girls take care of babies and carry them in traditional methods at home and in public. While this builds strong bonds between siblings and give confidence in taking responsibilities in life, it is observed to be very time consuming for a student in the first years of school. “I’m carrying my sister today as my mother is in the hospital looking after a patient.” 10 year- old girl from Kasese “I enjoy taking care of the baby and playing, then I am not asked to do other housework.” 7 year-old girl from Nkokonjeru “I can not tie the fabric. When the knots open, I go to my mother to have them fixed.” 8 year-old girl from Nkokonjeru • When wearing a baby on the back, some young kids are not able to tie the carrier piece of fabric tight enough. They either ask help from their mother to fix the knot or regularly jump up and support the low hanging baby on the back with their hands. • When holding a baby on the side, kids’ bodies bend towards the opposite direction in order to balance the weight, shaping a wrong posture. • Some babies are too heavy for young kids to carry for long hours. • Kids do not always know what to do when a baby cries, pees or vomits. Some parents beat the kids when they make a mistake. Challenges • Carrying a baby is a fun excuse not to be given other boring house chores. • Babies can learn walking and speaking from their elder siblings or relatives. • Due to the close contact in early years of their lives, strong bonds are created between kids in a family • Kids learn to take responsibility at early ages. Advantages Above drawings are made by 7 to 13 year-old kids during a Happy Baby workshop in rural Nkokonjeru. Participant kids, who commonly took care of their baby siblings, relatives or friends, were given papers and pencils, and asked to use their creativity to draw baby carriers in their imagination.
  21. 21. Baby Carrying Occasionsin rural and urban Uganda
  22. 22. Babies are worn by mothers when going to the garden or to the market, and usually carried by fathers when going to the hospital, church, visiting friends or relatives. Walking is the most basic and common method of transportation. If a mother is walking alone with her baby, she wears him/her on the back. If the father is with them, he usually walks carrying the baby in arms. • The roads in rural Uganda are very dusty due to the lack of construction services. After spending only an hour outside, one can see that clothes have gathered dust and changed colour. Some people protect their babies’ faces with a piece of cloth, especially when they are newborn; some do not mind the dust. • In many parts of Uganda, especially in Kampala, deep canals are constructed to collect water in rainy seasons. Walking on the streets, one has to be careful about not falling inside these canals. When crossing a canal, a mother was observed jumping over a meter distance with a baby in her hands. Transportation methods are used while baby carrying: bus, public taxi bus, public motorbike (boda- boda), bicycle, or car. • People who own their own bikes can cycle wearing their babies on the back. • On public taxi bicycles and motorbikes, mothers prefer to sit sideways, either holding their baby in hands or wearing on the back. When using a boda-boda, older babies are seated between the driver and the mother. Baby on the go “I put my baby in my coat, close the zipper in the front, and ride the motorcycle to go to my shop.” carpenter from Nkokonjeru “In Kasese we have mountains. Sometimes I walk uphill carrying my baby on my back.” farmer from Kasese
  23. 23. “My wife is a teacher, she is not allowed to bring a baby to the school. I take care of our nine months son during the week.” carpenter from Nkokonjeru “I started carrying my baby on my back when she was two weeks old because I had to go digging.” farmer mother from Lira “I put my baby on my lap and do my regular phone repairing work.” phone repairman from Nkokonjeru The most common occupation of people in the rural parts of Uganda is farming. While both women and men work in the field, it is the women (mothers, sisters or aunts) who wear a baby during the day. The same applies to house wives who take care of their baby as they continue their domestic chores. Rural mothers wear babies and continue tasks: • Digging the land • Harvesting crops • Weeding the garden • Burning grass • Feeding farm animals • Collecting vegetables • Collecting firewood • Carrying load Most mothers wear babies and do house chores: • Fetching water • Cleaning the house • Washing clothes • Doing the dishes • Grinding • Cooking • Working from home: making baskets Urban mothers take their babies to works such as: • Running a shop • Hairdressing • Selling things in the market Technical jobs allow fathers to take babies to work: • Running a shop • Repairing phones • Carpentering In the urban parts of Uganda, occupations taking place in offices, schools or hospitals do not allow bringing a baby along. Urban parents with mentioned jobs usually leave their babies home with a sibling, baby sitter or a relative. Parents running their own businesses or having a technical job can carry their babies to work. Taking a baby to work
  24. 24. Carrying load and a baby One of the most common daily tasks of a rural woman is carrying and moving different types of loads such as jerrycan, firewood, fruits & vegetables and personal items. This task continues with its difficulties for mothers wearing their babies on the back. Depending on the amount of weight and the kind of items needed to be moved, locals have come up with inspiring ways of dealing with challenges. Firewood on head, jerrycan in hand, baby on back Load tied on head, baby sitting on shoulders Baby items carried in a separate bag in hand
  25. 25. “I carry my son when he sick. Being close to me gives warmth and helps him get well.” urban father from Kasese “When my baby cries on the back, I take him in my arms and breastfeed.” farmer from Kasese “When I carry her she plays with me and laughs.” 8 year old girl from Nkokonjeru Ugandan culture embraces the knowledge that it is a baby’s need to be in close contact with his/her family. A crying baby is never left alone, he/she is immediately taken in arms and given attention. • When a baby shows that he/she is hungry, a mother usually stops what she is doing, holds her baby in arms, sits down under the shade and breast feeds until the baby is full. • When a baby gets sick, all family members including the mother, the father and the siblings participate in carrying him/her for fast healing. Especially during cold weathers, babies are carried in skin to skin contact to provide warmth and care. • If a baby starts crying for attention when his/her mother is busy, the mother wears him/her on the back and continues her daily chores. Playing with a baby • Leisure time takes place at home after work when the fathers have time to participate in baby carrying. Both parents play with the baby teaching words and helping with his/her first steps. • During play time, babies are commonly held in hands in the front position in order to interact closely. Some fathers like to hold their babies, especially in toddler years, in various fun positions around their body using only bare hands. • Babies are a centre of attention in public. Relatives and friends enjoy playing with a baby around the neighbourhood, in home visits, or in the church. • Older kids practice baby carrying to play with their siblings or relative babies. Answering a baby’s need
  26. 26. User Scenarios Findings from home stays
  27. 27. Brenda & Oscar Brenda Acello, 19 years Oscar Odyel, 6 months Brenda is a single mother who lives with her son Oscar and her relatives in rural Lira. All family members live in a group of traditional huts made of soil and branches, one being the home for Brenda, Oscar and Brenda’s brother. Family members make a living by farming in their nearby garden; they cook and eat together once every day. Brenda shares the daily tasks with her mother and siblings, mainly her elder sister. As a young woman in a big family, Brenda has already experienced carrying babies, for instance her nephews to help her elder siblings. After giving birth as a rape victim, she now takes care of Oscar with the support of her family. The mother and son spend most of the time attached with the traditional baby wearing method using a single piece of cloth. Brenda has three different pieces of clothes she uses for carrying Oscar and she shares them with her mother and elder sister. During the home stay, one carrier was used by Brenda, one was used as a head wrap by Brenda’s mother, and one was in the laundry basin. Rural mother from Lira Lira
  28. 28. Crossing a puddle Cleaning the jerrycan with soil and water Carrying the full jerrycan Every morning, Brenda grabs an empty jerrycan and goes to the well to fetch water. She needs to cross a puddle to reach the main road and walk about 300 meters. When she arrives the well, she first scrubs the dirt off the jerrycan by using soil and water, and then fills it with clean water. She carries the full 20 litre jerrycan on her head back home. Fetching water 20L water Sweeping the land Winnowing soy beans Moving the dust Another task Brenda shares with her family is preparing soy beans, which requires different body movement such as bending down to sweep the land, shaking a plate to winnow the soy beans and lifting the plate up to remove the dust. During these tasks, Brenda carries Oscar with her piece of cloth on the back. Winnowing soy beans
  29. 29. Brenda’s family owns a small garden nearby the huts where they grow vegetables for themselves. Brenda goes to the garden to collect a kind of leaf plant from the land, carrying Oscar on her side with her single arm. On the way home, she ties him on her back with the cloth and continues carrying him while sitting and picking the leaves. Collecting and weeding vegetables Collecting leaf vegetables Carrying Oscar Sitting on the ground to pick the leaves Millet bread is among the important daily nutritions of the family. The process of making millet bread requires manual tasks including winnowing millet grains, pounding them and grinding them to make flour. While Brenda’s body movements cause Oscar to hang low in the carrier and make him uncomfortable, she continues to work. Preparing millet flour Winnowing millet grains Pounding millet grains Grinding to make flour
  30. 30. Observations Baby urinates on the carrier and the mother’s clothes Baby’s arm sticks out from the torn carrier Non-used carrier is put on as a head wrap When the baby’s legs hang low, the mother bends down, pulls the baby up and opens the legs apart to fix his position. Mother has difficulty positioning the baby when tying him on the back.
  31. 31. Urban mother from Kasese Najjuka Zaituni, 19 years Rahyan, 2 and a half years Rahma, 13 months Zaituni is a mother of two kids running a CD shop in urban Kasese. Their two-room-house is located right behind the store, separated by a curtain. While her husband spends most of the time working in a different city as a seasonal worker, Zaituni takes care of the business, the household and the kids. She continues her daily tasks carrying Rahma on her back as Rahyan follows them walking around the house. There are two pieces of clothes used for carrying Rahma: one for daily usage in the neighbourhood, another one dedicated to going out for a journey. Zaituni uses the daily cloth not only for carrying, but also for purposes such as putting on the floor to sit on, wiping faces, etc. The second cloth is more precious: After buying a long piece of fabric of her taste, Zaituni has been to a tailor to have a carrier and a skirt sewn for her baby, and a dress for herself. Since Zaituni does not have relatives around her, the neighbours give a hand when she needs help and free time. She and her closest neighbour take turns to look after each others’ kids when one needs to go on a journey. Kasese Loud music coming through the pink doors of this CD shop will lead you to the home of a mother with two kids.
  32. 32. Zaituni’s occupation is running a CD shop as she takes care of her two kids. Some of the tasks in the shop include taking orders from customers, reaching for the CD’s on the high and low shelves, crouching down to use the computer on the floor to write movies and music to the CD’s. Running a CD shop Wearing Rahma on the back Taking orders from the customers Writing music to a CD Zaituni’s house is right behind the CD shop, so during the day she regularly stops working for the shop to take care of the house. Some of the house chores she does are collecting water from the nearby well, cleaning the dishes and setting the fire for cooking. When Rahma falls asleep on her back, she puts her down in the bed. Doing house chores Carrying water from the well Washing the dishes Putting Rahma to sleep in the bed
  33. 33. Rural mother from Nkokonjeru Rosemary Nakirya, 19 years Daisy Nabatanzi, 9 months Rosemary lives with her baby Daisy in a farm house, where she had been raised by her guardian family together with many other orphans. She and Daisy’s father are waiting to collect enough bride price to get married and build their own family. Being one of the grown-ups in the house, Rosemary takes on the responsibility of a number of farm and house chores. None the less, family members around her, especially kids help a lot with daily tasks and taking care of Daisy. When Daisy needs to be carried while doing other task, Rosemary practices the most common traditional carrying method with a piece of cloth. Rosemary especially prefers to have one hand of Daisy inside and the other outside of the carrier in order to hand her some food when she is hungry. Kids help Rosemary by holding Daisy in hands during play time and carry her on their back when they are responsible of looking after her for a long time. Rosemary owns three pieces of clothes to carry her baby daily around the farm, and three other clothes for going out for visiting friends. Nkokonjeru
  34. 34. Fetching water is one of the duties Rosemary shares with the rest of the household members. Carrying Daisy on the back, she takes an empty jerrycan, walks to the 400m far water well and waits for the jerrycan to be filled with water. On the way home, she carries the full 20 litre jerrycan on her head. Fetching water 20L water Walking to the well Filling the jerrycan with water at the well Carrying the full jerrycan Rosemary goes to collect bananas from the nearby garden owned by her host family. After making a couple of knife cuts on a banana tree, she carefully lets the bark down on the ground, lifts and moves it to the side. With the support of a layer of banana leaves, she carries the banana bunch on her head back home. Collecting bananas Cutting a banana tree Moving a banana tree bark Carrying a banana bunch
  35. 35. Peeling bananas Laying down the banana bunch Peeling bananas with one of the elder kids Taking Daisy on the lap and breast feeding The family members living in the same house cook and eat together. After Rosemary brings the banana bunch from the garden, she sits on the ground together with one of the elder kids and peel the bananas. When Daisy gets hungry, she cries and moves, so Rosemary takes her on the lap to breast feed. Elder kids living in the same house take turns to play with Daisy; some teach her how to walk, some carry her around and talk to her. This eases Rosemary’s job and lets Daisy interact with several different people. When Rosemary is done with her work, she realizes that Daisy has peed on her clothes, so she washes her in a small basin. Playing with Daisy Daisy learning to walk from a youngster Daisy being carried by the elder kids in the house Washing Daisy with the help of an elder kid
  36. 36. Observations Baby’s neck is not supported, the head hangs down Baby urinates and wears the wet pants for more than an hour When cutting a banana tree, one of the branches fall on the baby carried on the back. Mother bumps the baby to the wall when lifting the heavy jerrycan Mother carries a knife on her back.
  37. 37. Baby’s journey inside traditional carriers
  38. 38. When being carried on the back with the traditional methods, a baby • Usually sleeps • Rocks and sighs with the footsteps of the mother • Looks around and observes • Touches and pulls the mother’s hair • Kicks and bites when the carrier is too tight • Gets tired if the mother bends up and down • Eliminates waste (urinates and defecates) • Cries when he/she is • hungry • uncomfortable • too cold/hot • wants to move When held in the front position, the baby • Plays with the face and laughs • Imitates words and movements • Recognizes the person’s face • Gets breast fed when held by the mother What does a baby do inside a carrier? Baby’s urination Using nappies for a baby depend on the preference of a mother. During workshop discussions and home visits, it is seen that some mothers do not wrap the babies with a nappy and do not mind when the baby urinates on the clothes. If a mother is working in the field and the baby urinates, she hangs the clothes and the carrier under the sun, and puts them back on once they are dry. Some mothers prefer carrying spare clothes and change their babies’ when they realize the urine. During open discussions with local parents, an interesting fact was brought to surface: usage of nappies have a big influence on the fathers’ involvement in carrying babies. Most fathers complain about the urine smell and do not want to carry their babies for a long time fearing that the baby would urinate on their clothes. Elimination Communication A mother, father or a caretaker can practice recognizing and responding to the body signals of a baby when he/ she needs to eliminate waste. Scientifically known as elimination communication, it has traditionally been practiced in Uganda in some communities, and today still by some families. When a mother realizes the baby’s need, she simply holds him/her over the ground to urinate or defecate. “When my baby’s nose touch my back, it causes snoring and bad breath.” farmer mother from Lira “I track my baby’s development and understand the intelligence.” farmer father from Kasese Most Ugandan families can not afford disposable diapers; so they use cloth/towel nappies: a 60x65cm piece of cloth which can be bought new from a shop or cut out from an old towel or bed sheet. After wrapping a baby with a nappy, plastic pants can be worn over to hold the nappy in position and to prevent leaking. $ 0.60 $ 0.80
  39. 39. “All of a sudden the knot opened and my son feel on the street. I did not know what to do.” housewife from Nkokonjeru Safety in baby wearing In traditional baby wearing with a piece of fabric, one of the most challenging safety factors is keeping the baby in a stable position for a long time. Since mothers need to make several body movements due to their continuing daily work, the position changes soon after wearing a baby on the back. • the knots of the fabric get loose • baby’s position moves downwards on the body • baby’s neck is not supported • fabric cuts and creates bruise on the neck • baby’s head hangs down from one side. When wearing a baby, a mother straddles the legs around her waist, so that the baby’s hip is in the correct position. However the baby’s legs are observed to be hanging down if the knots get very loose. This low position is fixed by the mother by jumping up, holding the baby high and tying the knots again. Using a locally made baby insert, seen in Northern Uganda, comes with its own safety risks. The initial problem observed in first sight is that the baby’s legs hang down, proven to cause an abnormal hip development called hip dysplasia. International Hip Dysplasia Institute states that baby carriers should support the baby’s knee joints for healthy hip positioning: Since baby inserts do not have any adjustment details for big/small babies and wearers, small babies who are carried inside an insert hang too low. According to local parents participating in our workshops, cases of positional asphyxia have been experienced by in the community. Thigh NOT supported to the knee joint. Thigh is supported to the knee joint. In addition to problems faced by everyone, some mothers have experienced more serious risks. For instance when a mother was not aware of the loosening of the knots, the knots were completely opened and the baby fell down on the street. Besides, while a mother was carrying load on her head, such as firewood, fruits, or construction stones, pieces of the load fell on the baby’s head. BetterNot recommended
  40. 40. User Tests with initial prototypes
  41. 41. Initial Prototyping Prototyping on site: Tied-up Model Happy Baby carrier is designed with a hands-on process starting since its early stages. A real-weight one month old baby doll was used as a model to made a variety of prototypes and to experiment with ideas. After analysing the initial prototypes by defining their weak and strong design details, three of them were selected to be improved with differences in fom and function and taken to Uganda for user testing. During the first two field trips, Lift-up model was selected to be the favourite of local participants due to its practicality in wearing and distribution of weight on the body. ‘Tied-up’ was designed in Kampala as an improved version of ‘Lift-up’ with the participants’ feedback. In this carrier, we challenged ourselves with using only fabric, and keeping the hip support on the hips while positioning a newborn high and close to the body. gives a back pack feeling and aims to allow adjustments on the carrier as the baby grow up. Three levels of resting the hips starting from newborn, growing to become an infant and then a toddler. The level is adjusted by tying the ropes attached to the straps. Hip support is tied on the hips using fabric straps To carry a newborn positioned high enough, he/she is placed in the insert, and rested on a padded seat. Baby is positioned high maintaining the hip support of the carrier still on the hips of the mother/father. Paddings, made of thin pillows stuffed with cut outs from tailors, are included on the main body, hip support and shoulders. is an improved traditional wrap that puts the weight of the baby on mother’s hips. includes a mosquito net and uses three identical straps of fabric for easing the production. NetOld-skool Lift-up Long sides straps coming out from the sides of the body meet the shoulder straps.
  42. 42. “It is the first time I wear my baby in the front. I can breast feed as I walk.” farmer mother from Nkokonjeru “I do not mind wearing pattered. But red should be omitted; it attracts lightning.” farmer uncle from Nkokonjeru Feedback from local users • Dark colours that do not show dust and dirt easily: brown, black, green, blue. • Tying straps feels safer than buttons, zipper or elastic bands. • It include and extra piece of cloth free to cover or wipe the baby • Pockets to carry items like: water, diapers, clothes, nappies, money, etc. • Having panties/reusable diapers to prevent urine from leaking Pricing: • Urban parents’ suggestion: $ 15 - 30 • Rural parents’ suggestion: $ 4 - 7.5 Suggestions For the baby • Soft structure to hold the baby straight • Soft neck support • Cover & protect the baby’s head Mother/father: • Thick and soft shoulder straps • Adjustable size for different users • Hip support to distribute the weight evenly • Quick way to put on and take off the carrier Must-have Improvements Happy Baby carriers are tested throughout the Uganda trip, during workshops and home visits. Both mothers and fathers tried out different carriers with their babies to give feedback. It was most parents’ first time to try ergonomic baby carriers, so the first impressions were always very positive. After introducing different prototypes, participants were able to compare and give valuable feedback on details and find ideas for improvement. “Haha! I can carry my baby with this and swing birds in my garden.” farmer father from Lira
  43. 43. After the trip, the carrier design has been developed with the help of parents both in Denmark and Turkey, who have volunteered to be test users. Several babies at different ages were worn in Happy Baby carriers as we checked their position and as the parents commented on the comfort and convenience in usage. Design work in progress
  44. 44. Happy Baby project is initiated and funded by Robert Frost, Executive Chairman and former CEO of Ergobaby. Credits to all team mates, experts, volunteer parents and babies and our families who have helped us in the process. http://www.indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?v=31 http://www.audiencescapes.org/country-profiles/uganda/communication-habits-demographic-group/regions/regions-290 http://www.who.int/topics/infant_newborn/en/ http://www.who.int/childgrowth/mgrs/en/cover_mgrs_whitesm.jpg http://www.babyfirst.com/en/parents-corner/promoting-development.php http://www.continuum-concept.org/reading/in-arms.html http://www.babycenter.com/0_milestone-chart-1-to-6-months_1496585.bc http://www.hipdysplasia.org/developmental-dysplasia-of-the-hip/prevention/baby-carriers-seats-and-other-equipment/# Credits References Cansu Akarsu Kübra Saygın Josephine Nalugo Nadia Louise Kristensen Peter Berg Schmidt Buidadu Bakam Lazan Muke Katsere Nehemia Manuel Isebisekwa Faith Mbambu Jastini Masika Asimure Edica Kyakimwa Joy Muhindo Morina Mbaubu Ajeca Muhindo Jemi Yolesi Nziabace Mbaubu Roza Ikanga Kabuflu Jojeh Bonabana Phoebe Musanji Usuluin Muhindi Collins David Julia Buira Kabugko Josi Biira Anet Ikonya Emmy Muziba Muhamadi Amito Mary Magy Babirye Racheal Kisembo Ruth Kabagenyi Adalyne Night Jentane Kabugho Jacqualine Clare Bagiya Hamida B Biira Anita Biira Agenes Bwambale Enos Mulioba Saimon Eryeza Bahika Kiiza Ashirafu Prueka Philip Bwambale Zephania Bwanbuze Arafi Ebyau A. Juliet Najjuka Zituni Namatovu Jamilla Nakalema Mariam Nanteza Jeniffer Nakibago F Bakanansa Ruth Nasande Joyce Lydia Ddumba Sseruwagi Francis Tekya Paul Sseirinya Joseph Kakooza Peter Geofrey Kasirye Musoke Badru Kasozi Steven Nabukenya Grace Nakirya Scovia Nabakooza Lidia Nakirya Rose Nabbanja Agnes Nalongo Nyombi Nakanwagi Mary Nakyazze M Lukabya Annet Namusisi Maria Kigongo Justine Nakanabi Scovia Harriet Ofono Nalongo Mamigadde Kulisi Anna Nandugga Lugoloobi Anthony Ofwono Anatoli Kyobe Wilber Kizito Atanasi Kalumba Paulus Nsawo Segirinya Klunba Nsaua Paulus Colnelia Mokasa Teopistan Nambi Agnes Gorette Nambi Mark’s brother Lubanga Daisy Mark Atim Molly Molly Bidony Elel Harriet Atino Judith Kika Ammot Molly Akello Lilly Amongi Grace Mirriah Mrs Molly Banak Komuhangi Prudence Omia Kevin Ketty Kia Muno Constantain Aritti Jimmy Oculi Dickens Orono Robinson Opito Feli Odur Charles Ghally Patric Ongom Godfrey Ojol Faustino Atyang Benjamin Okao Jimmy Ogwang Joel Obua Jasper Otwal Joel Grece Molly Opach Acir Alex Cemmy Ajali Ester Atyang Betty Omara Sarah Omara Lilly Ongom Harriet Ayo Grace Okullu Oku Lawrence Anyanga Walter Acai Polycap Owuno Sam Opio James Oca Denish Christine Ayena Molly Apocha Muckay Svenson Kirunda James Mark Jacob Beckmann Erna Petersen Nihan Küçükural Stephen McGregor Nevrah Akarsu Charlotte Sigsgaard Jade Kavanaugh Marie and Sylvia Bodil Fink Clausen Rasmus Edgar Fink Jørgensen Charlotte Utzon.
  45. 45. Thank you, design@happybabycarrier.org www.happybabycarrier.org