Scottish Babywearing

Scottish Babywearing
Posted on 22 June 2021

I took my kids to the park the other day. The big one is 4 ½ so was running about like the feral wild child he is, while my 18 month old had fallen asleep wrapped on my back on the walk up. After a wee while she woke up and started fussing that she wanted down to play, so I unwrapped her and we played on the climbing frame and chased her brother for a while until the big one started moaning he was snacky and needed to go home. By this point a few more people had arrived in the park, including a gran with a baby in a pram who had sat down to let her other grand kids play. I grabbed my wrap and started rucking my daughter for the short walk home and I noticed she was watching me.

She called over to me that she loved what I was doing, and started telling me about how when she was small it was common to still use the Plaid to carry. She talked about how parents would use the large shawl to tuck the babies on their hip and how it was just easier to keep the wee ones up out the way while looking after the other children. I find that this is overwhelmingly the feedback I get when people see me carrying in public – they want to watch me get my babies safe on my body and talk to me about their experience (or lack of!) carrying their children.

While the Plaid is no longer in common use, Oscha have a wonderful article where they talk to two Scottish grannies and learn all about how the Plaid was used in the 1930’s and 40’s.  Babywearing has changed a lot, but keeping our babies close will never go out of style.

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