The 2020 Babywearing Survey: How Parents Carry in Germany, Austria and Switzerland
Do parents prefer prams or baby carriers in everyday life? What do they pay particular attention to when buying baby carriers? How important is the bond with the child through babywearing to parents? And: What role does babywearing consultation play in this? Answers to these and many other questions were found in the DACH-wide babywearing survey, in which a total of 10,132 (expectant) parents took part between July and September 2020.
The survey design of TRAGEUMFRAGE 2020 was created by Stefan Eipeltauer and his team from FOKUS KIND Medien together with Michaela Lehner, the renowned babywearing expert and owner of Die Trageschule® Österreich und Schweiz. This independent project was made possible by the financial support of the sponsors and baby carrier brands Buzzidil, Ergobaby and Fräulein Hübsch. "The results confirm what parents feel quite intuitively. And our society now approves of it: carrying has become a modern and appropriate choice," explains Michaela Lehner.
Status quo on the subject of babywearing
The objective of the survey was to determine the status quo regarding the perception and experiences of the topics of carrying, carrying consultation and the various carrying products. The survey was aimed at pregnant women and their partners as well as parents with one or more children. In target group-specific survey branches, the feelings and experiences of babywearing, babywearing products and babywearing consultation were collected. The results show a wealth of interesting findings - here is an excerpt:
- Main reason for carrying: closeness is by far the most important reason for 76.7% of parents to carry their child, followed by "good for baby's development" (9.9%) and "good for baby's ergonomics" (4.5%).
- Popularity of babywearing advice: One in two would like or have used professional babywearing advice - and would also consider online advice. 97.2% of all those who have taken advantage of professional babywearing advice found it helpful.
- Recommendations of baby carriers: For half of the parents, recommendations from babywearing consultants carry the most weight, followed by tips from friends or acquaintances (42.6%). Only 4.9% said that recommendations from influencers and bloggers were important for their product decisions. Didymos, Manduca and Ergobaby were the most popular brands of all those who already own baby carriers.
From a technical point of view, the survey was implemented in the form of an easy-to-conduct and anonymised online survey. Stefan Eipeltauer, project initiator: "With the babywearing survey we have created a new status quo for the babywearing scene. Despite complex mechanics and an elaborate study design, we succeeded in creating an online survey that is uncomplicated and quick for users to complete. This allowed us to reach pregnant women, mothers and fathers on an unprecedented scale."
Insights available as Open Data
In the spirit of Open Data, the results are freely available for download on Trageumfrage.com. This enables babywearing advisors, manufacturers and people in obstetrics to gain insight and to further improve and expand their services for pregnant women and parents on the basis of the information gained.
Visit the project website for the results (in German). If you wish to have further information in English, please get in touch with us!
Trend Report: The Future of Baby Wearing by Michaela Lehner
"Being carried is a basic human need" - this insight has been communicated to parents in a wide variety of contexts for some years now. The babies who experienced the beginning of this trend are now getting their drivers' licences. So babywearing arrived years ago. Accordingly, the product range has expanded enormously. Where once a few sling manufacturers and a good handful of baby carrier producers offered parents a few solutions, today there is an overwhelming variety of choices. Countless manufacturers offer sophisticated adjustable carriers, slings made of the best materials with excellent binding properties and designs for every taste.
The 2020 babywearing survey now shows us in which direction these developments could continue:
Finding the right product
Finding one's way through this large selection is the new challenge. Future parents know that babies want to be carried, make a conscious decision to do so and accept support in choosing the right carrying option. They like to be advised and prefer to do so by trained professionals, especially by trained babywearing consultants. Direct product advertising (trade fairs, influencers, sales staff) only plays a subordinate role; modern families are aware of the abundance of offers and seek unbiased advice. Friends and acquaintances still play an important role, but the tip "get a baby carrier consultation" for the recommended carrier is given right away. Family support professionals know this too. More and more birth professionals, as well as physiotherapists and social pedagogues, are being trained by renowned babywearing schools.
The desire for flexible babywearing consultation
Modern families are incredibly flexible and have learned to adapt quickly to changing circumstances, as the last few months with the Corona pandemic have shown. So it is not surprising that they expect these same qualities from those whose help they seek. In the future, information about babywearing will be offered online or offline, indoors or outdoors, in small groups or on a very personal level - even more than before. Thus, all parents - even those who do not live in big cities - will have a wide range of offers at their disposal. The challenge of this new demand will have to be met by the babywearing industry.
Innovation for new demands
Nowadays, there is something for almost everyone on the baby carrier market. The spectrum ranges from sophisticated tying techniques to real all-round carrying aids. Carrying has never been so varied and parents want to make the most of all these possibilities. So it is becoming increasingly important to make essential information about healthy babywearing simple so that it does not get lost in the crowd. Impulses and trends around the globe influence the demands parents place on babywearing. Some of the wishes of young families for babywearing and the babywearing market require long-established industry professionals to think outside the box a little more than they have been used to. New carrying concepts and methods as well as approaches that were previously unusual in this country are increasingly expected and their demand will increase in the future.
Let us be curious!
- Michaela Lehner, Die Trageschule® - Österreich und Schweiz