In 2009, 14 percent of mothers and 11 percent of fathers used slings or baby carries. The latest figures are not available, but it is clear that the philosophy of “attachment parenting“ has more and more fans, especially in urban areas. So-called baby-wearing plays a key role here- and parents are prepared to invest in quality baby carriers and slings.

Push or carry? It’s also a question of style. Slings and carriers are seriously fashionable, and manufacturers are responding with high-quality materials, ergonomic design and clever accessories.

Ergobaby

The Bundle of Joy Galaxy Grey from Ergobaby is the perfect present for new or expecting parents. The legendary comfort of the original generation has now been combined with an enhanced infant insert to provide proper physical support for newborns and upward. Also suitable for carrying children up to 20 kilograms in weight – in other words, a worthwhile investment! www.ergobaby.de

Hoppediz

When it comes to baby slings, why should non-fashion rules apply? What people really want is what others don’t have – and that certainly applies to the latest from Hoppediz. Produced in a strictly limited edition, this linen-cotton baby sling comes in a high-quality box complete with a certificate of authenticity. All in all, only 200 units have been produced by Hoppediz in Austria. www.hoppediz.de

What’s baby up to back there? BackChecker, a practical mini rear-view mirror from Hoppediz, helps dad keep an eye on some important cargo behind, without having to strain his neck. The little ones like it as well, as it gives them eye contact with the parent up front. Available at a small price, this clever extra is guaranteed to appeal to a lot of young parents. www.hoppediz.de

BabyBjörn

With a baby in the house, the washing machine never stops. No need, then, to add a dirty baby carrier to the mountain of washing. A practical solution is the waterproof terry bib from BabyBjörn. Soft and comfortable to baby’s skin, the fabric is breathable and guaranteed free from harmful substances. www.babybjorn.de

Emeibaby

Carrier or sling? No need to ask with the brightly coloured Emeibaby carrier. It combines the best of both worlds. Made of 100% cotton, it also grows with your baby. www.emeibaby.com

Manduca

Never mind dummies – babies will suck on whatever takes their eye and lies within reach. The ingenious Manduca FumBee strap protectors offer something to chew on and stop the straps getting covered in drool! Soft and cuddly, the fabric is certified organic. www.manduca.de

By Julia Anderton

Farewell to a pioneer

It is 44 years since Erika Hoffmann first carried her child in a baby sling through the streets of Massenbachhausen. It was an unusual sight for the times, but the positive reactions outweighed the negative, and Erika Hoffmann was to become a pioneer. She sourced local fabric for baby slings in the region and thereby laid the bedrock for the success story of her company, Didymos. The mother-of-four and company founder has recently passed away. “In her enjoyment of life and her enthusiasm for work, it is harder to think of a better role model for all of us who knew her”, said the family.