Happy Baby Carrier design process is carried out by a team of designers and researchers, actively involving local mother, fathers, leaders and health care workers in Uganda. It is currently implemented in Nkokonjeru, rural Uganda, in partnership with Real Medicine Foundation and Children in Africa Breastfeeding support.
Design Team in Uganda
Happy Baby carriers were tested throughout the workshops and home visits. Eleven workshops were carried out, involving around 6-18 mothers and fathers, a total of 108 participants. Workshops consisted of an open discussion on existing baby carrying methods, user test of the five initial prototypes with parents and their babies, idea generation and suggestions for possible improvements in a new carrier.
Prototyping and User Testing
- Some babies are carried on the back very soon after
birth, earlier than recommended
- Baby’s neck is not well supported, falls down and
shakes while sleeping.
- Knots of the carrier get loose, causing the baby to
hang low and in some cases fall off.
- Culturally associated with womanhood and not
practiced by most fathers.
- Pressure has bad effects on milk production.
- Does not allow hands-free breastfeeding
- Long hours of carrying cause back pain
Challenges of traditional baby carriers
Happy Baby Design Objectives
Allowing babies to be carried in both front and back positions
Enabling ergonomic and hands free care
giving to the baby
Enabling breastfeeding in the front position while continuing an activity
Creating family bonding by increasing fathers'
participation in child care
Creating interaction and helps the development of socio emontional skills
Lead Designer and Manager of a team of designers and researchers operating in Uganda
Happy Baby is the non-profit design project of a comfortable, secure and easily replicated baby carrier, aiming to facilitate the bonding process between parents and babies, focusing on increasing fathers’ involvement in child care. Design team started the process with a research in Uganda where over a hundred local parents and babies actively participated. Happy Baby is currently piloted in rural Uganda.
Piloting Phase in Uganda
Training locals to learn to make baby carriers and monitoring the impact of Happy Baby on families
Prototyping and User Testing Phase
On-site prototyping with locally bought materials
and user testing with both mothers and fathers
Research Phase with local families
Co-creation workshops with over a hundred local parents and home visits in three districts of Uganda
Happy Baby Carrier
- Developed with regular feedback from users, the design fits the preferences of mothers and fathers.
- Ergonomic for babies: supports a baby’s spine and hips with fabric from knee to knee
- Ergnomic for the wearer: hip support distributed the weight evenly on the body
- Can be used to carry babies starting from birth until toddler years
- Front position allows breastfeeding hands-free and on the go
- Can be put on with simple steps and tightened with a single movement
Implementation in Uganda
The design process of Happy Baby has taken place in three different districts of Uganda, the piloting phase took place in Nkokonjeru, where the main socio-economic activity is subsistence farming and families have 4-6 kids on average.
16 community selected tailors were trained to make, sell and promote Happy Baby Carriers
Families with babies were invited to discuss and learn about baby carrying benefits
Local leaders and health care workers were engaged and education tools were distributed.
The monitored impact of Happy Baby in Nkokonjeru has been very posivie on fathers' involvement in child care, family bonding and babys' development. Happy Baby has recently been an association based in Denmark, developing a Happy Baby Start-up Kit to spread the implementation through NGOs and social entrepreneurs.