Many parents know from instinct that babies love to be held close for long periods of time, something that helps to soothe, calm and reassure fussy infants. Scientists are also discovering that carrying our babies as we go about our day actually helps their brains develop faster, prompting a revival of what's called "babywearing" -- the practice of keeping your infant close using a baby carrier.
Now, baby carriers come in a variety of types, from the simple wrap to soft-structured carriers. Each type has their advantages, but one disadvantage of all of them is that once baby falls asleep in the carrier, it can be difficult to lay them down somewhere without potentially waking them up. To address that issue, Munich, Germany based designer Daniela Gardeweg created this multifunctional baby carrier that looks a bit like a soft-structured carrier that's inspired by Native American cradleboards, and which can also convert into a convenient cradle and rocker that will help keep baby asleep.
Dubbed Suki, which is a Lakota word meaning "to be loved by somebody", this carrier is based on the versatility of traditional cradleboards of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, which are generally built with a protective structural frame that keeps baby safe, and which can be carried on the back, propped up or laid flat.
It's Suki's bamboo belt that transforms into an extendable add-on that creates the cradle structure, which can be adjusted to allow the baby to either lie down, sit or be swaddled. When not in use, the belt can be rolled up and tucked away in a compartment at the carrier's bottom. Part of the carrier can also be folded to form a protective cap, much like traditional cradleboards that often had some form of head protection.
This is a minimalist yet multifunctional design that manages to offer both a feeling of safety and modern convenience for both parent and child, leading Suki to get a well-deserved nod from the Red Dot Design Awards. We can only hope that it won't stay a prototype; read more over at Red Dot Design Awards.