Saturday, December 20, 2008

the baby sarong cradle



the sarong cradle seems to be swinging itself out of fashion. it could be the result of horror stories associated with its use. you hear of babies receiving hard knocks after falling from the cradle; of the spring snapping and the baby ending up on the floor; you are told that vigorous rocking can cause injury to the baby's brain; and there have been reported cases in which babies got choked or strangled by the folds of the sarong.

the people who advocate its use will usually cite the following advantages: the rocking movements lull the baby to sleep faster than other method and sleeping in a sarong will give the baby a round head, which has not been scientifically proven.

before the advent of the motorised sarong cradle, the requirement and equipment for setting up a sarong cradle included the following: a strong beam in the house, a solid metal piece shaped like a clothes hanger with a hook at each end, a set of springs and a sarong.

the sarong cradle was usually suspended about 60cm from the ground/floor. sometimes a mattress was placed under it to cushion any accidental fall. usually the cloth at the end where the baby's head was would be held together by a safety pin. this was to prevent the head for slipping out and the baby falling head-first onto the ground/floor.

all my siblings and i slept in a sarong cradle when we were babies. when my elder girl was born, we tried to get her to sleep in one but it did not quite work out, so we abandoned the idea. needless to say, when my younger girl came along, she slept in a cot.

today, it is rare to see the sarong cradle that makes use of springs. those who use the sarong cradle today will go for the motorised type with a portable stand.

26 comments:

nah said...

The baby in the cradle looks like an overgrown baby, with thick eyebrows, a labourer's hand and a farmer's foot.

Victor said...

>sleeping in a sarong will give the baby a round head

While this may not have been scientifically proven, the converse is certainly true. My younger son who was almost 3 months premature got an elongated head shape because when he was on the prolonged stay in the hospital, he always slept by resting his head on either the left or the right side.

yg said...

nah, the picture is actually a painting. when i was in kluang last week, i had the chance to take the picture of a sarong cradle but it was so dirty looking, so i didn't take it.

yg said...

victor, i slept in a sarong cradle but my kampong friends used to tell me that i have a 'hylam head'.

Icemoon said...

What is a hainan head?

stanley said...

Is there any truth that the Malay community prefer to use sarong cradle for their new-born?

peter said...

"Sarong-bed" was a Malay idea. I think there are 2 concepts involved. Cool feeling and not ventilation because it was above ground and also of cotton fiber. The other was the rocking motion of up and down - going sideways like a swing does not create same effect as up and down.

For adults, the hummock works on similar principles.

yg said...

icemoon, 'hainan head' refers to head which is flat at the back.

yg said...

peter, the malays seem to make full use of the sarong; it is not only used as a baby sarong cradle but also as a baby sarong carrier.

peter said...

Yah I remember that. "Sarong Cradle" I have seen were on the back (around the waist for support) and in front (sarong over the neck for support). Some Chinese adopted the idea by carrying the child on the back's back. Those sarong in front also used as a way to protect the privacy of the woman when she breast-fed.

I slept in a sarong but my head is flat. My sons slept in sarong but round. How to explain?

Lam Chun See said...

I remember rocking my eldest on such a sarong, ut not sure about the other 2. But I thot I still see them on sale in shops?

nah said...

No offence to the hylam men. As to why the hylam man’s head is flat at the back, the old folks said it was because hylam men were the laziest among the Chinese. They slept throughout the day while the men from the other dialect groups worked hard. Because of this, girls avoided marrying hylam men. To entice the girls to marry the lazy hylam men, the hylam old folks maintained that hylam men appreciated and cared for their wives and that they were also good looking. Hylam men are indeed good looking.

stanley said...

Nah,

Wah! Your comments, which you attributed to the old folks, that the hylam men were the laziest among the Chinese will surely draw flak from the Hainanese community. Its interesting to know whether there will be any response from the hylam men.

nah said...

The hylam men will thank me for saying that they are good looking. As for the folk tale that hylam men were lazy because they slept throughout the day and ended up with flat head, they can throw the rotten eggs at the old folks.

peter said...

I also heard Cantonese girls make the best.....hookers. Is that true?

yg said...

peter, whether of a girl - regardless of race or dialect group - makes a good hooker or not depends on her attitude towards her work and how the man treats her.
from what i hear, in geylang, the malaysian girls provide the best service. the china girls are said to be very clinical in their work.

peter said...

You forgot those from Malaysia are from WEST Malaysia (speak Cantonese) and from Perak (Sitiawan especially. Dont know why) PRC are not Cantonese. Even those in HK from "Sum Chuen"

Betty said...

In the old days, the teochews were well known for their kway teow, the hokkiens for mee, the hylams for coffee and the cantonese for hookers and mistresses

Icemoon said...

I thought teochews were well known for porridge. The ubiquitous fried kway teow, issit hokkien or teochew invention?

I know why cantonese make good hookers. Because the cantonese language, refined and nasal, is a sexy language. hokkien and teochew sound uncouth, hylam is unintelligible

nah said...

>the china girls are said to be very clinical in their work.
I take that they will have to examine your part to see if it is ok, can perform, apply antiseptic to get rid of any contagious disease before the green light is given.

yg said...

mr nah, when i said clinical, i meant that they perform in a detached manner, with no personal feelings at all.

peter said...

Feelings,,,,
I've got no feelings.....but your $ is my feelings!

I have to agree with icemoon. Even when a Hongkee wants to insult you, it's very sarcastic. When they praise you.....so sweet. what more a woman....They seem to be "trained" how to please a man.....

Betty said...

Icemoon, the Teochews love porridge for lunch till this day. My neighbour, a 70+ man still must have porridge for lunch everyday. As for fried kway teow, I think it is a local invention, cannot quite attribute it to any dialect group

yg said...

icemoon, by the way, the well-known newton circus char kway teow man is a teochew. he was from my old kampong.

Icemoon said...

yg, how many well-known char kway teow men in newton circus? the only one I know is more famous for his hokkien hay mee than char kway teow, lol

yg said...

sorry, icemoon, i soon have added 'the former' to newton circus char kway teow..he is now at serangoon garden way food centre. you can read about it in dr tay's blog here