Access ALL Areas!


Ever considered how accessible or inaccessible places can become once your baby has arrived?

This week has really started to put that in perspective for us. We’re on holiday in sunny Wales, having got all geared up to take a baby on holiday for the first time ever, the car totally rammed with clothes, toys, bedding and all the baby paraphernalia you can imagine – then the big choice pushchair, pram, travel system or carrier?

I’m sure you would understand my reasoning for travelling as light as we could – we took the pushchair and the carrier. Our travel system recently been replaced by an independent car seat and he’s now too big for the pram top, just leaving the pushchair.

Now pushchairs/strollers or pretty much anything with wheels has a presence that you can’t really ignore. It creates a sizeable burden where ever you choose to venture. Often meeting challenges like steps or access into Shops & Restaurants, not necessarily welcomed either! Aisles in some shops really don’t cater for wheels, and passing through crowds of people can become a nightmare. Then, there’s the more historic ventures like castles, mines and trains all of which are either inaccessible by pushchair or cannot be taken aboard for safety reasons. I didn’t quiet fancy leaving our pushchair out in an unsecured public area.

So, In comes the carrier. The freedom it’s offered me is a refreshing insight into alternative methods of transporting our child. Ok, my almost 19lb little boy does add a minor burden to my already ample frame, and shared bodily warm can make me a little cosy. But, all in all I wouldn’t have braved Conwy Castle walls with a pushchair, or even risked carrying him in my arms as the stone tower stairways were narrow and uneven. The carrier allowed me a hands free, well balanced hold on my precious baby, I could traverse the tricky staircases with both hands free to support my balance when necessary. In cafes and restaurants the carrier doesn’t present an eyesore or an obstruction to seating. It folds and is tucked tidily away under the table.

Seriously, though when I was pregnant with my son, my opinion on babywearing was a little less enthusiastic – having carried him for 9 months, I was by no means eager to continue carrying him. It hadn’t even occurred to me to even babywear at all until I saw a friend wearing her toddler. Nowadays, I would happily carry him everywhere. I love the closeness it’s given us and it’s really quiet something when he falls asleep in such close proximity to me.

I fully admit though – I’m a complete noobie when it comes to carriers and I own the simplest one I could get my hands on, giving me only a front/rear facing options with a few clips and straps. Now, I’m looking into alternative types which allow more flexibility and variety of positions. I fully intend to wear our next baby as I expect I will be running round after a 2+ year old by then.

Feel free to share your own babywearing experiences.

Nicola

I am Mummy to a little boy called Quentin, currently on maternity leave until July 2010 and Nuts about Cloth Nappies.

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9 Responses

  1. Ros says:

    I understand the travel dilemma! We went away when our daughter was 5 months and have got another big family visit planned for June. I’m wondering whether we should just take the little fold up pushchair and the carrier again? But like you, we just have a basic mothercare carrier and I thought she might be a bit too heavy for me by then. i think she’s about 18-19lb now too, like your son. Don’t you end up with incredible backache?!

  2. Becca says:

    As a non-driver with pretty dire local buses I found a 2ndhand BabyBjorn front/rear-facing (clip-together, pretty sturdy carrier)a godsend… from baby weight minimum ’til my son hit the weight restriction! Then a friend used it! We are now comfy in a ‘Kari-Me’ stretch/wrap around sling (at a good price thru our local breast-feeding cafe)and he is 25lb+ but with increased baby strength can be used to support hip-carrying so even quick trips to park/local shop/to friend’s and around garden can be much less strenuous/arduous/boring for us both. I find that baby-wearing aids my posture!and must be good for those core muscles…! But sometimes overly cosy, yes and the stronger and fidgetier babies get can be a bit wearying! At 15 months he still loves facing the world on my chest! Perhaps too much… ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Becca says:

    Oh,and but sadly 2nd person needed to aid him onto my back in above sling which as a lone parent with little support means we don’t get to-do.Have tried twice but wasn’t confident with the ‘helper’s and felt him slipping but ideal for x2 parents I think!!

  4. Luschka says:

    I absolutely adore wearing my daughter. I love that she’s then part of my world, and active in what’s going on around her. I have carried her since birth and she is now 7 months. We have used her pram/pushchair six times – generally for letting her sleep in when we go out in the evening.

    One word of advice though – I had a Bruin (similar to simple mothercare or Baby Bjorn) and it KILLED my back. I was about to give up babywearing when someone gave me her Ella Roo Mei Tai and it was a godsend – I literally carry my daughter everywhere now. We’ve been hiking, shopping, 8 hour tourist days, you name it. I would seriously recommend it!

    Personally, I can’t stand the struggle getting the pushchair on the bus/off the bus, around people on the pavements, down isles in shops – I am so thankful for babywearing!

    I think if you do it from birth it is slightly easier as you become accustomed to the baby’s weight as it grows.

    Good luck!

  5. Helen Barker says:

    My daughter is now 8 months, over 23lbs and I carry her all over the place. We used to have a stretchy wrap and now I use a mai tai in a back carry. It wasn’t easy to get her into the back carry at first, but I had lots of help from people at my local sling meet and I practised kneeling on the bed! Now I just swing her over my shoulder and tie the straps in less time than it takes me to wrestle her into the buggy. I do have some residual lower back problems from pregnancy/birth and carrying her in the back carry doesn’t cause any problems- in fact it helps as it keeps my posture good! I’d very much recommend that any one who is interested in baby wearing find their local slingmeet.

    Here’s Robyn and me using the mai tai recently…

  6. Helen Barker says:

    Oh, that didn’t work, here’s a link to it instead…

    Robyn in the mai tai

  7. Kathryn Meeks says:

    Hi ๐Ÿ™‚
    I love baby wearing, and am currently carrying my 4 week old around, and wouldn’t even consider buying a buggy for him, as I love having him close to me all the time, I love the fact that I can hear all his squeaks and sniffs and love to feel his warmth against me. We have a mile walk to school, uphill on the way there, and find it so much easier with joseph in the sling, than struggling with a double buggy

  8. Julia says:

    I also love baby carriers. My son had some issues with sleeping when he was a newborn due to silent reflux and I wouldn’t have survived without a sling. I ate my Christmas dinner with my baby strapped to my chest. It feels like being pregnant again, only higher up!!

  9. Maggie Leung says:

    I’ve always loved baby carriers for their convenience and also to keep my wee ones snug and close to me.

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