I did the usual expectant parent research on baby carriers while still pregnant with baby number one. We went with both a wrap and a soft shell carrier. Being a new mommy, I found the learning curve to be substantial, and some baby wearing went onto the back burner as I focused on C-section recovery, and the basics of nursing, cloth diapering, and—you know—surviving those first weeks and months. The wrap came in handy those early months and around 5 months, once baby had head somewhat stable, I felt comfortable with the SSC. Even still, I used a stroller or provided cart for walks around the house or anytime we went places where one might need to secure a little kiddo.
Come baby number two I was more seasoned and wasn’t so much inundated with having a newborn as living with one (and a toddler). Since they were only 19 months apart I found myself trying to balance two little ones and again leaned on the double stroller or carts provided at the store when needed. I utilized my wrap mostly at home and the carrier, again, only on occasion when the Texas weather didn’t make it too uncomfortable.
Then hello, baby number three in four years’ time. Why did I hold out so long? Mama needs two hands to make it through the day! The strollers sit in the closet, tires low on air. I now understand some of the interest in having more than one carrier, not because of style but rather necessity! I wore baby at home to get dinner done. Anytime we were out I had the SSC in the car, ready to go.
And boy do we GO! We go everywhere together! Once upon a time I’d hold off on grocery shopping until the weekend when I’d go alone. I like doing that now, but there are always mid-week runs. And then there is Target, preschool, the playground, and 20 other places each week. I am certain I would have less sanity if not for my carrier.
Could I go to a store with my kids out of the cart? Yes, and sometimes I do. But the general ease of having a space in the cart for my preschoolers (or groceries) helps free up some energy for focusing on other tasks when out and about. Even things like crossing through the parking lot or getting everyone in and out of the vehicle is made easier with the wee one attached.
Could I go to the playground with a stroller? Absolutely, but it sure is nice to not think about pushing it around on pebbles or keeping baby close when my kids want me to climb up the play area, too.
Could I get dinner done without wearing baby girl? Sure, and I often do. Sometimes she preoccupies herself with a toy or hangs out in the swing. But boy howdy do those early crying days go by much easier when she is held close to me while I have two free hands to cook dinner (and complete ten other tasks at once) too.
I could go on and on. With our first two babes I wasn’t sure the cost of the carrier REALLY proved itself. Hands down we’ve gotten our money’s worth now.
Even when it is just she and I out and about I prefer the carrier now. I like the closeness of baby, being able to play silly games with her, talk quietly to her, and turn away from the cart without worrying about being far from her. The carrier is clutch for my sanity and to-do list especially on those days when she might otherwise be grumpy, needy, or just, you know, acting like a legit baby.
Babies can be overwhelming, but baby wearing does not need to be! Give it a try, and enjoy the cuddly freedom of a comfy carrier!
Lynette is a mom of three children from 8 months to age four. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.