My Favourite Things #1: Baby Carriers.

I love me a blog series, even if I’m not always great at keeping up with them (see the “Weekly” Challenge series on The Engineer’s Wife!). So I’m going to start one here, and after much some a little hardly any deliberation the chosen topic is My Favourite Things (parenting things, that is).  The things I talk about in this series may not all be actual physical things.  But they’ll be the things that I’ve found most useful as I get used to this parenting thing.

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When I thought of the topic, the first “thing” was obvious.  If there is one tool we have used more than any other in the last eight months, it is a baby carrier (more accurately, less grammatically correctly, it is baby carriers).  From the very start, we have carried The Engineer’s Baby a LOT.  In fact, almost every nap The Engineer’s Baby has taken has been in a carrier.  Naps were pretty haphazard for a long time here, so I don’t know how many naps that is, but my estimate is approximately 900.  There have also been times we’ve carried her when not napping, so this baby has probably spent nearly 1000 hours in a carrier.

She started off nearly 10 pounds, and is now well over 20 pounds, so I am amazingly glad that we have a stash of comfortable carriers.

We started off with a stretchy wrap.  When she was little and squishy, it was just perfect.  People always said it looked like a pain (it is 5 metres of fabric, after all), but we got very efficient at tying it, and after a week or so it was really easy.

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We then moved into a soft structured carrier with mesh, because it’s so blimmin’ hot here.  It was great as she grew.  Easier and quicker than the wrap, but still nice and cuddly.

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Then we got another one of those (because it had beards on it!) and a woven wrap and a ring sling.  And we moved onto back carries.

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And basically, it’s been amazing.  The woven wrap hasn’t had as much use as I thought (after how much we loved the stretchy).  But the combination of carriers has had huge benefits:

  • She gets enough sleep, even though it doesn’t always come naturally to her.
  • We didn’t have to lug around a big bulky pram when she was little, and just moved straight into a lightweight pushchair when she could sit well.
  • We became somewhat “famous” locally, and get LOTS of attention. (Actually, I don’t know if that’s really a positive, but it’s certainly been interesting.)
  • All the walking and bouncing and carrying involved in carrier naps has made me much fitter than I otherwise would be at this point.

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There are a few downsides too, though:

  • Now we have to wean her off it for day sleeps.  This is scary.
  • When we were out and about when she was wee, we didn’t have anywhere to put her, and there wasn’t always a helpful baby-holder around.
  • There are lots of things I can’t do while she sleeps.  Mostly yoga!
  • It’s an expensive habit!

So there we go, my favourite parenting thing.  Watch out for another post in the series at some point, hopefully soon!

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