April 23, 2009

Adventures in Babywearing

Last weekend, we bought the Ergo Baby carrier. I already had a carrier - the Baby Trekker. It worked fine, and unlike the Ergo carrier, you can carry your baby facing forward AND backward. My only complaint besides its bulkiness, is that if you carry your baby facing forward (i.e. the world), the baby's legs dangle right in front of your thighs, making it difficult to walk very quickly. The other thing is that if you carry your baby facing backward (i.e. you), the baby is in an awkward suspended position which isn't very comfortable. I could only wear my Trekker in the forward-facing position with PK.

I'd say that 90% of my mommy friends have the Ergo, and have been really happy with it. It's definitely a nice carrier. The baby sits in the carrier with his/her legs wrapped around your waist. Just like when you carry the baby in your arms. It's much more comfortable both the baby and the person carrying the baby.

I was really excited to try the Ergo on PK. She didn't take to being carried until she was maybe 3 or 4 months old, and she only warmed up to it when I had her in her carrier while singing and dancing in her room (great workout, BTW). She was used to being forward-facing in the carrier, so I wondered if she'd take to the Ergo's rear-facing configuration.

The first day I tried the Ergo with, she was not in the mood to be carried, so that was a total dud. Ditto for the second day. The third day I tried it, I decided to do it up in her room with her music going. I sang and danced with her in the carrier, and her tolerance for it seemed to go up. Whew! These things aren't cheap, so I was glad that she wasn't having a meltdown in the carrier.

I took her out for a walk in the Ergo on Monday. It was a bit brisk outside, so I had to wear a bulkier jacket. Needless to say, I had a REALLY hard time getting the Ergo on. If you're unfamiliar with the Ergo, to carry your baby rear-facing, you put it on like a backpack in reverse. First, you put on the waist strap, then you put the baby in front of you (facing you), put the straps around your arms (like a backpack), and clip them together. Sounds easy, but it's really not, if you're new to this. I had a hell of a time getting the back clips on. Somehow I managed, and off we went. Our walk was short, and while PK didn't scream or anything (unlike the first couple of times I had her in the Ergo), she seemed to have this "What the hell are you doing to me?" look. That soon passed, and she ended up falling asleep while I walked. I think I should take this as a compliment - she's comfortable enough to relax and fall asleep...right?

Now the real purpose of this post is centered around today's happenings. It looked beautiful and sunny outside today (minus the wind, which seemed to have died down in the afternoon). I was itching to go out for a walk, but I had to wait for PK's nap before attempting to venture outside. When we finally did make it outside, it was 4:45pm. I needed to go to the grocery store to pick up a few things - ingredients for making PK's food next week. The grocery store trip took a bit longer than expected, and while PK was seeming to be quite tired, she was also getting restless in her stroller. It seems that these days, PK really really doesn't like being in her stroller for long periods of time, so I always take the carrier with me (before I got the Ergo, I always had the Trekker handy).

By the time we left the grocery store, PK was in a BAD mood. She was crying and whining, so I decided that this was a perfect opportunity to use the Ergo. Unfortunately, crying baby + bulky jacket (it was still a bit nippy outside) + newbie Ergo user = near-disaster. PK was freaking out, and I was desperately trying to get that back clip done up. The more PK cried, the more frustrated I got, and the more I kept sweating. It was a disaster. I was ready to give up, but then I finally got the damned clip done up, and she settled down within a few minutes. Whew! Just a tad stressful.

We were maybe a quarter of the way home when PK fell asleep. Because she was facing me, her head was falling back. The Ergo has this little sleep hood that you can pull out and attach to the "backpack" straps for this very purpose. What a perfect time to try it out. HA! So I had no problem in getting the hood out, but I sure as hell couldn't figure out where the damned things hooked in. So after trying for about 5 minutes, I gave up, pushing the stroller with one hand, and supporting PK's head with the other. I checked the manual when I got home and found out that the hood hooked into the D-rings on the backpack straps. I have no idea how I would even get to them, to be perfectly honest, because they seemed to be way far out of reach.

All in all, I do like the Ergo, but I think that I still have to get used to getting it on and off. As for that sleep hood, maybe if I grew longer arms...

No comments: