Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Parenting Again: To Carry a Baby

I gave birth to a toddler. At three months old, he outgrew the infant bucket. Grocery shopping with a baby who couldn't sit up in a cart but whose car seat was no longer portable was a challenge, to say the least.

Then there was our other dilemma: Peter wanted to be held 85% of the time. All day long I got to choose between sitting around with a baby in my arms or listening to him cry while I got things done. Oh, I had a pouch. I even had a front pack carrier. But Peter didn't fit in the pouch, and the front pack strained every muscle in my neck. Such is life with a twenty-two pound four-month-old.

When Peter was five months, someone introduced me to the ring sling. This made running errands easier, but one of my arms always felt a little restricted. Absolute freedom came when Peter was 10 months old and I learned how to carry him on my back in a mei tai. Oh, the bliss! (And here, by the way, is a shameless plug for Magic City Slingers.)

My hope for this next baby is that I might be able to put him or her on a blanket without hearing ear-piercing shrieks. Seriously, I dream of a blanket baby. Yet, even if I should be so blessed, I'm well-aware of the logistical challenges I'll be spared with my new knowledge of quality baby carriers (as in, the kind that don't hurt after twenty minutes). I'll be able to

  • Chase Peter on the playground with my infant snug to my chest-- and eventually on my back.
  • Push Peter in the sportscar shopping cart at Publix while wearing the baby.
  • Avoid the expense of a two-seat stroller since, again, I can wear the baby while pushing Peter.
  • When Peter is at Mother's Day Out, visit all the boutiques and antique stores I want while leaving the cumbersome stroller at home.

And, if I do happen to give birth to Peter Part Deux:

  • I can get things done and have a baby contently held.

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