We just got back from vacation in beautiful Rangeley, ME. Our normally sweet, easy-going girl was not so easy-going or sweet most of the week. She had a cold AND was teething. Not to mention she has recently learned to pull herself up on everything, which translates into falling on a lot of things as well. Rough stuff.
In preparing for the trip, we knew that we’d want to do things outside while we were there and we managed to remember to bring the stroller . . . but in the hustle and bustle of getting ready to leave, we forgot our baby carrier – a mei tai wrap. We got the mei tai in preparation for our trip to the Dominican Republic in January with my family. I knew that I’d need something that would be versatile over a growing belly since we’d just found out we were expecting again. It was awesome for that trip – I was able to wear her through airport security (and even feed her without anyone knowing!) and let her sleep on me as she wanted without disturbing her. It’s also a carrier that you can use in a hip carry or a back carry. David carried her a lot this winter on hikes and cross-country ski excursions on his back (we have a deal: I carry one, he carries one). She loved it!
But, without our carrier we were unsure what to do! So, we went to the internet and found a few different ways to carry babies using things you may have on hand. What did we have? A beach towel and a flat sheet (ours was a queen, but it would probably work a little better with a twin). David preferred the beach towel wrap – carrying her like an African mama. I was so proud – and Ellie loved it! She slept for over an hour one day as we were out and about!
When we were trying to pack up to come home, she got extra fussy and needy – which is not surprising since she only napped for 15 minutes that afternoon. David was busy trying to take care of things outside, so if I wanted to get things done inside, my option was to carry her myself. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go being on the precipice of my third trimester. I tried the beach towel first, which she liked just fine. I, however, did not – it hurt my lower back somewhat and I couldn’t figure out how to get it tight enough that I felt like she wasn’t going to wriggle out. So, I grabbed the sheet I had just taken off the bed and created a wrap similar to a ring sling using a slip knot in place of a ring. Go here to check it out – it’s meant to be used with a woven wrap (which I’m sure is much more comfortable than a bed sheet, but hey, whatcha gonna do?) It was actually really easy, but then again, as my friends used to say, I went to knot college (I went to Houghton College and majored in Outdoor Recreation and Camp Administration, which also meant that I learned how to tie many different knots for rock climbing and ropes course use). She liked it, I liked it, and I got everything packed up and ready for David to load into the car! I’ve thought that I might like a ring sling for a while, now it’s confirmed 🙂
The moral of this story? If you don’t currently baby wear, I highly recommend it – it’s a great way to bond with your little one – and keeps your hands free! We’ve been carrying since soon after we got home from the hospital with Ellie – we’ve used many carriers, including the mei tai, a moby wrap (my favorite for the newborn stage!), and baby bjorn in a pinch. There’s many different types of carriers and plenty of resources to learn more about baby wearing; if you’re curious let me know and I can direct you to some of them.