Thursday, October 28, 2010

Car seats and strollers and carriers, oh my! (Part 2)

Let me start off by reminding you that I am a huge advocate of "natural" parenting. I don't mean so much the "green" bit, even though I would consider myself a bit "green." What I mean is that I am sort of a hippie in my way of thinking about parenting (which I have mentioned before). We plan on using a co-sleeper with our infant rather than a bassinet, making our own baby food, and carrying our baby instead of our baby's car seat. That being said, if you think anything in this post may offend you, stop reading NOW. :)

I have learned from my parents, who have adopted 4 girls (1 from China and 3 from Ethiopia), that the importance of bonding with your child should never be underestimated. Although it is more of a challenge with adoption than with biological children, I have learned to appreciate the difference between parenting the way my parents have and parenting the way most of America does. They are anything but overprotective, but have taught us ALL to be loving, caring and fun kids... and to be responsible as adults along with all the other stuff too. Having siblings that are much younger than me (we range from age 5 to 22!) has allowed me to learn first hand how to be an awesome parent. Sure, their "style" of parenting has changed over the years, I am sure! But that means that I have learned from their mistakes that they made when they first became parents with my brother and I by watching them be parents to small children NOW...if that makes sense. A lot of people question me about "isn't it weird that your sister is 5 and you are pregnant?" but honestly, I think it's awesome, and it will make me a better parent. are probably wondering what this has to do with carriers and strollers and car seats...

First of all, the process of deciding on all the baby gear was extremely overwhelming to me. What is REALLY necessary? How do you pick a car seat? Stroller? Carrier? My parents have talked to me about this endlessly. And I don't mean shoving their ideas into my head with no turning back. They know me and Nick, and they take our points of view into consideration when advising us...unlike a lot of other people I have come into contact with that think that the way they parented their children is the ONLY way. Plus they have had recent experience with all of this. My mom spent almost 2 hours in Babies R Us with me on Sunday trying to help me sort through all the mayhem (Thanks Mom!)

As far as carriers go, I learned from my parents how important it is to have a good carrier. One that doesn't hold the baby up by his/her "between the legs area", provides skin-to-skin and face-to-face positioning, and is comfortable for both baby and parent. This is all part of that natural parenting bit...carriers that make your baby face away from you are definitely not natural. In my opinion carriers are there to only help you hold your baby and I don't think anybody would normally carry their child so that they were facing away from you. I also want to be sure that if it is just me and baby running errands around town, etc that I can actually put the carrier on myself without assistance.

I originally thought I wanted a Moby Wrap(pictured below) for our infant and then something else for a bit larger child. It is pretty much a long piece of fabric that you wrap around yourself and your baby. But then I realized that I wasn't sure I would feel like my baby was stable in the carrier, and wasn't sure if I could get it on by myself.

My mom had already offered to give me the carrier they used with Toby Ann (an Ergo carrier) but I didn't think you could use it for infants. Boy was I wrong! Ergo makes a special insert that goes in their carriers that promotes a carrying position for infants that allows them to develop properly and of course takes up a bit of extra room in the carrier so it doesn't swallow them. If we get this insert we will be able to use this carrier from birth to 45 pounds comfortably! You can also use this carrier to carry your baby face-to-face, on your back, or on your hip. Check out their website!


  1. I definitely feel that you should go with your mama instincts and do what is right for YOUR family, but I just wanted to offer my 2 cents!

    We didn't buy a carrier before Luke was born, but I figured I would end up going with the Ergo for all the reasons you mentioned. Now that Luke is 3 months old and more alert we realized he is much happier facing outward so he can people watch and take in his surroundings. So we went with the Bjorn (not originally my first choice) but we now appreciate having the option of inward or outward positioning.

    If there's one thing babies are good at, it's throwing a wrench in your plans! I can't wait to find out to know what you're having :)

  2. Thanks Allison! We probably would have waited to choose one too, but my mom already had the Ergo and gave it too us :) We can't wait either! I am obsessing a bit over how many days are left!