My trusty black yoga pants have been with me for years. I bought them shortly after my son was born — and he turns eight this month. As soon as my belly protruded less than my boobs, after about four weeks, I was pleased to purchase a pair of non-maternity-yet-still-very-forgiving stretchy trousers. And today, wearing those same yoga pants, I waved goodbye to my two school-aged kids as they hustled into their elementary school. I’m rockin’ the mom cliche and I won’t judge you if you follow suit.
I’m no longer wearing, however, what was my absolute favorite product discovery of that new mother phase of my life: the front carrier. No, they don’t make one of those for toting around kids who can read.
I offer a couple of tips for those who are about to select a soft carrier in which to wear their babies.
1. Get professional help.
When your carrier arrives — if you order it online — go to a boutique-style store where the sales people know their stuff. Ask someone to help you adjust the straps and master a method for installing your baby on your body. The correct fit makes a big difference, especially as your baby grows heavier. If you purchase a carrier from a chain store, bring it with you to a breastfeeding support group, lactation consultant, or new mom group where folks who may have used this carrier before can share tips with you.
2. Buy a gender-neutral carrier.
Or, at least discuss the purchase with your partner. If you have your eye on a beautiful floral-print sling, determine if he wants another one as well. I thought my husband was so progressive on all tasks related to parenting until he said, “I’m not wearing that thing in public,” about my pastel-striped wrap-style carrier. Fair enough. Basic black is a safe option and this ERGObaby carrier would be my pick. (When my son was an infant, ERGO only made their carrier with a butterfly printed lining. WHY?)
3. Get out of the house!
Treat yourself to a short hike or a shopping expedition. Your arms are free to swing about or get your wallet out of your purse. It feels great to have a baby against your chest, but also be able to sign a credit card slip. Leaving the house with your baby will boost your spirits and your confidence as a caregiver. I often stuffed my BabyBjorn carrier in the bottom of my stroller so that if my baby wanted to be held while I was out strolling, I could quickly attach him to me and continue my outing.