Like many new moms, when my daughter was born, I was overwhelmed. After my husband went back to work and my mom went home, I didn't know how to cope, to be a mom and get the things done that needed to be done - like eating, going to the bathroom, and showering, for instance. Not to mention the luxuries such as preparing and cooking dinner, cleaning the house, or walking the dogs.
My husband and I read a lot of parenting books, websites, magazines, etc, before we had our baby, and we had decided that we fit the "attachment parenting" bill. And, as a result, while pregnant I bought two baby carriers - a Moby Wrap and an Ergo Soft Structured Carrier. Little did I know then that the Moby would be my sanity saver for months to come!
Because we decided we wanted to be attached parents, I took that quite literally, and almost never put our daughter down during the day. If she fell asleep while I was holding or nursing her, I just held her for her nap. I had no idea how to get in her "tummy time" because, well, I was holding her all the time. I also soon discovered that my baby loved being outdoors. She could be crying and fussing and screaming, and I would open the door and step outside, and voila! She was a happy baby again.
On Day 2 of being a Stay At Home Mom (after my mom had left and my husband was at work), I started using the Moby. In the morning, I was able to put dinner in the Crock Pot so that it would be ready that evening (there was no cutting or cooking involved, just putting things into the Crock Pot). I was able to use both hands to eat the what-seemed-like-millions of calories I needed to nurse her. I wore her when I needed to go to the bathroom. I wore her during her naps. In the afternoon, when nothing I tried would calm my baby girl, I put her in the Moby and we went for a walk. It soothed her, killed time until daddy (finally, thankfully) got home, and it helped me get back into my pre-pregnancy jeans sooner (we did this nearly every day for months).
As my daughter grew, we relaxed on our approach to holding her all the time, but I still used baby carriers daily to get things accomplished around the house; in fact, I still do, and she's 14 months old! If I need to vacuum, I typically put her up on my back in a Soft Structured Carrier. Sometimes I will wear her to wash dishes or empty the dishwasher if she wants to be with me but is getting into too much to be walking around while I'm doing my chores (or if I need to get them done quickly). Sometimes I'll wear her in from the car so I can carry the 10,000 things I seem to always have to bring in to the house, and once she's up there she's happy, so I'll find a task to do that is doable with her on my back.
I am expecting my second baby in November and can't imagine the newborn stage without (several) baby carriers. I especially can't figure out how moms can do it when they have a toddler to chase after and a newborn to care for too! I'm looking forward to the new adventure, especially because I have a plan - at least for the newborn. ;)