Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Travel made possible by Babywearing

I'm writing this from an airplane somewhere over West Virginia while my 3 month old nurses and my 2 year old colors with her Dad. This is the girls' and my second trip this week, the first was without my husband. I took the girls to New York City, relying solely on public transportation into and around the city after parking at the bottom part of Brooklyn. Weeks like this, babywearing is my best friend. I wore my youngest pretty much all day every day as we conquered parks, museums, Times Square, and the subway. I even tandem wore them once when we were late for the train! This morning, catching the early flight out of BWI, my husband had my oldest on his back in an Ergo and was pulling our suitcase while I wrapped the youngest on my front, had the diaper bag on my back, and we each carried carseat. We saw it "click" for more than a few families in line as they struggled with bulky strollers through the lines and security or with kids who wanted to be carried. My kids even had breakfast while we were waiting to board, Devon eating a fruit pouch and a granola bar on my husband's back and Piper nursing in the wrap.

  They say that travel is the only thing you can buy that's guaranteed to make you richer. It's something that my husband and both love, and in an effort to pass that love to our children, we do a lot of it. My husband was deployed the first 7 months of my first daughters life, and since she flew for free we did a ton of traveling. While he was gone, we lived in Colorado and flew to Richmond, Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago, Miami, Ft Lauderdale, and Dallas. We took the train to Washington, DC, drove to VA Beach and to Charlotte. When he came back, we flew out to San Francisco and drove to Sacramento, and also to DC and drove from Richmond to the eastern shore of MD, through Ocean City, up to NYC, and back down to Baltimore. This was all under a year old. I also took her to MI by myself at 15 months to sort through my grandmother's things after she passed away, and then when my younger daughter was born we immediately when to Richmond for two weeks with my husband for a work trip, and even engaged in some of the "mandatory fun" required for his work with a brand new baby. We are also taking them to Europe next summer when he returns from his next deployment.  Without babywearing, none of this would have been possible.

  Some tips for traveling while babywearing:
*  Vacation is not the time to test out a new carrier if you have to pack minimally. Take what you know you love and what your kids love.
* Always bring a back up plan- while in NYC we had a bedbug
 incident, and because my wrap (my beloved diorite stars! *tear*) was out of the bag, we had it dry-cleaned. Thankfully I also had an Olives and Applesauce (soft structured carrier) in my diaper bag or else Times Square would have ROUGH that first day!
* if you are driving, have something quick available.  I am a wrapper, but to take the toddler potty on the turnpike the buckle carrier was faster.
* If flying, give yourself time to go through security. Some airports will make you take the child out of the carrier. Some won't. BWI did not.
*Also with flying, know that most airlines will make you take the carrier off for takeoff and landing.
* do not be surprised if a child who is not worn often wants to be worn. My daughter who is generally "too busy" wanted up a lot because it was new and overwhelming.

Babywearing for us, especially with traveling, has become the difference between "That would be too much work" and "Yeah, we can do that!" Being a parent doesn't have to mean giving up the things you love, it just means making the kids a part of it, and babywearing makes it possible for them to be involved and engaged while keeping them safe and keeping them comfortable.

Don't forget to enter our drawing for an ErgoBaby carrier.  Also if you would like to purchase tickets for our raffle but won't be at the IBW events, email us dcmdva@babywearinginternational.org.
Post by Kit

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