Project Babywearing

About a month ago, we the members of the Wee household, took ourselves to Enfant & Compagnie in Saint Leonard (there’s a bus from Viau Metro on the Green Line that stops around the corner from the store). To buy ourselves a baby carrier or should I say, buy me one, because I use it most often with M. On the Metro, bus, at home, visiting…

 

It is a nice little store with an attached cafe, a play area for children with various play sets that I don’t yet know the names of, M being too young to play on them, and an additional room where they hold mom and baby classes and also rent out for parties in the evening. They cater or one can bring their own food. Just before we were leaving, the lady gave me a chocolate cupcake. Yummm! This was before I went off dairy. More of that, perhaps in another post. 

The helpful lady there showed us various carriers of the Ergo and Beco families. I don’t remember the exact kinds of Ergos we saw, but we definitely saw a Beco Gemini and a Beco Butterfly 2. M decided to be most cooperative, letting herself be moved from carrier to carrier and from person to person. Drawing compliments from everyone there. It is an entirely different issue that when I started to try it on at home, she was at her uncooperative best initially. Or was it my ineptness with the new carrier?

 

Anyway, we really liked all of the carriers we saw. We felt that M was in a comfortable sitting position and her weight was distributed evenly across our shoulders and hips. I was leaning towards the Beco both because of the cute prints and because I had read not too nice things about Ergo as a company and of its business practices. I cannot verify this information, though. The Gemini can be worn in a front/back/hip carry, with infant facing in and out in the front carry. Butterfly 2, only front and back carry, both facing inwards. What cinched the deal for us is the Y-fabric in the Butterfly 2 (Organic Cotton, Tyler) that enables easy transfer from adult to adult. R and I successfully used it once at a store. Quite easy. The same feature also smooths the way to moving baby from front to back carry and vice-versa, which I have used several times, all by myself with my not too happy left wrist. Essentially, the Y-fabric is an additional piece of fabric attached to the main part of the carrier and forms a pouch in which baby sits. So, even if I were to unbuckle both sides, she would still be in the carrier at least until she decides to explore her newfound freedom within the carrier.

 

It also comes with an infant insert that velcroes onto the main body with quite a wide velcro, to make the pouch smaller. M is already at the high end of the infant insert weight. So, we didn’t bother with it. The headrest can be stored in a small pocket at the base of the carrier and is useful to prevent the baby’s head from lolling around when asleep. If awake, she can still look around from side to side.

 

It has taken many iterations since and seeing it in use by another mom in M’s Mother Goose Rhyme Time at the library to figure out the right position for me. I have heard people say that they can go hours with their baby in the beco. Perhaps because of the added weight of all the layers on her and me, the coat, and diaper backpack, I can do an hour comfortably; 2 are ok, but past that, I begin to feel quite tired with it. That said, I have used it while folding clothes, doing dishes, or just bouncing around with M at home quite comfortably. And could possibly go for quite some time.

 

Found this very useful. And help is available to local babywearing moms here. Thank you, Mamasupial!

 

Now, to hunt for a coat suitable for frigid weather. Something that goes right over M and me.

 

I looked into a couple of options – the M coat (not so named for my M) and the Kinder Coat. The M coat (Canadian goose down, so naturally) is quite expensive and only works for front carry position. What about next year when she’ll be on my back? Deluxe Kinder Coat. It has a fleece inner layer with a plastic outer shell to block those arctic winds. It also comes with many additional pieces for various babywearing positions. I haven’t tried any other than front carry.

 

I found it in-store at Maman Autrement in St. Bruno. Unfortunately, she only had black at the time. As patience isn’t a virtue I learnt, I couldn’t wait to order a different colour online. I am currently in a reflective strip hunt. The website talks of reflective strips but they’re too thin to be of real use, I think.

 

It felt quite warm when I test-drove it with M outside the store. I find the zipper a little difficult to maneuver by myself. I am sure if I were able to see what I am doing with it, it’d be a lot easier, but with M in front carry position, I cannot see a thing. But we’re managing! I like that it has an additional panel that keeps my neck covered whether M’s head is sticking out of the coat or is hidden inside the coat. The jacket can also be tightened around the bottom edge so that it forms a snug fit around baby’s legs. All of these features and more make it quite bulky, but is it all worth it?

 

Carrier-coat combo put to the test at -18 C wind chill on the way to chiropractor and back for that unhappy left wrist. It was quite toasty in the coat. And I could cover M completely in it. Granted, I draw strange looks from people, wondering why this huge lady is jingling along her way. But I have a smug smirk on my face. I am out and about in the cold with M and we are warm.

 

Keep warm everyone! Warm apple cider-y solstice and holiday wishes.
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