Ah, the holidays! There’s me and Pip on our way home from the beach. It feels like a distant memory now. Do you like our Kinderpack? I LOVE it! It’s a full buckle toddler-sized baby carrier made by a work from home mom in the States. We’ve had it for a few months now and it really came into its own on holidays. We were staying near a beach which is only accessible by foot, but just a little bit too far for teeny toddler legs and absolutely no place for a buggy.
Pip loves nothing more than being carried on his mama’s hip at the moment – not his dada’s mind – but he’s rocking in at 14kg now, so up in arms for anything but a short distance isn’t really an option for me and my dodgy back! The Kinderpack has been the perfect solution, especially after a tired boy wrecks himself out running around the beach.
It’s interesting, he is reluctant to get in it most of the time but once he’s up there, he really gets into the groove. I’ve noticed that after a bit of grizzling and then usually some chatting and singing, he gets very quiet and chilled out up there. Occasionally, when he’s tired to the point of crankiness, I pop him in a front carry and he snuggles in and usually ends up having a little nap. Very cool. We call it the horsey – as in “horsey, horsey, don’t you stop…”
He won’t let his Daddy carry him in it though.
I’m late to the babywearing game after a false start. Typical pregnant me heavily researched babywearing and the benefits for both baby and parents. I settled on a je porte mon bebe baby wrap because I loved the idea of it and my lovely sister and her partner gifted it to us. But here’s where I fell down. Researching away on t’Internet is all well and good but with babywearing you need to try it out and ideally get some expert advice. I read this many many times – “go to a sling meet” and “book a babywearing consultant”. I did neither of these things. It’s sounds silly but I thought I would feel a bit stupid going to one. I wouldn’t know anyone and I felt it would be awkward turning up in a stranger’s house. I should’ve just gone. I’ve seen loads of people using the JPMBB since and they look effortless and brilliant but there’s a knack that you need to crack first. Try as we might to work it out at home, neither myself or Mr Mind the Baby were ever quite sure if it was tight enough, or too tight or tied right etc. We should have just gone to a flippin sling meet! We used it a few times – he got way more use out of it than I – but nothing like what we should have. So we stuck with the buggy.
Then last year when Pip’s walking really took off, the buggy quickly became a royal pain. We’d be out in the park or the shops and he’d want out to run around – or push the effin buggy! – and I’d find myself abandoning it to chase after him and then end up worrying about my purse or shopping just sitting there unattended. We needed another solution! So I decided to revisit babywearing. I didn’t know anyone else carrying toddlers at the time but Facebook told me it was alive and well in Ireland!
I borrowed two toddler carriers from the Babywearing Ireland sling library – a Huckepack and a Tula. I recommend that everybody does this! They have an extensive selection of babywearing wraps, slings and carriers of all shapes, sizes and fasteners. You really need to try them out to see if the style suits you, if it fits you comfortably and if your baby likes it. From what I can gather, one size does not seem to fit all!
Both myself and Pip really liked the Huckepack. I do like the structure of a buckled carrier rather than one you tie or wrap on and this carrier was really comfortable. Pip felt like a feather on my back. The Tula was really pretty and I wanted to like it so much but I just didn’t find it a comfortable fit for my body. I know lots of people love them though. I had my heart set on a Huckepack so when I went to look into buying one, I’m embarrassed to admit that vanity won over the day because I didn’t like any of the patterns available! They’re not cheap so I wanted one that I loved the look of too.
I had heard a few women mention online that they had a toddler Kinderpack and that they were generously sized so you could get longevity out of them. When I checked out their website, I fell in love. The sling library didn’t have a sample to try so I threw caution to the wind and just ordered one. It was totally the right call. It is a beauty!
Now that we got such mileage out of it over the holidays, I’m looking forward to using it more regularly. We very rarely use our buggy now so it’s handy to throw it into the back of the car when we head out. It also rolls up into a neat little bundle for carrying.
If you’re thinking about investing in a baby carrier, I highly recommend you go to a sling meet in your area, hire some samples from the Babywearing Ireland library or book a session with a qualified babywearing consultant. There’s such a selection and often choices are very personal. For example Lisa at mama.ie loves her Moby, Maud from Awfully Chipper swears by her ergo and some people have a few kinds for different occasions. Check out Babywearing Ireland for more information.