The mission is simple: get through the day with your sanity somewhat in tact while still managing take care of the house, kids, pets, husband, errands, and the baby. Some days a task that requires little finesse, while other days it takes every last ounce of mom-power to make it to the next coffee break. For two moms, the go-to essentials (or parenting secret weapons) to complete their duty are a stroller and babywearing.
Mom/Baby Essential: Babywearing
Mom profile: Chani Palindat. 1 child, 1 husband, 1 very active baby turned toddler. Pro-babywearing, stroller-striker.
When our son was born we bought the complete Graco Travel System, as well as a beautiful bamboo ring sling. I can honestly say that we almost never used the stroller aside from carrying our coats and packages when shopping at the mall. Baby would be snuggled in the carrier, while that $500 stroller combo acted as an expensive travelling coat rack. Eventually, we sold the thing because it was a huge waste of space. Our ring sling was used in every area of our life from walks, fussy teething baby stages, to just getting some housework done (key word being "some"). We used the sling from birth to age two and half, and it was a slightly tearful farewell as it was packed up until next the next baby. With our second, we knew right off the bat not to even bother purchasing the stroller this time. It was an exciting day when we unpacked the sling to get washed and refreshed for the upcoming arrival of our little girl. This pregnancy we had also decided to order a woven wrap, since we wanted to babywear longer than two years. The woven wrap was the better choice for our family, since you can wear them from birth to preschool safely. While we used our ring sling in the early days of new baby, the wrap was definitely the new favorite of the house. It helped get us through some long, long nights of a gassy baby by letting her be held upright with some tummy pressure. It calmed when nothing else would, snuggled to sleep, helped me to cook a dinner that was not Kraft Dinner, and let me keep the house in a somewhat presentable state. Later on into our toddler months, babywearing has seen us through sickness, teething, tantrum rages, and kept her from running away in stores many times. Our kinder-kiddo is still able to hop up on our backs for a "wrap piggy back" when his legs get tired after a long outing, and taking Ballet and Yoga classes while wearing has helped us stay healthy and active as a family. Babywearing has become an important part of our family,seeing us through the good and rough times of parenting. The memories of new baby snuggles, of seeing them fall asleep against you, knowing that getting up and swaying will soon calm their crying… These are all treasured. And while we do now own a small stroller, we use it mainly for when we have had long periods of babywearing and need a back break. Because there's nothing wrong with strollers, they just don't get the important role of parent secret-weapon in our home. If anything, the strollers can thank us for saving them from the job description of snot wiper and puke rag – something our carriers are more than used to. I could not imagine being a mom without carrying my babies and kiddos, and couldn't do our crazy life without babywearing.
For more information on Babywearing and how to choose the right – and safest- baby carrier, click here.
Mom/Baby Essential: Stroller
Mom Profile: Heather Nelson 2 children, 1 work away husband, Pro-stroller, babywearing fail.
When our first was born we spent a lot of time researching many different strollers that would fit our active lifestyle. We test drove hundreds of different strollers in the stores and finally decided that we wanted a three wheeled one that I could jog with. Also knowing that we wanted to have our kids fairly close we opted for an option that would expand and hold two babies at once. That first year the stroller went everywhere with us and was our savior. Our little one loved being in it and I found that I could easily get our daily tasks done, and even head out for a jog if I wanted. Along came baby number 2 – a preemie, and just 19 months younger than his older brother. We bought the second seat option for the stroller and used it every day. It was so nice to be able to have baby in bucket and busy toddler strapped in to the stroller, with the option of walking along side if he wanted while his brother still sat comfortably in his carseat. As the boys grew, so did our stroller, it was able to easily handle two toddlers for simple tasks like a trip to the mall or a stroll around the block, but my now preschooler was growing fast and outgrowing the seat options this inline could handle, especially when Mama was out for a run. Insert a side by side double jogger – with speakers and an MP3 hookup! I was in love. Except for the fact that this stroller had difficulties fitting through doors it was perfect. We could go out for walks with the dogs, I could run with both boys strapped safely in and not have to worry about weather or not we had enough water, snacks, toys etc as they were stored safely under the two seats. And I could listen to tunes as I ran! It was amazing. The boys are now older and I don't think we have used a stroller for about 6 months, but there are still many times I think about reaching for it when my youngest is having a meltdown in the mall or grocery store – it would be so easy to just strap him in and continue with my errands, If only they made strollers for big kids.
Special thanks to Walmart Canada for sponsoring our Baby Basics program! Walmart is your one stop shop for all of your baby needs, online and in-store (Did you know that walmart.ca offers free shipping, anywhere, anytime, with no minimum purchase requirements…really they do! This is a huge value, often you pay more for shipping on an item than the actually amount you spent! ).