Before my son was born, I was really into elephants — elephant banks, elephant picture frames, elephant toys, a super-expensive monogrammed elephant blanket, elephant decals, elephant curtains. Our nursery theme was elephants and I was running with it.
But the best gift I got at my baby shower had less to do with elephants and more to do with kangaroos. It was my baby carrier.
The baby carrier was — and is — the greatest invention to enter my life since two-ply toilet paper. Here's what it did.
- It helped me feel physically close to my baby. Time goes fast, so I loved having this bond with my baby.
- It tricked my baby into sleeping for a luxurious 45 minutes at a time when he wouldn't sleep in his bassinet or Rock 'n Play. Something about feeling my heart beat against his body and being gently shuffled around lulled him into a few glorious minutes of slumber. When he was tiny and I needed to cook dinner but just couldn't put him down, it helped him relax and helped me get some water boiling and marinara sauce started. Plus, he would sometimes even sleep in it when I was sitting at a restaurant. This resulted in at least 2.6 peaceful brunches with baby.
- It got us through the airport multiple times. If you're wearing your baby, you don't have to remove them from the baby carrier until you board your flight, even through security. It's so much easier than playing the "get in-get out" game of the stroller, then playing "tag, you're it" against a toddler who walks like a drunken sailor and screams enough to shatter glass.
- It helps me go outside with my child. Every four months or so, he goes through a "hating the stroller" phase, so it's much easier to strap him to my body and be on our way than be fighting a screaming baby down the aisles of the supermarket.
- It's versatile. My baby used to sit facing me, then he sat facing outwards, and now he rides on my back like a piggyback ride. I have used the same carrier since he was a newborn and it's still serving me so well.
- It provides straps and buckles for my son to fidget with that can't be dropped in to a disgusting muddy puddle to then be put back in his mouth.
- It frees my hands for cheese samples in the supermarket.
My baby carrier — the Baby Bjorn One — was and is the greatest thing I was gifted for my son. I love it, he loves it, and it helped me function from a time when I didn't know how (or even if?) I would ever function again.
My suggestion is to go to a store or baby-wearing meeting (yes, this is a thing) where you can try out a few different styles and see what feels best to you. Practice putting it on and taking it off. Maybe have somebody help you the first few times you put the baby in it. Then, if you're like me, before you know it, you'll be loving it.
But it Now: BABYBJORN Baby Carrier One, from $132