It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Oh, Ergo, how I love thee

I have a new baby. (I know, I KNOW! I haven’t yet named the old new baby! I’m behind before I even start.) New New baby comes three days a week. After a week of so of visits, he has now begun his first week in Daycare. Mummy and Daddy are both back at work. This is the real deal now.

He’s not doing badly, all in all. In fact, he’s doing very well. The key to his adjustment? Unlike many newbies, he’s turning to me for comfort.

This, ladies and gentlemen? This. is HUGE.

Virtually all babies, for that first week or two, are sad and disoriented. They are in a strange environment (a week or two of visits does not make it familiar), and mummy and daddy, their sources of comfort and security, are nowhere to be seen.

No wonder they cry.

But until they view me as an alternate source of comfort and security, they are ALL ALONE IN THE WORLD!!!!

They are all alone, and VERY VERY LOUD.

Poor mites.

Now, this is normal. This is what I expect when I take on a new baby. (Remembering that babies, when they start with me, are a year old, well old enough to have expectations of the world. Expectations in which I most certainly do NOT figure. Expectations which I am, not to put too fine a point on it, royally forking up…)

But New New Baby is not that way. From the very first minute alone with me, he knew my purpose in his life. “OH! You WONDERFUL not-mama! You are HUMAN! You have ARMS! You can PICK ME UP AND HOLD ME TIGHT!!!”

And by tight, I mean tight. This boy clambers up my torso so as to bury his face in my neck, and clings like a little baby ape whose mummy is swinging through the tree-tops. It’s rather endearing. Sweaty, but endearing. The moment he has achieved full-body cling, the tears cease. Instantly, and for as long as he’s in my arms.

After a while of uber-clinging, he’ll sit back on my lap, start to take in his surroundings, and even make cheerful commentary on it.

“Dit! Dit, dah! Dah, dah, dah, dzat!” (‘D’ appears to be the consonant of the week.)

This, too, is very endearing.

However.

New, New Baby is a Big Big Boy. I don’t know his weight for sure, but I’m guessing a solid 14 or 15 kg (30 pounds). The boy is a TANK.

A cuddly, needy tank. Who wants — needs! — to be held all.the.time.

And so I say again, Ergo, how I love thee. I’m still sweaty, but I can move. I can interact with the others. And my home? Is howl-free.

I am a happy, albeit sweaty, woman.

July 14, 2011 Posted by | daycare | , , , | 9 Comments

Baby Carriers

I used to have a baby sling. When maternity leaves were extended from 24 weeks to a full year, the sling fell into disuse, and I eventually gave it away.

A decision I now regret. Year-old babies require a lot of carrying the few few weeks, says the woman currently snuggling an 11-month-old. I have a fridge magnet that says, “If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms.” Indeed. (And eyes in the back of our heads. And the ability to turn our ears off at will. Oh, and squeeze 8 hours of sleep into 20 minutes… Anyone else got a wish for that list?)

Evolution has failed me, however, and I have only two arms. Two arms and five kids. One of whom can’t walk yet. Now, she’s having a good transition, as it happens, but even so, my job would be soooooo much easier if I didn’t have to set her down whenever I needed to help another child.

I am thinking I could use a baby carrier. Not a sling, though, because my incoming babies are not tiny infants. A few can walk, most can cruise along the furniture and/or crawl, and all of them can sit on their own. Besides, much as I liked the sling, I didn’t find it as secure as I’d have preferred. I generally felt I had to keep one hand available to catch an unexpected outward swoop of a baby. Maybe I had a poorly-designed sling, or maybe I was just paranoid.

At any rate, I don’t want these big babies strapped to my chest. I want them on my back, where they can see what’s going on, have the comfort of being carried, but where I can also use both hands to deal with the other children. I do NOT want a backpack style carrier with an enormous metal frame. Unless I were planning a 30-km hike over rugged terrain, those things are pretty much overkill. Pretentious, even. “Look at me! I’m such a total outdoorsy, macho mommy!!!” … as I wander into Starbucks for my grande extra-hot decaf skinny latte. Yeah. Kind of like a four-wheel drive mondo SUV in suburbia. Yeesh, already.

A parent once lent me one, and I felt like some sort of cyborg when I wore the damned thing… to be perfectly frank, it made me feel just a tad ridiculous. I’m going to be wearing this thing indoors almost exclusively. I don’t need it to convert to a stroller, I don’t need it to get me on and off airplanes. I want something as small and light as possible. I need it to get me through my day with a somewhat mollified baby and both hands free.

A simple enough goal, I think.

I’ve been checking online, and the one I’m leaning to is the Ergo.

This Canadian site carries it, and it has the black and camel one, which is the one I like. (Well, really, I prefer the green ones, but I don’t prefer them $30 more…)

I like the look of it, a lot. It’s small, it’s light, there’s no big frame, it can be worn front or back. It seems to be just what I’m after. Before I plonk down a decent chunk of money on one, though, I’m looking for feedback.

Do any of you use one? Do you have comments? It is easy to get on and off, particularly if you’re wearing it with the baby on your back? Does it wash well? It it durable? Any other input?

Thanks!

April 20, 2011 Posted by | daycare | , , , | 27 Comments