In a city that is as populated and dense as New York City, sometimes, taking around a stroller is not necessarily the most convenient thing. It is annoying to take a stroller up and down stairs, particularly in Subway stations. Not all of the station entrances are accessible, and when I say that, what I really mean is, most are not. Stations usually have signs that tell you where the wheelchair accessible entrances are (assuming there is one at all…) and they are usually annoying to get to. And don’t even get me started on the fact that many of the elevators for the stations smell like pee mostly because of the homeless people who use them. Then, there are stores like Trader Joe’s that tend to have all of their items packed into small aisles along with large customer bases. That also makes it less convenient to push the stroller around. Given that this is the situation, sometimes, if you need to take your baby to a certain place, it’s just easier not to take the stroller at all and instead, to wear the baby.
We got gifted four different baby wearing carriers: the Hana Baby, the baby K’Tan, the KeaBabies wrap carrier I picked out for our registry, and the automatic Ergobaby carrier. All of these except the one that I picked out for our registry were hand-me downs that my friend had given me. She said that all of them were way too complicated for her to figure out, and she got very frustrated right away, and so she thought that I might have better luck. Well, after trying to use the Hana baby just once, I immediately gave up on it and gave it to another friend who is expecting her first in May. That was basically just like a long piece of cloth… And I did not feel very confident in securely carrying my baby around in it. The Baby K’Tan was a little better. I took Kaia out in it a few times to Whole Foods, but the second time that I did it, her butt got a little bit loose on the bottom, so I ended up having to hold her on the bottom just in case because I was getting paranoid. The Ergobaby carrier seemed like it was too big for her. But it wasn’t until another friend showed me how to use it that I actually realized that if we adjusted some of the settings on it, she would actually be just right for it. This baby carrier is supposed to grow with your baby, just that you have to know how to adjust the settings.
And so that leaves me with the KeaBabies wrap. It seemed really straightforward when I watch the video when choosing a wrap to put on our registry. And when I put the baby in it for the very first time, she felt very snug and secure. I felt comfortable walking around with her in it. However, as with all of these baby wraps, all of these take some getting used to an understanding the most optimal way to get your baby into it. You really have to be careful and make sure that the baby’s bottom is always supported, and that their head is okay and she can breathe. With the KeaBabies wrap, the baby’s butt has to go directly into the bottom of the X shape that you cross the wrap in. Then, there is an additional piece of cloth that keeps her even more secure and supported that you pull up. We used this for the second time with our baby this weekend to take her to Queens for the very first time. It was also the very first time that we took her on the subway. Chris did not want to deal with pushing around a stroller, especially given that the birthday party location was so close to the subway station in forest hills, so he carried the car seat just in case she needed a place to sleep or we needed to take a car back, and I wore the baby in the wrap to and from.
She didn’t seem to mind the noise or the commotion of the train. She was not always that comfortable in the wrap because we didn’t have it put on correctly the first time. But after some moving around, she eventually fell asleep and she got very comfortable. Seeing that I was clearly wearing a baby on me, people on the train were very kind and kept on offering the receipt to me. I actually didn’t need a seat for a lot of the train trip to Queens because she just wanted the movement, which was why I kept on walking up and down the car. But it’s nice to know that people actually do care and want to help. It reminded me of when I was pregnant and people were always offering their seats to me. As I have always said to people who do not live in New York City, New Yorkers really do care about each other. They actually do look out for each other, and when they see something, they do say something. It’s always why I have thought that New Yorkers have a bad rap when it comes to this stereotype that they are supposedly rude.
I think I probably just need more practice using the wrap and putting her into it. Baby wearing is definitely a lot more convenient than pushing a stroller around, especially in New York City.