Sunday, 22 April 2012

Buggy free in London

On my recent trip to London Zoo I decided that I would leave the buggy at home.  I wasn't sure if this was a crazy idea or not, but the idea of the dragging a buggy up and down steps in the rain did not appeal.

I have a Close baby carrier which I loved using when Baby M was younger, but at nearly 7 months (and as many kilograms) I wanted something a little more structured for my day out.  A quick call to a friend and I was in possession of her BabyBjorn.  As it was a loan I'm not 100% sure of the model, but I think it is the original (it's a navy cotton).

Staying dry and watching the penguins
I left the house at 8.15am with Baby M securely in the carrier. It was very easy to put on: I simply followed the diagrams on the inside of the carrier.  As it was a slightly chilly day Baby M was tights, a long sleeve vest and a thick snow suit.

My walk to the station was far quicker than with the buggy and I easily got through the ticket barrier, over the bridge to the right platform and onto the train without needing any assistance.  With the buggy I would have felt slightly uncomfortable amongst all the commuters and imagined them glaring at me (whether they were or not), with the BabyBjorn I took my seat and noticed a few admiring glances of my gorgeous daughters.  I didn't encounter any problems over the rest of the journey and instead had the benefit of being able to help my friend with her buggy.

Being a slightly cold and rainy day it was nice for both Baby M and I to have the extra body heat.  I could also keep us both dry using my umbrella without putting up any barrier between us or between Baby M and the animals.

I started to struggle around 2pm from carrying the excess weight.  Fortunately as my friend had a double buggy I got to have a short break from carrying and instead got to push. Half an hour later I was ready to go again.

Heading home during rush hour I abandoned my friends with their buggies so they could descend via the lifts and I joined the throng heading down the escalators. When a busy tube arrived I was grateful that I could squeeze in with Baby M.  With a buggy I would either have had to wait for an untold period for an emptier train or risk annoying half the carriage by forcing the buggy on.

When I finally walked through my front door ten hours after leaving home I was exhausted: my feet, shoulders and back hurt and I wanted a lie down, but I had made it.  A whole day out without my buggy.

After a day with the BabyBjorn what did I think of it?

It's simple to use, comfortable to wear and it was nice to wear a well known quality brand.

I enjoyed being able to communicate with my baby all day. She napped less than usual because there was so much going on, but she got to be involved: she could see what I could see. Despite being tired at times she stayed in a good mood. In fact the only time she really cried was when I put her in my friend's buggy for a break.

Yes my back was aching at the end of the day, but that wasn't surprising as I'm not used to carrying the extra weight around for so long (I had backache during pregnancy too).

Ideally I would like something (like the BundleBean) to wear over the top and provide an additional layer of warmth, dryness and to block out stimulation when she was tired. BabyBjorn sell a cover, but I've only seen this online.

The main thing that would stop me buying a BabyBjorn is how much longer I would be able to use it.  The carrier has 3 different positions to adapt for different size babies and I had Baby M in the lowest position (for babies up to 90cm and up to 11kg) which should theoretically last us for another year, but I'm unconvinced about how comfortable this would be for either of us.

The day out did convince me to investigate baby carriers further as they are definitely the best way for Baby M and I to enjoy activities together.


Looking at the fish with the neck support down
The BabyBjorn

4 comments:

  1. Haave you tried a ssc (soft structured carrier) like an ergo or manduca? They have much beetr support for your back and shoulders, also they have a better sort of seated position for baby to be in it looks more comfy to me! I love my ERGObaby but could not get on with a bb style carrier for more than a few hours :)

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  2. I really want to try one, but I can't afford to buy one if it isn't the right fit for me. Unfortunately we don't have a sling library near here. but I'm trying to set one up. I love baby wearing.

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  3. Me too! I am just getting to grips with woven wrap back carries, I know that the eastbourne sling library do postal hires I have borrowed from there. Roamy who runs it is really helpful http://s374929265.websitehome.co.uk/
    I know others do postal hires but I can't think of any off the top of my head!
    Have been trying to follow your blog but I can't see a follow button anywhere.

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  4. There is a sling library in Greenwich/Lewisham and there may be one closer to you. Check out slingmeet.co.uk for more details...

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