Thursday, March 24, 2011
Two Children Under Two: An Adventure in Babywearing!
In my personal opinion I think the hospital should send every family home with some kind of baby carrier when you have your second child. Don’t get me wrong I wore my first child too, but it wasn’t until I had my second child that I found out that babywearing was essential for everyone’s safety and well being.
Jason was born almost 18 months to the day after my daughter Lauren. Although I was thrilled to have two and relieved that getting pregnant the second time was easier than the first time I was a bit worried about how to meet the needs of a newborn and a very active toddler. I also worried that I would never leave the house again. How would I manage to have a life outside of the house and keep the kids safe? My toddler was use to getting out of the house and going to the park or some other energy burning outing everyday.
When Jason was a few weeks old I tried taking the stroller to the park but between the different surfaces, bark, sand, and grass as well as the swings, slide and other climbing equipment it was impossible to keep up with my toddler lugging a stroller. Leaving the stroller in one place to go help my toddler did not feel very safe. Wearing the baby on outings really allows me to feel free to follow my toddler all around the playground and to even pick her up and put her in a swing or help her climb up to the taller slide she likes. The baby is safer too, staying right next to me.
With my new found confidence I even enrolled Lauren in a mommy and me gymnastics class. This was a challenge because she needs some help staying with the group as well as doing some of the exercises and activities. I can’t lug a stroller across the work out mats so again the carrier solved my problem. Lauren is happy to be playing with her friends in class and Jason loves to be snuggled. One of the moms even said to me after about a month of class, “I don’t think I have ever heard your baby cry.” As Jason has gotten a little bigger I now often do a back carry because it gives me more reach and flexibility to help Lauren as some of the exercises have become a little harder. The receptionist said I was the pioneer at their gym. She had never seen someone wear a baby in a mommy and me class and now since I have done it she has 4 or 5 moms who wear their babies in the mommy and me class. I am often tired afterward, but so is Lauren and she often takes a longer nap on gymnastic days.
Having two small children can seem daunting, but with a good carrier, like an ERGO Baby Carrier, and some practice it is possible to keep your busy toddler engaged and stimulated and your newborn safe and happy. The added bonus is some good socialization with other mommies since you don’t have to sit on the sidelines. My advice is don’t be afraid to venture out with two kids. That first trip is a little scary but practice wearing the baby at home and picking up the toddler. Start with a short trip close to home, like a small neighborhood park. Enlist the help of friend or spouse the first time for moral support, but mostly just enjoy all the fun and zany moments with your wonderful children.
This was a guest post by Julie.