Tuesday, March 22, 2011

babies, babies, babies

I'm going to a baby shower in a couple weeks. It's for a new mom who is pregnant with her first precious little bundle {that they have waited a VERY long time for . . . the better part of a decade}. They are anxiously awaiting a day a couple months off when they will meet their new little one. One might imagine that since I've had so many babies, I'd know right away what the perfect shower gift would be. But, as it turns out, the more babies I have, the more I discover that babies really don't need much at all. A few simple pieces of clothing to keep them warm when it's cold, a big set of burp cloths {although any towel, old t-shirt or, often, your own shirt sleeve will work too}, stuff to eat {which, miraculously, can usually just come with the mom}, a place to sleep {which I discovered over the weekend doesn't always mean you need a crib, even}, some diapers and lots of love. Many retailers would have you believe there are long lists of other necessities, but I really don't think so. At this point in my parenting the only thing that I think I couldn't live without is a baby carrier {or two or three}. Oh, and a nuk! {but that has not been true with all my kids. A couple were quite attached to their thumbs, which can't fall out of your crib at night or get lost, but consequently is a little harder habit to break when the time comes!}

My kids do have toys and books and other "stuff", but with each baby I've gotten rid of more and more of the well-marketed baby "necessities" and have been happier, I think, with less of a collection of various baby paraphernalia. I do, however, currently have 5 different types/styles/models of baby carriers. And, although I'm not sure I need to have 5, I would be in big trouble without at least one. My favorite {at the moment} is a fleece sling that I use at least once a day {and so does Kirb despite the fact that it's rather girly looking -- he's cool like that}. I once had a dream that it got stolen out of my van. Really, I did. It was a terrible dream and in the dream I could hardly wait for the store to open up so I could replace it right away the next morning. But if I'm going to be wearing Sara for hours at a time, it really helps to have her weight distributed on both shoulders, so I also have a Moby wrap {basically an obscenely long piece of -- in my case, brown -- material that you wrap around your body and stick the baby in}. It's great, but a little more time consuming to put on and get loaded. I also have another non-fleece sling, that unfortunately is fitted and was purchased a few pounds {babies} ago and doesn't fit quite as well as it once did . . . I'm hopeful though that when the weather is warmer and the cozy fleece isn't quite as welcome, I will be down a few pounds and it will fit better. Then we have an Ergo baby carrier that I LOVE, although it's not my favorite way to carry teeny tiny babies. Ours is currently just home from Korea where it went with a family to pick up their new little daughter. Almost all babies in Korea are carried {from a really young age} on the backs of their caregivers, so they are used to that. This family didn't have a carrier with a back-carry option, so they borrowed ours. It should be back here soon and Sara will be riding along it in on many a walk to the park as quick as the last of the snow disappears and the rain stops. We also have a Kelty backpack that Kirb got me for my 26th birthday {which happened to be the same day we found out we were pregnant with Rebekah}. It's not my favorite any more, but it also comes in handy at times, and has escorted us on many a day at the state fair! {you can see so much more from up there then from in a stroller!}

Rebekah with Sara in the wrap {it fits ALL sizes, you see!}::
Me with Anna in the {currently ill-fitting} sling::
Anna watches field day at school on my back in the Ergo {while I enjoy a warm latte on a chilly day}::
Sara, exactly two weeks old, at the top of Barn Bluff in Red Wing. Oh, you don't see her there? Well, she's in the girly sling, of course::
Ok, thus ends my baby-wearing rambling for today. Find yourself a baby. Strap 'em on and go for a walk! Happy Spring!

If you're local, a great place to get a baby carrier is Peapods {one of my very favorite stores}. They will help you find which one is right for you and teach you how to use it/put it on and will let you try them all out in the store with your own baby or a really heavy doll that is about the size and weight of a baby about Sara's age {they also have a great website as well}. If you aren't local, I recently discovered a great mom-owned website that specializes in baby carriers. Heavenly Hold is another great resource if you're in the market for a carrier. Check them out!

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