Transporting a kid

I’ve been meaning to write for a while about the rabbit hole that is…

(Cue spooky music, it is Halloween after all!)

Transporting a child.

Now, before I had a baby I had not given much thought to it. I assumed I would get a pram (or stroller as Americans call them, or buggy or pushchair as British people call them… so many names).

We went to the baby shows and we decided only the best for our unborn child!!!

Which was the eye-wateringly expensive Stokke Scoot. Now, almost two years on I still love Stokke. There’s some good old Scandinavian engineering there.

And the £700ish worth of pushchair has sat in our hallway for a year and a half and I estimate we have used it about 5 times.

Why? I hear you ask. (I mean, it’s such a tasteful shade of muted grey! I remember obsessing for ages about getting all the matching accessories!)

Well, we started out living in a one bedroom flat on the second floor (double height) which meant we had to walk up and down eight flights of stairs. And I had an emergency c section so I couldn’t really lift this 8kg thing in and out of the car boot very easily. And babies as it turns out are really small and very portable.

In that first shipment from the designer baby shop I thought I might as well chuck in a sling. That was mainly because it was grey with stars on, and that was kind of our motif.

First day we got back home and I went out to our local M&S food hall (because dammit mama needed soft rinded unpasteurised cheese!) and took baby B in the sling.

And it stuck.

Wore it for like three months and everyone commented how he was a dream baby, always sleeping on his mama. Because as it turns out, babies like to sleep on their mama. And I unexpectedly turned out to have one thing my defective body could actually do and that was breastfeeding. And breastfeeding is easier in a sling than a pushchair. And I live in London where everyone uses public transport and who wants to be lugging a giant pram on and off a bus or down steps and escalators to the tube?

We had months of freedom and we loved it. And my initial perception of slings as limited to hippy earth mothers turned into a slight feeling of – eek! Maybe I’m one of those!

At three-ish months he was getting a bit big and my shoulder was getting a bit sore so I decided to try a wrap. Wraps are just long pieces of material you tie to carry your baby. It’s easier as it moulds to your and your baby’s body and you can carry two shouldered, and they are super comfortable.

So I got my first wrap.

And then I discovered… high end babywearing.

Oh dear lord, if there isn’t a whole world of craziness. Turns out people will pay loads to get hold of pieces of material. And yet… they’re so pretty!

Reader, I fell down that rabbit hole.

Behold a phenomenon called “stash shot Saturday” – if you ever see #sss on social media and a pile of material, it’ll most probably be babywearing stuff.

And yet… it’s so pretty!

(Kid loves it too.)

The high end babywearing world is a completely other world. What you’re about to see is not even considered a big stash! It kind of is a bit of a phenomenon. Wrap manufactures do small releases and people have to bid for the chance to buy them. You might not even “win” an invoice! (A chance to pay hundreds for a piece of material!) People trade used wraps and they can even fetch retail or above retail prices (though the bottom has fallen out of the market in the last couple of years). It’s the only market I can think of where second hand stuff can potentially fetch what you paid for it. (I do think it’s a bit Emperor’s New Clothes at times but I only buy wraps that I can afford and that I like, so am potentially fine not getting any money back on them.)

So… #sss!

My pretties (bottom to top):

  1. My first wrap, Kokadi Diorite Stars size 6 (a common base size – it means you can do most carries with it). It wasn’t “High end” which means it wasn’t expensive. But I loved it. It’s 100% cotton and I learned to wrap with it.
  2. Kokoro mini ren Nero 6 – my second wrap. They’re quite rare. At that point I really wanted an entirely mono stash. But as you can see, things changed!
  3. Omnifera Heart Rock Montmartre 4 – I was desperate for this. For ages they only had one Heart Rock pattern. It is geometric mountains and it’s really gorgeous. This was limited to the Paris babywearing show. I couldn’t go but a friend bought it for me after I PayPal-ed her the money! Crazy. Was going down the rabbit hole at this point. Haha.
  4. Omnifera Heart Rock Aoraki 5 – this is the same pattern but different blend for summer and is very light blue. Most wraps have an inverted colour pattern on the other side.
  5. Woven Wings Eeyore RS (ring sling) – once B got to walking it turns out he prefers to be in and out a lot, and up and down. So RS are easier. This is my latest RS but I arranged the stash according to manufacturer! Woven Wings are a british brand and very big in the babywearing world. Their followers are called Winglets! They get a little fanatical!
  6. Woven Wings London RS – My first RS and not my last. Very early release. I think it’s cool.
  7. Kenhuru Valentine’s Sky Wedmid RS – I absolutely love this one. I was a fan of Kenhuru from the beginning as they’ve only been going about a year. I had a tester and got the bug. I loved this one but missed the release as I didn’t have funds. Then I got it in a mystery bag (where you pay a lot less but don’t know what you’re going to get). It’s a gorgeous deep red on one side and blue on the other. My favourite colours. The geometric pattern converges to make little bear icons which are really cool.
  8. Kenhuru Rok Starlight RS – I got this in a mystery bag when I already had Rok Starlight which was one of Kenhuru’s first releases. It was sort of a shame to get the same blend but I ended up using the RS a lot more than the wrap.
  9. Kenhuru Rok Starlight 4 – My first go at a shorter wrap. It’s a great workhorse and I didn’t worry about it too much as it wasn’t as expensive as the other high end wraps, so I actually ended up using it more.

B absolutely loves being carried and it’s a huge thing for me. Super healing I guess for things I didn’t even think I needed to heal from. (Infertility… loss… but also adoption. Giving birth to a biological child as an adoptee brings up a lot of emotions.)

It’s been a fun journey. I realised I have carried him pretty much every day since he was born. The only exceptions being the time I went on a work trip for a few days, and I really missed him. It’s a great thing and I like to think that and breastfeeding is giving us a good foundation for our future relationship. (Of course he may become one of those sulky teenagers but that’s almost a given, considering what a moody cow I am!)

When we went to see my bff overseas a few months ago, we finally realised we needed an alternative to babywearing. Babywearing is amazing and wonderful but when it’s 35 degrees C it can be a touch sweaty.

B has been a stroller refuser forever but even he agreed. I got him a horrendous cheap lime green extremely distasteful cheapie from the nearest baby shop, and he tolerated it! He always screamed the place down in the very expensive Stokke and demanded to be out and held. But in the sweltering heat, he decided he preferred to have his own air circulating rather than his mother’s sweat.

So the hunt was on for a decent occasional stroller!

Now I’m kind of a crazy obsessive when it comes to traveling light. I don’t really end up doing it but I have a love for compactness and one bag travel. I’m literally obsessed with rucksacks. (You lot call them backpacks.) I buy so many of them in the search for the perfect one. So of course I wanted to find a lightweight compact stroller for traveling and when we were somewhere hot and babywearing wasn’t practical. And for public transport etc in London where massive prams are just a pain.

Reader, I found it.

Behold… the gb (goodbaby) Pockit+. This is the new improved compact foldable buggy that is slightly bigger / heavier but has better features than the original Pockit.

Pretty much everyone in London either uses the Bugaboo Bee or the Babyzen Yoyo for their lightweight stroller. Which are both £300+ prams. It just didn’t appeal to me, partly because I don’t want to pay that much for something I won’t use very often and partly because I like to kid myself that I’m different.

Anyway, it’s great. Here it is next to my handbag so you can see it folds super compact.

My handbag is a small cross body bag so if you have a big handbag you could more or less fit it in there! Although it has its own bag (which also folds down into a little wallet size, which appeals to my sense of small travel stuff).

Here it is next to the Babyzen Yoyo. It doesn’t look like it because of the angle (it was at nursery) but it’s smaller than the Yoyo when folded. The Yoyo doesn’t have a carry bag and it just looks messier to me. But it does have a much larger basket underneath. It’s heavier too but most people aren’t obsessed with saving weight.

Anyway my point is that if you are in the market for a Yoyo or a Bee then you might consider a Pockit+. It comes with a rain cover too and bizarrely the kid – who hated the Stokke – loves to ride around in it and will climb into it by himself. It’s also easily washable as you just take the material off and shove it in the wash. I’m happy with it and it’s a lot cheaper than the Yoyo which is just as well as I spent like £1000 on the initial Stokke pram, car seat and bundle! (I guess it’s time to sell the barely used Stokke.)

So there you have it, my review of transporting my kid about. Caveat: There’s no right way. It’s just what works for you and your lifestyle. I’m a lazy mama who prefers to travel light rather than weigh myself down with everything that I might possibly need. I have friends who travel like pack horses. The plus being that they usually have what we need if we ever need it! (Uppababy devotees. Couldn’t fit through a single door but on the plus side they could probably camp out at short notice if they had to!)

I also have far too many thoughts on rucksacks but those will have to wait for another post. Believe me, I know you’re on the edge of your seat just waiting to hear about those! 😂

Advertisements

24 comments

  1. Betty

    I’m an Uppababy devotee and I hate backpacks! (But I do live in the suburbs) but I did get a structured carrier (Lillebaby) because I always saw myself as a babywearer. But my baby was born in June and the sweltering heat meant we stayed inside mostly and when we did travel, against my sweaty chest was not ideal. But recently I’ve been taken with the idea of wraps and I got a Solly baby yesterday. I’ve yet to try it out on my 4 month old 14 pounder but I’m hoping I love it. I’m hoping this will be my solution to solo shopping trips, etc. I can just slip her in the wrap and go. As much as I always thought i’d be such a babywearer, though, I always feel like I want her to see things and that’s why I like the stroller, so she can explore. But then we took her to a farm in the Lillebaby last week and she slept the whole time, so she liked that, too! Fingers crossed I love the Solly wrap!

    Like

    • Nara

      I think the Uppababy looks great if you have the space. We always joke with our friends about it. It’s like twenty times the size of their kid! 😂 And not to mention the iCandy and egg prams that some people have – they are huge. I can totally understand why people don’t babywear when it’s hot! Ours was born in winter so it was easy and actually nicer! I just bought a soft structured carrier (made from wrap scrap!) so I may end up joining that gang! I thought I would like it so I can back carry easier. I did a bit of back carrying with longer wraps but the toddler won’t tolerate my wrapping speed! We usually use ring slings the most so he’s sort of on one side a bit and can see quite easily, but for things like farms he’s definitely a walker!

      Like

  2. Hufflestitch

    We bought the Bugaboo Bee as our actual main pram and then a wrap plus a structured carrier (we used the Ergo 360). Alas, both carriers have now been put away as my 13kg, already half my height toddler (he turns 2 next month) has decided that he wants to walk everywhere or be carried without a carrier. I need to get out the ergo and try a back carry with him for our longer walks.

    Your wraps are sooooo pretty.

    Like

    • Nara

      My little is very small, about 8th percentile for height as of this week apparently. (I’m not obsessed and rarely measure but he was at the doc’s.) He’s about 10kg right now. I think because I’ve worn him since birth I’m just used to it! I just bought a new soft structured carrier (made from wrap scraps!) so I was thinking I would try that for back carries as I’m not great at back wrapping. I definitely prefer wrap / sling walks than buggy walks as we tend to do river walks and it’s nicer/easier than pushing a buggy! But I think it’s entirely dependent on where you live.

      Like

      • Hufflestitch

        Mine is just 50th pecentile but I am only 5 foot 1 inch myself so even back carrying his feet can kick the middle of my thigh 😂 we carried since birth too, makes things soooo much easier. We didn’t bother with a pram on our last few walks as he either wants to walk himself or ride his little trike.

        Like

      • Nara

        Ah bless! Yeah I’m only 5’2” so it doesn’t surprise me he’s little! Ours now loves pushing his baby doll in his pram or riding his scooter – currently set to ride on mode – not telling him yet that you can stand up to use it! 😂

        Like

    • Nara

      Ahhhh it’s a rabbit hole! You will find yourself obsessing about WQ (wear qualities!) haha. I am not super into it but I do enjoy it. My stash is considered miniature to most of the real obsessives! 😂

      Like

  3. pinksnow78

    Big sling fan here too. I could cry recently as F (aged 27 months) has started turning her nose up at back carries (She wants to walk everywhere!!) Upset at thought that I need to start thinking about selling/passing on my stash of wraps/carriers 😥😥

    Like

    • Nara

      Oh my gosh! Yes B would back carry last year but now he’s walking he pretty much only wants to do ring slings. Because they’re quick up and down. I just bought a soft structured carrier so I can try some back carries. Here’s hoping!

      Like

  4. silentmiscarriageloudthoughts

    So much to relate to! I also did all the research on a buggy, and it was my most expensive purchase. But while pregnant I did buy a Solly baby wrap for the early months and then a Lenny Lamb wrap conversion carrier to move on to.
    My daughter hated the buggy! It was so stressful trying to take her out in it, and bulky, and heavy, but I often gave it a go- bringing my Solly along to move her into when she’d clearly had enough. In hindsight, I don’t know why I even tried- maybe just because everyone else’s babies were in buggies? Life got so much easier when I gave up. I sold it, and bought a cheaper one for just in case. And after my daughter was about a year old we started to use it on occasion, but definitely still predominantly baby wear.
    I never got into woven wraps, although I’ve been tempted. I did end up buying a ring sling which we use heaps, and also a Tula wrap conversion toddler carrier.

    Like

    • Nara

      Yeah we just never got into buggies! I think babywearing is so much easier but I think maybe people think it looks complicated? A FWCC looks fancy even though it’s really quite straightforward. We definitely use RS the most now he’s walking, as it’s so much easier and quicker to do quick ups and downs! And he seems to really like them, especially WW Eeyore – he has expensive taste! (I think it’s just the linen!)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Nara

      It does fold up very small although it can be a wrangle to fold it up to its smallest fold! I really like it. There is an even smaller version called the Pockit (no +) which is even cheaper. It’s a bit narrower and the sunshade is a bit rubbish but it folds up tiny!

      Like

  5. tidleone

    Yep. I’ve had quite a few buggies: Baby Jogger City Select, Out and About Nipper, Apollo Obaby and finally a Bugaboo Cameleon with a lascal board that I bought 2nd hand for £30. By far my favourite for day time trips around time. I’ve had my far share of wraps and carriers. I started with Fabio, which I loved until they were 6 months or so, then there was my beautiful Ergobaby Petunia Pickle Bottom print and Connecta Sola. I’ve just hit the point where the twins are too heavy to carry on my back and sold all of my carriers. If I’d only had one child I would barely have used a pram.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dubliner in Deutschland

    We do a lot of baby wearing too! The first few months Mini would cry whenever we tried putting her into her pram! I think it might have had something to do with her reflux but also she just preferred to be held. So the wrap was so handy. And also easier for getting around on public transport like you say.

    Like

Tell us your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s