I used to sleep in on holiday weekends
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19 Weeks & the Obligatory Halfway Point Meltdown

So the pregnancy. It continues.

The baby kicks, mostly at night, when I'm already struggling to find a comfortable position and properly position a pillow between my legs and huffing and puffing like I'm in the third trimester or something. My belly is small and round and (if I must say) rather cute and I like it. It's high and all in front, just like last time, although I still feel curvier everywhere, and hate the way my thighs look in photos. I've only gained a couple pounds, just like last time, and I had to work for them, forcing myself to eat every few hours and not fighting the second serving of strawberry shortcake Jason insisted I eat last night, and oh, but life is SO HARD.

I'm also wracked with the same sort of hand-wringing anxiety as I was last time -- this ever-nagging wait for something to go wrong, for the worst-case scenario to happen. The lack of weight gain, far from being any kind of HA AM AWESOME bragging right, was scaring the crap out of me, and I convinced myself that my belly was far too small for this far along and clearly the baby had some kind of growth problem -- we should have known from those early ultrasounds that consistently measured small! woe! fie! -- until I finally dug up a photo of myself from about the same point last time, and...oh. I look exactly the same. Never mind.

Dsc00276

One minute I refuse to let myself assume that we'll actually have a baby at the end of this, and the next minute I freak out because WE NEED TO ASSEMBLE FURNITURE! I HAVE TO ORGANIZE CLOSETS! GO GET THE SWING FROM THE ATTIC RIGHT THIS MINUTE SO I CAN GET THE SERIAL NUMBER AND SEARCH THE PRODUCT RECALL WEBSITES!

So. Yes. Also just like last time. Reruns! How boring!

In between the panic attacks, however, I've managed to spend quite a bit of time overthinking the few pieces of baby gear we need to purchase this time. Namely: slings/carriers and strollers.

EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ENJOY COMPULSIVELY OFFERING ADVICE RE: BABY GEAR PLEASE FEEL FREE TO WANDER AWAY NOW, BUT I KNOW THIS IS LIKE PORN FOR SOME OF YOU (AND MEEEEEE) SO THAT SORT OF PEOPLE SHOULD STICK AROUND.

Here's my current brilliant plan, and all I ask is that you be KIND when you rush in to point out its many flaws:

I'd like to avoid or, at the very least, put off a new stroller purchase for as long as possible. We made the mistake of buying a stroller while I was pregnant last time, after merrily wheeling it around the store for a few minutes. Not exactly a real-world road-test, when you're trying to drape a heavy diaper bag over the too-wide handles, or navigate over cracked pavement or through tiny city store aisles or fold and lift the damn thing while recovering from a c-section and lugging a 10-pound newborn in a carseat and ARRRGH I hated that stroller so very, very much.

(Peg Perego Aria XT, or something, in case you are curious. Our particular model was discontinued the following year. We picked it because it felt the lightest in the store, only to discover that once you load a baby and a bag onto it the front wheels would lift off the ground and you'd basically be trying to steer while stuck in a permanent wheelie mode. It folded flat but wide and was light but unwieldy and generally just sucked at existence.)

(After that we ordered some rugged European Bugaboo Wannabe called the i'Coo Infinity, sight unseen, because we became convinced that the crappy plastic wheels and lightweight frame on the Peg were the source of all our troubles. The thing weighed 400 fricking million pounds and would only stay folded if you took the time to buckle it shut and everywhere I went I left a path of destruction on either side of me because it was far too big to take anywhere that was not a wide open field, which is all the awesome online demonstration video had shown, ha ha suckers. Try wheeling it through the Gap and suddenly you're dragging three dresses and half the display of fabric belts behind you.)

So now we have a Maclaren umbrella stroller, the love of my life. Sure, it'll tip over if you leave your diaper bag hooked on the handles and remove your child, and the handlebars are starting to wear a bit and I'm not sure the brakes work so well anymore, but it folds up practically pocket-sized and you can sling it over your shoulder and I now every time I see a young, sleep-deprived couple out with a gigantic color-coordinated travel system that outweighs their newborn by a good 30 pounds I shake my head and give them six months before they realize that the crushing, pressing need to downsize totally trumps any prenatal belief that your preshus baybee needs to be surrounded by as much plastic and padding as possible at all times.

So. I plan to strap this next kid onto my body as much as possible for the first year or so. Noah honestly doesn't even ride in a stroller much anymore, and with a late October due date I'm thinking we can probably make it a good six months before the weather warms up enough to really deal with long outdoor two-kid activities that might require the use of a double or tandem stroller.

Thus, mah questions, for the four of you who made it through all that yakkity and are still with us:

1) Recommendations for a good newborn sling or wrap? One that is easy to figure out and would allow me to nurse while the baby is all snuggled in? I've been leaning towards the Moby but am a little concerned about how hot all that fabric might be in the DC humidity and also that I might be kind of too dumb for it, since I've seen mothers at the playgrounds with them and they're practically walking pieces of cotton origami and the kid is still dangling somewhat precariously off their body. Then there's the K'tan and Hotslings and all sorts of gorgeous homemade ones and wheeeeeeee, I'm off to silently rock in a corner now.

2) Recommendations for a six-months-and-up carrier? I know the slings promise to be so ultra-versatile you can carry your kid to college in them, but I still think I'd like a Bjorn or an Ergo for when I don't feel like swaddling up like a mummy. Plus, I know Jason would be more comfortable with something more...uh...buckle-ly and manly. We had a Bjorn last time but not, apparently, the RIGHT Bjorn, the expensive one with the back support, so it killed my back and Noah outgrew it in length awfully quickly. So I'm curious if anyone has used both the Bjorn and the Ergo, and which one you'd recommend.

And while we're at it, we might as well talk strollers too. Side-by-side doubles are just...no, for us, but I have still managed to come up with a frillion different possibilities. A literal frillion! True story!

3) Anyone have the Joovy Caboose? How do you like it out and about in the real world? Is it easy to steer? Noah really dug it at the store but alas, we've learned our lesson that linoleum does not really exist out in nature and the stroller aisles at Babies 'R Us are about four times as wide as a REAL store aisle and they do this on PURPOSE. Because it is all a RACKET and they HATE YOU. Also, is there really any difference between the regular and the lightweight model? Because neither one felt all that lightweight to me, frankly.

4) Jason saw a Phil & Ted's tandem stroller this weekend and fell in love on the spot, but I am loathe to spend that kind of money on YET ANOTHER GODDAMNED STROLLER MAKE IT STOP. Particularly since we just don't use a stroller that much, and I have all these Grand Plans Of Babywearing. But. I could possibly be talked into it, if it's the greatest stroller ever and makes all other strollers look like Hitler. Plus there's a local consignment store that always has the ultra-expensive strollers for sale, so between that and Craigslist I could probably get one used.

5) My OTHER grand idea is to just keep the Maclaren and attach one of those little wheeled platforms onto the back of it. The obvious downside is that Noah couldn't sit down, and I know that once he sees the new baby getting pushed around everywhere he may regress a bit and suddenly WANT to ride in the stroller. Or he might not, or he might constantly try to step off the platform and drive me insane and I'll wonder why I ever passed up the chance to have him buckled in with a 27-point harness or something.

6) Oh. And thoughts on a used Snap-n-Go? For any infant pushing emergencies? This was the one piece of baby gear we DIDN'T get last time and I really regretted it, but I wonder how useful it would be the second time around, since I certainly couldn't use it while out by myself with both kids. UNLESS! The wheeled platform works with it? But by that point maybe I should just get over myself and buy a new damn stroller already?

Okay. I think that's it. I remember that I will need 4,586,029 cloth diapers and about the same number of Soothies nursing gel pads; that there will be very little sleep and that there is nothing wrong with shoving a pacifier in a cryhole if you need to, unless you are okay with a non-hungry-but-screaming newborn using YOU as a pacifier for six hours at a time, and seriously, I let Noah do that to me at the hospital and even became FURIOUS when I found a pacifier in his bassinet after they brought him back from a checkup or something, but then again the hospital lactation consultant came in, took a peek at my bloody butcher's-counter nipples and said yep, everything looks okay here! and then sent me home.

Oh, and the hospital now has a whole new wing with private rooms, so I will not have to deal with someone else's diarrhea and the endless drama that it can cause.

(SHE WOULDN'T FLUSH THE TOILET BECAUSE SHE WANTED THE NURSE TO LOOK AT HER RUNNY POOP FOR SIGNS OF INTERNAL BLEEDING. THE TOILET THAT I HAD TO USE AS WELL.)

Oh God. I kind of repressed that one. Quick, assvice me up, babies. Help me spend my non-existent money before I wonder what exactly I have gotten myself into here.

Comments

Josh

Ok, a comment about the best sling you can get!...

Sonia @ willowpixie.etsy.com made us a sling. She makes great slings out just about any sturdy fabric you like. They are about the same price as the mass-produced ones, but are some much more comfortable.

It is counter-intuitive... the wierd high-tech padding on the mass-produced ones should make them comfortable, but the complete lack of padding on the ones from willowpixe allow you to fan out the fabric and spread the weight of the child over your arm, sholder, and back. I was able to carry my son until he got to about 25 lbs.


Hope

Let me preface this by saying I'm not a mom and don't plan to be one , BUT I've got lots of friends who have kids and they love this independent shop in Madison, WI which has online ordering. Everything is earth friendly/organic and super cute too. I don't work for them or anything but thought I'd pass it along because they have some of the carriers you're taking about, the wraps, and they looked REALLY comfy for mom and baby, plus fashionable and I'm told very easy to use.

http://www.happybambino.com/page.asp?pgid=150001

Rhianna Finnegan

Joovy-pretty sure you get the point but, MUST HAVE ORGANIZER cannot live without cup holder for keys, hot wheels and various flotsam and jetsam..
and bjorn um love it, love it so much would marry it, except, now, kids are too old and is of no use to me, but it was wonderful, everyone I knew recommended it. R

Allison

Delurking to say: If you like gadgets, get all three. Try Craigslist for the Snap-n-Go. Here is my reasoning:

1) Used a Bjorn from the first week my second son was born. Loved; used very very often. But sometimes I just didn't want to carry the baby, much as I loved having a delicious-smelling, fuzzy baby head 'neath my nose -- when I went grocery shopping, for example. Some instances call for a stroller.

2) Had the Joovy. It filled the bill. It was great for "big" trips -- the zoo, the mall, the park. However: It is not only physically big (it's kind of the stroller's version of a minivan), but also mentally big. There were times when I simply could not face hauling it out, or into the car, or whatever, and so changed my plans accordingly.

(Side note: My mother, who babysat my kids, had a Maclaren side-by-side double stroller, which she claims was much easier to maneuver than the Joovy.)

3) Which brings me to the Snap-n-Go. Since I got the Joovy and had a Bjorn, I didn't get the Snap-n-Go, and I lived to regret it. I made my situation work, but I will not lie and say that there were times when I wished I could have just snapped that lil' sucker together and had my older one walk.

Jody

I used a Moby and loved the comfort but hated getting all wrapped up (I am short so felt like the material picked up all kinds of lint/dog hair/whatever on the floor in the wrapping process! Plus, forget about wrapping in public where who KNOWS what you'd pick up from the floor!) For my next (whenever that is) I am really excited to use the My Baby Nest. It wears like the Moby but is two loops that you just slide into place over your shoulders/chest, and then it has an adjustable belt thingy. I haven't used it with an actual baby yet but know people who have and loved loved loved it.

Just be careful if you google it to get the website because there is also some kind of nursing pillow called something similar that I always seemed to come up with before getting to the right place...

Good luck!

amanda

We bought the Ergo baby carrier with infant insert.

And then I had a 9 lb., 6 oz., 22 inch baby, and NO.

In order to use the insert, you have to roll the baby into it like a burrito and position him sideways in the carrier. I could tell this was an uncomfortable way to be held, but my son's constant whining and crying confirmed it. In the end, I think he was too small to use the carrier without the insert but at the same time too big to use it with it.

Someone gave us a Bjorn and it works like a charm. No whining or crying. Maybe if you have a bigger kid, the Bjorn is better. I dunno. No matter how much we adjusted the Ergo, the baby complained, but first time out with Bjorn and he loved it.

We also hated the Ergo for the lame, hippy-teenage-moms-breastfeeding-their-kids instructional DVD. But that's beside the point...

ann

I bought a "lucky baby" sling off ebay. They're washable cotton and have a built in pocket and come in all sorts of cute patterns. The slings that you have to tie around yourself suck -I could never get the hang of them. I never tried to nurse in the lucky baby sling, though.

I will totally second the maclaren umbrella stroller thing. There is no other way to go IMHO. You can steer it one-handed, fold it one handed, it's light, yet built solid. I don't know what to tell you about double strollers. Hey - can you put Noah in the sling and baby in the maclaren? Some of the Maclaren umbrellas will lay flat for bitty babies.

Your belly is CUTE!

Heidi

I've had the Infantino sling rider, Bjorn original, Bjorn Active, and an Ergo.

I was very sling resistant when my daughter was born, had this paranoid fear that she would fall out or I would accidentally dump her out. My mom got us the Infantino because it had a way to “secure” the baby. I loved it, my daughter loved it. I could take her anywhere and she would stay warm and snuggly without having to bundle her up. (she was born late November and we live in the Midwest). Nursing her was easy with the Infantino. The only downside was that she was a long baby, so she outgrew it kind of quickly. (http://www.infantino.com/Carriers/151-210.php)

The Bjorn original was a back nightmare for me. When my daughter was 3 months old we tried the Bjorn original, and I lasted maybe 15-20 minutes with her in it, before my back felt like it was burning. She weighed about 12 pounds at the time. To be fair, I do have sciatica, which was most definitely a factor, but it was never a problem with the Infantino. My husband could not use the Bjorn at all. He has very broad shoulders and chest and the Bjorn straps would not fit correctly on him.

The clerk at Babies ‘R Us suggested the Bjorn active, as it had lumbar/back support. It was definitely better than the original, but it was still hard on my back. Additionally, by the time my daughter was 5 months old she did not like being in the Bjorn at all, so we barely used it. I know people who swear by the Bjorn, but for us it just did not work out.

I first heard about the Ergo on Arwen’s blog, and she gave it such a rave review, that I decided to give it a try. I ordered it online (did not get the infant insert as I did not need it), and OMG is it the best thing ever. I have walked around the Zoo for hours with her in it and nary a twinge from my back (she is currently 18 months and 26 lbs). I use it when traveling and I honestly wonder how people travel with a baby/toddler without one. It makes getting around an airport so much easier. There is a small zipper pouch in the front that is perfect for holding our IDs, boarding pass and some $$$. I wear it on the plane so both she and I can sleep (we usually take early morning flights so she is more inclined to want to sleep) and I do not have to worry about my arms getting tired. My husband even uses it, and he has had no problems either. It is incredibly easy to use, and very easy to put on and off (and get the child in and out) without help.


The only “downside” is that they cannot be forward facing in the front. However, my daughter has never complained, in fact she gets excited when she sees one of us putting the Ergo on.

Anyway, there is my experience with various carriers :)! Congrats and good luck!

Susan

We have a Joovy Caboose Ultralight and really love it. My son was 2 1/2 when our daughter was born and didn't really like to sit in the stroller anymore. He loves being able to switch between standing & sitting.

There is about a 10lb difference between the regular and ultralight, and the ultralight has a bigger canopy. I'm pretty small & feeble, but I can still fold and lift it easily. Fully loaded it's not as easy to steer as some, but for a double stroller it's not too long and is fairly narrow.

Oh, and as someone above said, do order the organizer -- it's nice to have the cup holder and extra storage space.

Melanie

I'm delurking for the first time ever because a) I love my Ergo (which I've used regularly for my son since he was four months old; he's 13 months today), b) I HATE my Bjorn -- and we have the one with the super duper back support. Somehow, the straps still dig into my shoulders, no matter what. But you've heard all of that before -- what I wanted to recommend is the Peekaru vest (formerly the Nori). It zips up over you and the babe, allowing you to zip the thing up your neck (important for me in NYC when I didn't want to wear a scarf that would fall right on my son, nor did I want a cold neck) and the baby's head to pop out where it should. Everyone stops me to ask about it on the street when I wear it, and I really loved it this past fall, winter, and spring -- you can throw on a jacket over it if it's super cool, but oh, it's fabulous. Seriously. http://www.togetherbe.com/default.aspx

Melanie

I'm delurking for the first time ever because a) I love my Ergo (which I've used regularly for my son since he was four months old; he's 13 months today), b) I HATE my Bjorn -- and we have the one with the super duper back support. Somehow, the straps still dig into my shoulders, no matter what. But you've heard all of that before -- what I wanted to recommend is the Peekaru vest (formerly the Nori). It zips up over you and the babe, allowing you to zip the thing up your neck (important for me in NYC when I didn't want to wear a scarf that would fall right on my son, nor did I want a cold neck) and the baby's head to pop out where it should. Everyone stops me to ask about it on the street when I wear it, and I really loved it this past fall, winter, and spring -- you can throw on a jacket over it if it's super cool, but oh, it's fabulous. Seriously. http://www.togetherbe.com/default.aspx

AEMom

The only comment I will make about a carrier or sling is that my youngest son wanted to be carried ALL THE TIME and I am not exaggerating the caps in the slightest. I got fed up and bought a carrier. He screamed like I was stabbing him everytime I tried to put him in it. So I had to return it and carry him in my arms or put him in the stroller. My point: you may have no choice but to get a stroller if yours is anything like that. But hopefully the Gods will smile on you. Only buy these things where you can return them if they don't work out. Thankfully I could return my carrier.

Kirsty

OOOH we love talking about our baby swag even more than our marriages!
1) Carriers - Bjorns (even the expensive one) sucks. Baby Trekker RAWKS. And if you'll refer to www.babytrekker.com you'll see just how manly this sling is - Jason can watch football with all his man friends with baby casually strapped to his front - there's even a pocket for chips/beer. But seriously, I carried my son in this until he was WAY too old and his legs hung down to my knees and it just generally kicks it ergonomically speaking. I cannot say enough about it. If I could I would marry my baby trekker & make new easy-to-transport baby trekker babies.
2) Strollers - how 'bout the Valco with toddler attachment? (www.valcobaby.com/2006/toddler)
I don't own one (yet) but have accosted several unsuspecting strangers who, while unsettled at my demand for feedback, were enthusiastic about their stroller (the toddler seat folds out of the way when it's not in use and it means Noah's not staring at baby's ass-print)

Robbi

Well I don't have any advice for you, because I'm in the same situation exactly. Second pregnancy.. need stroller, car seat, etc but am putting the purchases off due to laziness. And OMG, I am freaking out JUST like you with the "ahh my belly! why is it this small at 17 weeks??" We must be crazy.

lizziescrumb

If you make it this far down your assvice comments I have some for you!

I did the same dumb thing, bought a way impractical stroller while pregnant because it was cute. Someone gave me a Baby Pouch (www.babypouch.biz) and it's way stretchier and user friendly than a Moby Wrap and my swaddle loving daughter loved it. There is a learning curve, though, so you're supposed to wear the baby in it starting for 3 minutes and gradually increase the time. At the sling clinic I went to the wrap style slings were very much recommended for littles. Some people do feel claustrophobic in them, but I didn't, and that's saying a lot. It actually felt good on my belly and back - without the sling it just felt like all my stuff was oozing out. I also had a biggish baby by c section and it didn't bother my incision at all - it felt good to have the snug support. Bjorn hurt my back and the baby hated it.

I had the pouch style (New Native, hotsling) carriers early on and they freaked me out with a squishy newborn. There was a disclaimer on the package too, about making sure the baby could breathe and suffocation hazards and that was enough to make me put them away til I could wear her in a hip carry when she was older. That was great fun.

Now, at 14 months, when she will deign to be carried, or is teethy/sick/clingy, we rock the Mei Tei Babyhawk, but that's down the road for you.

ALSO? If you have a compatible bucket seat? TROLL CRAIGSLIST AND GET A USED SNAP AND GO OMG LIFESAVER JUST POP SLEEPING CHILD INTO STROLLER FRAME WITHOUT WAKING UP CHILD IS PORTABLE IN EARLY DAYS YOU CAN GO TO STARBUCKS AND NOT WAKE CHILD UP GETTING IN AND OUT OF CAR WORTH EVERY PENNY BUY USED ON CRAIGSLIST TROLL CRAIGSLIST TIL YOU FIND ONE DID I SAY THAT ALREADY IF YOU DON'T DO IT I'M FUCKING SENDING YOU ONE.

Oh, speaking of sending?

Can I send you and Jason mine and my husbands almost new Hotslings? I'm sure they're within your guys' weight/height ranges. Mommy's is black, size 3 (I shrunk it a little because the 2 was too snug), and Daddy's is a khaki sage green, size 7 (my husband is tall and broad shouldered).

I've tried to Craigslist them but no one wants to buy them from me and you're the only one I can think of that deserves them. Please? www.hotslings.com - check it out and see if you'd be interested in them. I'd be overjoyed to send them to you guys.

lizziescrumb

Oh p.s. I'm not a weird stalker freak or gross either. They're super clean, good as new, and in fact, one still has the original packaging and BONUS! Tutorial DVD. How can you say no?

DebbieS

Hands down, the Maya Wrap Pouch. I am too stupid to figure out how to use a "tail" of fabric as a nursing shawl, and the pouch was the perfect solution. You slip it on like a Miss America sash and you're good to go! In fact, I think I still have mine, if you want it. It's sort of navy/cobalt/green striped. Just email me =)

Lisa M

We ended up using a combination of things because I don't think there's one perfect product. With a 2 year old and an infant I used a run-of-the-mill baby carrier (but I hated it because it hurt my back and made me too hot, but was good for when the baby was fussy), and had 3 strollers. We had a Graco something or other stroller that converted from a flat interior for an infant to a sitting position for older babies and toddlers. We also had an umbrella stroller as a back up for the 2 year old. And I had a side-by-side jogging stroller for long walks, the park and light hiking. I loved the jogging stroller! We found that we could use it at the mall when it wasn't busy, but one person had to stroll around while the other shopped in tightly packed stores, and we could push it around in grocery stores when they weren't busy. Basically, we had 3 strollers in the trunk of our car for a while. I think the biggest reason for a stroller or strollers is to have a place to restrain your kids when you have to deal with other things. Otherwise, I didn't shop with both the kids for several years. My husband and I would trade off shopping trips or I'd shop on weekends when he was home. Two kids can be like having 40 kids when they are both going in different directions in a store!

Amber

I have not read the other 215 comments, because SHE ASKED FOR MY OPINION! so I need to post before you shut this nonsense down. ;-)

I bought a sling from a work-at-home mom and LOVE it. A friend or two have Mobys and they never ever use them- I tried it out once and it was too hot for Iowa summmers (wrapped up like a burrito with a heat-generating body next to mine in lots of layer of fabric when it's over 100 every day? I think not!)

Anyway, I chose a 100% cotton fabric- I see lots of men using a black sling around here and no one looks twice- and it was really very easy to get the hang of. The advantage of buying from a local WAHM is that they'll take the time to give you a tutorial with your own baby if you ask for it- which I recomend because it's versital in suprising ways. I got a hole in one on minigolf while nursing using mine, and used to mall walk and nurse all the time with it and none of the old people knew what was going on. And we weren't the most adept breastfeeders you've ever met- but the sling made it a lot easier. We still use it, btw, and she's now a year old, and I'll continue to use it until she's walking everywhere.

And, it is the only way to get around in the mall! I have yet to meet a stroller that lets you get around in even the babys stores.
Good luck!

jayme

Definately get the Sit-N-Stand Deluxe. It is awesome! I can actually get all three of my kids on it. One in the baby seat, one sitting and one standing. It folds up easily, doesn't weigh a metric ton and I've had it for about a year and it's still in good shape.

As far as slings... get a Kangaroo Korner microfleece sling. I have a "tiny" obsession with slings, and spent a fortune on about 10 different ones. All of which ended up on ebay, because they SUCK. The Kangaroo Korner one is amazing. Just pop baby in the pocket and go. It's stretchy, comfy and has a million rows of snaps so you can fine tune the fit. I carried my Marah in it from birth to now, and at a whopping 24 pounds at 11 months, it still fits and looks great.

Good luck!

schoolofmom

Okay, I have and love the Maya Wrap. Hated the Nojo. But the Baby Trekker is AWESOME and bonus! My husband will actually use it! He refuses to even try a sling because "they look all squishy and I know they were squished in utero but there's a reason they were BORN and plus I feel claustrophobic just looking at him OMG." The Baby Trekker has enough buckles and straps to appeal to his masculinity, and I could also nurse while wearing mine.

Alicia

Your baby belly is prescious! you look so cute! Don't know anything about slings and strollers yet, but I hope to be joining you in the whole baby shopping thing soon!

emily

1. I used a hotsling pouch when Ben was a newborn. It was great when we discovered that he was colicky, as it was one of the few ways he would stop crying and I could actually get some things done. After he got too big for that we moved to a babyhawk mei tai. I still use it, and can carry either kid on my back with it (30-ish pounds). When I used it with Ben on my front he nearly always fell asleep which was nice.

For strollers, I used the snap and go whenever Claire was in preschool, and it helped considerably. It's light and has a huuuuuge basket. We used a Valco twin runabout (still do for long outdoor outings for when Claire gets tired of walking) and love how it handles, and it has served us really well. I have heard great things about the P&T, and they have a great resale value, so you really can't go wrong there if you like it. If I'd been able to examine one and see them in use as much before I had Ben as I have since, I probably would have gotten that instead, although I do like that with the Valco I can glance down and see both of them. Plus it came with great little sleeping bag thingies, so the kids stayed warm in cold weather.

Alright, I am now covered in stickers, so time to get off the computer I think.

Jennifer

I am due on 9/26 with my first (boy). My question to you is.... do you like your Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag? Would you buy it again? I love the style but don't want to get stuck with stylish minus function, you know? Any help you could give would be appreciated. Thanks!

Brian

On the carrier front: We started with the standard Bjorn and moved up to the Ergo when our daughter got a bit heavier.

The Ergo was my wife's favorite, by far. She loved it. I gave it an A+ too.

Ramona

Jennifer, about the Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper Bag? I bought one for my sister when she was expecting her first. She just HAD to have that bag. I was worried that the exterior would get dirty, but, as she put it, she doesn't go around slinging her nice designer bags willy-nilly, so why would she treat her designer diaper bag any different?

She loved that thing, but she did eventually upgrade/downgrade to something roomier and a little more durable. But, on those "special occassion" outings with her baby she always switched to the Petunia.

So, if you've got your heart set on one, I think you should go for it. Just smile when your husband rolls his eyes because you need something a little more substantial later on...

Mary

Don't have a second one yet, but did use the moby and an ellaroo lightly padded ring sling. I nursed many times in the ring sling and once or twice in the moby. I typically used my ring sling daily. The moby just took longer to get on and off, though you could get all tied up before you left home and "pop" baby in and out to do various errands. I did not use my stroller much until my baby was almost six months old (in November - trying to put a baby in a coat into a sling while you are also wearing a coat is beyond me). Maybe if you're a larger person it works out better, but I'm 5'2" and about 105 normally, so trying to fit a six month old infant in a sling under my coat never worked out for me. I'm very short, so I think I would have trouble nursing in the ergo/beco type carriers, but now I'm intrigued about the back-carrying options. She probably wouldn't go back to being carried now anyway...

Barbara

Have the Zooper Waltz for our 7-week-old, and love it. Doesn't tip over, isn't too heavy, seems to fit everywhere. Unfortunately it's really hard to find in stores -- we had to order online -- but we got it anyway because it was so well-reviewed and it's lived up to its reputation.

Sarah

I have the light weight version of the Joovy Caboose and LOVE it. I have a 4 y/o and 1 y/o and have had it for about 5 months now. Make sure you get it with the organizer.

Audrey

The things I love (and wish I would have bought before I spent money on other things that now languish in the nether reaches of storage):
- Ergo! (of course, you'll need the infant insert for it if you plan on using it with a newborn)
- Hotsling! (go to a retailer that sells them to get fitted - I would have bought the wrong size if I'd ordered mine based on the on-line sizing stuff.)
- Hooter Hider - loved it 'till the wee one learned to lift it up. But, much easer than a blanket for public nursing.

Jennifer

Ramona: Thanks for the advice!

I think I will go for it. :-)

Tere

Like Julia said 219 comments ago, I recommend a ring sling without padding. I LOVED my Maya wrap.

Also, that's a high belly you got there - so my guess is it's a girl.

denise

Dude, I just got a double stroller and LOVE it. The new line of BABY PLANET strollers. We got the sport utility double and it handles like a single stroller. Both of my babes fell asleep in it, if that says anything! LOVE it. Seriously, I absolutely recommend it. I'm 5'2" and it's fabulous! Better than the Maclaren and Joovy. We also have a Joovy which is nice when my husband is with us, but when its just myself and babies out and about, the Baby Planet is just awesome. I'll even send you a photo of the monkeys sleeping in it if you want.

denise again

here's the link to the Baby Planet stroller.. http://store.babycenter.com/product/strollers/double+strollers/unity+sport+double+stroller.do?asc=false

I got it in Red Tech for a steal on Ebay!

denise again again

I should also mention that I got over my mental block (my husband still has his, of course!)of the safety harness ie, LEASH, and picked up a really cute monkey "backpack" with a "tail" (leash) at Target for $10 so that O could walk if he wanted without taking off on me.

Beth

OK. Taking into consideration that my baby is 6.5 years old (sigh), here is the advice I have to give.

I only used the Bjorn. Katie was born Dec. 31, so we didn't go anywhere really until she was 2 or so months old, and could hang in the Bjorn. I didn't nurse or even attempt to nurse her, though.

We also did not buy a double stroller, which was probably our smartest decision EVAH. Our oldest was 2.5 when Katie was born and I just didn't see the point in buying yet another stroller when in six months, he wouldn't want anything to do with it.

So until March or so, I pushed Kyle in the stroller and wore Katie. Then Katie got the stroller and Kyle was a Big Boy Who Got to Walk Everywhere. (Trust me, that works.)

So there you go. We didn't even have a fancy travel system stroller. We had a carseat. We had a stroller. The end.

girlplease

What Ice Age did you live in that you had to share a room with THE POOPER? Jeese. Might as well give birth on a Peruvian bus with a goat.

ikate

Loved the Hotsling - got one in basic black and hubby and used it almost exclusivly for 10 months. She slept and nursed in it. Now at 21 months she still loves it and we use that or she walks. She hates the stroller. We have a back-support Bjorn but it barely got used.

Got a snap and go for $5 at a garage sale and it was a life saver during the first 6 months of hauling that damn carseat around. It's the only of the THREE strollers we've ever really used.

My sister had one of those rider boards for her 3 year old daughter and she hated it.

koz

I didn't read the other comments (annoying, eh?), but I just wanted to say the Phil & Ted's strollers creep me the hell out. I mean, it feels like you're literally shoving the younger kid into the storage basket. And you have to bend down there to tend to it every time? Not to mention the less than pleasant view for the poor thing.

Also, Snap-n-Go = great. Double wide strollers = nightmare. Me = opinionated mom of an only with no personal experience using either of those.

lizziescrumb

Oh, don't waste your money on a Bebe au Lait f/k/a Hooter Hider. Most babies don't like to have their heads covered and quickly figure out how to wave the fabric around which IME is more attention grabbing than just having your boob out. The most genius thing ever created for nursing inconspicuously is also stupidly named but BRILLIANT - Google "Slurp n' Burp nursing cover". So great!

jen

holy moly...like you are ever going to get to my advice with the numbers you already have...i couldn't look at all of them...so i might be repeating...sorry.
i have a maya wrap. easy to use (once you get comfortable). i still use it constantly with a one year old. hands free parenting.
tried NUMEROUS sit/stand type strollers. the joovy didn't give my older daughter ANY room to sit down when the infant seat was reclined. it poked her in the back. i ended up with the sit n stand from baby trend. i really like it.
hope that helps!

ohkwarimama

OMFG! so you HAVE to go this website if you haven't already
www.mamatoto.org
i already knew about baby wearing when I had my son, but the site had little videos on different carries i hadn't seen before, it was great.
We didn't get a stroller until our boy was a year old, and then it was only really for jogging until he turned 2 and officially was fucking heavy. I wouldn't get the moby b/c it's that jersy stuff and that shit is hot in DC.
WHat you should get is 5 yards of loosely woven cotton or linen fabric, think gauze. You wrap baby onto you in that and it's great. Be sure it's natural/breathable and that if you tug at it on a diagonal (to the weave) it will stretch, but not be stretchy when you pull in line with the weave, those mobys are too fucking stretchy and it's hard to get them snug. I found that a sling and nursing hands free do not go together, everytime you bend down or lean forward the baby swings away from your body, plus the baby slouches and slides down in those things. You should research baby wraps online, there are probably baby wearing classes you could take in DC. You can buy expensive wraps, but all you really need is 5 yards of cloth that is 30 to 40 inches wide. You can do a front carry that snuggles baby against you and not only can you nurse, but you can pull the wrap over, so no one knows your nursing. when the baby is able to hold up it's head well you can switch to a back carry that is high on your back and lets the baby look over your shoulder. I look care of another baby when my son was 6-9 month, i would tie him on my back and wear the little baby on the front and we could go for walks or shopping etc. My son is 3 now, so I know how busy you are, and how they are...slow walkers. SO keep your umbrella stroller and use a wrap for the baby for a year, by then Noah might not want to sit in a stroller anymore and then you can get a little standing platform for him just in case. check out www.mamatoto.org AND google babywearing!

Wyatt and Lily's Mom

I have the Joovy, it is great for walks around Minnesota lakes (once the damn snow melts) I find it too big for shopping and you can't get at the basket underneath to save your life. And as others have pointed out NO CUPHOLDER what kind of crazy ass design is that? I am a new mother, that means no sleep and lots of iced lattes. How am I supposed to push a two year old and a baby around the lake with one hand?!?!?!

kelly

Hotsling: wonderful for the newborn phase. I use it a lot around the house; great way to keep baby close, which she likes, while retaining the use of both hands. It also extends her naps. Plus it's teensy enough to toss in the diaper bag.

Moby Wrap: got one used and really like it. The wrapping takes a bit of practice but is not that hard, really. I promise. It's more comfortable than the one-shouldered Hotsling for walks, I find. It also extends naps.

I have not managed to nurse in either of these. I spray milk like the dickens and need more room to adjust baby.

For long walks, I use the carseat & stroller frame combo. We have the Maclaren Easy Traveller, which is their version of the Snap N Go. We love it and we don't even have a car. Based on your advice, I want to wait until (currently 7.5 weeks old) baby is older to get a real stroller.

I want an Ergo but after skimming these comments I am also curious about the Baby Trekker. Hmmm.

We also have an Infantino Snugrider (a gift) and I hate it. My husband doesn't mind it, but it hurts my back after ten minutes. HATE.

aadrw

Hiya,

We were just gifted with a Zooper side-by-side (oldest is 16 months old, newest is 8 weeks old). It's small enough width-wise to go down an aisle in the store. We were also given a Graco double (big kid in front, infant in the back) and it's like driving a limosine -- so very long and unwieldy.

Ruth

I don't have a baby (yet), but I am eyeing the Sleepy Wrap as seemingly better than the Moby.

Maddy

Well it's along time ago for us but I sold my soul for a double [second hand] stroller [not the side by side kind, but the one behind the other kind] and then that was perfect for the little platform for the third one - it pays to think ahead you know!
Cheers

Tiffany

I love our Joovy Caboose,, we haven't had any problems wheeling it around at horse shows on dirt and stones.. It's not my other stroller that is no longer made by graco, but it hauls the little ones around..

Melissa from Pittsburgh

okay ... been checking our your blog for some time waiting for my opportunity and something witty and charming to say - WELL that's not gonna happen - so here's some advise. The NURSING/carrier I bought was horrible - wish they had more options then my Wild Child - cluster fed (at least that is what the doc called it) - nursed for hours on end then slept for hours on end! SOOOO ... point ...

Flotsam http://flotsamblog.com/ likes this! and it does look super cool! http://www.babyktanproducts.com

I wish I had a blog to spew all of my hormonal rage when I was all crazy, I was VERY crazy - INSANE - I didn't realize it was hormonal that is how insane I was! I needed to VENT!! I love your blog! I can so relate to what you are experiencing!

Lori

1)I love my Ergo. It is great for a baby 6 mths plus. Requires some getting used to in order to manage getting baby on your back by yourself. But once you get the hang of it it's awesome. also, you might consider the infant insert in case the sling doesn't work out. 2)Buy the snap n go. I found one at babiesrus on sale for $30.00 when I realized our chosen stroller was a huge mistake. The sling or carrier is good but when getting in and out of the car in winter or if baby is asleep you won't want to have to take him or her out of the car carrier to get them into the sling. Guess how I know? If you can get a used one buy it. Best money ever spent on a baby item hands down. 3.) I'm not sure if you mean cloth diapers as burp cloths or in place of disposables. If it's the former I highly recommend Motherease fitteds (Sandy's). Not fancy but great work horse diapers that don't cost a small. fortune.

lindsay

Okay, so I can't read the 250 billion comments before mine about strollers and slings. I just can't.

So, here's my 2 cents...LOVED my Snap 'N Go, but I only have 1 kid, so I don't know how it works for a 2nd. We literally only used it until he was out of his infant carrier.

I made a Mai Tai (not the drink, the carrier, although looking back, maybe I should have just made the drink) and only wore it a few times. He was over 6 months old and it worked fine, until I tied it too tight and cut off circulation in his legs. I was in Old Navy thinking, hmmm...why is he screaming? He's not hungry. He's not tired. I don't get it. Um, his legs were blue. So that scared me away from ever using it again.

So, I'm not any help at all, I guess, but I felt the need to weigh in.

lindsay

Okay, so I can't read the 250 billion comments before mine about strollers and slings. I just can't.

So, here's my 2 cents...LOVED my Snap 'N Go, but I only have 1 kid, so I don't know how it works for a 2nd. We literally only used it until he was out of his infant carrier.

I made a Mai Tai (not the drink, the carrier, although looking back, maybe I should have just made the drink) and only wore it a few times. He was over 6 months old and it worked fine, until I tied it too tight and cut off circulation in his legs. I was in Old Navy thinking, hmmm...why is he screaming? He's not hungry. He's not tired. I don't get it. Um, his legs were blue. So that scared me away from ever using it again.

So, I'm not any help at all, I guess, but I felt the need to weigh in.

Elizabeth

I looooved my Maya Wrap with baby #3. I admit, it came with a video (which can be intimidating), but it was so, so versatile and I could get my son off and on me and in and out of crib/carseat/stroller while he was asleep without tearing off a leg or something. Also, we used it in different "wrap" styles until he was nearly three.

Sarah

I don't know much about slings and baby carriers, which is at least 110% because I don't have any children, HOWEVER:

Adventures in Babywearing (http://www.adventuresinbabywearing.com/) is a blog written by a woman who swears by it. She writes about the pros and cons of a few different types of slings and shows pictures of her children in them so that you can get the idea of how suitable they are for different ages. Recently she held some sort of mini-carnival encouraging mothers who use slings and carriers to show pictures of and discuss their preferences.

So go check it out, it might help! =) Good luck!

nava

well, my son loved the Moby...one time. the one time that the lactation consultant wrapped us up in it and he fell asleep. dh and I never got the hang of it again and at this point I'm going to sell it because the boy hates being restrained. That said, it gives some nursing privacy! I have three slings; a hotsling that baby has grown out of (or I just got too fat. or both) a similar sling I bought online that is all organic cotton with NO GIVE, which is annoying, and one I made myself based on the no-give version but with slightly stretchier cotton which works well for us. I also have a hip-carryover-the-shoulder carrier that I got at Target and I really freaking love it. Boy is on my hip but I don't actually ha to strain my arms with him, and he's not smack in front of me getting in the way of everything. He even falls asleep in it, so it's pretty comfy. I say test drive, and more than once so you don't spend $30+ on something you never use again *cough*mobywrap*cough*. I would also take a look at meitais; we had him in a front-carrier for a long time and we liked it, except the design was such that he outgrew it before he could face forward, blah blah blah anyhow meitais are squishy and adjustable and I think I may go buy one myself now. good luck!

RebeccaB

I work at babystyle! I talk about baby/kid/maternity/clothes/strollers, etc all day long!

A lot of moms are using the New Native Slings, or the peanut shell. Petunia Picklebottom also has some that match a diaper bag!

http://www.babystyle.com/common/dProductDetail.asp?SIND=1&PMId=26743&cmCL=srch-petunia

If you find a sling that you love and doesn't give much nursing coverage you can always use a hooter hider!

If you go Bjorn, go Active for sure.

Try to see if any of the double strollers you like have a carseat attachment which is really easy to transfer from car to stroller. when you just aren't in the mood for carrying.

I have much more to say but I have to go cook dinner! :)

I wish I felt like reading all the comments so i'm not just repeating what everyone else is saying! :)

NES

Ok, so I started with a Hotsling, which was great only until the baby hit 10 pounds or so - in other words, not very long. Then I just stuck her in the stroller all the time. THen we had another kid. We got the Sit'n'Stand Ultralight or something like that - very similar to the Joovy Caboose. It's sturdy. Both girls are comfortable. But downsides (which might not be escapable in a double): it's heavy, and it takes up the whole front hall closet. Also with kid #2 I tried a Moby D. If I get her in just right, it's great. But I usually need help to get her in. Plus, then she and I both sweat! So now I ordered a mei tai, but it's not here yet. But it's my next great hope. BTW - if it's Shady Grove you're going to, the new private rooms rock! The chair even pulls out into a twin bed- my husband stayed over with me. And I too had an evil roommate the first time around, so the privacy was extra wonderful!

CourtneyF

I'm a stroller adict (own more than I'd EVER admit to) and have "one of all of the above," a Bjorn Active, an Ergo and my most recent purchase (for #2) is a Kangaroo Korner adjustable pouch. I was super intimidated by slings when my now 3 1/2 year old was an infant, but I couldn't be more in love with this sling. SUPER easy. Cute fabrics. I got a cotton one (I'm local and have to live through DC summers too). 6 week old falls asleep the second I put her in it. Dreamy all around. It's literally a pouch. Nothing to adjust, tie, loop or lace. You'll be a convert too! As for later on, forgo the Bjorn and get an Ergo. Not as "cool" looking but much more practical. Can wear the baby on your front or back...and much more comfortable.

As for strollers, I llloooovvvveeee my Maclaren Volo so much that we got the Maclaren version of a snap n go. Love it too (but for the tippage factor). Huge basket underneath that you can practically stuff your toddler in to!

Happy shopping!

Molly

OMG comment 2,346,597. Do you actually read all these???

Ok, so I'm on baby #2, she's 5 months, baby #1 is just over 2.

We had a bjorn and a peanut shell sling with #1 - the bjorn killed me, my husband still wears it because it is the only manly option I guess. The peanut Shell was nice but I got one that was too big so it never fit right. I used a Kangaroo Pouch with #2, loved it, baby was snug and I wore her in it until last week when I switched to the Ergo that I also used with #1. One of the Top 5 best baby items ever. Love my Ergo, I could even still wear my 2-year-old in it if it didn't kill my hips. The only problem is baby either is facing you or is on your back, so if baby HAS to be facing forward you are out of luck.

Strollers. 2 kids = 4 strollers. that's just the way it is. I so should have bought a Snap-n-go with #1, stupid, but I didn't. LOVE IT. Also have a Maclaren Volo for when I am with only one kid (usually #1, not that she is all that much into sitting in it). Also have a Sit-n-Stand which is the stroller from hell, but it solves the #2 in car seat + #1 sometimes wants to walk, sometimes wants to ride, always wants to complain, problem. So it's a beast, but it really works for where we are. And last but not least is the Phil and Ted Sport Double. yes! It DOES indeed rule, easy to shop in, easy to control, easy to actually work up a sweat, looks cool, etc. BUT when toddler in front wants to get out, it makes the seat in back sort of tip back so that screws up the whole weight thing. I'm blabbering.

Anyway, my 2 cents. Pouch or adjustable sling, Ergo, and all 4 strollers. What can I say, I'm a whore for strollers.

HipMamaB

Make sure you get the Joovy ultralight - it ROCKS. Easy to steer and light and just gods gift to moms of 2. And I'm loving my Zolo Sling. :)

Claudia Wade

Can you still buy toddler harnesses? I know that lots of people think they are weird because it's sort of like having your child on a leash, but seriously, corraling the active toddler while dealing with the infant may be the real issue, especially if you walk anywhere near traffic. Just a thought....

amy holiday

I am here to sing the praises of the slingling.com sling. The Bjorn was fine for a while, the Ergo is better. BUT. I really got the Ergo because I thought my husband would prefer something more "technical" - he ended up loving the sling and totally ignoring the Ergo. I mostly used it (the Ergo) as a backpack and hip carrier, but only for a couple of months. The slingling folds down to nothing, and I carried my daughter in it until she was about 25 pounds. Easy, convenient and attractive. Oh, and cheap. You won't be sorry if you try one.
Good Luck!

Allison

I have seen people using the Joovy thing and it looks cool. My kids are 5yrs and up so that is new...

RE: Slings etc. I used ahttp://www.heart2heart.ca/ sling everyday for two years. It was great - standard adjustable ring sling - comes in some great fabric choices. Like any sling it has a learning curve - but being adjustable is a key factor -it means you can keep the baby up high, putting less strain on your lower back. My husband was able to use this as well - but also liked th Trekker when Magnus got bigger.

I have 4 children and have tried most styles of baby carriers, except the wraps, which also look good - again because they are adjustable.

Best of luck, Allison

PS Your idea to wait on getting the stroller makes great sense.

Kristina

I, too, live in the DC area, and love my moby wrap. God help me, I'm on my third (3rd, or not 1, not 2, but THREE kids), and highly suggest the following:
1) Buy the moby wrap
2) Buy el-husband a backpack carrier to put Noah in, because once you start carrying the baby, he'll be all CARRY ME TOOOOO. Plus, the backpacks are manly looking and good for manly activities, like hiking..through the mall.
3) Buy a Maclaren double stroller. They're fantastic....although if you get the moby wrap, you can carry the baby and still use your single maclaren...at least for a few months.


Good luck!

Nikki

I absolutely love the Moby wrap for my little one, he's nine months old and it still works great. I even sometime use it on my two year old when I don't want him to go anywhere.

I wouldn't Suggest that anyone use a Bjorn. Because I tried it, and hated it after about two minutes. My son was just too heavy at 15 pounds for it to feel at all comfortable.

Also, I don’t think that double strollers are worth it when your kids are so far apart. By the time you ready to put the little one in a stroller with no support, the big one will be like hell with strollers, I wanna walk. But, for the rare occasion that I stick my big one in a stroller, I just use the beloved Moby for the little one.

Emily

Ok, double strollers. My kids are a year and a half apart (oy). Many of my friends swear by the Sit n Stand. We tried it out and my son seemed to like it but we didn't go with it because a) my son still falls asleep in the stroller a lot and b) my resistance to buy anything that uses an "n" instead of "and" in the title. So we went with some Eddie Bauer thing. I like it and it folds up very easily and compactly. The only thing is deciding if I want to go somewhere bad enough to actually bother with it.

amy

love my joovy- heavy but love it
moby wrap all the way baby!!!!

bellevelma

Heh. I must be the only person in the world who got by on a Graco travel system stroller that we used until it fell apart and then guess what? We made the kid walk. I so do not understand these stroller debates but I have numerous friends and co-workers who are able to debate the merits of various strollers all day long. And one co-worker who has purchased and sold about 15 high end strollers after using them for a day or so because they were too heavy, too big, wrong color, didn't lay the baby back far enough, etc... I like reading your blog, even if I don't get the stroller thing. Good luck!

MamaKaren

I know nothing of newborn slings, since I didn't use one. I do, however, love the idea of the Hiphugger (http://thehiphuggeronline.stores.yahoo.net/shop.html) just to be able to say that your baby would be only a few degrees of separation from "The Goodbye Girl." I love that Quinn Cummings became a baby sling designer instead of a screwed up former child star.

Christy

You're in the DC area you should come to a babywearing meeting!

There's one June 10 at the Tysons-Pimmit Library in VA from 10 to 12:30. Lots of helpful Moms with all different kinds of baby carriers would love to help you try them on and see what works for you.

http://www.thebabywearer.com/forum/calendar.php?do=getinfo&e=302&day=2008-6-10&c=3


FWIW, I vote beco. I LOVE mine and have worn it daily since I got it when my son was 4 months old (he's a 23-pound 1-year-old now and I just wore it comfortably on my back for a 4.5-mile walk around burke lake this morning).

I have a bjorn active and it's nowhere near as useful or comfy as the beco.

I loved my moby when Jack was a newborn too, but mostly indoors. For outside, you'd do better with a gauze wrap like the Gypsy Mama bali baby.

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