Babywearing is a term that comes loaded with opinions. Although I’m not really sure why. There’s a weird stereotype floating around about the kind of parent who babywears (I don’t really want to give it the page views, but you just need to read this click-bait article on the Baby Centre website to see just how much some people hate it), and I’m here to tell you: it’s all a load of nonsense.
Happy Memories with our Beco Gemini
When Pickle was a newborn, I occasionally used a stretchy fabric wrap to carry him before progressing on to a more structured buckle carrier. It’s been over a year since we first started using our Beco Gemini, and I can’t quite believe we’re already at the stage of looking for a Toddler carrier to handle an ever-growing Pickle. It feels like just yesterday that we were bundling him up ready for his first walk up the Clent hills as a substitute Christening, but boy – have we had some adventures with the carrier since. From visiting the German Christmas market to fireworks displays, from long walks on holiday to even the mundane task of nipping into the shops – it’s such a god send to be able to head out and about with ease, and have the use of both hands! All the better for eating Bratwurst with…
Sadly, as the Beco Gemini has quite a narrow base (where Pickle’s bum sits), he’s already outgrown it even though he’s not quite big enough for the next size Beco Toddler. I’ll be talking much more about that and what we’re doing to cover the gap in an upcoming blog post (so watch this space!). But for now, as a way to honour this carrier that has served us so well (and I hope will serve us well again in the future for anymore little Pickles we may be lucky enough to have), I wanted to take some time to look over the past year and share some of the reasons babywearing has really worked for us and why our carrying journey isn’t over yet.
After literally getting stuck in a kissing gate the first time I visited Packwood House with the NCT Moms, I’ve never taken the pram again to any of our National Trust days out. I think the feeling of being denied access somewhere must have infuriated me so much that I subconsciously vowed to always be prepared for any terrain and narrow entrance ways. It’s meant we can traipse through fields, tackle uneven paths and enjoy a walk through the countryside without having to battle with a cumbersome pushchair. It also makes it easier to point out wildlife and things to see, like these ducks at Coughton Court or the deer at Charlecote Park.
There’s so much to plan for in advance when you’re taking a little one out for the day that I can sometimes get a bit anxious if I know we’re visiting somewhere new or planning a long trip out. Not having to worry about step free access for a pram, or about saying ‘excuse me’ a million times to navigate my way through crowds makes a massive difference. I’m also far less likely to have to deal with cries of frustration and tantrums from Pickle if he’s being carried. He can handle being snuggled for much longer than he can deal with sitting in a pram. I am all for anything that makes parenting any less stressful, and for me, carrying definitely does the job.
It’s for Daddy, too
It’s only by looking through my photos to find some to include in this post, that it’s made me realise how special babywearing has been for Little Pickle’s Dad (LPD) too.
Ordinarily, I usually offer to carry Pickle because the carrier straps are normally set to my measurements and it feels like a faff to change (even though it hardly takes a minute). But after seeing these lovely photos of LPD and Pickle from my favourite day during our Bluestone holiday earlier this year, I think I’ll be letting him do a bit more of the carrying from now on. I have all day during the week to bond with Pickle, to make him laugh and to cuddle him, so it’s only fair that I make sure LPD gets as much chance as possible during the weekends and our trips away.
Close Enough to Kiss
I wouldn’t want to claim to be an expert in the safety of babywearing, but I was given some wonderful advice from Slumber Roo when we first had our Beco Gemini. One of the things they said to make sure was that baby was always close enough to kiss. And boy, have I made the most of that!
I don’t need much of an excuse to give this munchkin a big old kiss, but having him close by certainly makes it easier to do so. Not so sure whether Pickle is happy about that or not…!
Having the option
Although I’m singing the praises of carrying pretty highly here, it’s not our only mode of transporting Pickle. I do have a pram (my beloved Mothercare Orb – which I love), a SmarTrike and we’ve borrowed a stroller to use on holiday too. I don’t carry Pickle exclusively, but rather, enjoy having a variety of options for when we’re out and about, and choose whichever method is best suited to the particular occasion.
Sometimes, I take both the pram and the carrier with me, and on more than one occasion when I’ve been out and about with other Mums, we’ve coordinated so that one of us takes a pram and the other takes a carrier so we have the best of both worlds.
Means the Mum that is carrying can shove a bag in the basket of the pram, and depending on the mood of our children, we swap them over from pram to carrier as best suits – a perfect example was on a recent trip to Hanbury Hall when Pickle screamed everytime I tried to put him in his pram. A borrowed carrier came to the rescue, and his friend Toddler O made herself comfortable in his pram. It works pretty well – especially at places like The Baby Show where you want to have somewhere to store purchases as well as have the benefits of carrying.
On to the next phase…
So, as we say a sad farewell (not goodbye) to the Beco Gemini, we enter the exciting stage of figuring out what carrier is best for us next. Although he’s a really confident walker, those legs still get tired out fairly quickly, and with plenty of more outdoors adventures in the pipeline – not to mention our annual Boxing Day Clent walk – I look forward to writing more about what we go for next.
As for the Beco Gemini, it’s a carrier I can wholeheartedly recommend. Offering four ways to carry, it’s a flexible option that caters for different carrying preferences as baby grows and develops. For someone with fairly narrow or sloped shoulders like myself, the ability to cross-strap is really useful and is definitely a feature I’d look for in our next carrier. It’s available to buy from babycarrying specialist Slumber Roo for under £100, which I personally think represents great value for money. Hand on heart, it’s been one of my most treasured and useful baby items.
Until next time, Beco Gemini…
Disclaimer: we were sent this Beco Gemini carrier from Slumber Roo last year, but all thoughts and opinions are my own and, as always, are 100% honest.