There is a set of hooks behind my front door that hold a collection of baby wearing gear, some purchased, some home made, all that have been well worn. Currently, with a newborn in the house again they are coming in very helpful. I can be hands free to teach the other kids, milk the goats, and attempt to cook a meal.
Baby wearing gear is not just for babies though, nor is it just helpful to a tired parent.
I have “worn” all four of my children.
I wore Samuel as we trekked through the countryside of Ethiopia, throughout the city of Addis Ababa and it kept us both better off through out the six, airport transitions as we made our way home., I kept wearing him for months after we came home because he would bring me the Mai-Tai and gesture to go for a walk.
From the day he was born I wore Finn to sooth him and walk him to sleep. Carriers made dining out and Saturday garage sales a breeze. There was no heavy car seat to haul and he was ever so content to be snug right next to me.
LingLing took to the carrier the very first second I picked her up and strapped it on. She didn’t take to much those first two weeks in China, her grief and fear heavy, but she allowed that carrier and me and the walking secured together down those busy Guangzhou streets. Jason and I could do anything that we needed to do and little LingLing, just two and a half, would tuck her head down deep in the carrier and hide from the world. And, I think it was exactly what she needed. For her, a stroller would have been nothing but oncoming traffic where as a lifted high in a carrier, safely able to observe or rest, she had the time to learn my voice, smell, and kiss as my very stride provided therapy to her body.
And, then there is Charlie born just this past summer., He is a baby well carrier baby too, a an incredibly peaceful little soul.
I think strollers are helpful tools., I’m thankful for them. While in China I saw many parents with recently adopted children walking with that familiar exhausted grin down the streets., For those adopting older children strollers came in incredibly handy when legs and feet grew tired, some hotels even rent strollers for families to use while in China so this is a great resource to look into that can reduce your carry on luggage.
Please, however, consider bringing a carrier of some type if you are adopting a smaller child that can still be carried. Not only does it make the physical carrying of weight easier on you, but it truly can be beneficial in bonding. Depending on your child’s temperament and experience they may even find a carrier to be a safe haven in their suddenly and remarkably new world., , In my experience too a child that struggles for a moment in getting comfortable and settled in a carrier will soon get accustomed to the ride., In some cases children with sensory issues can be very comforted by the constant gentle pressure and movement of being strapped to a loving care taker.
There are many varieties of carriers, I know because I think I have them all. (Small addiction, perhaps?)., My husband laughs at me when I bring home a new one but he does not complain for he has seen how helpful they can be in both soothing a newly adopted child and in making travel and errands much easier for all., Carriers come in all shapes, sizes, styles and are present in many cultural traditions of childcare., I tend to wear babies on my front and older children on my back. LingLing was worn on my front, because that is where she needed to be for her own security until months after coming home when the fear subsided and she was ready to explore.
Our favorite carriers have been the mai-tai and the ergo.
I made my own mei-tai, but you can purchase quality ones all over the internet and in some speciality stores. The Ergo is incredibly comfortable and versatile., Ask around! There are lots of kid-wearing folks in the adoption community. There are even folks that lend out their carriers to parents juts for the adoption trip. Bring that stroller, sure!, But consider the benefits of a sling, wrap, or carrier for both you and your child and pack at least one in your suitcase too.