A little while back I put a calling out for pictures, and have received many beautiful babywearing pics. So first I’d like to say “thank you” for sending in your pictures, we really do have a wonderful vibrant group of babywearers.
Often we get asked what carriers are best for traveling, and while we definitely have our favourites, there are pros and cons for every carrier. So here is a little breakdown for you.
This is probably one of my favorites for traveling, because it is so easy to pop babe in and out, allows for easy and descreet (if that’s your deal) nursing on the plane, and is small and compact. Now, don’t get me wrong, I will have another carrier in my carry on, but for going through security and boarding etc., this is my go-to. Also, just a tip for future travels, security may ask you to remove the sling to walk through the scanner type thing… however, if your baby is sleeping and you don’t want to take the sling off, simply ask them to use the wand. Then they will take you aside and manually scan you… way easier with a sleeping baby. The con to a ring sling is length of time you will want to wear it. With any one shoulder carrier, after a while you may wish the weight were more evenly spread, so if you have any long layovers, make sure to have a two shoulder carrier you can use.
This pic was taken at the Vancouver airport on our way to the Canadian Babywearing Convention 2008. EcoBaby Canada has a booth there and participated in the fashion show. (Andi, Heather)
And here we have a picture I titled “BAAAAH”. Tamara’s little one in a ring sling posing with the animals, what is not to love about this picture?!
Next we have mei tais, which are nice because they are fairly easy, all cloth (which is nice for walk through scanners), and will fold up small to go in your diaper bag. They are also good if you have a long layover and desire a second carrier with two should straps. Another bonus is that they are good on front or back, so having babe/toddler on your back is nice. The downside to the mei tai traveling is when (or IF I guess) the flight attendant tells you that you need to take baby out of the carrier for take off, it’s not nearly as easy as a ring sling to just slip off and slip back on. All in all though, it’s a great travel carrier.
This is a picture of Louise, who has been part of the babywearing group since close to the beginning. She has her mei tai tied with a lexi knot. I love how her little loves the mei tai too, it’s fantastic. Louise also makes mei tais, which is awesome. 🙂
They are nice because well…. woven wraps are the cats ass… there, I said it. Wovens are not necessarily the best for airport use (going through security etc.,) because they are way more cumbersome… but like I said, woven’s are the cats ass, so if you’ve fallen in love with wovens, you may want to pack one in your carry on, and use it during long layovers or during your actual travels. That said, if you’re traveling somewhere hot, get accostumed to doing a ruck, it will be cooler for you.
Here is another one from Vancouver, that little stayed in that wrap the whole day essentially.
I love this picture of Nicole rocking a woven in front of the Highlevel bridge, way to represent Lethbridge!!
I know, I probably could have put wraps all in one category, as really, they are all really long pieces of fabric that you will have to wrap around you. The difference between a stretchy and a woven is that it is easier to pop babe in and out of a stretchy during take off or through security. A stretchy wrap would be good for a small baby. I would recommend tying the wrap even before you leave home and just leave it on like it’s part of your outfit. Then pop babe in when you get there, and out as need be. It’s a nice option for those of you who want to use a wrap, but don’t want to be retying in the middle of security. Also, keep in mind, the smaller the baby, the more comfy a stretchy will be, at roughly 15lbs you may notice some pulling/sagging and therefore not want to bother taking it on your travels.
Here is Tamara wearing her little in a cuddly stretchy wrap at the Lethbridge Corn Maze. That baby looks so snuggly, and mom looks pretty comfy too. Great pic!
Soft Structured Carriers
These are often great for quick up and downs, and also for carrying bigger babies/toddlers on your back (or front I suppose). They are good for the long haul, and you will be happy you brought it if you have a long layover or plan to go hiking or do other activities where you’ll be wearing your baby for a while. Or even if someone else plans to wear your baby, and they have issues with tying and carriers that don’t come with hardware/buckles. They fold up small and are easy to use, which is appealing to many babywearers (and Dads, haha). The area that they do not work so awesome in, is again, take off, landing, and breastfeeding ease. Don’t get me wrong, you can breastfeed in basically any and all carriers, but some are easier than others.
This is Paula, wearing her toddler in a Beco. I’m going to make a wild guess here and say they’re on a hike. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t, but SSC’s are great for hikes either way. 😉
See? Dads like them too!! Thanks Tamara for the picture of your wonderful family.
The Final Cut:
What it basically comes down to is personal preference and availability. If you love SSC’s and you have one, then take it traveling. If you absolutely hate ring slings, then it doesn’t matter how easy I think they are, you won’t want to wear it. As for me, I have a problem deciding, so typically it looks like this: Ring Sling for airport and airplane, woven and/or mei tai in my carry on.
All in all, baby’s are easier to travel with if you wear them. I can remember being in San Fransisco with my then 1.5 year old, and I was 7 months pregnant. If you think for one second getting on a tram with a stroller, and a kid who could take off (as I had to fold the stroller to get on the tram) was easy, believe me, it wasn’t. Not to mention, no one even gave me a seat! haha So there we were standing in a crammed tram… me, babe, friend, and stroller, it was brutal. Ever since I discovered the world of babywearing, my traveling (and everything else really) became way easier with baby/toddler attached.
Thanks if you made it all the way to the end of this post.. Reminder, there is a babywearing meeting this Friday, September 21st at 1:00pm where we will be doing a group photo shoot!
Also, EcoBaby Canada is organizing a babywearing fashion show for September 29th in Lethbridge at the local breastfeeding challenge. If you would like to volunteer, please let me know.
Thanks again for all the wonderful pictures, they are all very lovely and will be used in future posts if they weren’t used in this one.