Like most women, I'd been lulled by cheerful photographs and happy magazine articles into thinking that the hardest thing about new motherhood would be actual childbirth.
It certainly didn't help that I had very few friends that had given birth before me.
So it came as a very rude shock that the easiest thing about new motherhood was actually childbirth; everything else came on a steep learning curve.
Breastfeeding, sleeping, those "5 s's" – even cutting my baby's nails was hard.
I thought carriers would be a cinch – I mean, how hard could it be to just plop your baby in something? Really? But it was. Remember this? I had tried all these carriers, got lost in the New Native and finally test-drove an Ergo by borrowing my friend's. I nursed Micah while I hiked in it and was sold.
But then two things happened:
1. I didn't realize how crucial the top back strap is and
2. I had Moxie, a child with Down syndrome – and hence, low tone.
Low muscle tone changes a lot for parents when looking for the perfect baby carrier for their little one. This is the thing: you have to be careful to not splay the legs of little ones with low tone because it can cause hip problems. This is probably true of every little baby, but it's especially true for kids with low tone. We really have to be careful.
Unsure as to whether the Ergo was going to cut it, I took it along with the link for the infant insert to Moxie's physical therapist at the hospital and asked her if it was a good option for Moxie.
Sharon, Moxie's physical therapist, looked it all over very carefully, noting how using the infant insert keeps the legs of an infant together.
The baby is essentially perched on a little soft stool, then snuggled like a delicious little burrito within.
Sharon gave it a thumbs up; I used it non-stop until she said that Moxie's hips and legs were all right for being in the carrier directly (this, I believe, when Moxie was around 9-10 months old).
Now, while it was all fine to have Moxie in the Ergo with the infant insert, I wasn't adjusting the Ergo top strap correctly which wrecked havoc on my back, already weakened from Micah's c-section. It was torture! Fierce white-pain (you know the kind) would flash around and I'd be screaming inside from the agony.
Long time readers of this blog know all about that – (read this post!) – so I simply can't stress this enough: that tiny little strap in the back? It must be adjusted correctly!
It's got to be low enough to ergonomically kick in. Which, yes, can make unbuckling it tricky, but you can do it alone once you get the hang of exactly where it is.
When you have that down, you've got yourself the best carrier in the world. The Ergo will take your baby front, back and side. You can nurse easily in it
There – can you tell I'm nursing in that photo? It's pretty great, isn't it?
Even if you have large Bessies, it's easy – you just undo your nursing clasp/shirt from within and hold part of the cloth of your shirt along the side if you don't care for spillage views
It's not likely to get easier than with the Ergo.
I even wear it around the house, since it's just about the only way that I can carry my baby everywhere and still get things done; I can nurse him while I cook for my other two kids.
It also stays away from my c-section incision – and have I already mentioned that I look about 20 lbs slimmer while wearing it?!
This carrier is perfect in every way.
In The Spirit of Giving Thanks:
A big 'thank you" to Ergo Baby just for creating these awesome carriers that have dramatically improved the quality of my life. And a big "thank you" to them for their generosity – they are giving away one carrier with infant insert here.
To enter, just follow the flow of the rafflecopter.
Want to read my earlier posts on the Ergo?
From 2008: Carrying on with the Carriers (this post was with little tiny baby Micah)
From 2011: The Mighty Ergo (from traveling in Baja, Mexico with Moxie)
Links to Ergo Baby:
Ergo Baby Website
Try it on before you buy it? Find a store