Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Travel and Babywearing Go Hand in Hand

Staring at the looming list of potential baby items I could potentially add to my registry was  overwhelming.  With our first wee one on it’s way and an international move in the near future following the birth, I knew that the majority of conventional baby products would not serve us well.  But I was confident that baby wearing accessories were a mandatory add to our wish list.
Waiting in the airport to board our International flight.
Our carriers served us well stateside (a Maya Wrap Ring Sling and Boba 3G SSC) as we did things around the house and ran errands, but I had no idea the absolute necessity for baby wearing while traveling and living abroad.  This is what we’ve learned traveling extensively with a baby, and I hope these wearing tips can encourage you to travel and explore with ease!

We left our hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma when Finn was 5 months old to move to Bologna, Italy.  The 16 hour, 5000 mile trip with a teething babe may have been daunting, but our carriers served us well.

Our 'baby seat' using the tray table in front
with our osnaburg wrap.
Tip #1

Wrap when you fly.

I wore Finn in a size 5 DIY Osnaburg wrap all through the airport, security, and on board.  It was important that we avoided metal on our carrier to ease the security process (you can find out more about TSA rules here-they don’t  specify whether or not  you’re permitted to keep your baby wrapped), so I  was able to walk right through with Finn in a FWCC (ring slings or SSC would not  be recommended during this portion for that reason).  The domestic flight allowed Finn to stay wrapped during the flight as he was a lap infant.  The international flights mandated that he wear a secondary seatbelt for takeoff and landing.  It was an easy transition in and out of the wrap, and the wrap doubled as an extra blanket on board, a nursing cover, and even a baby seat!  The transatlantic travel was practically peaceful because of wearing.
Arrivals gate in Bologna, Italy.

Tip #2

Choose a carrier with long lasting comfortability for travel.

Venice, Italy
Our job involves extensive opportunities for travel, particularly day trips.  Strollers are no match against ancient cobblestones, a lack of handicap accessibility, or the thousands of stairs leading to majestic overlooks atop towers and bridges that sweep the European continent.  Therefore, a carrier must withstand an 10-12 hour day.  My ring sling was a favorite at home, but one shoulder support would have killed me trekking through Venice.  Our Boba 3G and now our Standard KP provided excellent comfortability for long days.  Finn loved riding on our fronts and backs and seeing the sights.  Its also easy for him to nap when both SSCs offer quick snapping supportive hoods.

Tip #3

Choose a carrier that can easily be worn by you or your travel buddy.

No matter how comfortable a carrier is, sometimes you or babe can get tired of each other.  Its important to bring something that your spouse or friend likes wearing as well. 
Milan, Italy
I looooved the ring sling when we moved, but my husband was not a fan.  So when we traveled, we brought our SSC (and still do).  Now that Finn’s heavier, my husband wears him most of the time we travel, but its important to be able to switch if Finn get’s picky about who’s wearing him.

Tip #4

Using the Boba to strap Finn into a standard
Don’t bring your prettiest, most expensive wrap unless you’re comfortable with it getting the tastes of travels on it.

Traveling involves eating out a lot.  Our carriers frequently double as ‘highchairs’ in the many European establishments that don’t offer one.  We often snack walking around.  I would’ve hated to get Belgian fry sauce on a wrap beauty.  I’m not as attached to the beauty of my travel carriers.  

Tip #5

Travel with your babe!
Wearing Finn has enabled us to not be limited in our work or travels or location of living.  We’ve seen more places in his lifetime than in ours before he was born.  He loves getting to see and taste incredible places around our globe, and baby wearing has made it seamless.
Corno Alle Scale, Italy

Brugge, Belgium

Florence, Italy

Verona, Italy

Lake Como, Italy

Rome, Italy

Mary Paulison is a Jesus-loving, babywearing, nurse-by-trade wife and mom transplanted from Tulsa, OK to Bologna, Italy.  Living life as an incognito hippy, she loves snuggling with her 14 month old son, Finn, circling the globe with her hunky husband, and working with college students at the oldest university in the western world.  In her spare time she can be found crafting everything in sight, decorating their apartment in a 320 year old building, scouring thrift stores, and reading Harry Potter for the thousandth time.

No comments:

Post a Comment