I use the mei tai a lot when I take the other two kids to the park. This way, I can be mobile and have free hands and not worry that I'm leaving the baby alone in his stroller while I tend to one of his brothers. The only problem is that I can't really lift the boys easily, especially my 60-pound five-year-old, so if they need help climbing up or down or getting on a swing, I feel fairly useless. Most of the time, another sweet mother or grandmother around sees that I need help and comes to my (and my kid's) rescue, but I feel kind of silly letting someone else haul my big boys around.
I've also been using it more when I shop, so that the three-year-old, with his little legs, can sit in the cart. However, I went to Trader Joe's the other day and put GI in the cart for the first time. He managed, although he wasn't totally steady. For a longer shopping trip, I think I still need to be holding him, and also I think SB still needs to ride in the cart sometimes. This kid-juggling thing gets tricky!
GI does love sitting in high chairs at restaurants, now. He seems to really enjoy being part of the table, even though he isn't eating with us yet. He grabs at and plays with anything in reach, and he giggles and screeches with joy watching his brothers eat. (Stay tuned for a "starting solids" post sometime in the next few weeks. GI will be six months on Monday! Can you believe it?)
I took the boys to the zoo yesterday afternoon and alternated between having GI in the mei tai and SB in the stroller (or pushing an empty stroller), and having GI in the stroller occasionally. I tried to nurse him a few times in the mei tai, but the zoo was too exciting and he wouldn't stay latched. While I'm not squeamish about nursing in public, I'm also not exactly blase about flashing random guys in the zoo who might happen to walk past me and see my boob hanging out. Another woman had sat down on a bench to nurse her baby, and I sat down on a bench next to her, took GI out of the mei tai, and finally convinced him to nurse well. She had been wearing her baby in a Moby wrap, and there was another lady there with a baby in an Ergo, so I felt like I was in very good company. In fact, the lady with the Ergo helped SB climb down out of a helicopter he had climbed up to explore. He wanted my help getting down, and when the woman saw that I was busy, she helped him down. So sweet.
By the end of the three-ish hours we were at the zoo, though, I was exhausted. Whew. Carrying that baby while traipsing up and down the hills at the zoo is tiring. My legs and back were aching. And yet, I know the only other way to have managed was with my double stroller, and I know that GI would not have wanted to stay in the stroller the whole time anyway, so instead of wearing him, I'd have been carrying him in arms, and that would have been even harder!
I also wear him a lot when I'm not at home but he might need to nap. He'll easily go to sleep in it, and since I would have nowhere to put him down, he can be "held" while sleeping and I'm still mobile and have my hands free. I think this is the single best argument for babywearing there is! Still, I don't usually wear him around the house, as I find it more cumbersome than helpful. But at other people's houses? Oh yes!
Enough on that, though. There's some important business to discuss. My blog is turning ONE on Saturday, March 3. My first post was March 3, 2011. I was thinking about doing a giveaway in the month of March to celebrate this milestone, but I need participation to make it work. So here's the deal. I will give away a copy of my Kindle e-book, The "Yes, It's Normal!" Guide to Breastfeeding, to one lucky winner, who can choose to keep it for him/herself or to give it to a friend. The only thing I would need is the email address of the intended recipient.
Remember that you don't have to own a Kindle device to read Kindle books. Amazon offers a free Kindle app for all smartphones, iPod, iPad, and PC.
Please leave me a comment here on this blog post within the next few days if you are interested in winning a copy of my book (or if you know someone you'd like to give it to), and share my blog with your friends and ask them to comment if they're interested. If I feel there's enough interest, I'll officially announce the giveaway in a few days and give instructions on how to enter.