This post originally appeared on TheBigToDoList.com
When a soon-to-be parent is preparing to welcome a tiny new member to their family, we begin to gather items we think we’ll need to take care of that baby. While some of these gadgets end up being ridiculous wastes of money (wipes warmers, anyone?), there are several pieces of baby gear that will become your new best friends and lifesavers in this amazing and demanding adventure of parenthood. A carrier is one of these must-have baby items, and when I was approached to test out an Onya Baby carrier, my good friend and guest writer for this blog – Alea – was excited to give it a go.
“As soon as I saw you I knew an Adventure was going to happen” – Winnie the Pooh
Delivering her third baby earlier this month, Alea is a rock star mom and an expert when it comes to caring for babies and young children. Hannah, an adventurous mom-of-one who often has other little ones along to explore with her, was also excited to check out The PURE Onya Baby carrier. Together we devised this list to share some of the many fantastic reasons why a carrier is essential to an easier and happier experience for parents.
5 Reasons Why Baby-Wearing Makes for Happier Parenting
1. Free Hands
Along with being a mother of 3 children under the age of 4 years, with my own household to keep up with, I (Alea) also work as a house cleaner, and will soon be back to work with my infant and toddlers along for the ride. It is very important for me to have a carrier I can trust, and that feels good when I’m wearing it, because let me tell you, it’s on constantly.
Right now I’m especially loving the Onya Baby infant booster. I have been able to hang all my laundry with my 6-day-old on my chest, snuggled up all cozy. His head and neck didn’t wobble about as I leaned over, and I was able to move just as fast as usual without either of my hands holding any part of the carrier. It was fantastic! Usually I have to at least hold the neck a bit more sturdy with other carriers, but the Onya infant booster held him perfectly for me, so I had both hands free. The booster is super easy to put on the baby, with adjustable straps that let me tighten and loosen according to size as the baby grows. The weight rating for the Onya infant booster goes from 7 lbs – 15 lbs, then the baby can be in the Onya Baby carrier after that without the booster.
Going shopping with my 19-month-old is a disaster. She has to be held on my hip or she will be throwing items out of the cart, running away from me at check out, or taking items off the shelf and making a complete mess of the store. Because the Onya carrier goes from 15 lbs – 45 lbs without the infant booster, I can put her in it on my back comfortably while I’m shopping. She can observe what is going on in the store, and she loves being carried, so we’re both much more content. The Onya carrier also has two straps that I can attach toys to.
When I start back at my house cleaning job in the next few weeks, I will have either my infant or my toddler with me depending on how my husband is feeling. When my toddler is with me, she likes to watch what I’m doing, and the Onya Baby carrier has a hip/side carrying option which is perfect for this. I can put her on my left hip and still have both hands free, especially my right hand which I use for the majority of cleaning. She can watch & learn while I clean and she never gets tired of that. It makes my job so much easier when I don’t have a fussy child!
We know there are many benefits that come from skin-to-skin and close contact between parent and infant. By having a hands-free way of keeping your baby close to your heart, where they can calm from hearing your heartbeat, you can ensure to get in that special snuggle time even if you have chores to do or other little ones running around the house, needing your attention. For Alea, now mama to three children under the age of four, this opportunity is especially welcome. Because of the comfort padding and design of the Onya carrier, neither you nor baby needs much on in the way of clothing to be comfortable, allowing for extra skin-to-skin bonding time.
3. Reduced Contact with Germs
Now, we’re not germaphobes by any stretch of the word, but the amount of unwelcome touching a new baby can receive can startle any parent. (Honestly, why do strangers think it’s okay to stick their just-been-shopping fingers into a stranger’s baby’s mouth?!) Everyone seems to want to lay their germy fingers on your precious baby’s body. Without a thought to the fact that this little baby is an actual person who deserves personal space and has a delicate immune system, family, friends, and strangers will reach out to caress your baby’s head, face, hands, feet, and anywhere else they can get to.
By keeping your baby safely snuggled up against you, we found that the instances of wild arms reaching for our babies was significantly cut down from when the babes were nestled in strollers or car seats.
4. Naps on the Go
While life does change once you become a parent, having the proper tools certainly helps make it easier to maintain some semblance of life before babies. For Hannah’s family, travel and outdoor adventure are key pieces of life that her and her husband didn’t want to stop. Having a baby carrier has allowed them to keep travelling, hiking, and exploring, even through nap time. Many times during their escapades through New York, Colombia, and Costa Rica, their adventures would have been far less pleasant if they couldn’t have simply strapped on their sleepy little one for needed naps while they continued their journeys. Even if your journeys are simple day trips up a mountain, or running errands in town, a quality carrier will let your littles get the rest they need when they need it, no matter where you are. One of our favourite features of the PURE Onya Baby carrier is the option to roll up the front section of the carrier to reveal a breathable mesh for keeping those little bodies cool while they rest – essential during travel in warmer climates.
5. Discreet Breastfeeding
First of all, we fully support each mother’s decision to breastfeed or not, and their comfort level for visibility if they choose to breastfeed. Both of us mamas were open about breastfeeding in public, but there were certainly situations in which we desired coverage and the ability to nurse without drawing attention to ourselves. Whether or not we wanted to be discreet, breastfeeding in the carrier was a helpful way to ensure baby was happy and fed hands-free. We’ve both enjoyed hiking on trails, socializing at parties, and shopping for groceries while nursing our babies, and have been happy with how we can do so far less obviously than when babes are in arms.
6. Keeping Your Sense of Adventure
Adventures and exercise tend to fall by the wayside while you adjust to parenting life, but they don’t have to. With a carrier, you’re able to make it to so many places that you’ll never get to with a stroller, no matter how strong and sturdy it is. However, with a carrier you can easily go for walks, hikes, and join in exercise classes out or at home, with your baby safe and snug right on you.
Alea’s oldest daughter is 3.5 years old and loves to go on adventures with her grandfather. Long mountain hikes have been their tradition, but often L becomes far too worn out to make it the full way through. Recently one of L’s grandfather’s had to stop taking her, as the backpack carrier he had been using was quite large, heavy, and bulky. But now, with the PURE Onya Baby carrier, it can be put in L’s back pack which she can carry it up the mountain (it’s very light weight). Then, on the way down, Alea’s dad can put L on his back without already being tired and sweaty from carrying the big back pack up. Onya’s ventilation system allows the carrier and child to not overheat on hot days or big hikes, which is important for the child and the adult carrying them, too.
Quite honestly, we were both hugely impressed by the Onya carrier and infant booster. The weight-ratings, the comfort (for adult and child), the security, the ventilation, the light weight, and the price point really struck a chord with us. If you’re expecting a baby, trust us and invest in a carrier to make your parenting life so much easier, and definitely consider getting your little on ya. You can check out all of the Onya Baby carriers online here.
Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Onya Baby, who provided Alea with a brand new Onya Baby carrier. All of the above are the true and honest opinions and experiences of myself (Hannah) and Alea, not those of the sponsors.