A month of life in the Ergo

If you were going away and could only take one baby carrier with you, what would it be?

I just evacuated Florida for the entire month of September to avoid hurricanes. I traveled alone with my 5 year old and my 15 month old and 2 carry-on pieces of luggage. I can't bear checking luggage because something always seems to happen to it and anyway, can you really imagine trying to collect luggage with a toddler and another child to keep track of in New York City?

My baby is now a bit of a runner. Everything requires fine planning; I need to get to the airport early enough so I am not stressed but I certainly can't be hanging around there too terribly long with a toddler. Having just made a solo trip with both girls to Massachusetts, I know her threshold for being in the Ergo on public transportation is quite long, so long as I'm on the move and it's interesting. An airport terminal is pretty boring.

Sure enough, about 5 minutes before I could board, she got fussy and I had to keep moving to keep her happy. I wanted to board first because I didn't want to be shuffling in a slow line with her on my back. Once I got on the plane (Jet Blue - they are so helpful), she was fine. I mean, she was all over the place, on my lap, on the floor, but she stayed put, thank goodness, and mostly napped on my lap once we took off.

I didn't want to risk public transportation on the way to my mother's place so I took a taxi. What a mistake. The idiot driver didn't give me a moment to get the carseat strapped down securely. I was flopping all over the back of the cab as was the baby and he simply would not pull over. I finally had to give up and just do the best I could so we didn't both get killed. I have a Costco travel baby seat which weighs only 4 pounds and I don't think she was very impressed with it. My older daughter I put in her booster seat which is just a seat base so it's very portable as well.

During our stay, we used a stroller for local trips and tried to avoid taking it on subways and buses. It is really quite a pain to get up and down subway stairs with a stroller banging upside your leg. On the days I was without it, I felt totally free and relieved. Of course, carrying a baby all the time does become quite tiring day after day when you're not used to it. I admit that I lost 5 pounds over the course of the month because of a combination of carrying my baby all the time and also the fact that in the city, you wind up walking about 2 miles a day. Some days we walked 4 or 5 miles but on those days I took the stroller and had my older daughter on a Buggy Board on the back. So I was still getting a workout pushing her.

I learned some great tips for wearing the Ergo during my stay. I'll be putting these on my website. One tip is for wearing the Ergo on the front. In order to get the chest strap closed behind you, loosen one shoulder strap a lot and then close the strap with ease behind you. Then simply tighten the shoulder strap. The same applies to the Patapum Baby Carrier.

On the way home, I took public transportation all the way from New Jersey to JFK airport in Queens. It took a lot of doing and I did have a few choice words for the New York MTA subway stop at which the PATH dropped me off as there was no access for someone carrying babies and luggage but mainly, it went quite well, due, in no small part, to the Ergo freeing me up to be able to carry my 2 carry-on bags.

Think about that for a second. I was able to travel from New Jersey via PATH to the NYC subways to the Air Train and through stairways and elevators and across streets and bridges all without my husband's help and with my baby on my back. I could not have managed this without the Ergo. I would have had to take a taxi and that one ride would have cost more than the Ergo! Plus, how would I have negotiated the airport without the Ergo? I would have had to gate check my luggage and then worry about it and deal with entertaining 2 children while I waited for my bag to show up. No thanks! This was such a breeze!

By the way, now that I'm back in Florida, of course the hurricanes are not cooperating with my plans and keep coming. We lost power for a few days after Hurricane Wilma and I had to climb the stairs in my building many times. I'm still feeling the Ergo love as I put baby on my back and hauled up whatever supplies we were able to find on foot since there are no gas stations open and we were not willing to use any gas just in case we had to evacuate due to FPL warnings that power might not be restored for a month. Whew! If you're panting from reading that sentence, you should have heard my breathing at the top of the stairs!

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