transporting a baby: the battle

So here’s the scenario, my Mum desperately wanted to take my baby out in a stroller but the one we chose was only for 3 months and up. We chose to use a carrier for the first 3 months instead. This enabled us to get a very light-weight stroller with a shoulder strap so we could fold it up and pop on and off of transit when the time comes. We have no car, so this made sense for us.
The day after my baby was born my Mother wanted to take her out for a walk in the stroller and was taken aback that should couldn’t do so~ I was horrified that she was even considering taking my day old baby away from me to wander with her around the neighborhood! It’s not the 60’s any more, woman.
Anyways, I digress, from this point on I heard about our need for a stroller NOW every time I spoke with her. And was lectured about the million reasons why it was not just a great idea, but far superior to carrying her. Then a friend of my Mother gave her a second hand “travel system” that she wanted to bring to us, and walk the baby about. The “travel system” pretty much represents everything I hate about baby transportation (I won’t get into that either, as my review below will make clear the issues), but my Mum is pushy and I figured it could clutter my house for a few weeks if it made her happy.
It is duly driven down to my home and we do a test run. My Mum is elated, and I am non-plussed. So today I took it out alone (well, alone with the baby in it) and tried to give the “travel system” a fair shake. Considering most people use them, they must be helpful for something, right?
I had decided to walk to the mall about 30 minutes away to look for some new shoes. This seemed like aa prime opportunity to try out the clunker: a long walk, a mall, stores with aisles to contend, busy and quiet areas, different terrains, and other such things.
By the time I returned home, I was thoroughly convinced that I will continue to use my woven wrap and carry my baby as long as possible.
Here are the pros and cons of both methods, wrap/carrier and stroller/travel system (in my opinion.)
Pros- the wrap:
Hands free!
Baby is content 95% of the time, and asleep for most of that.
Using transit is simple and you don’t require any assistance.
There are various ways you can carry your baby with a wrap so you can always find one that suits both you and baby.
You get to enjoy close time with your child. It’s a nice bonding time for whomever is wearing the baby.
Easy to get around stores, or any tight space for that matter.
Baby enjoys the swaying movement of walking as it reminds them of when they wre in the womb.

Pros- the system:
Can load a stroller down with a ton of bags (eg. groceries).
Physically it is very easy to use- especially for grandparents.

Cons- the wrap:
Stretchy wraps are hot. A well chosen woven wrap can be very light and airy, which is what I have.
It is more labour intensive carrying baby around. As someone trying to lose those pregnancy pounds this is a benefit; however, there are times when it’s just plain tiring.
Going to restaurants is not a great time to use a wrap as it’s hard to eat with a baby strapped to you. I’ve done it, but it is not ideal.

Cons- the system:
You’re pretty much dependent on others helping you up and down stairs, through doors, onto transit vehicles, etc. unless you have a very light stroller that you can thoroughly manage on your own. Being so independent, this is something I quite detest.
Steering sucks, especially through crowds. No matter how maneuverable all strollers are a pain to steer with one hand… and many are even painful with 2 hands!
You’re not hands free, unless you are standing still in a store. I find it hard to take a sip of water as I walk with a stroller, while with the carrier it’s not an issue.
I personally find one of the worst things to be that when crossing a street my baby is way out in front of me. I’m essentially pushing her into possible oncoming traffic beforre I’ve even gotten off the sidewalk. Of course you look first, but still it makes me nervous.
When you are not moving, most babies wake right up and start to howl. This means that you can’t really sit and enjoy a coffee/meal/chat with a friend.
Baby is jostled around by the jerky movements of going over uneven sidewalk etc. This can put some to sleep; however, it just kept startling mine awake.

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