One Problem Solved…

… and the rest topple like dominoes.

Yesterday, I picked up a Baby Bjorn carrier from a friend of ours. She hated it, so it came to us in terrific condition, sporty in red and black (because how it looks is everything).

There’s all kinds of controversy, apparently, about the Bjorn (and split leg carriers, in general). Some concern about the way the baby hangs and the pressure on his spine and the angle of his hips… In the words of a great Evo video (and my husband when, as a guy I’d just met and didn’t like, he wanted to date me and I gave him a dozen reasons why that wasn’t going to happen), “I DON’T CARE.”

The thing WORKS!

We tried it out yesterday — It doesn’t take a hundred years to put on; it’s not too hot; it keeps Aidan securely on my body; he doesn’t scream while he’s in it; I can get it on and off, and him in and out, by myself; it distributes his weight evenly across my shoulders and back; it fits my seated body. I’m telling you… It’s a miracle.

Best of all, it’s secure enough to facilitate a whole host of other things. I can move him throughout the house with ease. I can toast gluten-free frozen waffles, slather them in almond butter and strawberry fruit spread, feed the dog and fill her water bowl, all while WEARING Aidan. And get this… I can leave the apartment.

The ramp at my front door was a big test, but he’s secure enough that I could navigate the little lip going out and I could lean forward enough to get up the ramp independently. I cannot impress upon you enough how HUGE this is. Up AND down the ramp. By myself. WITH the baby. Am I making myself clear here?

Of course, we were too excited to stop there, so we went on a family walk. Usually I take Reba and Dean takes Aidan but, yesterday, we switched. I was able to navigate the crummy sidewalk in my neighborhood, get up the curb cuts (even the really steep one at Chandler and Colfax)… I could do it all. Of course, it only took about two blocks for my arms to register the extra 15 pounds on my lap but did I care? NO! Onward! We did our entire route, much to everyone’s satisfaction.

And while that would have been enough, and stopping there might have been an appropriately gentle-pace thing to do, GENTLE BE DAMNED. When we got home, we went straight to the car. Could I transfer into the car wearing the baby?

This is important because if I could, it might very well solve the intractable car seat problem. I’d no longer have to find a way to lean forward while holding Aidan. I could just transfer in, putting myself close enough to the car seat to get him into it without issue.

Yes, my dear friends, we got into the car. Aidan got jostled a bit. In fact, he leans a lot to the side while I’m moving. But he didn’t mind at all. And he’s secure. He can’t fall out. So, as long as he doesn’t mind, and it’s safe for both of us, we’re set! I didn’t actually put him in the car seat or drive anywhere (I’m doing this at a gentle pace, you know), but it’s looking good for independent travel.

This morning, Aidan was up early and Dean hadn’t gotten much sleep. Since I had, I offered to take the baby.

I got him off the bed with greater ease than usual (without a carrier), got him changed and dressed, and we suited up. We let Reba out of her kennel, got her leashed and collared, took her out for a pee and a poop, dumped the poop in the back, made breakfast, and settled on the couch for mama milk and waffles (for him and me, respectively). It was as close to bliss as an ordinary morning can achieve.

Of course, the concerns people have about the Bjorn do, in principle matter to me. In fact, Dean and I have been having an ongoing debate about the safety of the Ergo split-leg carrier he currently prefers. But in the case of the Bjorn as I use it, I don’t think there’s much to worry about.

Aidan doesn’t hang in the carrier. He’s resting, actually, on my lap. So, there’s not much if any pressure on his crotch. His legs are split, but he doesn’t spend hours like that and, again, there’s very little if any weight on his split hips. And, truly, if the Bjorn was as bad as some people say, Sweden would be full of bent, pained people needing hip replacements. So, I say Whooo-Hoooo for the Bjorn!

Aidan & Mama - Baby Bjorn

P.S. Don’t I kinda’ look like a turtle in the above pic? Breastfeeding might be taking off a bit too much weight. Hmmmmm. Where’s the chocolate?

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