Backpacking With Children: My Own Adventures

When I had my firstborn I thought I new everything there was to know about raising children. I had read all the books, interviewed all my friends, come from a family full of 'wise' people? you get my meaning. I soon discovered however that I didn't know a single thing about raising an infant. Of course, with number two, all that has changed. While I am still learning, there are some things I can definitely say I have mastered. One is the fine art of baby backpacking.

Selecting The Right Carrier: Trial and Error I literally went through four different infant carriers with my first baby. I never did find the right one until I moved on to a baby backpack. My first daughter was simply very independent, and didn't enjoy being carried until she could see everything I could while riding on my back. I tried the snugli sling, the BabyBjorn, a natural sling and finally threw my hands up. Everyone had their own opinion about which works best. She likes almost any type of backpack however, go figure.

My second however cherished every moment we had together. I quickly learned that the BabyBjorn infant carrier was my baby's best friend in those early days. My children are also only 14 months apart, so I didn't have a choice but carry number two around while chasing after number one. I soon learned however just how important safety is with an infant carrier. On more than one occasion I almost dropped my darling on her little head when I bent over to wipe some spilled stain off the floor. Little did I realize just how important it is to buckle those little ones in!

My youngest daughter also had terrible colic. I spent many nights walking around the block with her in the BabyBjorn. It was the only thing that helped calm her down enough to stop sobbing hysterically. I also lost weight a lot quicker carrying her everywhere I went!

Walking With Backpacks I often go on walks with the two girls. In fact, we usually cover a good 3 miles or more a day. Now that my first daughter is walking and running, she can't stand riding in a stroller in any more. For this reason we are in the market for a new backpack, one to suit my very large husband. While number two still enjoys riding around (front ways now) in her Baby Bjorn, she is growing fast and will also soon grow out of her favorite infant carrier. So I guess I am actually in the market for more than one backpack.

We definitely won't be shopping for a top of the line camping model extraordinary. In fact, when it comes to camping I am a bit of a lightweight, and definitely concerned some big bear will come eat my precious child. For that my husband will have to convince me great lengths until I am willing to go sleep on an air mattress in the middle of no where and get eaten alive by mosquitoes. If one the other hand, we were actually near some water or a beach? well I might adjust my attitude slightly.

After much deliberation we plan to go for Evenflo's backpack. A less expensive yet durable model, it will serve our walking needs for now. While both my husband and I actually do enjoy some hiking (albeit not as much as I used to) I don't think we plan to take the girls just yet. Who am I kidding? I'd still rather go to the beach. But, I do have to say, having the convenience of a carrier or sling does make grocery shopping a much more pleasant experience.

I learned after one or two trips trying to put both kids in the grocery cart how easy it is for a toddler to hurl herself over the edge of a shopping cart, or better yet grab everything imaginable off the shelves and hurl them to the floor. That problem will no doubt resolve itself just as soon as I buy our latest backpack. Trust me, it's much easier carrying them than trying to haul a double stroller through the isles of a crowded grocery store. I've borrowed a backpack or two in my time when I found myself lacking. I simply can't say enough for their convenience or efficiency. Whether you have one kid or many, I highly recommend carrying them wherever you need to be, whenever you need to be there!

Ant Arthur is a successful freelance writer with 10 years of professional experience providing consumers with informative articles on such topics as Baby Carriers, Baby Slings and Baby Car Seats

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