There are a lot of articles on the methods of wearing a baby carrier but few on how the baby carrier fits into the parenting lifestyle. New parents often contemplate buying either a baby carrier or a stroller because both of these items are not cheap. In reality, both items are needed to complement each other.
The baby carrier allows the parent to navigate through narrow aisles and crowded areas easily. There is also the additional benefit of holding the baby’s hands to prevent it from reaching out to grab items on display. With a stroller, the parent will have to carefully navigate to ensure it does not bump into the aisle or other people. On top of that, the parent has to keep an eye on the baby to make sure it does not grab anything at the same time.
Another salient point about the baby carrier is how useful it is when a parent needs to walk to a building from an open car park space, and it is pouring rain. The parent can easily take his or her time to wear the baby in the comfort and cosy environment of the car while it is heavily raining outside. There is no additional worry about the baby getting wet while getting out of the car because the parent’s hands are free to use an umbrella.
With that said, the stroller has its merits too. When the parent feels tired or lazy to carry the baby (for example, immediately after a full meal), the stroller is very handy indeed. The stroller allows the parent to place the baby, diaper bag and shopping bags on to it, leaving the parent free from any weight.
So how do these two items work hand in hand? Well, on a typical shopping outing, the parents load the stroller in the car and pack the baby carrier into the diaper bag. When they reach the shopping mall they start by using the stroller first. When the shopping bags start to accumulate, the baby carrier is used, freeing up space for more shopping bags to be placed in the stroller, which is now a makeshift trolley!
The escalators in shopping malls will prove more accessible to parents when they have both the baby carrier and stroller. General convention implies that parents use the lifts when using a stroller. However, sometimes the lifts are tucked away in some obscure corner where else escalators are generally placed in plain sight on the main walkway. Therefore, there are incidents where parents balance their strollers precariously on the escalators (with the baby strapped inside) despite all the signages prohibiting the use of strollers on it. To prevent tragedy from happening, one parent can carry the baby safely on the escalator by using the baby carrier, while the other can fold up the stroller and use the escalator as well.
Once parents are aware of the benefits of using both the baby carrier and stroller together, they will pay more attention to certain features they have not considered before. For example, ease of putting on and/or taking off of the baby carrier, the ability of the stroller to remain ‘standing’ even when folded up and lightweightness for both products. Current products that fall into these categories are Carry-B, Ergo and Bondolino for baby carriers, and Combi, Maclaren and Peg Perego for strollers.