Being from a western country like Australia, we are lucky enough that most places have well-maintained footpaths and roads, therefore the use of a pram or stroller is an easy option when out and about with a baby or toddler. However, many countries are without this luxury for various reasons. This is just one of the benefits of babywearing while travelling.
When we were researching our trip to Vietnam last year, one point that popped up was to leave the pram at home as there simply weren’t the accessible footpaths we were used to and it would be more hindrance than help. This threw us a little as we were not the babywearing kind. Our daughter was already 12 months old and would be 14 months by the time we travelled. Where baby carriers even suitable for this age? Yep!
We shopped around and tried a few of the highly recommended carriers that were suitable for our daughter’s age and beyond. For us, the ErgoBaby Original carrier was the winner, as it was comfortable for both myself at 5’5′ and Simon who is over 6 foot. It took a little getting used to, but we were all set for our Vietnam holiday minus our pram. The other carrier we heard rave reviews about was the Manduca Carrier but it just didn’t suit us as well.
These days I would choose babywearing over a pram for most international destinations, hands down!
Benefits of babywearing while travelling:
1. More Convenient Than Strollers
Through Europe it can be the case of cobblestone roads that are hard enough pulling a suitcase along let alone giving your child a jolting ride in a pram, while in many Asian countries, footpaths are given priority for motorbike parking and you hardly want to brave pushing a pram out into that crazy traffic that certain Asian destinations are known for. Strapping on your baby instead is far more convenient.
2. Keeps Them Close
There are benefits of babywearing also when it comes to crowds. Most people love babies. They love to look at them, touch them and just get right in there close. This happens a lot less when you have your baby against your chest. We found our daughter still got a lot of attention and hands coming in her direction while in her Ergo, however it was a lot less than if she had been in a front facing expose stroller. Being 14 months, it was not so bad either compared to people touching a young baby.
Again with the crowds. If you have ever been somewhere crazy busy, like a popular event or function where you have battled to push a pram or stroller through crowds, you will know right away the benefits of baby carriers. It is far easier to make your way through crowded areas when you are one with your little person.
4. Hands Free Travel
With babywearing, your baby or toddler is strapped to your chest or back, so you don’t have to worry about pushing a stroller while also lugging bags and travel accessories. Baby carriers help you to be hands free so you have less to juggle while in transit.
And while not directly related to travel, the benefits of babywearing are universal from a parent-child bonding perspective. In many international destinations, babywearing is a normal part of everyday life (just like co-sleeping). It helps babies to feel secure and safe while they are close, as well as keeping them snug if you are in a colder destination. Plus you can keep an eye on them, which is reassuring for every parent. Having a baby that feels safe certainly makes the transition of travel a lot easier also.
We used our Ergo Carrier throughout our Vietnam holiday, from Saigon to DaNang, Hoi An to Hanoi. We took in turns since it was sweltering hot at times and we found it so easy, although carriers like an Ergo and similar usually need a second person to help strap you in compared to the wrap style babywearing options that are also popular.
Our carrier has already been useful several times since the arrival of our baby Violet now that we are happy babywearers. In fact both girls would drift off to sleep pretty quickly so it even means you don’t have to skip nap time while on the road, just another one of the benefits of babywearing while travelling.
Have you tried babywearing while travelling? Love it or loathe it?