I feel growing up I was given the idea that you have a baby and they don’t do much for about a year; they’re babies. But I was lied to. My daughter was rolling at a few months old and learnt to crawl at 5 months, so we didn’t get the ‘baby’ stage for very long.
So here are some ‘hacks’ I found useful when my daughter was on the move but not walking:
Have somewhere they can be contained in every room
When she was a newborn, I put her down somewhere and it was guaranteed that she would be exactly where I left her. But after she figured out moving, there was no such guarantee. So I needed to create places to contain her whilst I did things like use the bathroom or prepare food. I found a playpen very difficult to lift her in and out of. However we found the following helpful in different rooms…
Cot in the bedroom (pretty self explanatory)
Door Bouncer in the Kitchen this was her favourite, because she could watch the washing machine
Baby bouncer in the lounge, this one took up the most space but she loved being in it, spinning and bouncing chewing on the various toys attached.
Baby swing set in the garden, being able to put the washing out was difficult because she wanted to be near me, so we got a baby swing and put it right next to the washing line, this meant she was strapped in secure, safe off the ground but I was able to pace putting the washing out whilst she was content.
I had her bath seat outside of the bath on a mat, so if I needed to take her into the bathroom she also had a safe place.
Using Baby Carriers (there are so many options out there other than the ones I’ve mentioned)
Getting to the car: The pram was awkward for me to push and get in and out of the car. I didn’t feel I could trust my shoulders to hold baby on their own, so I got a ‘Baba Sling’. It meant I could sling it over my shoulder, pop her in and get to the car much more safely.
Another amazing option for when she could sit up unaided was a ‘Hippy Chick’, a baby seat you Velcro around your waist. Both of these also distribute the weight of baby, rather than just your arms.
Doing chores: I had a baby who wanted to be held, a lot. So getting my hands free, to even just push my wheelchair, was a struggle. To combat this I used a carrier called a ‘mei tai’ which can be worn in so many ways. Baby can be on your back, front, side etc. I found it to also be one of the cooler carriers in the heat. Personally I found the more I could carry her weight across my body the better my body was able to handle her. I found all the instructions I needed to use the different carriers on YouTube.
Baby walking aid or walking ‘wings’
My baby wanted to walk way sooner than I expected and I found it hard to bend and hold her hands to assist her. That’s when I heard of these baby walking aids. Which is essentially a harness with looped reins that you can hold to help take baby’s weight, assisting them to take their first steps. My daughter took a bit of getting used to it, but it enabled me to help her take those important steps, and now it’s hard to rein her in!
I would be so interested to know if anyone has any ‘hacks’ that worked with their children. Not everything works for every child and family so the more we can compile the better!