Seriously, how does anyone travel without a baby carrier? I’m talking about parents of tiny people here of course. And I should probably add that I’m particularly inept at negotiating a pram.
But I’m really not sure how I would have got through the last 36 hours without babywearing.
Not just the last 36 hours, actually. The whole process of packing the campervan for two months away whilst simultaneously looking after a five year old and six month old has meant that my Integra has got a disproportionate amount of use around the house recently. Orson has almost found it fun I’m sure, the rushing around looking for that essential piece of kit I put away in a safe place last time we came back from camping and trying to maximise every inch of storage in the VW’s cupboards.
Speaking of packing, I love the fact that despite us working from pretty compact capsule wardrobes as far as clothes are concerned I’ve managed to slip three Integra carriers (two cotton prints and one solar) into the luggage without any problem at all – they fold down so small, and it means that I will never be without one.
Navigating the ferry was definitely easier with Orson in the sling.
We left Devon about two hours after we’d intended too, meaning that we had to hotfoot it to Portsmouth with none of the buffer I’d normally work in for travelling with smalls. When we eventually got on board (after the inevitable poonami to deal with before we could leave the van), Orson needed all the cuddles he could get.
I can’t imagine the winding staircases and narrow corridors would have been particularly pram friendly, and as always I was grateful for the freedom the Integra brought. It meant that Leigh and I could enjoy a cold glass of white with dinner in the restaurant whilst Orson napped on my chest (and Arthur was otherwise engaged with lego).
And then the next day, when Arthur and Leigh were mostly confined to the cabin after an incredibly rocky night turned into sea-sickness inducing swell, it meant that Orson and I could mission it around the boat on our own in search of water and food and fresh air – with two free hands to help keep my balance!
We had lunch together, just the two of us. A bit of a minefield between my allergy to nuts and his to dairy and soya, but we found a salad nicoise and selection of steamed veg that did just the job. We dipped into the on-board shop to pick up some old fashioned road maps (I suddenly got the fear that the sat nav might fail), and found a couple of books to cheer Arthur up and while away the last bit of time on board.
When we eventually made it to Santander, Orson snuggled down again as we navigated our way to the van. I think he would have happily stayed there to be honest – he was not super keen on the transfer to the car seat. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how to help him hate that bit of travelling less… After all there’s going to be plenty more of it over the next eight weeks!
Sophie is travelling in Europe for eight weeks with a VW campervan, two small children, and a collection of Integra baby carriers. You can read weekly updates about their babywearing adventures here, and find out more about what they’re up to over at Raising Revolutionaries.