Five ways my baby carrier turned a crazy idea into an amazing adventure
One night around a campfire our friends were talking of their upcoming trip around Australia. Just hearing about the open road, the sights and sounds, the plans; it had the traveler in me positively salivating.
– “Do you want to take me and Dante?”
It had been a joke. They didn’t have kids. They were heading to a culture and music festival in Katherine and so many other reasons. Apparently that didn’t matter. Suddenly a random joke comment around a fire turned into a real thirty-day trip around Australia on a retro fitted school bus. I was so excited. The things we could see. Dante would see more of Australia than his father had before he turned two. I would see the red centre, Uluru, Darwin and so much more.
It wasn’t until we were well on our way that all the realities of traveling with a 14 month year old started to sink in. It was hard, I won’t lie, but it was also amazing but if I hadn’t taken my baby carrier with me it would have been so much harder.
Dante is in the middle. He sleeps ok but he doesn’t like going to sleep. On the road, new routine, new people…well, it was better than expected. He woke a lot in the nights and it was often very hard to get him to sleep. There were quite a few 5am mornings of pacing up and down with the carrier to give him that desperately needed extra hour. On the good days I would be able to get him back into the bus and get a bit of shut eye myself.
- Hiking and walking in places that are inaccessible by pram
When we bought our pram we knew we would be doing trekking and hiking. It is pretty robust and can go many places. That said, our visit to The Olgas and Kings Canyon are just two examples. I managed a mind blowing 6km hike through Kings Canyon thanks to my carrier (and the muscle power of my overly generous host who carried Dante).
- Culture and music festivals
I don’t have the energy of five years ago but some of the performances and indigenous demonstrations were the chance of a lifetime. Little Dante slept through much of them but thanks to the carrier I was able to see so much more and didn’t have to be an imposition to my kind hosts. I remember a group of three indigenous women, backed by a DJ, who were incredible. Their harmonized voices combined to give an almost otherworldly sound to the stories they sang.
- Washing dishes
Yes, that’s right dishes. It sounds easy but try it in a caravan park with no one to look after your bub. And not just dishes of course. Taking out the trash, and so much more. I am the first to admit that my friends were doing so much for me but having the carrier meant that I could contribute at least some of my part.
- Snap shot visits
Road trips are awesome. They are also, by nature, hard and fast. Many of the iconic spots we passed we had little more than time for a hastily posed photo, stretch the legs, and back to it. Often enough Dante would be asleep or there would be a short walk to the site in question. Sling the sleeping baby in the carrier, trot up there, take our snaps and with luck return with said sleeping baby. Even if he was awake we could get up there via carrier, let him have a run around and then get him back down in record time.
Yes, traveling with a baby is different. Traveling with a couple without children is different. Without your other half, different. But it can be done. It took me two weeks to recover but it was worth every minute. Without a doubt my friends and the baby carrier turned this difficult challenge into one incredible trip.