Quite a while ago, I was listening to a podcast which had absolutely nothing to do with babies, and the presenter was mentioning how when he went out with his infant son, he never saw the necessity of burdening himself with reams of baby gear. He didn't have a stroller or a nappy-bag. He didn't tote about 5 changes of clothes. He didn't have an action plan, should a massive poonami* occur. And I confess that this is one of the things that has freaked me a bit about mum-hood. All the bleedin' clobber! I usually don't carry anything out of the house that doesn't fit in my pockets (phone, check; wallet, check; keys, check; ipod, check!). This means that I tend to select clothes for their pocketiness, and nothing annoys me more than the faux pockets they like to stick on women's clothes, because heaven forbid you might actually want to USE them, and ruin the line of your pants. Sheesh.
Anyway, I figured, if this guy could travel light, then I could too! We researched a bit, and ended up choosing the Ergo Baby Carrier. It seems pretty versatile: can carry babies and toddlers up to 18kg (and I'm thinking that well before he reaches this weight, I'll be encouraging the Frog to start hopping under his own steam); can be used as a front, hip and back pack; has a handy pouch (yay! more pockets!). What more could you want in a baby-pack?
Here's the Frog enjoying being cuddled up in his pack (worn on the front, in case you can't tell)
Now, I've decided that I'm virtually the only parent in this city who wants to travel light. I've gone to a few parent meetings where you can't make it through the cafe for the crowd of strollers, slung about liberally with full-to-bursting nappy-bags. And there's me with a spare nappy (gah! yes! disposable), a couple of plastic bags, and some wet-wipes in a ziploc baggie all in the pack's pouch.
Apart from a bottle of formula stuffed in my bag and the all-purpose burp cloth, that's really all I need for a 4 hour time-slot. So why do some parents feel compelled to bring so much stuff? Maybe the Frog is a wonderful exception in the pooing department, but he's managed to vomit copiously all over himself, and I really can't be bothered to do more than sponge the worst of it off (yay burp cloth!), and leave him to air-dry.
I'm sure the stroller fans have a list of pros for prams (and cons for packs), and I'm not arguing against strollers particularly - but I have been impressed that so far, we seem to be doing pretty well with our pack and minimal gear totage.
* term poo-nami is shamelessly pinched from a mate and co-mum. It conjured up a disgusting vision in my mind, so I felt the need to share.