I’m now lucky enough to be looking after the lovely 6 month Baby A once a week when I have my day off with my just-turned-3-year-old Izzy. Baby A loves being carried and Izzy is more than happy to walk for a good chunk of the day, but long days out in London are still a bit much for her and so we often find we’re carrying her home. I’m not a fan of fighting buggies on and off public transport and have *just one or two* slings around that I could use(!) so between the two of them I’m expecting to be doing a lot of carrying!
I’ve carried them each individually in various slings and carriers, but what are the best ways to get about in London with two small people and no buggy? I’m hoping to test out all the options and will add them all in here as I go!
For our first frosty day out together I used a long 4.7m woven wrap to carry Baby A on my front to get to the Science Museum (via bus, train and tube). While at the museum we moved to a back carry for Baby A so that Izzy and I could really engage with the activities (with Baby A watching and joining in over my shoulder!) Then after lunch and while on the way home the day got too much for Izzy and so I popped her on my back in a Toddler sized Wompat buckle carrier and they both napped for the rest of the way home! Plus they kept me snuggly warm too!
This method of carrying two is very comfy – I used a front cross carry for the woven wrap, tying on Baby A first and making sure that the wrap knot ended up on my front under her bottom. This carry style allows me to pop her in and out without untying the wrap. When I needed to I then put Izzy on my back in the SSC with the shoulder straps sitting on top of the wrap on my shoulders and the chest belt clipped to lie clear of Baby A’s head. This worked really well as I could take off either child independently if needed without disturbing the other one
Carrying all our stuff: I’ve been asked this a few times – on this trip I put all the nappies, changes of clothes, picnic, milk and everything else I imagined we might need into a (super stylish) granny trolley that I pulled along with us. I had my valuables in a shoulder bag (an orange one that you can see in the photo above). I think next time I’d just have a bag and not the trolley and will pack MUCH more efficiently as I had waaay too much stuff that just didn’t get used!
Later that day we all went on the school run, and Izzy decided to go on walking strike (I think she’s still getting used to sharing me with Baby A and wanted to make her presence felt!) this time I was carrying Baby A on my front in a mei tai with unpadded, spreadable straps (the Lana Baby Carrier in this case) and so I popped Izzy in the Wompat on my back again over the top. Again, this combination was very comfy and supportive and without needing the trolley I found it very easy to get about with them both
This week I stuck with using an SSC on the back for Izzy, but experimented with another buckle carrier (a catbird pikkolo), a woven wrap and a half buckle mei tai for Baby A, rediscovering how it’s possible to use a mei tai with wrap straps as a “poppable” carrier (i.e. one that you can fasten and then pop baby in and out of without undoing or re-tying).
I quite enjoyed the reduced bulk with having a second buckle-waisted carrier compared to having the bigger knot of a woven wrap added into the mix. However the woven wrap still does (for me) offer the most supportive carry for front carrying Baby A for longer periods of tandem carrying.
Today we did a bit less tandem carrying as Baby A wasn’t feeling her best and so she spent almost all day in the sling (we’d worked our way through lots of other options for carrying her on her own while at home) …. though still with more than an hour of tandem carrying – WAAAAY more than I really expected to be doing to be honest – I think I’m getting fab weekly exercise!
We had a busy day and so I stuck with what I knew this week – using the Wompat for Izzy and both the woven wrap and half buckle mei tai for Baby A. We did get the chance to demonstrate lots of other carriers at a fun NCT group though!
I decided to try something new for carrying Izzy this week and so for our big long walk through Belair and Dulwich parks I carried Baby A in my trusty half buckle mei tai with wrap straps and took a gorgeous wrap conversion podaegi for Izzy.
A podaegi (or pod) is a similar idea to a mei tai in that it ahs a fabric body and long shoulder straps that you tie around you, but it has no waist straps. This means that it can be tied to avoid your waist completely (great for carrying when pregnant), and that it can reduce the bulk of fastening around the waist when tandem carrying. It’s also easier to use for back carries than a woven wrap, but almost as adjustable for different sized babies and toddlers and so a great option for flexible back carrying
I found that using the pod was very comfy and for me helped relieve pressure on my hip joints, which (with my knees) has been the only place that I’ve really been feeling the weight of carrying two. I did feel the weight more on my shoulders after an hour of walking home, though I think that this was more to do with the combination of Izzy falling asleep (which always makes her feel much heavier), Baby A being wide awake and trying to reach out and grab things at the front (so her weight distribution wasn’t ideal and I wasn’t able to readjust the carry that she was in because of Izzy asleep on the back), and the fact that I was having to carry the remains of our pinic lunch and Izzy’s abandoned scooter….. and I thought I’d managed to pack light today!
If you’d like any advice about carrying two (whether twins or siblings of different ages), then we’ve got a lot of experience helping with this so do get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or see our website for lots of information about slings and carriers: www.southlondonslings.co.uk :D xx
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