Hiking with Toddlers and the @Boba Air Baby Carrier

One thing I’ve come to realize more and more with two children is the necessity of baby wearing. Not only does it allow me to do more activities with my kids, it also allows my family the opportunity to explore and create new memories in places that a stroller just can’t go. Including hiking with toddlers.

This Summer my family and I made the trek up to Mammoth Mountain for a mini vacation with just the 4 of us. Not only is Mammoth gorgeous this time of year, there are so many things to do out there! We took this opportunity to take the kids camping in Yosemite this time around. And while our camping trip was definitely memorable, it isn’t one I’d like to repeat any time soon.

Not only did I end up needed emergency dental work due to the altitude pushing up a crown of mine (abscess under the crown), but the mountain air was just too cold during the night for little ones.

But we did get to take advantage of some great hiking and exploring while we were in Yosemite and Mammoth! So ignore my puffy face and enjoy the gorgeous views we were able to take in. I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy all that we did without the help of our Boba Air.

Babywearing with Ease: Boba Baby Carrier 3G {Review}

Boba Review 3

Love. I’m in love. No, seriously… I am. With this baby carrier. It’s amazing. And cute, versatile and comfortable. Now I’ve shared my love of baby carriers and babywearing before. I own quite a few and have shopped around for the perfect one for each stage in my children’s lives.

I love carrying my babies close and thought that my Ergo was the end all and be all of baby carriers. Until I met Tweet, my new Boba baby carrier.

Boba Review 2

Why am I so smitten you ask? It’s the little things. The way the bottom strap contours up and around my waist instead of going straight around. The fact that I can put the hood into it’s little pouch instead of having it hang down in the front.

Or the fact that the gorgeous pattern can be seen when the hood is in use and when it’s put away. Oh, and one of my favorite things… the pockets on the bottom of the carrier. So convinient for my keys and cell phone when we’re out and about.

There are so many great features on this carrier. I think that the folks at Boba thought long and hard about what they wanted to include in this perfect carrier and they hit the nail on the head. I have been amazed at the response I’ve had from other mamas who I’ve shared my Boba with. Most are eager to try it on and test it out and I think I’ve created a few converts in the two short weeks I’ve had it. Here are a few other reasons to love the Boba Carrier 3G:

Boba Review 1

How to Use It

The Boba baby carrier is an all-in-one system that doesn’t need to be tied, twisted or folded. To hold your infant in a front carry you simply adjust the straps to allow a snug fit, snap the waist strap along your waist, hold your baby against your chest, bring the carrier up over the child’s back, put your arms in and buckle the top buckle.

You can then adjust the straps and tightness to your comfort level making sure baby is snug and secure. And if you are using the back carry there are these nifty foot straps that allow baby to rest his legs by putting his feet in the straps instead of having them hang down.

And if you have a newborn (7-15lbs), you can use the Newborn Hold. No insert or special instructions needed! That means you can wear your baby with the Boba Carrier 3G from birth (7lbs) to toddlerhood easily! How awesome is that?

Do you babywear?

Disclaimer: I received a Boba Baby Carrier 3G for review purposes only. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

How to choose the perfect carrier

I’ve known that I wanted to wear my babies since before I had them. But I never realized that I’d wear them with so many different carriers. I have used each carrier for a different stage of infancy (and toddlerhood), some overlapping with others. And each one brings something different to the table. From the basic, one piece carriers to those with snaps and harnesses. And after babywearing two kids I now know what I love and think that I can help out other mamas (or daddies) who plan on wearing their little ones.

Below are a few breakdowns of the different baby carriers I’ve used. I’ve highlighted what I love and what I don’t love about each. And I just realized that almost all of the pictures show below are of my kids in carriers at Disneyland. Guess we’re going to have to take the Kelty up there next time and update this picture!

Best for: 5-20 pounds, age 0-12 months
The one carrier I was able to “get” and use right away, like as soon as I brought my little ones home from the hospital, was the Hotsling. It’s one piece of material that you fold in half on itself to create a pocket. It’s versatile, light and easy to use. Plus it can double as a blanket or changing mat if needed when out and about.

I stopped using my Hotsling when my babies got a little too heavy and I needed a bit more shoulder and back support. I then started using it again with my son when he was about 11-12 months old and used it to hip carry. I would only use it for quick trips to the grocery store or mall when he didn’t want to sit in a shopping cart. It’s definitely the easiest carrier to learn how to use right away. No snaps, no wrapping, no pieces.

Moby Wrap
Best for: 5-15 pounds, age 0-6 months
I purchased my first moby wrap when my son was 3 months old. I was new to babywearing and had only been using my fleece Hotsling and Snugli before that. I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into but after researching how to wrap a moby as well as the different types of carries I became more and more comfortable with wearing him in it.

I still enjoyed using my Hotsling but felt like I had more support overall with the moby wrap when we were out for longer than 30 minutes. The moby wrap also kept my son warm and cozy. The fact that there is so much fabric means you have a built in blanket to cover up hands and toes if needed. But that also means that in the summer months it can get very hot for both baby and mom.

Best for: 11-17 pounds, age 2-6 months
This type of baby carrier is the perfect next step after the Moby wrap, as it still provides that close comfort but also offers extra support for a growing baby. I felt comfortable wearing my son in this starting when he was around 12 pounds, but it began hurting my back when he got over about 15-17 pounds. The ERGOBaby and BABYBJÖRN/Snugli carriers are usually seen as competing products, with the BABYBJÖRN or Snugli being less expensive but not as long-lasting.

I’d advise buying the BABYBJÖRN if you want to do casual carrying around the grocery store and park up to about 6 or 7 months and plan to stop carrying after that. If you’re looking for a more long-term solution, invest in the ERGOBaby and use an infant insert to make it work for your lighter baby when they outgrow the Moby wrap.


Best for: 15-35 pounds, age 6 months – toddler without insert
              8-15 pounds, age 2 weeks – 3 months with insert
I love the ERGOBaby because of its incredible ergonomics. I can wear my son or daughter for hours without any back or body pain, and it works on the front, back, or hip! I also love how easy it is to put on and adjust. I can put it on in less than a minute and feel like my children are secure and comfortable at all times.

The one drawback to the ERGOBaby is that the baby can only face inward, so my kids occasionally get restless and struggle to look around and see what’s going on behind them. But when that happens I can just put them on my back and they can see over my shoulder. I keep this carrier in my car at all times and grab it for quick errands and long trips.

Best for: 17-40 pounds, age 6 months – 4 years
This is the carrier for people who are serious about carrying. We have the Kelty FC 3.0 Child Carrier and it is perfect for outdoor adventures and hikes. If you’re an active person and want to explore the outdoors with your children then this is the carrier for you.

It comes with a sun hood, changing pad, toy loops, kickstand, storage pockets…all the bells and whistles you could possibly need. The best part about this carrier is that, like the ERGOBaby, I can also use it for both kids, switching them in and out as needed. And my husband will wear it. He doesn’t quite like the ERGOBaby but since this carrier is more like a backpack (heck… it has a backpack on it!) he feels more comfortable with it on.

I don’t use this carrier for running errands or morning trips to the zoo, but this will always be my go-to solution for adventures and vacations to keep the kids and all their equipment all in one place. I cannot wait to try this carrier on our next trip to Mammoth Mountain.

Kelty sent me their FC 3.0 child carrier to review. All others were independently purchased. All opinions are my own.

Taking a Baby to BlogHer ’11

Now I know I need to start posting about my experience at BlogHer’11 before I start forgetting very important details but I needed some time to decompress before jumping in. And I really need to clean the house… 3-4 days away from the home and it looks like a disaster area! Now that I’ve decompressed I can push the house cleaning to the side and jump in to share my experience(s) at BlogHer. I thought the best way to do this would be to write about different aspects of BlogHer. I will start by talking about my experience taking Miss M with me to attend the conference on Friday and Saturday.

Before I even signed up to go to BlogHer back in February I knew I would more than likely be taking my little girl with me. So I kept my eyes and ears open for any and all suggestions for taking nurslings. Luckily a lot of people on twitter, including the ladies at BlogHer themselves, eased my mind and made it very simple to figure out how to work things out.

Not only did I have the support of 3000+ women (including many, many moms) but I also had the support of the conference itself. BlogHer set up a special Lactation Room that could double as a changing station and storage room. I was able to drop off my diaper bag each day so I didn’t have to lug it around with me and I was provided with nursing pads, wipes, and samples of other Lasinoh products. There was even food for M. The awesome ladies at the Ella’s Kitchen booth in the Expo let me grab a few puree pouches for her to try and guess what? She loved them! I’ll definitely be buying those for Hawaii at the end of the month.

During meal-time there was always a smiling face and pair of hands for my daughter to go to while I ate. None of this scarfing food down in 30 seconds or less before having to stop a hand from grabbing food out of my mouth. Friends and strangers alike were more than happy to have Molly sit in their laps. And I let them! I even met an amazing woman at the Quaker Breakfast with Bob Harper who not only held M for me but also gave her an adorable knit bunny toy! How awesome is that? I have to get a picture of M and her new toy.

And while I was oogling Bob while asking him a question he surprised me by complimenting me on how beautiful M is. Swoon! Maybe next time he’ll hold her while I eat. Healthy food, of course. She was also my ticket to getting a picture with him. He couldn’t pass up an adorable, sleeping baby.

Each session I walked into was like a breath of fresh air. All of the women around me would smile at M and myself and those who I sat with would reassure me that they were there to help me out if I needed it. I brought a small Aden & Anais blanket with me and used it to let M play on the floor when she wasn’t sleeping or nursing. She even started to fuss during (in my opinion) the most informative and inspiring session, How to Put the Professional in Professional Blogging, and Jessica Rosenburg of ItsJessicasLife.com and Tiny Prints turned to me, smiled and mouthed, “It’s ok!” as I rocked and shushed M in hopes that she’d go to sleep. Luckily shortly after she did pass out and I got to enjoy one of the best sessions of the weekend. Check out a great recap here on Vampy Varnish’s blog.

I was lucky enough to meet up with Jessica of And Then There Were 4 and scored some awesome Smart Mom Teething Bling including a necklace and bangle bracelet. This kept M entertained during sessions and while I was walking around from location to location. I am pretty sure there are many pictures out there of M gnawing on mine or Jessica’s necklaces. Another lifesaver was my Ergo carrier. As I’ve posted before… I love my Ergo. M never once complained. I guess I wouldn’t either if I had the option to be carried around. All throughout the conference women commented on how pretty the design was. They had never seen embroidery on the Ergo before. It definitely made the carrier more appealing to those I talked to.

If you are planning on going to BlogHer’12 next year and are thinking of bringing a nursling or small baby I say go for it! It’s totally doable (and you may just get more coupons and samples from the vendors at the Expo). Just remember to:

  • Bring a carrier or stroller
  • Be open to having the supportive women around you help by holding/playing with your baby
  • Locate the lactation lounge right away (also a great place to make bottles and store breast milk/formula)

I hope to see you (and your baby) there! There’s no way I’m missing another BlogHer now that I know what all the hype is about. I’ll be the one offering to hold your little munchkin next time. Maybe your little one will learn to wave like mine did. See a video of her doing it (at home) below.

And stay tuned for more fun posts about all of the great memories I’ve made over the past few days (like the Flash Mob I was in and an awesomely amazing limo ride!!) and to thank the generous sponsors who hosted the amazing parties I hung out at with my friends (old and new). I’ll also be hosting a few giveaways that I’m very excited about.

Comic Con 2011 – Fun Times Wearing A Baby and Carrying a Toddler

We had another wonderful year at Comic Con International. We went in with a plan and got to see everything we wanted to see. Now that’s success! We started off the morning by finding a great parking garage just a block from the convention center (only $12 for the day vs. the $20 a day signs everywhere else). Then we headed out to wait in line to get our Sunday passes.

We were greatly surprised by the number of people already waiting in line and weren’t expecting how long it was already. We passed my cousin and her family on the way to the end of the line but wanted to be courteous of the other people who got there earlier than us and we didn’t ask to sit in line with them. But when we got to the end of the line we almost went back to ask. Though the view from the end of the line wasn’t that bad 🙂 That’s San Diego for you!

Once we got our badges it was off to Hall H to wait in line for the Glee panel. My friend, Amanda, was already in line so we were able to sit with her in hopes of getting in to see the panel. Once the line started moving and we saw how many people there really were we were almost certain we wouldn’t get it. Especially when it got down to us being two queues from being let in to the hall and there being a break in the time it was taking for the line attendants to come get another queue.

But we were super lucky I guess. We got in! It was standing room only by the time we were let in but that was fine with us. E hung out with Daddy and enjoyed seeing all of the people while M slept for the first half. We got to listen to the panelists answer questions about the upcoming season and the changes they have in store for the cast of Glee (Curt’s boyfriend is sticking around!). Pretty exciting stuff!

After the Glee panel we headed off to the main exhibit floor to see what was going on at the different booths. We got stuck at one booth in particular. Lego may or may not have just dumped a whole ton of yellow bricks in the middle of the floor for the kids to play with. And that’s all E wanted to do the whole time we were there. So since we’re super cool parents and were basically there for him anyway (J went alone on Saturday) we sat down on the floor and built together. It was quite fun!

After we were done with exploring we decided to go out of the convention center in search for lunch. E was already asking for food so in order to avoid any meltdowns we stopped at the nearest place we found. . As soon as we crossed the street we saw two food trucks and made a b line for them. Luckily there were choices for all of our different tastes at both.

E had a yummy hot dog from Ms. Patty Melt. Sadly they were all out of ketchup but luckily E doesn’t eat any on his. They only take cash so J and I headed over to Super Q. OMG! Seriously the best BBQ pork sandwich I’ve had in a long time! I had the Super Q Pork Melt. It came with bbq pork, mac-n-cheese, sauteed onions and lots and lots of cheese on sourdough. I can still taste it and am already craving more! The sandwich was huge. Definitely more than enough for two. And it also came with a side of potato salad that was equally delicious (but you could get cole slaw or chips instead). Joseph decided on a duo of sliders. He got the beef and pork and seemed to enjoy them. He didn’t leave a crumb when he was done.

Once we got our food we headed across the street to a park to eat. E loved the location because he got to chase pigeons and stare at the water. We may have had to take him away from the water a few times because he looked like he was going to jump in! Once we were done we bribed E with the promise of going for ice cream at Ghiradelli’s if he left with us. And although the allure of running away and finding a new family was strong he decided to stick with us.

The walk to Ghiradelli’s was comical to say the least. Being the pushover, er, great Dad that J is, E got a vanilla cream soda with his hot dog. The soda was in a brown bottle that definitely didn’t look like a soda bottle. So every block or two there’d be a comment from a passerby (or someone sitting at the outside patio of a bar) that we were starting him young. What can I say! When he’s walking down the street trying to drink he doesn’t quite walk in a straight line. He even stopped every once in a while to sit on the side of the sidewalk whenever a ledge made itself available.

Once we got to Ghiradelli’s he was more interested in the cherry on top than the ice cream itself. That may have had something to do with the fact that he ate both mine and J’s sample Ghiradelli square before we got our ice cream. M enjoyed her fair share of whipped cream but didn’t quite care for the ice cream. I’m not sure if she really is my daughter… 😉 So after only eating 1/2 of our sundae (we split it) we packed it up and headed back to the car. Of course as soon as we left the table to go outside E announced that he would have preferred a cone. Oh well! We tried.

As soon as we got into the car and out of the parking garage he was fast asleep in the back seat (M had fallen asleep on the walk over to the car). He slept for a good 3 hours! There’s nothing like walking all around Downtown San Diego to get your toddler thoroughly exhausted.

Next year we plan on coming on Friday and Sunday but only going to Comic Con on Sunday. That way Friday we can just walk around Downtown San Diego looking for fun free stuff to do. Hopefully Suzette will post another 10 Things to Do Outside Comic-Con for next year so we can be sure and check out all of the cool things to do! We passed Ciro’s Pizza and were tempted to come check out the Cartoon Network takeover but just didn’t have the time (or energy) to do so. We’re looking forward do doing it all over again next year! Well.. if we don’t have any problems getting tickets 🙂

My Babywearing Journey – The Road to the Perfect Carrier

Ergo Carrier with Molly at Disneyland - first visit

I knew when I first started reading about babywearing that it would be something that I’d want to try out. I stocked up on 2 Hotslings before E was born (one was given to me as a gift and the other I purchased) and was able to borrow a Snugli from a friend who received two at her shower.

Then I had E. And it got a little difficult after 3 months to get comfortable (and get him comfortable) with the sling. He also didn’t seem to be too comfortable in the Snugli. He was a chunker.

So I started researching other methods of babywearing. And the one that seemed the most  feasable was buying a wrap. I didn’t get a Moby Wrap but I got something similar made by a WAH mom. It was basically 6 yards of jersey knit cotton cut in 1/2 lengthwise and serged on the edges. A DIY moby wrap. But so much easier to have someone else DIY it 🙂

And this worked amazingly well for a few months. I felt comfortable, E felt secure and all was right with the world. Until it got super hot. So we stopped babywearing as much and got some good use out of our stroller. Then the day came when the Ergo went on sale on BabySteals.com… again.

Ergo Carrier back carry with Ethan Mammoth

See, I missed it the first time because I was too slow to order. Then I saw it again and didn’t think Joseph would go for paying $70 for a baby carrier. I waited till they were still in stock the next day on the website before even bringing it up with Joseph. And he said if it’s easier on you, go for it! So I did! And my Ergo was delivered about 3 weeks after I ordered it (maybe a bit longer due to the large demand and mass quantities being shipped).

And ever since I opened that package and tried it out I’ve been in love. The ease and use of the Ergo is just fabulous. It’s light, sturdy and keeps me and my babies cool or warm depending on the weather. I could wear E in front or on my back depending on where we were and, during my pregnancy, how big I had gotten. I think I carried him on my back up until I was 30 weeks pregnant. And I only stopped because he preferred his stroller or walking to being worn.

With having a newborn again I didn’t know what I would prefer. Or what she would prefer. E was awesome and never minded being carried but I had heard stories from friends about their efforts to wear their babies with no luck. The babies just weren’t having it. So I asked for an Ergo Infant Insert for Christmas (and received two!) and hoped for the best.

Ergo Carrier with Molly Hiking

When we went on our first few outings with Miss M I chose to use the same sling I used with E. And she didn’t complain one bit. Then I tried out the Ergo with the infant insert. It was pretty nice. But I didn’t quite like the insert. So when Miss M started showing signs of having good control of her head and neck I tried the Ergo without the insert (I think it was around 8-10 weeks?). She did great!

And I haven’t used my slings (or the Snugli) since. It’s been Ergo all the way!

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