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.

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.

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