Today we’re continuing our series of contributions from babywearing adoptive parents with more insight from Christine, who adopted her son from Russia when he was two.
Traveling overseas to adopt a child is exciting and nerve-wracking. Packing for that trip can be overwhelming. You want to pack lightly, but still bring everything you could possibly need for your new child. One way I was able to lighten our load was to pack a sling instead of a stroller or even a front-pack-style carrier. While another type of carrier might work better in your particular situation, here are some reasons why I chose an open-tailed ring sling:
1. It was easy to sew. Adoption is expensive; wearing your baby doesn’t have to be.
2. It’s easy to use. With online instructions and a teddy bear, I learned how to use it in minutes.
3. Popability. I could quickly get my son in and out as needed in airports, restaurants, and the Embassy.
4. Support. My son is very tiny for his age. One-shouldered support was sufficient.
5. Versatility. The sling became a blanket, a changing pad, a peek-a-boo game, and a harness.
We were in Russia for 10 days before I put our son in the sling. The very first time I tried it, he fussed. Momentary panic flashed in my mind as I envisioned our journey home with no stroller or carrier. But then I remembered the advice I had read many times before — move. I swayed, bounced, and then walked briskly around our hotel room. Soon he was smiling and snuggling in as if he belonged there. We strolled along city streets, rode escalators, and maneuvered through airports effortlessly with the sling. It felt so liberating to be able to take my new son anywhere and at any pace we needed to go. I loved having him so close to me right from the start. He loved being able to see all the new sights from eye level. His new grandparents loved how easy it was to pop him out of the sling and into their arms!