Bringing Baby Out and About

Sometimes it's necessary to run errands with a little one in tow. Here's the easiest way to do it.

While waiting in line at a store over the weekend, a child started having a meltdown while mom and dad tried to calm him. The older woman in front of me, probably about seventy, glared at the parents and said to me, “When I was raising my kids, we never went out. We stayed home. Too many germs.” Little did she know that I have my own six-month-old baby at home that I often bring with me when I shop for food, household necessities, etc. My husband works on Saturdays (my day to run errands) and we already exhaust our babysitters as it is (Thanks vavo, vovo, nana and my sister-in-law!).

It’s often necessary to take baby Carter for a quick trip to pick up groceries, toilet paper, diapers or cat food (Those poor kitties. Now that we have a baby, it’s not until we notice we’re totally out of cat food that we remember we need to go shopping for more. Note to self: Buy the giant bags). I often bring my Baby Bjorn, and wear my little one for hands-free shopping. Carter seems to really enjoy the outings, too. He gets to be held by mom for an hour, he looks around and takes everything in, and I get to accomplish a few household chores. Once in a great while, he might whimper or scream, but once I start moving again, he’s soothed back to serenity. The worst feeling is when all eyes are glued on me until I’m able to calm him.

When I wear him in public, I often hear, “That baby has the life,” or “Doesn’t your back hurt from carrying him like that?” or “He must be spoiled.” He’s not spoiled. He’s loved. And mama has stuff she needs to do, too. Carrying him in this way actually builds my abs back up. No need to hit the gym, not that I would have time anyway. Truth is, even my arms have never looked better after lifting an eighteen-pound baby all the time.

The point is that no mother or father should ever feel bullied or judged when she or he is out and about in public with a baby. And kids are kids. If they have a rough time, parents should give themselves a break and bystanders should try to sympathize, not criticize. No one knows what the other person’s life is like. Yes, in today’s modern world, there are many ways to make life easier for parents, including online shopping. But when you’re down to that last quarter roll of toilet paper, or a few morsels of cat food, then don’t feel guilty bringing baby out to do whatever you need to do.