Saturday, August 25, 2012

Henry vs the trees

The Mr. and I have a running joke that the bambino hates trees, mostly because all of his early experiences with them seemed to seriously piss him off.  We would pack up our sleeping angel, drive out to one of the many national parks and nature preserves in the area, and quietly slip him into some sort of baby wearing contraption so that we could take a walk.  We were outside.  We were moving around. IT WAS GLORIOUS.

We escaped the house!
Free at last!
This would work fine for a little while, but once he woke up it was scream o-clock.  The poor little guy would lose it; we're talking sudden transformation into bleating, shrieking little panic machine trying to break all of the glass in the greater Boston area with his rage at the insult of finding himself among those damn trees again. We would stop in our tracks and initiate operation calm the banshee, always fearing that some well-meaning passer by was going to call child services since we were so obviously torturing this poor baby.

One thing was pretty consistent - he was almost always hungry (mind you, this is true in any situation. When in doubt, the baby is hungry), and the one thing that worked was feeding him. Unfortunately, this often meant that we were trapped in one place for a very long time, and any attempts to move after he was fed would risk waking the beast and a return ticket to screamy town.
He's happy again! Now hold still until he turns 18.

We eventually got clever enough to realize that a baby that is always hungry will be happier if he always has access to food, so I just started carrying him and walking around while he nursed.  A new world opened up! We weren't trapped in the car anymore! We weren't constantly in search of a bench or a soft grassy spot! We could just enjoy a day when armed with my little privacy smock (highly recommended if you are nurse-walking since baby may spit out your nipple at an inopportune moment)...or without depending on the occasion, his degree of fussiness, and my attire.

Since then, I have been systematically figuring out how to feed him in every restraint and contraption that we own.  The car seat calls for a pumped bottle (leaning over it, while possible, is really uncomfortable.  I will spare you the picture, but you get the idea).  Sling carriers work okay for this with a little balancing, but the big winner for nurse walking has to be the Baby Bjorn - loosen the straps a little so the little critter is just about boob high and baby can snack away to his hearts content. Throw a nursing cover over the top in polite company, and you won't even have to disturb the little one by putting your shirt back in place when he invariably falls asleep on your milk duds - works like a charm for a sleeping baby and a relaxing walk.

In short, we are back to happy hiking. No panic button required.

Look, ma! Awake and not screaming!


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