I have spoken so often about Silver’s colic and the way he gets upset every time I even think about putting him down, let alone actually doing that. I know it’s a phase of early babyhood — each of my kids went through it, but that doesn’t make it any easier. There are times when I want to have both hands — or need to have both hands. I have three older kids who need my attention as well and homeschool lessons to get done. I have work that, if an option, I don’t want to be up until 3 AM doing, and I don’t always want to be holding a baby when I eat or go to the washroom or shower.
My neck, shoulders, and back have been really painful lately — like hard-to-move painful. I know it’s a result of overtight muscles because I’ve experienced it before. I was blaming this strain and pain on hunching over on the computer and/or carrying around the heavier than average breasts due to breastfeeding, but the big issue has become clear. It’s from holding, carrying, rocking, bouncing, and dancing with my almost-4-month-old, who weighs probably 15 pounds.
Getting hands-free time is rare for me, but thankfully there are a few products that allow me to get a little break from holding him.
1. Moby Wrap
I was introduced to the Moby Wrap when my third child was born, and I really consider it to be one of the mothering must-haves if you’re able to get one. It is so comfortable to wear Silver in it. Since it’s one giant piece of material, it lends itself well to distributing the weight of him across my whole back and shoulders, which is a big bonus for my already sore back and neck. I am totally okay with having him strapped to me so he can get the comfort of mama, but I can have my hands free to do other things as well.
Want one? Check out the different options from Moby Wrap.
I can’t say enough good things about this product because from the day Silver was only a few days old he’s been content in this swing. It’s one of the few things he’s nearly always happy to hang out in for a little bit, which allows me to shower or just have him stare at me while I get some work done. It’s got the comfort, motion, and white noise that always seems to settle him — and that’s awesome.
Want one? Check out more info about it on 4Moms, $219.99
3. Fisher Price Piano Playmat
I just picked this up a few weeks ago when Silver started to roll over from back-to-front, and he’s really had a great interest in what his feet are doing. This is fun for him because he can kick the piano at his feet and watch himself in one of the mirrors hanging — which is one of his favorite things too. He is happy to hang out there, roll around, and listen to the music. And I am happy to drink my coffee warm instead of cold.
Want to check it out? View it on Fisher Price, $53.
4. Bright Starts Bouncer Chair
There is something magical in these kids of chairs — the ones that vibrate and slightly bounce. Each of my kids have been calmed by one of these chairs and Silver is not any different. He can be fussy, then when I turn on that vibration he is instantly soothed.
Want to get a similar one? Check this out from Target, $ 24.99.
5. Soleil Baby Carrier
When I was in need of a new baby carrier, I asked on Facebook which was a good one to put on quickly, is comfortable, and will keep my baby happy. I had one person, who had never failed me before in her recommendations, tell me how much she loved her Soleil Baby Carrier. I picked one up as soon as I could and she was right again. This carrier is fast and easy to put on, which is needed for an impatient, fussy baby, and it’s so comfortable I can keep it on for hours. That’s a lot of hands-free time to me!
Want to get one for yourself? Check them out at Beco Baby, $140.
Photo credits: © Devan McGuinness
:: What is your favorite product that helps you go hands-free for a few moments? Share in the comments! ::
Devan is a freelance writer living in Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and four kids. No, those aren’t her kids real names — they’re online pseudonyms. Read more from Devan on Babble and “like” Accustomed Chaos on Facebook!