Since I am a permanent cast member of a German cruise ship television series, we as a family are on the road quite a lot throughout the summer. "We", besides myself, that means my wife Julia and our children Emmy and Niki. These three I actually always have with me at my jobs. Last year we went to the Cyclades and Italy for film shootings , among other places, and then spent a month in Sweden for another shoot. This year we went down the ancient coast by ship , then to Normandy and finally a few weeks to Menorca. Working where others go on holiday. This is one of the reasons why I love my job so much.
Baby in front, Feel-Good-Smoothie on the left
Already last summer in Stockholm, Julia still pregnant, we saw surprisingly many dads with babies in their carriers strolling the weekly market. Completely normal there. The Swedes are professional trendsetters. Something like the seal of approval for mass-compatible application on the world market. Papas with hipster beards and Man Bun (Julia explained to me: Basically, it's a put-up hairstyle for men) carry their baby in the front, with the weekly groceries and Feel-Good-Smoothie on the left. In the right hand the briefcase and on the little finger the heir to the throne, who wants to be handed over to the kindergarten quickly. At the same time, they manage the group call for their tech start-up via headset. Ergo: If they do that, anyone can do it. Babywearing is in.
At this moment we celebrated our carrier even more than we already did before.
But hand on heart: We hardly ever carried Nikolas, because he just didn't seem to like it. He was a pretty relaxed beginner's baby, which you could put off super well. So the topic "hands free" was not quite so present for us.
Emmy more or less lived in the baby carrier
In autumn 2018 our daughter joined us. In the beginning it was a real challenge, especially for Julia - until we discovered the carrier for us. Emmy more or less lived in it for the next few weeks. Whether Julia or I carried her, the little one simply loved being close to us. At the same time, we were able to build a particularly intensive bond and do almost everything we wanted to do.
This year we went on our first trip as a family of four. Side note: Niki is quite a whirlwind. Discoverer through and through. He has ants in his pants, constantly sees something he wants to explore. Plus, he's really fast for his age. For us as mum & dad this means: Watch out and stay as flexible as possible. If we had to jump after him with prams, we would have bad cards. Apart from the fact that of course not every country is actually wheelchair- and pram-friendly. Stairs, broken elevators, narrow cafés, you name it - we've been there.
On our trips we also noticed how different our two actually are. In contrast to Niki, Emmy was sooner overwhelmed and overexcited by the different impressions. She fell asleep badly in the evening, the nights were restless after exciting days. But when we carried her during the day, she felt safe and secure with us. This was exactly what she was missing to experience travelling with us and her big brother in a relaxed way. Whether in the action-packed Europa Park, bustling Bilbao, on the high seas, hiking in Étretat or on the beach in Menorca - everything was fine for her as long as we carried her close to us.
By the way: have you ever seen a family who, after a sweaty 20-minute walk to the Menorcan bay, desperately and astonishedly notices that they can't get one meter further with a baby carriage on the beach? No, it wasn‘t us. We were the family who had all four hands free and walked with their two children to the beach in a relaxed manner. Niki ahead, Emmy in the FlyClick (Julia's favourite). At this moment we celebrated our carrier even more than we already did before.
Essentials: baby carriers and chocolate :)
Carrying is of course more than just a practical gimmick in the everyday life of parents. Since Emmy is still being almost fully breastfed, I, as a dad, had the opportunity to be a safe comfort zone for her in this area. Carrying was a family matter for us right from the start and both Julia and I have built a much closer, very special bond with our little one. Hopefully we will all benefit from this for the rest of our lives.
If you were to ask us what we wouldn't have wanted to give a miss in the first year of life, it would be the baby carrier. In my case, chocolate, of course. *LOL* We are looking forward to many new adventures with our kids. Soon we will go hiking in the mountains with Emmy on our back...Website: www.echthartmann.com