Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wear your baby on the bus

Without getting into the drama of 'should they or shouldn't they', I'm going to write about how babywearing can make public transportation easier (I'm sure you're on pins and needles, am I right?). I live in Stittsville, I drive to work, so the whole stoller-on-a-bus issue generally doesn't affect my day-to-day life. Prior to having kids, when I worked in an office in downtown Ottawa (back when I wore makeup, did my hair, and shaved my legs on a regular basis... I digress!), I used OC Transpo regularly (I have OC Transpo to thank for my love affair with the Harry Potter series of books!). Since becoming a parent, I have used public transportation with our kids occassionally, and in those rare instances, I have never felt the need to use a stroller. In fact, I would say using a baby carrier instead always made the experience far easier.

So, why wouldn't I want to use a stroller on a bus? For starters, how awkward must it be to get on and off a bus with a stroller? I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest very awkward. Babywearing makes things like stairs and narrow spaces easy to negotiate. Easy on, easy off!

What about when the bus is packed full, how do you think your little one feels with people pressed up against his stroller? From their perspective, it must be a little scary to be surrounded by lots of strangers in cramped quarters (like a forest of legs!). When you're carrying your baby, you're always close by, he just has to look up and he can easily see your face for reassurance.

Slings make breastfeeding on the go much easier. Babies get hungry everywhere. If I had junior strapped into a stroller, and he decided he wanted to eat, like, five minutes ago already, it would be a struggle to get him out and latch him on on a crowded bus. When your baby is in a carrier, breastfeeding can be easy and discrete.

Lastly, I have always appreciated that when my babies were carried, it was easy to keep them away from the hands of well-meaning strangers. When sitting in an enclosed space with lots of people you don't know, especially in cold and flu season, you don't want strangers stroking your baby's cheeks.

If you're boarding a bus with a toddler, and you think he's outgrown a baby carrier, think again. A lot of soft-structured carriers (SSCs) can be used with children who weigh up to 40 lbs, the size of an average four year old. You can wear your toddler on your front, making it easy to sit down with him in your lap. It can be done, trust me!

So, all this to say if you have a current OC Transpo or Grand River Transit pass, you are entitled to a 10% discount on any instock, regularly-priced baby carrier (no other discounts apply). Transit pass must be shown at time of purchase.


  1. great post! We are Canadian and used ot live in Ottawa, I carried my daughters around on the OC Transpo bus all the time - somuch easier than a stroller! When we had our first daughter we lived in NYC, I rode the subway with her in my sling everywhere - it was great (the sling and NYC!). Now we have a third and live in Washington DC - here you aren't allowed a stroller on the bus unless it is folded. In fact today I took all 3 of my kidlets on the bus and my 4 month old son happily rode in the sleepy wrap I bought from you this past summer :)

  2. Hear hear! My 5 1/2 month son Pieter and I ride the bus in K/W everywhere together, with him comfily in his Ergo. I see the moms with their giant strollers on the bus occasionally and feel very sorry for them, what a pain! And I generally prefer wearing him on the bus to putting him in his car seat and driving him anywhere... if he falls asleep on the bus, I can always just leave him to sleep in peace while I go about my errands or whatnot, I don't have to get him in and out of the car repeatedly. (And our errands often take us to the Waterloo baby shoppe! Thanks for running such a great store ladies!)

  3. I completely agree. The thought of even taking the stroller on the bus makes me shudder. Typically, I wear my two-year old in my ergo(bought from the extraordinary baby shoppe) on the bus. Even when he's on my back, I can stil sit, although I prefer to stand. I think we both like it better that way. :)

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