Out and about with a baby

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Staying at home day in day out isn’t really my thing, not even with a small baby. Even though I didn’t do the Chinese postpartum zuo yuezi, I still got bored of being at home as I was used to go around the city teaching my students. But how to go out and take your baby and all essential items with you?

In China, at least in Guangzhou, a stroller isn’t really the most convenient means of baby transport. Many metro stations aren’t really designed for baby wagons and busses are mostly impossible to get on with a stroller. Luckily I found a great and cheap answer to this problem in the form of a baby sling or baby wrap which you can see in the photo above.

A sling can be used from newborn to toddlers (depending on the sling material etc) and it leaves your hands free no matter if at home or outside. Luckily my baby has been happy with traveling in the safety of the sling, always next to me and hearing my heartbeat.

Going out with my baby here in Guangzhou has been easier than I thought. Anna gets lots of admiring glances and people are quite surprised to see that even a small baby can be carried this way. I have heard many discussions about carrying a baby while I’ve walked around the city, almost all in a very positive tone. The things people are worried about is if the baby is able to breathe freely and if the sling protects the neck well. I’ve been happy to tell that sling is a great way to carry a baby, much better than carrying in your hands.

With a small baby I’ve also encountered the need to feed my baby whenever and where ever she gets hungry. I’ve seen news about breastfeeding in China, both positive and negative comments have followed. I’m happy to notice that so far I haven’t gotten any negative comments about breastfeeding in public. I do try to feed my baby without bothering others and often people around me don’t even realize I’m breastfeeding.

In public transport I’m always given a seat when I’m carrying Anna. People have been jumping up from their seats to give me a seat. Occasionally I’ve noticed bus drivers to wait until I’m seated to continue the journey, making it thus safer for me and my baby.

So far I’ve been very happy to take Anna with me here in Guangzhou and hope that this way she will get used to going out with me. Actually I’ve noticed that on our days outside she sleeps so much better in the sling and loves exploring the view with her eyes.

  • lindamh

    I discovered baby slings with my third and absolutely loved it. My “baby” (who is now almost 40 – yikes) was three before we gave it up – we just moved from the chest to the hip. And backpack carriers as well. It made life much easier with at least one hand free and no equipment to mess with. And if she was sick or cranky – indispensable!! Congratulations on making it work in China. The roads and sidewalks are not welcoming either to strollers/bikes/wheelchairs. (I lived in Shenzhen for 7 years)

    [Reply]

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Slings and carriers are a must in China, as you said, the roads aren’t made for strollers. I’m just a bit worried of the Summer when it’s super hot and humid, what could be the best option for that weather?

    [Reply]

    lindamh Reply:

    Since I don’t have little ones, I will let others jump in here. Many of the mothers and babies seem to work it out even when the weather is a sauna.

    [Reply]

  • Nicole

    Dear Sara, I am glad that all went well and that you are looking wonderful. Are you still teaching? You mentioned something about your students. And how is daddy doing? I hope that I have a chance to meet you one day. I am in DG.

    [Reply]

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Hi Nicole! I’m on “maternity leave” now and concentrating on getting my thesis ready. Now it looks like I’ll continue teaching after the Chinese New Year, my Chinese student (to whom I teach Finnish) starts in April. Daddy is busy working and earning a living, so basic for a hard working new dad! Would love to meet you too!

    [Reply]

  • Sandy

    Hi Sara. This is Sandy Xie, I am back in China and will stay for 2 months. I am adjusting to my I in-laws constant pampering and feeding me around the clock. My mother in-laws follows me everywhere, even waiting outside the toilet stall bc she is afraid I might slip on the slippery floor. And lots of restrictions :(. I hope to get on Facebook soon. Take good care, hope to meet you in the near future. You can teach me how to raise a child in China. :)

    [Reply]

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Caring in-laws can really be a handful! It was hard to get used at first as I was used to living on my own and being independent. What restrictions have you encountered! Would like to meet you too!

    [Reply]

  • It’s great that you can move around so freely with your sling. I’ve seen a lot of women struggling with their strollers and nobody would help them. I’ve helped a few times, and when I asked my Chinese mom in law why nobody would help them, she recommended me not to help anymore because it would be the problem if they would sue me for anything.

    [Reply]

  • Ave Estonia

    So nice, sara :) !!! Love and hugs to you both!

    [Reply]

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