Edited by birdie.lee - 5/7/13 at 12:39pm
Just my 2 cents!.. I see this going to be your first baby and that you're planning a trip just after have the baby. I think that you need to aware that you probably need a lot of rest, and time to bounding, even though that you might a birth with not complications what so ever. If this was your second o more baby, I'll say just do it! get a ring sling or elastic wrap and have the trip. But I think for the first time parent is very overwhelming stage for the first 3 months or so. The learning curve in any of the carrier could be to much for you and your Hubby when you're just start to know your baby, in such rush timing by a trip.If you going to breastfeed is good to know thta you probably going to nurse you baby constantly, get use to nurse in public and everywhere, meaning that is also a learning curve to choose and use the comfortable clothing and that include a baby sling. Ei. I like more a ring sling for some ocassions with a newborn, but after a couple weeks I might prefer an Elastic Wrap or a Mei Tai. I can imagine be a tune and coordinate with my first baby.I think is just fantistic that your planning to babywear for the beginning, but please be kind with yourself for the trip.
Yes, you can use a baby carrier successfully on a plane. Take whatever wrap/carrier you are comfortable with using. The airport security sometimes asks you to take the baby out to scan the baby carrier. On the plane you have time to sit down, get the babe out if that is desired and get organized. I always tried to breastfeed during take off to help her with changes in pressure. I learned to wait till the plane is not just rolling, but actually taking off. After landing, there is plenty of time to put the wrap on, even if it is a stretchy or woven. You can learn to tie a stretchy/woven wrap in small spaces (airplane seat) quite quickly, but it takes practice. I traveled a lot on buses, so was ok with this. It might be more convenient to use a soft structured carrier (i.e. Ergo, Manduca) with a baby insert - you just fasten the buckles. Mei tai is also quite easy to use, although not every newborn loves them. (My DD got used to a mei tai once she was 5 months, before that she just did not want to be there)
When it comes to getting the baby out of the car seat and into a baby carrier quickly in cold weather, it is doable, too. You can sit next to the baby and pop it inside the carrier and then put your coat on. During the first months she could fit comfortably under my regular coat. Or you can get out, have the wrap pre-tied, pop the baby quickly in, put the coat on , but it depends on the temperature outside. Also, remember, if the space is too small or you really need to be quick, do not worry about doing a perfect tying job (applies to wraps or mei tai). Just good enough to be bring the babe securely to somewhere more spacious and warm to re-tie properly, if needed.
We went on a similar trip after DC1 was born. We drove, so I can't speak to wearing a baby on the plane, but as for an easy carrier to have, I took a sling and moby wrap. It was easy to get her in and out of, with a little practice, DH became a pro at the moby. I also like the moby (or other wraps) when visiting over eager relatives, because there is less poking the baby and wanting to play "pass the baby" when they're sleeping because people assume it's hard to get them out of the wrap.
Don't underestimate the power of "oh, the baby's fussy, I think we need to go lie down, nurse, and help DC calm down". I used that many times when I sensed that DD was getting overwhelmed with people. Relatives that are familiar with newborns will be supportive, and those that are not, won't know any different. It will get both of you some much needed rest. (Talking to myself here too, as we just planned a trip at 2 wks old after this bean comes.... AHH! )
I used a pouch sling, it was pretty easy to nurse in, and she loved sleeping in it. I bought a ring sling for this next one. Frogmama.com just uploaded a bunch of videos to her site about baby wearing a newborn. She demo'd 6-8 carriers with her new little bean.
Our drive is about 11 hours, so definitely not 3 days!
I love wraps for newborns! Mobys and other stretchies are great for winter use (they can be hot for summer use). I would take 2 carriers with you. Little babies are messy (pee, poop, puke), so it will be nice to be able to change into a clean carrier. I would bring a stretchy and a ringsling (either a sleepingbaby or a lightly padded maya). I would pick a rs over a pouch, since both you and your DH will be able to wear it. For winter, I also like to use a monkey pocket (mine is wool, but they also make them in fleece). You can use the mp over your carrier or with a stroller/carseat. Good luck with your trip, and try to rest as much as possible!
ABO Mama, thanks for the tip about getting/bringing two carriers. I am leaning towards a Moby and a ring sling. I don't think we are going to do much outdoorsy stuff other than walk from the car to the house and back again. Though I think the Monkey Pocket sun veil is a super idea and may have to get one for the summer months.
I'm sure you will be glad to have 2 carriers, and rs don't take up too much space. The tail of the rs can also doubles as a nursing cover. I have a solarveil mp too! It is so nice to not have to worry about sunscreen (and having DS lick it off of himself, eww).
Just another Moby recommendation here. Practice wrapping it before baby is born and try daily once baby is here. it took me 2 weeks to get 100% comfortable with it. then i would not be without it!
Moby and other stetchies are easy to use with a newborn. They are great for the first 3 to 4 months, then the baby usually gets too heavy and you have to re-tie repeatedly. Although instructions for most stretchies say you can use them up to 35lb, most people I know felt the baby outgrew them and bought another, more supportive carrier after 4 months (i.e. woven, mei tai, ssc). A woven wrap is slightly more difficult to learn than Moby, but it can last from newborn till quite a heavy toddler.
I'm pretty sure all ring slings are woven. The stretchy material used as a sling wouldn't be safe, IMO.
You can find pretty good deals at a fabric store and all you have to do is make sure the edges are finished and you have proper rings if you use this method. http://www.sleepingbaby.net/jan/Baby/no_sew.html
When DS was born, we flew across the country to visit my sister 5 weeks later. I had a pouch sling & a MeiTai style carrier, and he did fine in both. The pouch was easier in airports/planes, b/c it was simpler to get him out at security w/o having to deal with straps.
You'll have to take the baby out for takeoff & landing (whenever the seatbelt sign is on basically), so it is definitely helpful if you can get them in and out in a small space w/o having to get out of your seat.
My rain jacket fits over a 7mth prego belly or over a NB in a sling, so I used that when we travelled, if I needed to keep both of us warm/dry getting from car to building etc. If it was really cold, I tossed a blanket over DS before I did up the coat.
We've travelled a lot with DS, and honestly, that was one of the easiest trips ... 18mths on a plane cross country is much more challenging! Five weeks old & nursing is pretty simple, you don't need toys, or bottles, or snacks. Just mama & diapers & blankets.
JMO a German Style woven wrap is a better investment than a Moby it will last well into toddler years and mulitple children allows for multiple position carris including back carries.
The resale is also high. Here is a link for babywearing groups, maybe there is one near you where you can go to learn about, touch the different fabrics and get comfortable carriers before baby arrives.