It is summer time for many of us babywearing families and that means a chance to enjoy the National Parks together as a family. Getting into these protected places is a special treat for most of us and it makes memories that last a lifetime.
My husband and I love to get into the parks with our son. He is 2.5-going-on-independent, and he likes to start off on his own, often blazing the trail, but we keep our
close at hand for when his little legs need a rest. Our Air is going into our pack again now for an upcoming trip to Mount Rushmore.
Here are seven families who share their National Park babywearing adventures with us. Meet Kate and Zack who take their daughter, Maya on a wet and misty adventure to Niagara Falls
; Jeni who celebrated her first mother's day while wearing her son in a wrap at Theodore Roosevelt's National Park
; and Callie and Devin who wore their baby, Aviel on their family's first trip to the Sea of Galilee in Israel
Babywearing offers up closeness and comfort for little ones and wearers alike. It offers more freedom while enjoying life together as a family. It's time to plan your next big family adventure --- make sure it's a babywearing adventure.
Kate and Zack with their daughter, Maya
"We had picked up the Boba Air only a few weeks before our trip up to Niagara Falls, after trying it out at a World Breastfeeding Day event sponsored by the Happy Baby Company here in Pittsburgh, PA. It was comfy, it was affordable, and it seemed perfect for getting wet! It also packs up nice and small, which is essential for our family and our tiny car.
It was the perfect carrier for Niagara Falls! We got our up close and personal view of the Falls from the American side, in New York's Niagara Falls State Park. First, we wore our daughter in the Air through the Cave of Winds, our first attraction of the morning. We all got rather wet, despite the spiffy ponchos, especially the Air, which was on the outside of our ponchos! But not to worry - back at the top of the gorge surrounding the Falls, on Luna Island, we picnicked with our morning snacks and spread the Air out in the sun. Within 15 minutes, it was dry and ready to use again!
While walking around the grounds of the Park, our daughter fell asleep in the Air (demonstrating how comfortable it is), so for our trip on the Maid of the Mist, she and the Air were under my poncho. Still, they both got wet, as I pulled the neck of the poncho down to make sure she could breathe easily. Maid of the Mist is quite an adventure! It was thrilling to be so close to the Falls, so beautiful.
Despite getting wet for the second time that day, the Air again dried very quickly upon being laid out in the sun, this time as we noshed on a late lunch. The day didn't stop after that, though. We hopped aboard a trolley and also saw the Niagara Aquarium, and later, strolled through the Canadian side of the Falls (where we were staying) taking in the sights of the night life and some dinner.
While the Air is not our primary carrier, it is perfect for travel, especially when the probability of getting wet is high, or keeping in the car."
• Kate Jenkins
Jackie and her son, Jaxon
"This is myself and my son Jaxon (He was a year in this picture and he’ll be 4 soon.) at Shenandoah National Park hiking to Dark Hallow Falls. He’s in a Boba. It was myself, my best friend, my 3 kids and 2 dogs making the long hike down and back. The Boba came in so handy so I could keep my hands free and Jaxon still got to enjoy the hike." •
Rachel, Adam and their daughter, Maren
"For Mother's Day weekend, we took a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee with our 20 month old, Maren. The scenery there is gorgeous, but the trail that we wanted to hike to Grotto Falls, a scenic waterfall, is definitely not toddler friendly. The only way we were able to experience the beauty of the mountains and walking behind a rushing waterfall was thanks to Boba and babywearing!
Maren was totally content to take in the scenery of the Trillium Gap Trail from the comfort of the Boba on my back. We had to cross four small streams without the benefit of a bridge and several parts of the trail were heavy with rocks and roots; I would not have been able to simply carry Maren to our destination without worrying about her safety. This is our second family vacation since Maren was born, and both times we have left the stroller at home. Babywearing is so much more convenient for us while traveling--and hiking!" •
Sarah, Mathew and their son, Issac
"We regularly wear our now 5-month-old to Texas State Parks in the Boba wrap. We have hiked all over the state of Texas! Here we are at Government Canyon State Park in TX on Easter, March 31, 2013. We have also had him at the National Zoo in Washington DC in it." •
Jeni and her son, Kole
"We went for a picnic to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, ND for mothers day. We hiked around and saw buffalo, elk, prairie dogs, and natural caves.
Our little man slept in his boba wrap a majority of the time. It was a very nice day!" • Jeni Devonn Jessop
Callie, Devin and baby, Aviel
"My first real attempt at babywearing was on the Jesus Boat at the the Sea of Galilee in Israel. My son was 14 days old. Now looking back, I can hardly believe I was out and about so soon! I had a natural birth, was feeling great, and had three out of four grandparents visiting from abroad. Of course they wanted to site-see a little, so off we went on an adventure--with a new born.
Babywearing became a refuge that day. As the boat gently rocked with the waves, I sat with my tiny son snuggled next to my chest and had a real sense that he was mine! It was the first time that no one asked to remove him from my arms. Loving grandparents who would soon be flying home over contents and oceans, had an honest desire to bond with him, but my heart had been aching to hold him close. I was delightfully surprised to discover that my wrap was a natural deterrent from the game of "pass the baby.
Together, we sat on that boat in complete peace. No wonder, now as a three year old, that my son's favorite bible story is about Jesus calming the storm on the Galilee. We lived in that calmness, and babymooned, for the first time, while babywearing on the Jesus Boat."
• Callie Mitchell
Amelia Mayer and her two little ones
"While due to high water in the spring, this area is currently closed (but will open as the waters recede in the coming weeks) but is one of my favorite local day trips in Yellowstone National Parks. The Boiling River is an area where hot water from a local spring feeds into the Gardner River and creates a great place for safe soaking. It's a popular spot in the summer, so we actually prefer to frequent it in the winter when the crowds subside, though did take friends there numerous times this past summer.
This is one adventure where the Boba Air excels as far as ease of getting kids safely to the actual spring (about a half mile walk) and then into the comfortable water. I can wear my kids comfortably on the trail and then put the Boba back on after I have stripped down outer layers and am ready to swim. While not designed for water, the BobaAir keeps my toddler next to me and my hands free to steady myself over the rocky river bottom until we get to a good sitting spot. Even better? It dries quickly to allow me to wear my son on the trail back home too."
Amelia Mayer, Boba Brand Ambassador, and the mama behind the blog, Tales of a Mountain Mama