Did you know that October 5-11, 2014 is International Babywearing Week? Every day this week has been about promoting and celebrating babywearing according to different themes. Today’s theme is “Share Your City Saturday.” The idea is to show rest of the babywearing world the adventures you can share in your community.
If you’re a public-transit-using parent in Montréal, you know that in order to go on some of the awesome adventures that are possible in our lovely city, you need to babywear. While in Vancouver, I noticed that every Sky Train has an elevator. Unfortunately, Montréal’s métro system is notoriously inaccessible to strollers (not to mention wheelchairs and any other type of mobility aide).
The little house icon is where I live. The bulls eyes show the three (out of the sixty or so stations) stations equipped with an elevator. In order to reach the platform at any station without an elevator, you have to contend with at least two sets of stairs. There is usually at least one escalator, but you aren’t technically supposed to bring your stroller on the escalator and they are often out of service.
Before I had my Toddler Tula, I was using our umbrella stroller and just carrying it up and down the stairs on my own. (I found it too uncomfortable to wear him in our Ergo by the time he hit 20-25 lbs.) Since I can wear him very comfortably on my front or back with our Tula, I don’t have to contend with a stroller and stairs on the métro any more! I like to walk to the station doing a front carry, since then it’s easier to sit down. On a recent trip home from dinner at a friend’s house downtown, he fell asleep and we were caught in a downpour on the walk home!
We do own a car, but any downtown or plateau destination is way easier to get to on transit. Thanks to babywearing, it’s not a chore at all! (Also, I hate parallel parking… and parking restriction signs in this city continue to baffle me.)
Riding the bus isn’t impossible with a stroller in Montréal, but it certainly isn’t easy. Passengers tend to stubbornly occupy the area designated for wheelchairs and strollers and leave me blocking the aisle. Cub’s first babywearing bus trip was at less than a week old!
Even if you’re not taking the métro in my beautiful city, babywearing will make most of your adventures a heck of a lot easier. Our sidewalks are a paradise of potholes and random construction closures, and the vast majority of businesses are not wheelchair accessible, and consequently not very easy for strollers to access, either. Most cafés and shops are at least one step up off the pavement, and there are few ramps nor buttons for hands-free door opening. In fact, my local mall has only one door with a button to open the door hands free, and it doesn’t often work. I also once got stuck in the line up at a grocery store because the checkout line was too narrow to fit the stroller through. (This was the same store where the blockades that stop you from stealing a shopping cart also meant I needed a passerby to help me get my stroller up and over.)
And then, there’s the snow. Although my BOB gets around pretty darn well in all sorts of snowy conditions, babywearing is my preferred snow-travel method! (I especially hate driving in the snow.)
My friend Julia loves snowtime babywearing too! She has a Kokoala coat extension, which turns her regular winter jacket into a babywearing winter jacket!
Does babywearing help you get around in your city?
I got my Toddler Tula Carrier from Lagoon Baby. (Affiliate link)