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Baby Basics :: Transportation

Today we’re going to talk about all things transportation. I’ve never seen a car seat in China. I’m not sure if car seats are not required by law or if that law exists, but is ignored. (If you know, please share!)

Since we don’t have a car, we take the bus, taxi or ride our bikes.

Let’s go!

Diaper Bag
Just as I’m running out the door, I generally grab my… purse with baby items inside. That’s all. I’ve never had a special bag dedicated to the baby.  I think diaper bags are helpful if you are taking your child to the church nursery or Mother’s Day Out, but in my daily life my kids are always with me.

Sling
2007-02-14@12-32-30 2007-02-03@12-20-31
As soon as we were pregnant, I knew I wanted a sling to wear my baby in. I love having my kids close.

I bought the sling from sleepingbaby.net and was very pleased with its quality. If you want a sling, sleepingbaby.net is the best place to get one!

2007-03-03@11-59-09 2007-07-30@18-27-13
We wore the sling everywhere – even in the house as we wash dishes, do laundry, etc.

When Schäfer turned one, the sling became uncomfortable. He wiggled and squirmed until the fabric had moved around. (Sleepingbaby.net says you can wear a child up to 30lbs., but no matter how tight we tied the fabric it always seemed to loosen.)

After several recommendations, we decided to get an Ergo. We looked on eBay and noticed that 2nd hand Ergo’s were not much cheaper than buying new. Ultimately, we decided that if we were going to spend money on a baby carrier, we should do it now (on child #1) so that we could get maximum use out of it.

Ergo

2008-07-12@13-23-53
We LOVE our Ergo. If I could only have one baby carrier, I would get an Ergo. You can bundle a baby in a blanket to make it work for the first couple of months, but after that the Ergo will be your BFF until the child is 4 or so.

2008-06-14@12-20-28 2008-07-01@12-52-39
Hubs likes to wear the kids on his back. I prefer to wear then on the front. The Ergo is also adjustable to wear wee ones on the side.

2011-04-17@11-25-18 2011-04-19@13-41-40
After Selah was born, we realized we needed another Ergo since there are often times when the girls both need to be carried up and down stairs, in and out of subways, on and off the bus.

We bought an Ergo clone off taobao.com. Though The Clone looks similar, it is NOT as comfortable as a real Ergo. (Details here.) The Clone does in a bind, but if I’m running out the door and I need an Ergo, I always grab our real one from the states.

Stroller
2007-04-12@18-37-06 2007-06-09@14-37-07
When Schäfer was 4.5 months old, we decided to buy a stroller because the vegetable market was over a 1 mile round-trip and it was difficult to manage the sling, the veggies and oftentimes an umbrella.

A stroller seemed like the easiest solution. At the time, I think we paid about 230rmb = $30 for this HaoHaiZi umbrella stroller.

Of course, it created a new problem: How could I get Schäfer, the groceries, and the stroller up to our 5th floor apartment?

Easy. I left the stroller on the 1st floor, parked under the open stairwell.

Our HaoHaiZi stroller lasted exactly 3 years. After it broke, a friend offered us a gently used MacLaren.

A few weeks passed and Hubs was traveling. While on the road, he met up with a friend who had carried the MacLaren to us. On Hubs bus ride home, Hubs put the stroller in the bottom of the bus. When he got to his stop, the stroller was gone.

Moral of the story is: expensive strollers are more likely to be stolen.

2010-09-09@23-14-31 2010-09-09@23-14-50
Our friends showed us their SanLe 三乐 umbrella stroller that they ordered off taobao.com for 100rmb = $14.94. We were pretty impressed with the quality and the price. I LOVE the total hood coverage for sun protection and sleep privacy.

Hubs noted that we could buy 13 SanLe strollers for the price of one MacLaren… or Graco… or Kobi…

That sealed the deal.

For more details on strollers go here.

iBert
2007-09-07@16-56-41 2007-09-07@17-04-37
We LOVE our iBert! As soon as we found out we were pregnant, we started looking into bike transportation options. The iBert was love at first sight. It wasn’t cheap and a used one only goes for about $30 less on eBay, but it was one of those items that we felt like we should buy now so that all the kids could use it.

2008-08-08@08-44-24
An iBert seat is good for up to 42 inches or 38lbs.

2010-10-30@17-37-24
This is the only photo I have of me with all three kids on my bike! Sianna in front, Schäfer in back and Selah in the belly.

2011-05-29@16-32-31
These days, Schäfer rides his own bike while I ride with Selah and Sianna.

2011-05-29@16-17-56
This was Selah’s first bike ride so I had her in the Ergo because she was five-months-old. These days, Sianna sits in the back and Selah sits in the iBert.

That’s how we roll.

Shopping List
Available in China
Ergo Clone
Stroller
toddler bike seat (sits on back)

Bring from America
Sling
Ergo (real)
iBert

How about you? Do you love your Ergo? What helps you get around on the east side?

6 comments to Baby Basics :: Transportation

  • Erica

    We didn’t start using the ergo until baby #4, as when my first was born, the baby bjorn was all the rage. We used our Bjorn for 4 kids and it is still in fine condition. Now we have an ergo, which I used mostly on my back.
    We had a jeep umbrella stroller, which we only used for certain vacations, as we just didn’t like messing with strollers. But sometimes it was nice for taking a walk around parts of town that had nicer streets/paths.

    We did end up getting a double stroller that we used for our then 3 year old, 2 year old and 6 month old – we could squeeze all 3 on that thing! And I never found a nice/affordable double stroller overseas. That came from America!

  • Angela

    This series is so fun! I LOVE my ergo. Worth every single penny. Can’t wait for little Bridgette to get a teeny bit bigger so I can snuggle her up and go!

  • What a great series Sandra. I am realizing how long I have been reading your blog when I see the pictures of Sianna (she has changed so much) and the double Ergo, and the three on the bike is more than brave in my book. Thanks for proving once again why yours is one of my most favorite blogs. It’s no wonder we are coming back to China. 🙂 Ergos are THE best.

  • Eden Cai

    Well, I don’t have an Ergo. We were given a Baby Snugli and a sling when our we had our first child. We also bought a stroller. We thought that was enough to get the baby around.

    However, when our second baby was born, we were given a beautiful handmade “pan pan” by a local mommy friend whose hometown is in the mountainous countryside. A “pan pan” is one of those blanket carrier things that you see some mommies use to strap the child to their bodies like a little papoose. I have no idea what the Chinese characters are for it because the word is very local — my Chinese husband had never heard of a “pan pan” before.

    I was very surprised to discover that the “pan pan” was quite comfortable to wear. I preferred it to the Baby Snugli. However there were two drawbacks. It was rather complicated to get on correctly. Oh, my friend could throw that thing on in no time flat with ease, but I struggled. It was not as easy as the buckle, buckle, snap, snap on the Snugli. It was also a big attention grabber. So, I fear I left the “pan pan” at home more often than not and am keeping it to give to my daughter when she grows up.

  • Julie

    Ergo = LOVE!!! Our was a gift, best baby gift ever. Use it everyday. My back hurts when I carry him without it.

    We have a nice Phil and Ted jogging stroller, but we have to store it in our house so it doesn’t get stolen and it is too big to take on a bus or taxi… In hindsight, I’d spend money on a Ergo and buy a 100kuai stroller.

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