When our first daughter came along, we knew that our time outoors wouldn't diminish, we'd just take her along. However, hiking with a baby in your arms is not only annoying, it's also unsafe. So we decided to buy a Snugli to carry her in. The one thing that caught us off guard was how small Sammie was. Her first trip to the GSM was when she was just 13 days old. We put her in the Snugli, and headed out. She promptly began sliding out the leghole. Needless to say, we ended up carrying her in our arms for that trip.
On that very same trip, while spending a couple of hours in Gatlinburg, I looked at baby wraps. However, knowing nothing about them, I didn't purchase one. Soon, Sammie was big enough to use the Snugli, and use it we did. We took her to Burgess Falls when she was 8 months old.
And we took her to Rotary Park more than once.
And sometimes, Daddy would carry her.
This time around, however, I knew I wanted a wrap, so we could begin young. I did a good bit of research between kids, and finally settled on a Sleepywrap (much like a Moby). Now, there are major benefits to wearing baby (selfish mommies like me get to keep baby to themselves, baby bonding with Mommy, baby being able to hear Mommy's heartbeat at all times, keeping strangers' grimy hands off baby, etc), but the one that I was most interested in was having my hands free. Sammie is quite the Mommy's girl, and since she's so little, she still gets (and wants to be) held a lot. With a wrap, I can hold her and Lily at the same time, and still have one hand free.
So for Christmas last year, I asked for a black Sleepywrap. I should have practiced a few times before Lily came, but it just wasn't a priority. Due to lack of practice, I mis-wrapped her the first time I wore it, and she slowly slid down my chest to my belly. However, she absolutely loves being wrapped to me! We took her to the GSM, too. She went when she was eight days old, and if we weren't in the car, she was wrapped to me. Let me tell you, it was wonderful!
Since then, I've wrapped her through church, at the park, the movies, the zoo, the store (much easier than using two carts because the car seat takes up one), plus a few other places. Most of the time, she sleeps (it is called a Sleepywrap), but when she's awake, she chills like this.
The wrap was much cheaper than a double stroller, not to mention how easily it fits in my trunk... I often wrap Lily and stick Sammie in the stroller. Or if I must, I wrap Lily and carry Sammie. Sometimes, like at the zoo, I do both.
When people ask me about my nursing shawl, I tell them it was the best $25 I spent in baby gear for Sammie. Well, my wrap is the best $35 [my mom] spent in baby gear for Lily.