Babywearing: one of the many things I wish I would have known about before having a kid.
For those who are unfamiliar with it, babywearing is carrying your baby around in one of a variety of carriers like a sling or a wrap. It's a great alternative to a stroller when you're walking or shopping. But at home, it's literally a sanity-saver. It lets you "hold" a fussy baby but still get things done, since your arms are free.
I started babywearing after trying out a friend's Moby Wrap. It was one of the many days Liam had been screaming for hours, but as soon as I put him in the Moby Wrap, he fell asleep. Like, instantly. It was almost better than holding him because it snuggled him closer to me than my arms could. So I went out the next day and bought one.
When Liam was asleep in the Mody Wrap, I could vacuum, do dishes, hang laundry, or basically do any household chore that could be done standing up. Unfortunately, once he turned about 4 months, he got really, really squirmy. And because the Moby Wrap is elastic and stretchy, I didn't really feel comfortable holding him in it anymore.
Then I transitioned to the "ring sling" that my very crafty friend Krissy made me (very similar to the picture below). This allows me to hold Liam while he's straddling my hip. He doesn't fall asleep in it the way he fell asleep in the Moby Wrap, but then again, he doesn't fall asleep much these days.
And finally, there's the old standby: the Baby Bjorn. I picked up a used one of these for $10 back when Liam was a few weeks old. I know that many babywearers frown on the Bjorn because it's not ergonomic, but let me tell you -- it's PERFECT for shopping. I feel totally comfortable pushing a cart with two hands when Liam is in the Bjorn, and am never worried about him squirming out. And he loves it.
In short: babywearing rocks!