2 parents, 5 kids, 1 postcard-worthy island home, 1 carrier
Scroll through Chelsea Jean Aaron’s Instagram feed and it’s like flipping through the dreamiest vacation album ever. The family—that would be Chelsea, her husband, Ryan, and their kids, Charlie Rose, 12, Cash, 10, Bennett, 8, Jack, 4, and West, 1—lives on the island of Maui. Seeing them at the beach, on picnics, surrounded by lush green, you definitely wish you were there. But it’s also clear that the mom of 5 fully embraces the chaos of life along with the beauty. And her Ergobaby baby carrier is a big part of how she makes it all work.
Where and when did you first get your Ergobaby carrier?
I first got my Ergo when my first-born daughter was 8 months old. I was in California then, and I found it at a second-hand shop.
How long have you been using your carrier?
I’ve been using it on and off now for about 12 years, through all 5 of my babies.
What made your Ergobaby your go-to carrier?
The Ergobaby has always been my go-to because of the comfort and reliability. The straps…it doesn’t hurt my back the way it was created. I can carry the baby for long periods of time and it doesn’t hurt any part of my body. Both my baby and myself have always been so comfortable with the Ergo.
Where do you and your family go in your Ergo?
I use my Ergobaby every day. We go to the grocery store, we take walks on the beach, we go through the rainforest, jungles. You name it. Even when I’m washing my other babies in the bath, the baby’s always in my Ergobaby carrier.
Do you have a favorite carry position?
My favorite carry position is on my back when the kids get to be a little bit bigger, just so I can use both my hands at the same time and do things with my other children. The kids tend to choose it that way as well. It’s like a piggyback ride and it’s more fun for them.
Does your husband use your Ergo? Do any other family members?
We all kind of use the Ergobaby. My husband and I tend to fight over it because he’ll steal it from me and he always changes the strap length and stuff. So it’s one of those things where I’d like him not to use my Ergobaby and just have his own! And my oldest daughter, she always takes the Ergobaby and puts the baby in it just to play around.
What’s a favorite Ergo memory?
Our Ergobaby has been there for so long and there are too many memories to think of just one that I love in particular. But some of my favorite Ergobaby memories would be traveling through Europe. We went on a 6-week trip and just knowing that my baby was close and safe with me at all times was definitely comforting.
Fill in the blank: I always have ________ in the storage pouch.
In the front pocket, I’m always carrying a diaper or a onesie. It’s nice to know I always have a backup right there when I need it. So I’m prepared for anything.
What superpower does putting on your Ergo give you?
As soon as I put my baby into that Ergobaby, he falls asleep in less than 10 minutes.
What babywearing tip would you give to a new mom or dad?
I think my tip is just always having that carrier on hand. So you’re ready for whatever comes your way that day.
Tell us about the joys and jobs of parenting.
Parenting can be like riding a roller coaster, and you’re on it whether you like it or not. I have to stop and remind myself when there are ups and downs that it’s just the way the ride goes sometimes. The key for me is not blaming myself when stuff happens. I try to focus on positive ways to cope and to look for something new to try to help my children effectively. Picking my battles and realizing I’m not, nor will I ever be, a perfect parent is the most significant way to get through most tough days. I think above all, the most important job of parenting is accepting the fact that our children are unique. We need to get to know them better than anyone else on the planet, and be loving and respectful to them and their needs.
What would life look like without your Ergobaby carrier?
Without my Ergobaby carrier, I wouldn’t be able to do most of the things that I do on a daily basis. As you can imagine, life with five kids can get a little chaotic, and having the Ergobaby with me gives me the ability to help my other kids one-on-one while the baby’s on my back or my front, whether it’s talking them through whatever they’re going through or feeding them or cooking for them. It’s a really special thing. I’ve had my Ergobaby for roughly 12 years, but honestly it seems like I’ve had it forever. My kids have practically been born in the Ergo from the beginning.
When the babies are all big and it’s time to retire your Ergo, what will you do with it?
So when West grows out of it, I think I’ll hand it on to the next mom in need, just so [her family] can experience all the great memories that I’ve had with it. And I know it’ll last her through all of her kids as well because the durability is so amazing.
Describe your Ergo life in three words.
I know my Ergobaby will always provide me with comfort, freedom and it will never let me down. Through the 12 years that I’ve had my Ergo, it’s been to 10 countries, multiple terrains, beaches, waterfalls, hikes, anything you can possibly think of and it’s still as strong as the day I got it.