As it gets warmer, think about getting outdoors with baby!
Summer has arrived in Alaska, and if you are pregnant or have a newborn, you are probably thinking about getting outdoors with baby. Fresh air, a change of scenery and a bit of exercise will have you returning home refreshed and with a new outlook on life. To best take advantage of the Alaska outdoors, some equipment might be helpful. Think baby carrier, stroller, baby backpack, or bicycle trailer. Let’s take a look at what’s available, and what other parents recommend.
Outdoors with newborn baby
Let’s go for a walk! During the first few weeks post-partum, especially if you had a C-section, a nice walk outside will be perfect. Every few days you can add a little distance to your walk or try a new park. There are over 120 miles of paved trails in Anchorage, so I’m sure there is one near your house. You might want to put baby in an infant carrier, or a stroller. A simple stroller for paved trails will be fine. If you get adventurous and want to go off-the-paved-trail with your older baby, there are lots of fancier (and more expensive!) strollers to choose from. Several people recommended the three-wheeled strollers for rougher or unpaved trails. If it is mosquito time in your neighborhood, consider a net to cover the stroller.
Cycling Outdoors with Baby
If you enjoyed cycling before you had a baby, you don’t have to stop now that you are a parent. REI has a fabulous article explaining the difference between a child seat that attaches in front or behind you, or a child bike trailer that you tow behind. REI reminds parents that helmets are recommended by the Academy of Pediatrics for all children on bicycles or in trailers. Kristen at Rascal Rides reviews your options for biking with children and also discusses how soon a family can cycle with baby.
What about winter and cold weather?
It is summertime in Alaska right now, but what about when it gets cold? A wonderful resource for Alaskan parents who want to be outdoors in winter, is the book Babes in the Woods by Alaskan author Jennifer Aist.
Hiking with Toddlers
My cousin Margo had her kids outdoors and learning to hike at a young age. For those kids that can only hike a bit and need to rest, she recommends a waist-belt type hip carrier, that allows the kid to hop on and off easily. She says this encourages them to participate and get stronger on each hike.
This equipment is expensive!
It sure it. Once you have decided which equipment you might like, let the grandparents know that you would like it as a family Christmas gift, or save your PFD to purchase it. If you are part of our Life Lessons program, check out the Mini-Depot each time you come in as we often have very nice used strollers and baby carriers available.