Dressing babies and toddlers for the cold isn’t easy. Finding items is one thing; stuffing the kid into various layers is another! Make it easy on yourself and look for items that let you layer easily and get out the door before you all break out into a sweat. It’s also nice to have the kit we need on hand before the colder seasons arrive, so I recommend you start looking for items early. Hand-me-down items are often the best approach since at this age our kids are growing so fast, but you can also find what you need at outdoor retailers. Here are my top picks for keeping babies and toddlers warm in winter…
It feels like it wasn’t that long ago that we had a baby we could snuggle into a soft carrier to take hiking, and who would fall asleep for long portions of the journey. But things have changed rather quickly, and we now have a toddler bubbling over with personality and propelling herself with her own two feet.
Though the newness of doing outdoor activities with a baby can be overwhelming, once that little person sleeps less and walks more, you’ve got a whole new set of wonderful (and totally manageable) challenges to contend with. Of course, this depends on your toddler. Some can sit longer than others. Some sleep anywhere. Mine is a restless little ball of energy who doesn’t want to miss a thing.
Either way, all toddlers are inherently busy and explorative, so if you have two-foot-high trail buddy in tow, these tips should come in handy.
Usually when you set off to write a report or dig into a topic, you need to define your terms. It is important that your reader understands how you define certain concepts so that you’re able to take off from the same launch point. That being said, something that is fun about The Adventures in Parenthood Project is my quest to pick apart some of the concepts surrounding adventurous parenting, including the very definition of these two words.
So, to help me make some headway, I put a question out to my community of outdoor family bloggers: How do you define “adventurous parenting?”. Their answers reveal a broad spectrum of perspectives, from “parenting is adventurous in itself” to qualities that make one parenting style more adventurous than others. It’s not about being better or worse at parenting; the reality is that some people are willing to do things with their children that others are not, and it’s all a matter of choice. I’ll leave you to read their definitions, and please take some time to provide your own in the comment of this post!
I know as well as any new mama how it feels when that-friend-who-started-trail-running-a-month-after-delivering-a-baby posts a photo of her latest baby-free jaunt through the woods. I’ll admit I still feel those pangs of jealousy as I think back to my own first month postpartum, to my post-baby body. I still feel them now. On the surface some women make it seem like they just plopped a baby out and then it’s business as usual. (Is this actually ever the case!?) Physically speaking, it seems they heal quickly and their bodies are good to them.
This just wasn’t, isn’t, the case for me. And I discovered that comparing myself to others really is futile because I don’t want others to compare themselves to me. I know that I post a lot of photos of me doing active, outdoorsy things, so I wanted to set the record straight. Since May, I have only been doing those things when I feel good enough to do them. Otherwise, I’ve been coping with health issues that have come as a major surprise to me.
A surprise and a major wake-up call.
If you’re travelling with a baby you’ll be surprised at the extra gear even such a small person requires. And while some items, such as diapers, are a no-brainer to bring along, others may not come to mind so easily.
Before we started a family, my husband and I shared a passion for adventure travel, and made a concerted effort to plan an annual trip. That didn’t change when we had our baby girl. We had the goal of travelling abroad with our daughter in her first year of life, and though we knew it would be challenging, in the Winter of 2014 we set off for 70 days in the South Pacific when Maya was just ten months old.
I just spent the week at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, the annual gathering of adventurers, adrenaline junkies, mountain artists and authors up at The Banff Centre. Being a new parent, I entered this year’s festival with a very different outlook on what it means to lead an adventurous lifestyle. As I listened to people’s stories of epic climbs and expeditions, I was curious to know how these “real deal” adventurers felt about parenthood. Did they want to have children? Had they chosen not to? If they did have children, how were they be able to balance life as a mother or father with their adventurous pursuits?
How does a life of adventure without kids compare to a life of adventure with kids?
Here’s the scenario I left you with in Part 2 of this series: Back in August my husband went on his first big trip since we had our daughter – an ascent of Mt. Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Prior to leaving he told me, “This trip could very well be about more than just climbing Mt. Robson. I’ll see how I feel about being disconnected from my wee family up there.”
I left you wondering how things went, and asked: Would he be able to separate himself from his emotions during the climb? Decide it is just too much for him right now, and give up on climbing big peaks for awhile?
If you’re a new parent, the thought of taking your baby camping might seem pretty far-fetched. But if it’s something you love to do you may be tempted to give it a shot. Break them in early, right? I figured that the earlier we took our little one out, the better. If I didn’t try, I’d never know, and I might get too comfortable with the idea that it would be too hard. So, this past week my husband and I packed up our sleeping bags and ventured into the great unknown: sharing a tent with a 10-week-old baby.
Parenthood is all about learning to see the world through the eyes of a child. This is something I learned early on in my journey as a mother, and it is the basis for the short film, Eye of the Beholder (a collaborative project with Doug Urquhart of The Upthink Lab and composer Michael Wynne). I wrote all about it in How My Daughter Inspired a Film that Went “Viral.” But for today, here’s a quote to remind you that life is all about the small things and in gaining new perspective on the familiar.
Just a quick post to announce a few changes around here. Some of you are already signed up for The Adventures in Parenthood Project newsletter. To make things more simple for me and for my readers, I am going to be centralizing all my project, publications, and updates into one single newsletter.
I’m calling it “outside-in”, a name I think pays tribute both to my love for the outdoors and also my passion for the inner journey that is well worth exploring. In my newsletter, I’ll do a round-up of my latest posts on the web (from my blogs and others), magazine publications, and projects I’m working on, as well as point to links from around the web that are inspiring my work.
Keen to keep following my journey? Sign up for the outside-in newsletter.