Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Seasonal Wearing: Autumn Pt.3

Part 3 in our series brings us to a fabulous fall activity of hiking. The proximity of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Skyline Drive to our area can provide some gorgeous fall colors to enjoy on a hike, but even short casual hikes in local parks like Great Falls can give a taste of the great outdoors. Wearing your child makes it possible to hike over ground that is ill-suited to stroller use. As a family activity, it allows the parents to continue an exercise they enjoyed prior to having children, and share their enjoyment with their children. A morning at Great Falls with my infant last autumn provided me with a chance to try out my new camera and attempt to get some pictures of the trees, the falls, and one terrible over the shoulder shot of baby asleep on my back. We enjoyed the fresh air and got a little sunshine before the cold of winter would drive us inside. Even a bike ride for the preschooler can become exploring in the woods if dad has baby in a carrier.

Babywearing tip: for long hikes, parents should choose a carrier with great support that spreads out weight across their body. A supportive woven wrap, soft structure carrier or supportive mei tai are good choices for hiking. Many people will be more comfortable wearing their child on their back. Until you become comfortable with hiking while wearing, stick to trails with clear semi-flat paths and always be aware of where your child is and what might be able to bump him.

And who said it’s all about fun? You can get fall chores done while wearing too! Raking the leaves is a tedious chore, but you can get it done with baby along. And then if your toddler decides it’s time to jump in the leaves, well… who said work couldn’t be fun too? If you’re concerned about baby becoming cold, there are many inexpensive options for keeping little one and yourself warm on a cool fall day. A large piece of fleece can be cut to make a poncho to be worn over you both, an oversized coat can be buttoned around baby in a front carry, and for the crafty among you, a cheap coat from the thrift store can be modified to become a babywearing coat. There are also several brands of babywearing outerwear like the one I’m wearing in this picture. However you choose to stay warm, keeping your little one snuggled up with you while doing mundane chores makes them a little less tedious.

Babywearing tip: Be aware of where the rake is at all times, you do not want to accidentally poke your little one and you want to be aware of overly zealous “helpful preschoolers.”

Posted by Ann Marie

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