How To Prepare For A Walk With A Baby

How To Prepare For A Walk With A Baby – Sounds simple, right?  Wrong!  New mommas know, there’s nothing easy about babies.  Everyone encourages new moms to get out of the house and take a walk. There are many reasons including exercise, fresh air, sunlight, and merely getting out of the house for a short time which feels good after you just had a baby.  Doctors and other moms will agree.  But what if your baby cries the second you put him in his car seat?  What if you don’t know what to bring?  Will he get hungry during the walk?  These are all real fears and the reality of learning with a newborn.

I recently had a new momma reach out and ask how I prepare to take a walk with William as I’ve been taking them almost daily.  Walks are my main form of fitness these days, so itz important to me I take them.  Fitness should be fun and stress-free no matter what it is, and that’s how walks have become.  Like most everything else with a baby, itz been trial and error, but I’ve figured out what works best for us.  I hope you find these tips helpful because getting outside in the fresh air and warm sunshine feels so good, especially during times when you may need it most!

how to prepare for a walk with a baby

The first thing to consider when attempting to take a walk with your baby is the weather.  Babies have a harder time than adults regulating their body temperature, so itz important you go during mild temperatures.  I’ve been going in the morning before it gets too hot and before the sun is blazing. (Itz recommended that sunscreen is used only on babies six months older, though some people use it sooner. I try to avoid situations where I would need to use sunscreen on William as I don’t want him exposed to the sun for long periods of time right now.)

Itz better to go if itz a little cooler rather than a little hotter. The reason being that you can always bundle up your baby, but itz harder to cool them off.  And a hot baby is a cranky baby, and nobody wants that.  We’ve had unseasonably cooler temperatures in St. Louis for July.  Many mornings have been barely 60 degrees, so I keep William in his footed cotton sleeper, add a hat, and put a lightweight blanket on him.  That has worked well.  If itz 70, he’s in a onesie and a lightweight blanket with the option to remove the blanket if he seems too warm.  80 or 85 is the warmest I’ve taken him in, and I probably wouldn’t take him if it were any warmer and the sun was beating down for fear of overheating.  (That may be dramatic, but as a first time mom I’m definitely overly cautious!)

Now for the big secret…

The key to taking a walk with your baby is to go right around the time he or she is due for a nap!  

carseat

Babies love movement and sleep best when moving (think: rocking, swaying, bouncing) which is why most pregnant women don’t feel their babies kicking and moving throughout the day; instead, we feel them at night when we’ve slowed down a bit.  The same goes once they’re here.  That’s why there are so many bassinets, rockers, gliders, bouncers, rock n plays, etc. that MOVE in order to soothe babies!  It makes sense!

Many people suggest following the eat – play – sleep order for babies.  Whether you follow this or not (we follow no schedule here!), you want to time your walk with the sleeping portion.  Sometimes that means we play a little, eat, play a little more, and then walk, while other times it means we play a lot, eat, and then we’re reading for our walk right away.  It will vary with every baby, and even from day to day!

Once William wakes up from one of his morning naps, I unswaddle him and let him wiggle and kick around his crib for awhile.  He’s always (usually) so happy when he wakes up, so itz fun to see him laugh and smile and move around.

crib

Then, I decide whether itz time to play more or nurse.  This depends on the last time William’s eaten and what he wants.  Babies are in control!  If itz been a couple hours, most likely he’s ready to eat again, so we eat.

eyes

After we eat, we play.  And we play hard.  I really let William wiggle and move to tire him out.  Plus, if I expect him to sit in his car seat for a little while during our walk, I want to make sure I give him the opportunity to MOVE before and after.

So, we play on our activity mat.

activity mat

We have tummy time which requires LOTS of energy and strength!

tummy time

All that moving around after he’s eaten usually gets his insides moving… which means itz time for a diaper change!  He does some more moving and grooving with his wrist rattles while I change his dirty diaper.  (Even if itz just wet, I suggest putting him in a clean diaper before you walk.  I wouldn’t want to sit in wetness – neither does he.)

smile wrist rattles

Once you have that baby all ready, then itz time to get yourself ready.  I usually put WIlliam back on his activity mat or in his bouncer seat to keep him entertained for a few minutes.  I put on my walking clothes and get everything ready for our walk. (I put my water bottle, garage door opener, and phone in the stroller.  I put a leash on Zoey.  I make sure there is a diaper and wipes and plastic bag for Zoey in the stroller, just in case.)  Once I’m completely ready, then itz time to put William in his car seat.

Alas, he’s starting to get tired!  Once he starts to get tired, itz time to put him in.  You don’t want to wait until he’s totally sleeping.  If you do, you risk waking him up while you strap him in, and mommas know – itz never good to wake a sleeping baby!

carseat

And we begin our walk!  Sometimes William falls asleep two seconds out the door.  Other times, he’s awake, but drifts off shortly after we begin walking.  When he’s awake, itz the perfect opportunity to talk about everything you see outdoors and the sounds.  Sun shining, wind blowing, trees whistling, dogs barking, whatever it may be.

William does not typically sleep in his car seat.  Walks are the one exception because of the movement.  If he’s not sleeping at first or if he wakes up during the walk, he’s fine because of the calming effect the movement of the stroller has.  Plus, all his needs are met.  He’s already eaten, changed, and slept.

Itz definitely a trial and error game with finding what works best for you and discovering how to use the baby’s timing to your advantage.  If you take away nothing else from this blog post, the best time to take a walk is when your baby is fed, changed, and ready for a nap.   Then itz a happy walk for all!

walk

Are you a walker?  How’s the weather been where you live?  Mommas, how do you prepare to take your baby/kids for a walk?

Memorial Day Weekend

Itz Memorial Day weekend, so hopefully you’ve got the day off work and are able to get outside and enjoy the nice weather!  My summer has officially begun as Thursday was my last day with my students.  Check out the cutest homemade gift I received as an end of the year present:

Itz

Seriously, so cute!  It will be the first decorative item that goes up in my new classroom as I’m looping up to fourth grade with my same class.  Looping has many benefits and I’m excited I get to stay with these kiddos for another year.

Today I’m linking up with Katie’s Marvelous in my Monday while I share about my marvelous weekend.  Lots of marvelous in the blogosphere today!

MiMM

On Friday I received a totally awesome package from Under Armour for working on their What’s Beautiful campaign with FitFluential.  The shoes are baller and so lightweight, I love the neon mesh tank, and the headbands all have inspirational messages on them.  Can’t wait to rock the UA gear!

Under Armour Swag

Have you signed up to be part of the What’s Beautiful campaign yet?  What are you waiting for?!  Join Team Fabulously Fit NOW! (More gear made especially for this challenge can be found here.)

Saturday was my dear grandmother’s 80th birthday, so my mom and aunt hosted a lovely luncheon for her at the Ritz.

Mama

Isn’t my Mama beautiful?  No one ever believes she just turned 80!  She’s definitely the most amazing woman I know.

Stephanie and I took really classy pictures during the luncheon…

seester

Actually there are about a million other pictures (including handstands with my mom!), but they’re on Steph’s camera, so I’ll have to wait on those.  This darling picture is taken while we hid behind curtains.  Why?  Because itz just so darn fun to pop out, yell, and scare my mom and grandma.  Yes, we’re kind of eight years old.

Saturday night included a night out on the town!  Kait, my co-worker, teammate, and friend is sadly moving to Texas.  She had a going away party and we had to take an obligatory hold-her-up picture one last time.

school friends

She better come back and visit.  We’ll miss her, that’s for sure.

The weather on Sunday in St. Louis was gorgeous.  I couldn’t bear to stay indoors, so instead of heading to the gym I went to a local park to walk with a friend.  We covered about four miles and I sported one of the Under Armour headbands.

UA headband

Good, better, best. Never let it rest. <– LOVE!  I took this to mean that even on your rest days, you should still be active.  I can’t sit still for long, especially when the weather is nice, I just have to MOVE!

As an afternoon pick-me-up, I decided to make a fresh juice with my NutriPro juicer.

green juice

Cucumber, grapefruit, apple, and lemon made quite a refreshing juice!

I had no plans for the evening, but the weather was still gorgeous, so I called my good friend, Jessica, and we went to Forest Park to walk another four miles before eating dinner at the Boathouse.

boathouse

Yeah, the glass of wine (in a plastic cup) sounded better than it turned out to be.  The warm weather coupled with the fact we just got done walking did not make the red wine appealing.  Stupid choice for ordering it and a waste of money.  Oh well.  My black bean and corn veggie burger was AWESOME as were the beer-battered fries that accompanied it.  I rarely eat fries, but these were good!

Then I went home and snuggled with this little pooch for the remainder of the evening.  We were both tired from all the walking (Zoey got two mini-walks yesterday, too!).

zoey yawn

What’d you do over the weekend?  Any plans for today?

Healthy Weekend

Itz been a healthy weekend over here, my friends; how about for you?  I think that the term “healthy” refers to so much more than merely exercising and eating right.  While those factors are definitely incredibly important to living a healthy life, being “healthy” also involves taking care of yourself, both mentally and physically, and fostering relationships with those you choose to surround yourself with.

All of such which are, of course, marvelous, which is why we’re starting the week off celebrating Healthy Diva’s Marvelous in my Monday! #MIMM

MiMM

Healthy is… spending time with your family.  On Friday night, we went out to dinner at The Pasta House to celebrate my nephew Jackson’s fifth birthday!

jacob jackson

Of course Jacob had to help hold the cake and blow out his candles.  Those two boys do everything together!  Best of cousins, best of friends.

Healthy is… nourishing your body with healthy food and fueling it when itz hungry.

chobani

Apple Cinnamon Chobani topped with more cinnamon and almond butter makes the most delicious and satisfying snack!

Healthy is… hanging out with your friends and sitting around a newly built backyard fire pit enjoying each other’s company.

fire pit

On Saturday night, our good friends Stevie and Whitney invited us over for dinner.  They grilled flank steak, asparagus, and potatoes.  Very delicious!

Healthy is… moving your body.  Exercise IS important!  Don’t forget to enjoy the beauty nature offers when the weather permits, too.

pond

Diana and I headed out Sunday morning for a five-mile walk around her neighborhood.  While it was a simple walk, we got in our workout for the day, kept a brisk pace, and took in the views along the way.

Healthy is… doing things you love with people you love.  Jonny, his parents, and I went to the Cardinals game on Sunday afternoon.

jonny cards

My Running Skirts red and white headband and my Oakley sunglasses match perfectly with the rest of our Cardinal red!  While we didn’t exactly bring home a winner, we certainly loved the hot weather and sunshine on our faces!

Healthy is… rooting for the best baseball team ever – the St. Louis Cardinals!

St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis IS Cardinal Nation!  The atmosphere is always a blast at Busch Stadium as St. Louis fans are constantly pumped up and cheering on our team.  I love how you can see the Arch in Busch Stadium; it makes for a very pretty backdrop.  Now how many cities can say that about their stadium?  That’s what I thought.  Go Birds!

What was healthy about your weekend?  Favorite baseball team?  Cardinals…