outdoorsy mamas - help with lo? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 09-07-2009, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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We have a 6 year old, and a 4 week old. When our 6 year old was a baby, we stopped trying to do too much outdoors. But now, especially with the 6 year old, much of our family time/activity time is doing things like hiking, picnicking, etc.

I'm struggling a little with a few issues, taking the baby along.

First, if we are somewhere relatively stroller-friendly, I get nervous at how much the little one's head gets jiggled around, when the stroller is on grass, or a rougher gravel path. Do I need to be worried about this?

I've tended to use a moby wrap to carry her instead, so I'm not worried about her head. And then of course I worry about her overheating when it's warm here. I put her in the wrap just in a onesie, and we don't walk for too long at a time (maybe 1/2 hour), before I can take her out and let her cool off. Her back is still cool at that point, but her front is all sweaty as is mine. Is this ok?

Lastly I have no idea what I am best to do when there is no shade. Yesterday we took a picnic to a lake that my older DD loves to play at. There is NO shade there. I handled it by keeping the lo with me, and covered with a light blanket. But she is kind of restless during the day - wanting to be up on my shoulder, then down in a cradle hold, then facing out, then nursing, etc., that I get so flustered trying to keep her content AND covered. Not so fun for me while dh and dd play LOL

I'm not sure if I should limit our excursions to places with shade, or find some solution - take an umbrella with me, or something? We like exploring new places, and I'd rather not have to keep turning back when we don't find shade.
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#2 of 9 Old 09-07-2009, 09:21 PM
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DH and I have indulged our love of the outdoors since having DD...: We are outside year-round. We go hiking throughout most of the year. We go sailing during the spring, summer and fall. DH is a runner...I like to walk. So far, DD and I have "hung out" while DH has gone skiiing.

Since she was a wee one, my main priority has been to protect her from the sun (especially since we are at such a high altitude). So, I dress her in longer sleeves, pants, and a hat. Once she got to be several months old, I felt comfortable applying some mineral sunblock to any exposed skin. Bringing along a compact umbrella is a great idea!

We have just recently gotten a stroller, so I can't really provide an opinion based upon personal experience on rougher terrain. But, I do know that good jogging strollers tend to provide fairly smooth rides off road. Plus, I have seen infant head and/or body supports designed to be added to strollers. Maybe that would help? To be honest, I haven't ever worried too much about DD overheating while being worn. If either of us get a little "moist," I just remove her for a short while and we cool off.

Have fun! :

Libby blahblah.gif, momma to my precious little girl (6/29/07) 
                        and wonderful little man (12/1/10)

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#3 of 9 Old 09-07-2009, 09:31 PM
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I totally know where you're coming from! I've had the same troubles trying to stay active and outdoors with my LO this summer. Here are a few things that might help, from my experience:
- try rolling up a receiving blanket and tucking it around the baby's head while she's in the stroller so her head doesn't get so bumped around. (But honestly, I'd advise you not to worry too much about it as long as you have her reclined pretty far back in the stroller - a little jiggling really won't hurt her.)
- If you're carrying her in a Moby, instead of keeping her in the newborn hug carry, see if you can't transition to the regular hug carry, or whatever it's called when she's facing you, but with arms and legs out of the Moby instead of curled up inside. Changing to this carrying position rather than the fetal-position one made a world of difference to how hot my LO gets in the Moby; I don't worry as much about carrying her in there in the intense heat. Of course, I don't know how big they have to be before you move to that style of carry, but I imagine it doesn't matter too much - the Baby Bjorn has them in that kind of carrying position from birth onward, after all.
- speaking of the Bjorn, that might not be a bad idea either - I've found that the structured carriers offer a bit more air circulation than the Moby in the heat. You can probably find a cheap used one on Craigslist, or borrow one like we did - I have found ours invaluable for hiking (when the Moby just seems too hot and confining).
- if you have her out in the heat, drink lots of water yourself, and offer the breast often so she doesn't get dehydrated.
- keep a sun hat on her. This will keep most of the sun off her face, especially if she's in a carrier. My LO would never tolerate a blanket over her in the sun, either, so I can imagine the challenge!
- You might want to try carrying her in the Moby to avoid jiggling but pushing a stroller too, so that you can put her in the shade of the stroller cover while you're sitting still. That sounds like a lot of equipment to me, but it might solve your problem.

And, most important: don't worry too much. Be sensible about sun and heat, but don't hide indoors either. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

I'm traveling the world with my kids without ever leaving home and blogging about it -- watch, taste, and share our adventures at TheGlobalStayCation.com!
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#4 of 9 Old 09-07-2009, 09:32 PM
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I've taken my 4 mo out constantly since her first week. I keep her dressed in long sleeves/pants, keep a hat on her, keep her in the mei tai. I got a little sun cabana thinking I would use it but haven't. I think a small umbrella would be better. The carseat/stroller has a sun shade so that helps.

I don't worry about the neck wobbliness. I was reading in Boucke's "Infant Potty Training" that a lot of African mamas handle their babies pretty roughly not worrying about head jiggling. And as a consequence--their babies develop head control sooner! Not sure how helpful that is, but I'm all for anything that makes you worry less.

Interestingly, they also expect their babies to sit up sooner, and so they do--often as early as 2 months. They dig a little hole for them to sit in at the edge of the field and pile up dirt to help support them till they can do it themselves. FWIW, I noticed the other day that my bumbo chair is made in South Africa. Could the bumbo people possibly have gotten this idea from native tribes??

But I'm off topic.

Mom to Jessie Marie 4/30/09
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#5 of 9 Old 09-07-2009, 10:04 PM
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I always think of where we are going to determine what carrier to use and if to bring the stroller or not.
If we will be sitting in an area that might not be shaded, I bring an umbrella for shade to sit under.
If we are on rough terrain I usually have ds2 in wrap, mei tai, ergo or sling. I find it easier to chase around 3.5 year old ds1 if ds2 isn't in the stroller.

I don't worry too much about overheating. They won't develop a fever if overheated against your body. It just feels uncomfortable, so I'd sit and take a break and remove from carrier, and maybe nurse, have a snack.

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#6 of 9 Old 09-08-2009, 10:50 PM
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For the stroller - I guess it depends on if the stroller is age appropriate. If designed for a small baby, it should be fine. She should be mostly reclined, not sitting up.

For the wrap - my kids are always sweating against me. I dress them as I'm dressed. If I'm too hot, I figure they are. If I'm fine, again, I figure they are as well. Take into account that you are doing physical activity, and your baby is not, so you're probably hotter than she is.

As for the shade - personally, I think people overprotect their kids from the sun. I just read an article about vitamin D deficiency because nobody lets their kids go in the sun anymore. But I live in Maryland, and the sun's not so strong up here.

A few thoughts - cloth (blankets, clothing, etc) provide very little protection from the sun. It's about SPF 3-10. If you want true protection you have to get something that's designed to block out sun's rays. They sell clothing/material that is made to be SPF 50, so if you go with the covering method - that's what you gotta do.

Or do research and find a sunblock that you feel comfortable with. I would appreciate other postings on this, but I think zinc oxide is not supposed to be able to be absorbed by the skin, maybe I'm wrong. Anyway, there's definitely some sunscreen that is less absorbable (is that a word?) and you can use that if you like. If that's your concern with the sunscreen in the first place. The umbrella sounds good to me, or try exploring and finding places that are suited to both your kids.
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#7 of 9 Old 09-08-2009, 10:53 PM
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We went "camping" (an RV but we were outdoors a LOT) for a while when DS was 3-4 months old; I wore him in an Ergo with the sun hood up, and it was fine. He didn't burn. I'd think you could work something like that up with a Moby.
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#8 of 9 Old 09-08-2009, 11:16 PM
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We went tent camping with really hot day and really cold nights when DS was 3 months. I made sure to get a sling where his legs and arms were out, kept the sun off the top of is head with a hat, and always set him down under a tree or something for shade. Most importantly, nurse, nurse, nurse, and nurse! I nursed nonstop to keep him hydrated and he still got a bit dehydrated, so I gave a few ounces of water.
During the night he slept...well.....like a baby, despite the cold. Fresh air was fantastic for him and he did great.

Don't stress and have fun!!!

Artista , Writer:, Thinker , Yogi Guru and Mama to my small, but quite amazing family!
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#9 of 9 Old 09-08-2009, 11:31 PM
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We have always been an active family and that has continued with children. I have always been to restless to sit around for more than a day or two after birth. I really like wraps for newborns, way more convenient than a stroller. I preferred my woven wrap over a stretchy one, much more breathable. You could even get a gauze wrap. I am not sure what the Moby is made of, but if it doesn't allow for much ventilation you may want to look for something with a little more breath-ability.

As for sun protection, I never worried about it too much. If we were going hiking or walking where their was little shade I would dress the babe in light fabrics that covered arms and legs and a wide brimmed hat. As long as they were mostly covered I wasn't worried. A small umbrella may be a good option as well. If I got overheated (or the baby seemed especially sweaty) I would just take them out of the wrap for an airing out or just change positions slightly. I also made sure to carry lots of water.

Babies don't need to drastically alter your lifestyle. They are much hardier than we think they are! And very portable. If you are nursing you really don't need to bring much but a couple of diapers and a carrier of some sort.


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