A great bonding moment that you could do with your child is by walking. Be it around the neighborhood, in the park, or at the beach; you can find different places where your little one can explore the world safely. You can also treat this bonding time as your exercise and best of all; you can do it as quickly or as slowly as you want.
If you think about it, there are a lot of benefits that you can get by walking. First, for your child, it allows him/her to improve his/her sensory skills because of the various stimuli outdoors. Walking outside also develops his/her cognitive and social abilities that can lead to happiness and a better attention span.
If your child is still too young to keep up straight with his/her legs on the ground, don’t worry. You can still let your little one enjoy the outdoors. This is where a travel system proves itself useful. Basically, travel systems allow you to transfer your child from the car to a stroller easily. Although there are a lot of units offered in the market, don’t be discouraged because this very volume can help you find the best car seat stroller combo.
But we are not stopping with your child because walking has many benefits for you too. Spending time in various sceneries, getting some fresh air, and sunlight can help improve your mood and even strengthen your immune system. Did you know that walking also contributes to weight loss?
Tips to Make Every Walk a Walk in the Park
More than these health benefits, you can also walk with your partner and have different conversations. Remember that catching up is always appreciated, no matter where. Some other ideas that you can do are to plan play dates with other parents and their kids or even have weekends where grandma and grandpa can take their grandchild to the park.
Speaking of parks, it is also important to make every walk feels like a walk in the park. What we mean by this is to make it enjoyable, safe, and stress-free that both you and your child are always looking forward to it. To keep it simple, here are 3 tips for a literal and figurative approach on the phrase “a walk in the park.”
1. Plan Ahead
It might seem like it’s just going to be a brisk 15-minute walk around the block or park, but it will still make a tremendous difference if you plan your itinerary ahead of time. This means that you should schedule different places every time you and your baby go for a walk. You can even observe your child’s current interest. For example, if he/she is into animals right now, you can make a trip to the zoo.
Besides looking for different sceneries, you should also check the weather prior to your visit. This way, you can add other items on your “must-haves.” For sunny mornings, don’t forget to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, or even a hat. For cold dusks, don’t forget gloves and jackets. You should also never forget to dress your child in comfortable clothing, and in your case, a pair of footwear that will not make you hate your pinky toes.
Now that you got your itinerary and weather in check, the next thing that you should plan is the items that you’ll bring. You will be surprised (or maybe not) that a change of scenery will not change the fact that when a child is uncomfortable, he/she will definitely, and we cannot stress this enough, absolutely let you know. To avoid cranky moods, pack the essentials. These include spare clothes, diapers, water, and snacks.
2. Establish Rules
Make every opportunity a learning lesson. Just because you are both outside doesn’t mean that you cannot teach your child proper values. Some parents even put their child on timeout if he/she is behaving unruly. It’s moments like this that can help improve your child’s personality for real-life scenarios. But of course, do it discreetly because you are in public.
What are the rules that you can set? Just like packing the essentials, you have to be one step ahead and create a schedule for breaks. This will include toilet time, snack time, changing time, or even rest stops along the way. Though these breaks only last less than 5 minutes, they can still improve the overall outdoor experience.
3. Research Your Stroller
Last but definitely not least is the stroller that you’re going to use. Let’s face it; you are not just only walking with your child. Your little one may not be mature enough to walk, or maybe he/she needs a quick nap, so you have to find a stroller that will make pushing a breeze.
As we have mentioned earlier, when you purchase a travel system, you are sure with the compatibility of the infant seat to the stroller. Some car seat models are even detachable to the base, so you don’t have to wake your baby up when it’s time to get him/her out of the car. These features work both for practicality and portability. Speaking of portability, you can find models that fold compact. The last thing you want is to struggle fitting it to your car or unfolding it once you arrive.
What are other useful features to look out for? An adjustable handle is going to make pushing easier without sacrificing posture. This also makes it comfortable for every person who takes a turn in pushing your little one. For naps, strollers that allow multiple seat configurations can make you feel more at ease because you can put the carrier in the direction that faces you. Then, you can switch this position when your child wants to look around.
Besides configurations, there are also models in the market where you can install another seat or even a bassinet. You can opt for this type of stroller if you are walking with more than one child.
Remember earlier when we discussed planning on your itinerary? Well, you should also check on what kind of terrain will you be using the stroller on. Some units will not be difficult to maneuver regardless of the ground and a specific stroller type i.e., the jogging stroller that is designed to be lightweight for exercising with your little one.
For your child, you can check how the stroller seat feels and if it has a good restraining system. You can also look if there are hooks where you can attach his/her diaper bag and if there is a secret compartment for safely storing your wallet, keys, and phone.
Lastly, what are the safety features that you can find in a stroller? Some examples of this are locking wheels, brakes, wrist straps, and even a canopy to protect your child from the weather. At the end of the day, a stroller’s overall advantage will depend on what lifestyle you and your child have. Always remember to look for reviews and feedback about the model that you have in mind.