Babies in their first months of life are most likely to sleep during their walks. But as they get older, they spend less and less time sleeping. What can you do to entertain a wide awake baby outside?
Growing toddlers don’t want to sleep outside, but to look around, to explore the big and beautiful world around and, of course, to play! Tune in to a playful mood and ideas will come up!
Getting an infant ready for a winter walk is no easy task. While you pull on a stubborn baby all these jumpers, trousers, caps, overalls, mittens, a hundred times you sweat. To dress the baby was easier, try to distract him toy, sing a song or tell a special “dressing” sweat. These can be printed out on sheets of paper and hung over the changing table and in the hallway. At first, read the nursery rhymes to your child “from the cheat sheet” and then they will be learnt by heart.
For example, do you want to put a hat on a twirling baby? Cheerfully, rhythmically and cheerfully tell a nursery rhyme during dressing. The baby will freeze for a moment, listening to your voice, and you can use the pause to put it on quietly.
Walking with an infant in winter in ‘private transport’
An infant spends most of the time in the pram during a walk. If it is awake, it can spend some time quietly looking at its surroundings. To do this, try to put the hood of the pram down more often. But at some point, the quiet contemplation may bore your baby. And then you need to think about what to occupy your baby during the winter walk.
Shine, shine, sunshine! In sunny weather, lower the hood of the pram and let the baby get some sun. This way, your baby gets to experience new experiences: The sun is bright, you have to squeeze your eyes shut!
Rattle toys. You can hang rattles, garlands and a small mobile in the pram. The toys will rock and attract your baby’s attention as they move. Your baby will later start to play with your hands and be happy when they make sounds. Periodically change the toys so your child won’t get tired of them.
Sledding. Now the baby’s ready for a real sled! Sitting down confidently, the baby can take for a walk not only in the carriage, but also on sledges (there are special models, similar to a lightweight pram, but on skids). It’s important that this transport has a comfortable and secure backrest, a warm “bedding” and fixing safety belts. In a sledgie, everything is different from that of a pram: and to sit in a different way, and the view is much wider, and the feeling is new: the breeze blows on your cheeks and the snowflakes land on your nose… All this will open new opportunities for your child’s development.
Doll sledges. A good toy for winter – doll sledges. They can be tied to the baby’s sled and put the doll in it. Mum will carry the baby and the baby will carry his toy.
Go for a ride together! Be sure to take your baby’s favorite stuffed toy for a walk with your infant. The bunny or teddy bear sit next to your little one in a sled and go for a ride with it.
Eh, a ride! If a child can already walk, he will be able with his mother’s help to let him sledge with a rope, to roll the toy in them and even to roll it down a small hill.
Young observer on a winter walk
If your toddler doesn’t want to lie in the pram, take him in your arms. Try to do this on every walk. This way, your baby can get a better look at what’s going on around you. To develop fully, your baby needs different sensations. It feels the same in a pram, but different when you’re holding it in your mum’s arms!
Watching with mum. Show your baby everything that is going on around you, comment on what is going on: “There goes the car! Vzhi-i-ik! The big car! The car is honking: Bee-bee! There’s the doggy! How’s the doggy barking? Av-av!” Your baby may not quite understand your words yet, and he may not remember all these “av-av” and “bi-bee” right away. But it will learn to observe, pay attention to different events, train its eyes and ears and build up its passive vocabulary.
Bark and needles. Hold your baby up to different trees and let him touch the bark and taste how the Christmas tree pricks. Give him or her a cone or a bunch of rowan trees – let the baby move them around in his or her hands and look at them. Make sure you don’t pull any berries into your mouth.
Getting to know the snow. If the snow outside is dry, put your baby on the ground for a while. And see what it does. Maybe he’ll look around in wonder. Or immediately run into the snow with both hands and enthusiastically scatter it in different directions? Just think about it: this is the first time a little man gets to know the snow. It’s something completely new, incredible and magical!
It’s cold and warm! Remove your baby’s mitten, bring a little snow to his hand and say: “Ouch! It’s cold! Cold snowball!” And then put the mitten on, squeeze the baby’s hand and say, “Now it’s warm!”
Who was stomping here? You can always find lots of footprints in the fresh snow. Show your baby the footprints of people, birds and dogs. You can say something like, “Who was stomping here? Stomp, stomp, stomp! That’s the dog stomping, and that’s Sashenka stomping!” Encourage your baby to repeat after you, “Stomp, stomp, stomp!” It’s a good speech exercise. Very soon, the baby will be able to find footprints in the snow and say, “Stomp, stomp, stomp.
Feed the birds. Take some bread or cereal with you when you go for a walk. Feed the birds and let your baby watch them. Say: “Goo-goo-goo! Sparrow chirp, chirp, chirp! Look, the birds are eating bread. Where is the goose? Show me!” Put a piece of bread in your child’s hand and show him how to throw it to the birds.
Snow games on a winter walk
There are endless games you can think of when walking with your baby in winter.
Crawl through snowdrifts. Why not let your child crawl in the snow? He’s dressed warmly and movement in the freezing cold is the best thing you can do! Choose a crawling area with clean, shallow snow so your little one won’t fall through. It may be hard for your child, but he’ll get lots of new sensations and train his movement coordination!
Little angel. Find a piece of fresh snow, put the baby on its back, move it up and down with your hands, leaving traces of “wings” in the snow. Then lift the baby up and show him the print. Don’t forget to take a picture of both the happy baby in the snow and the resulting “angel”.
Pull a twig. Walk your little one up to a small snow-covered tree and yank on a twig to make the snow fall down. He’ll love it and after a few tries he’ll get the hang of it and start pulling the twig himself. “Yay! Snowfall! Well done, Dashenka! You made it snow!”
1 year old
Shovel shovel. A shovel with a long handle is sure to keep your little one occupied during the walk. You only need to show your little one how to shovel the snow with it and he or she will get enthusiastic about it.
Shall we bury it? A rake will come in handy on a winter walk, too! It’s fun to shovel snow. Show your child how a rake can be used to make real snow drifts.
Minks. Show your child how you can dig a hole in a snow drift with your hands. Let him try it too. Got it? Suggest that the baby put cones, rowan berries and dry grasses in it.
Salute. Sit your baby and show him how you can take the snow in your hands or fill it into a shovel and toss it up. Say cheerfully, “Hooray! Salute!” Don’t worry if it gets on the baby. It’s a lot of fun!
Cake. A child is unlikely to be able to make a cake out of snow. But mum can make something. For example, a snow cake. And the baby (with mum’s help) will decorate the cake with rowan berries, pine needles, cones and other natural material, which can be found.
Don’t forget to take a camera on a winter walk with your baby. A joyful baby with cheeks red from frost, covered with snow from head to toe – this is such a touching photo model! Let the cute photos be a memento of your very first winter with your baby.