From snow to sleet to temperatures and winds so ice cold you feel like you can’t breathe, Mother Nature doesn’t really welcome you with warm, open arms this time of year (unless of course you live in Florida, Arizona or Southern California).
Taking your baby outside for a walk in the winter? Your answer is probably, “No thanks!” And I get it. Staying inside your cozy home sipping a cup of hot chocolate while your baby plays with his toys sounds way more appealing than getting everyone all bundled up to go on a 10 minute walk in 40 degree temperatures. But you can’t stay inside all winter long – you’ll go stir crazy!
According to one pediatrician, and I’m sure many others agree with her, “Unless it’s dangerously cold, being outdoors helps infants acclimate to the seasons and the day-and-night cycle, and it often calms fussiness.” Getting exercise plus having a calm baby who may sleep better at night? We parents should all be saying, “Yes, please!”
As long as you follow the proper safety precautions, such as dressing your baby in warm layers and walking against the wind, it’s good for you and your baby to get outside and breathe in some fresh air, even if it’s only for a few minutes a day. But it’s not just your baby you have to get ready. You also need to get your baby stroller ready for winter weather.
1. Make sure the wheels can handle the snow.
If you live where there’s extreme winter weather, you might get snow tires for your car. While you can’t go out and buy rugged snow tires for your stroller, there are certain types of strollers and tires better suited for strolling in the snow. Lightweight strollers with small wheels aren’t meant for winter walks. Big swivel wheels, as well as three-wheeled jogging strollers or all-terrain strollers with good suspension systems, handle snow better.
And if you’re an outdoor enthusiast or avid skier, you don’t have to take the season off this year. Did you know there are skis for strollers? Polar Stroller skis attach to a stroller’s wheels, essentially turning your stroller into a five-star sled so you and your baby can safely explore your very own winter wonderland.
2. Use a stroller weather shield.
If you don’t already have one, get yourself a stroller weather shield. It’s the ultimate all-season stroller accessory. A weather shield keeps your baby warm and protects her from snow, rain and wind. You’ll love it for protecting your baby from the harsh weather elements, and your baby will love it because it’s see-through, so she can still see everything on your walk.
You may have heard or seen some parents who cover their baby’s stroller with a blanket. These parents may not know better or it may be all they had, but a blanket covering isn’t the safest option. Blankets can make it hard for air to circulate and for your baby to breathe. It’s best to keep your baby protected from snow, rain, winds and even sunshine by using a cover made specifically for strollers, such as a weather shield or an extra-long sunshade, that allows for good ventilation.
3. Add on a footmuff.
Even on a brisk winter morning, you can work up a sweat pushing a stroller. But not your baby. He’s just sitting in the stroller. Better than a blanket that can fall down and get wet or bunch up around your baby, a footmuff attaches to your stroller so it stays in place. Ergobaby’s footmuff is made with water-repellent exterior fabrics and a premium fleece interior, keeping your baby snug as a bug in a rug.
4. Attach stroller hand muffs for yourself.
In the midst of putting on layer after layer, do you tend to forget your gloves? Or do you constantly take yours on and off to check your phone or help your baby and end up dropping one in the snow? Then you need a pair of stroller hand muffs. They aren’t just warm and cozy, they also attach to your stroller’s handlebar, so anytime you need your hands you can simply slip them out, do what you need to do and then slide them back in. No more dropped or lost gloves, and no more frozen fingertips.
5. Put reflective tape on your stroller.
Shorter days in winter are a real bummer. But don’t let that keep you locked inside all winter. Of course, you should try and take your walks during the day, but if for some reason you’re not home before the sun goes down, you can put pieces of reflective tape on your stroller so you’ll be seen.
Your baby’s warmth, protection and comfort are what’s most important when taking a winter stroll, and these tips and stroller accessories for parents on the go make sure your family and your stroller are ready for any kind of winter weather.