Guest Author - Elizabeth Brennan
Just because you have a new baby is no reason to abandon the regular walks you enjoyed before baby arrived. As soon as mother and baby are strong enough to go outdoors you can resume your walking routine. You have two options for carrying baby either use the push chair or a baby carrier.
If you use the pushchair make sure baby is well covered and warm with his/her head and hands covered and a soft warm rug. Use a pushchair with a rain cover if you live in a rainy climate and shade baby from sun, as his/her skin will be very sensitive. Using the pushchair will limit you in that you will have to choose reasonably flat and level terrain.
If you wish to be more adventurous or even participate in your walking clubs scheduled walks there are many excellent baby carriers on the market. Buy one with lumbar support and wide padded shoulders. There are several models available. Some have baby facing towards you and this is advised for a very young baby up to approximately four months. As baby gets older and begins to notice his/her environment you can turn him/her to face the other way. Most models are dual purpose and can be adjusted to allow the child to face forward or backward.
There are other models of carriers which are like rucksacks and are worn on the back. Baby is lifted into them and the legs hang out the bottom. This model is very suitable for older children. With younger children whether breast fed or bottle fed you will need to be able to feed baby while on the move. Check if you will be able to manage this with your carrier.
When purchasing a baby carrier you need to take the following criteria into consideration
Safety the baby must be safely harnessed in the carrier and the buckles should be lockable to prevent any accidents.
Comfort the carrier must be comfortable for both baby and adult. Buy a carrier which gives good lumbar support and is adjustable in both height and width. Try on several models with baby before deciding.
Simple to Use: The carrier should be adjustable while in use and putting baby into the carrier should be an easy operation. Check these factors before buying.
Durability: You will expect to use this carrier for at least 2 years so choose one made from durable wipe clean material. Check that there is sufficient air circulation and that the material is breathable.
Age Range: There are different models for children of different ages so check that the model you are choosing is suitable for your needs.
Bring a changing mat with you so you can use the facilities of a shop or restaurant to change baby. For older children have some small snacks to satisfy them if they get hungry and a drink.
Enjoy your walk with your baby!