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You’re adventurous. You’re impulsive. You soak up every once of summer. You go, go, go, and are constantly experiencing new things. Then…
You have a baby!
Suddenly, you are on call 24/7. The constant feeding, changing, and rocking is now becoming your new norm. You long for the days when you could just take off, be free and impulsive. You flip through your pictures, and stare longingly at scenes from your old adventures. You get a glimpse of who you used to be before you were a parent.
Believe it or not, your adventures really don’t have to end just because you have a baby. Trust me, I know. I’m on baby #4 and we adventure and travel like crazy with ALL of our kids.
Everywhere, you hear people say “babies are so easy”. Honestly, I want to slap people who say that, because it’s just not true. Babies are an insane amount of work. It’s so easy to say to yourself “um, yeah right – every baby EXCEPT MINE”. Well, here’s a secret – babies are easy if you PREPARE them and have a PLAN!
If you’re smart, you’ll use these four simple tricks to help your baby and you have a happier summer full of travel and adventure.
Okay, I know that I said that it was about the baby, but honestly, this is the biggest key. You can do anything you want to, if you set your mind to it…even with a baby. Decide what you want to do and GO DO IT! There is no better time to start adventuring with your kids than when they’re babies. Check out Adventures with an Infant:Start Now, and Choosing an I CAN Attitude to learn more.
2. Wear your baby
No, you don’t have to be a hippy to wear your baby – you have to be a smart parent. Babywearing contributes to happier, healthier babies, AND makes it a whole lot easier to get out on adventures. Don’t wait until that first day on the trail or your first trip to the airport to bust out the carrier – use it every day. Getting your baby used to spending substantial time in the carrier is one of the smartest things you can do to helping them adjust and prepare for your big adventures. This means wearing them all around (even if it’s just around the house or to the store) for hours and hours at a time. Get them used to playing there, sleeping there, and if you can swing it, eating there. Then when you have a marathon hiking trip planned, baby will be just as comfortable as at home.
3. Practice sleeping on the go
So many parents don’t go do anything for the first 3 years of their child’s life for fear of ruining their coveted nap time. Repeat after me “Naptime is NOT Sacred”. As soon as you can, get your baby used to sleeping in places other than their crib and in situations where the lighting or noise level may not be idea. It’s a little tricky at first and you might end up with an overtired kid a time or two, but trust me – a few hours of crying is totally worth not being home-bound for the next few years.
4. Have a few constants
There are certain things that you can do consistently, that will help your baby establish comfortable routines, even while out adventuring. Things like always offering a pacifier when they’re tired, always singing a certain song when you change their diaper will go a long way when you are out adventuring and taking baby out of their comfort zone.