When do I draw the line for taking strolls with a baby in the winter?

Pam - posted on 12/06/2011 ( 28 moms have responded )

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I have a 6 month old and a 2.5 year old. I'm used to taking my toddler and baby to the park almost daily. Its -1C outside and snows on the ground...normally I would dress my tot in a snow suite and take her outdoors to get her daily dose of exercise, and I will but now that its getting cold and I have a baby would that be uncomfortable for her? When would it be too uncomfortable? what else can I do to help my tot exercise? We do coloring and learning activities at home, but I know she needs fresh air, exercise and a change of scenery. I have no license to drive so I have to get everywhere on foot... I'll take them for a stroll today but what do we do when it gets colder? where should I draw the line for taking strolls? I know I will be building a fort with my toddler this winter and snow men...



update: I have been taking my kids out like usual and will when the snows out, I'll dress them really warm and use a sled.... Now where do I get a sled good for two kids??

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Karen - posted on 12/06/2011

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i live in nova scotia, canada and we never stopped taking walks (unless of course it was a blizzard out!). we bundled him up in a couple of layers (undershirt, leggings, sweatsuit, snowsuit, hat, mitts) and threw him in his stroller (blankets under and wrapped around) i used a plastic stroller cover to keep the wind off of him and he stayed very warm. when it got so that we couldn't push the stroller due to snow i got a sling wrap and put him in that. sometimes i would wear an old jacket that was way too big for me and i would do it up over him in the sling, other times i would put him outside the jacket and just have a fleece blanket that i could pull up over his face if it got windy/cold

Dianne - posted on 12/08/2011

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In Swden and BNorway they take their babies out in the very very cold cold weather! They never died! My dr always told me, if I can do it so can the baby

Debbie - posted on 12/08/2011

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If it is safe with winter clothes for you and tot, it should be ok for baby as well, long as the baby is properly dressed making sure head, feet and hands, all extremities are covered well (baby ski mask). Exercises inside... dance, put on a exercise video and both of you try to follow it. Make it fun.. Yoga, hide and seek, tag, simmon says, learning how to tumble and roll safely, play marching band with pots and pans, get children's fitness video and both of you follow it, ring around the rosey and many more ideas will be coming your way, I'm sure.

Elfrieda - posted on 12/07/2011

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I would make sure the baby's ears are covered and she's reasonably dressed and keep going! I think it's all good, as long as the ears are covered and the feet are dry. Fresh air is especially important in the winter, when we're all inside so much. If it's a biting cold wind, try not to push her directly into it (turn her around in the stroller, or hang a blanket or something), but I wouldn't worry about it until minus 10 or 15C. In -20 degree weather, I just run screaming with cold from car to house (screaming makes you warmer!), but that doesn't happen much, seeing as we're as far south as it's possible to get and still live in Canada. :)

As for inside active games, you could make an obstacle course (jump over broomstick, crawl under table, climb over sofa cushions, and hurray, do it again except this time climb over mommy, too, because she's lying on top of the cushions!)

Beth - posted on 12/07/2011

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the eskimos do it ..i did the same thing the plastic cover and blankets..u n toddler need the excersise..enjoy

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Merry - posted on 12/12/2011

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Oh gosh so -1C is like 30F? Or there about?
Well here it's about 20 mid day and while I do bundle my baby more, we don't do anything different. Now when it gets to around 10F and under I would do only quick trips outside, like in the car, into the store, and back into the house, but even now at 20F I would take a walk of I felt like it. I don't. But I could. ;) my toddler gets plenty of exercise at home and in the stores or at play dates or at grandmas house. I don't like walks so we only go in warm weather.

Sherri - posted on 12/12/2011

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@Francine 50 deg F. That makes me laugh. My kids wouldn't be able to go out 6mo's out of the year if I had to wait for it to be 50 deg F or higher.

[deleted account]

when my daughter was a baby he told me not to take her out unless it was over 50 degrees F.



I can attest to this. I took my baby out when it was 49 degrees, and he turned into a polar bear.

Bryndís - posted on 12/08/2011

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If I could not have taken my babies out if it was below 50°F they would never have gone outside :) There are some great advices here, use them and enjoy going outside with your children :)

Gina - posted on 12/08/2011

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we go to the local library for an outing in the winter, even walmart some nights for a good run...plus fresh air is good for kids, but if its to the point where they are uncomfortable, it would have to stop.

Francine - posted on 12/08/2011

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I'm from Northern Canada and I've never heard of a pediatrician saying not to take your baby out below 50F. We bundle up our babies and continue with our lives when we need to go out.

Valerie - posted on 12/08/2011

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I saw a great idea recently for "bad weather" activities. Make a laser-like course out of crepe paper and let the toddler navigate it!

Melanie - posted on 12/08/2011

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My dad is a pediatrician and when my daughter was a baby he told me not to take her out unless it was over 50 degrees F. However, she was a winter baby, so she was still very little at that point. You might want to ask your pediatrician his/her recommendation at the baby's next check-up appointment.

Paula - posted on 12/08/2011

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I say go for it! I take my 23 months twins out everyday. When they were smaller, I would bundle them up, put them in their stroller, throw a blanket on them, and then used one of those plastic rain/wind covers on their stroller. They were always fine. :)

Melissa - posted on 12/08/2011

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Just look at my profile picture :) That's how you handle the cold and snow ! :) Have fun !

Melissa - posted on 12/07/2011

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As long as the kids are dressed for the weather, they should be fine to take out for walks.

Kelsey - posted on 12/07/2011

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i live in southern alberta and it does not get as cold here as it does up north but like the other ladies said just bundle up. mi baby girl was 6 month during the winter and i had to walk everywhere as well. just by the plastic cover to go over the stroller to block the wind and wear scarfs

Sylvia - posted on 12/07/2011

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Where do you live? -1°C doesn't sound that cold to me ;)

Bundle everybody up, put the baby in the sling or whatever and zip her up inside your coat. Make sure your toddler has warm and reasonably waterproof mittens. Stay outside as long as she's having fun; when she starts to complain of being cold, go home, even if it's only been a few minutes.

I live in Toronto, where it doesn't get that cold (I'm from Calgary) but it's VERY DAMP and the wind can be pretty fierce. I don't drive either, so when DD was a baby she was out and about with me in all kinds of nasty weather. I co-opted an old winter coat of DH's and zipped her inside with me, and she survived :)

Bonnie - posted on 12/07/2011

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It's -1, that is not bad. I live in Ontario Canada and with the windchill it can get to -25. Anything over -15, I probably wouldn't take them out for more than 10-15 minutes.

Christy - posted on 12/06/2011

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My daughter was born in August, and the temps here get to 110+ esp in Aug and Sept. I took her at 6 weeks and my son at 1 1/2 in the double stroller all the time, plenty of shade and not very much clothing! It's interesting to see the differences in handling babies in different weather.

Krista - posted on 12/06/2011

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Nice to meet a fellow Bluenoser, Karen! :)

And to the OP -- basically, you want to just keep checking on the baby to make sure that she's warm. Stroller covers are a HUGE help, as they'll block out the wind. It's better to go with several light layers, rather than one big heavy one, as it's easier to adjust.

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I used to live in Edmonton, Alberta where it would get as low as -40C at times. -1C is not cold. :)



I wouldn't take a baby out in -40C of course, but I think anything above -10C should be OK, properly bundled up.



I still live in a northern climate, though not as severe as Alberta, and I took my son for winter walks in the pram when he was 3-5 months old (he was born in September). He wore cotton one-piece footed pjs, a snowsuit, and a blanket, and the pram had a cover. Sometimes I put protective cream on his face since he was so young.



He was always perfectly fine. In fact, you don't want to overdress them. They will overheat if you take them inside a shop, for instance.



Use your judgement about wind chill, etc. Honestly, I'd rather take my baby out in cold temperatures than extremely hot ones.

Christy - posted on 12/06/2011

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I have the utmost respect for you ladies living up North. I think it's too cold to take my kids out here, and it's a whopping 35 degrees out (I am in the Gulf Coast of Texas). I wouldn't be able to handle anything colder than that!!!

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