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Monday, September 12, 2011

Motherhood Mondays: Being outside

I really, really, really don't like winter. Grey skies and snowy streets make you feel cooped up, and I'm already getting nervous about having a busy energetic walking baby boy indoors! So, I have a plan...

I'm going to take Toby outside to play for a long time everyday, no matter what.

In Scandinavia (the land of all things good and true:), parents take their babies and children out for ages everyday, rain, snow or shine, according to my lovely friend Lee, who grew up in Copenhagen. "You just wrap your babies up in whatever you have," she says. "You stick them in the stroller and take them outside. Bigger kids wear full snowsuits--every Danish kid has one--and 'elephant hats,' which go over your whole head with your face peeking out." Another friend who lived in Sweden told me that every Swedish child wore rain pants, and grown-ups wore waterproof clothing. "In Denmark, you can't be afraid of the weather," Lee says. "Otherwise you'd wait six months to go outside again."

There's even an awesome Scandinvian expression that says, "There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes," (which I first heard from the Swedish children's store Polarn O. Pyret). What an inspiring mantra. We just have to bundle up! Plus, isn't it kind of wonderful to go outside on a cold winter day? Or during a light rain? The air feels crisp and pure!

The most fascinating thing I learned from a baby book is that, for children, being indoors is both overstimulating and boring at the same time. Isn't that interesting? Throughout history, "children spent most of every day frolicking outside," writes Harvey Karp, M.D., in his brilliant book The Happiest Toddler on the Block. "Our homes are boring because they replace the exciting sensations of nature (the feeling of the wind on their skin, the brilliant sun, the soft grass, etc.) with an immense stillness (flat walls, flat floors, no wind)." Yet at the same time, being indoors is overstimulating: "It bombards them with jolting experiences that kids in the past never had to deal with: crazy cartoons, slick videos, clanging computer games, noisy toys, and bright colors everywhere...which can make many little children feel stressed."

Don't you feel the same way, even as an adult, when watching TV or being on the computer for too long? And Toby is always much calmer and happier chilling outside than in our teeny shoebox apartment.

So, my darlings, let's do it! I'm excited to try to play with Toby outdoors everyday this fall and winter--having adventures, getting fresh air, feeling energized, meeting other brave valiant mamas. Even if it means shivering a little, getting rained on and coming home with a wet baby (not to mention frizzy hair:). I've been a wuss in the past about spending hours outdoors in bad weather, but I think it will be fun and (dare I say it) almost makes me excited for the winter.

I'm really curious: Do you already take your children to play outdoors in the rain and snow, heat and sunshine? Where do you live? Did you spend a lot of time outside when you were growing up? Will you take your kids outside everyday in the winter, too, or would you prefer to stay cozy indoors? Do you live in a place that has rough winters? I would love love love to hear your thoughts...

P.S. Danish women ride their bikes in snowstorms, and their babies sleep outside.
(Photos, from top, by Matthew Hranek, Kasia Bloom, Jenna Park via Momfilter, Elizabeth Dunker, Charles Gullung and Jenna Park x3)

311 comments:

1 – 200 of 311   Newer›   Newest»
Hollie said...

I've always taken the little one out in cold weather.. but it doesn't really get THAT cold here in Texas. She doesn't even own a heavy a coat! Summer is the problem for us. Unfortunately I can't take her to the playground naked. :]

Tracey said...

Hi Jo,

Totally agree. My two olde rones have suits like that and i will need to purchase another small one for baby this winter. Last year when we got snowed in , i didn't leave my house for 5 days apart from to go into the garden and then it was only for a few mins as the kids got so cold with no suitable gloves. This year i am getting prepared and they will all have snow gloves in advance. 5 days inside was nothing short of painful! xx

Allison said...

i love all your comments about scandanavia.. my boyfriend grew up in denmark, and it is SO true -- they just dress more warmly and move on with their lives. there are the funniest photos of him as a little kid in these HUGE snowsuits and hats, riding around on his bike in the freezing snow. even now, he is so completely well adapted to any weather, while i am known to, ahem, complain when it's uncomfortable ;).

Joanna Goddard said...

even growing up in michigan, i never had a great winter coat. but two years ago, alex got us huge puffy northface winter jackets and now i'm always warm. it's CRAZY what a difference it made! we were just....warm. :)

Joanna Goddard said...

allison, that is awesome! and haha, i'm with you with complaining. i'll take toby outside everyday but i think i'll probably still complain haha :)

rachel kirk peterson said...

the good thing about playing outside in the winter is that you get to come back to a warm house, make soup and coffee, and snuggle in blankets!

Anonymous said...

oh my goodness yes! we live in a suburb of mpls and the winter can get quite long - we are outside every day in the winter - even if just for a short time. unfortunately, we are the only ones in our neighborhood who are out - which makes me wonder what everyone is doing inside ALL DAY LONG! I find that I can get behind the cold when there is snow -- it is harder to get psyched up about going out in the cold if there is no snow. rain? that was more fun when my son was littler - he loved to splash & play w/ the umbrella. (open, close, open, close - especially the automatic one!)
good luck! You can do it!

julianna.rose said...

When i studied in stockholm I was super entertained by the children in strollers and silver heat generating sleeping bags/swaddling. I thought they all looked like little baked potatoes with faces!

Haute Americana said...

I have been dreading winter ever since labor day, but your post has made me quite a bit more optimistic. Apparently I just need to invest in better winter clothing.

http://hauteamericana.com/

Nora said...

oh no, this is not a swedish thing! in germany, (and i always thought allover the world) kids go out everyday. so i'm curious. do kids in the usa not go out everyday??? and "no bad weather, just bad clothing" is not an swedish expression, anyway this is an expression, we have in germany too ("es gibt kein unpassendes wetter, nur unpassende klamotten"). all children here have snowsuits and gumboots.
so, although i love sweden and swedish music, and swedish fashion and design and of course swedish people, this is definitely not a swedish thing.

jsdill said...

I LOVE this. I have two young boys, and they have to go outside everyday (otherwise we all suffer). However, I feel like if it goes below 50 degrees (we live in North Carolina), everyone else stays inside. It is lonely! I wish more people would take your approach.

Jessie said...

In Iceland, we leave babies outside to sleep inside their prams. At first, I thought it was a little scary to keep my little one outdoors when the temperatures are so cool, but they are so cuddled up in snowsuits lined in fleece, hats, as well as sleeping bags. The prams are covered with rain covers, which also protect against the wind.

It is thought that the fresh air is good for babies, though I think maybe it also has more to do with the fact that historically, houses were very small, and it was more convenient to have the children sleep outside during the day. :)

Lindsey said...

Yep - big into outdoor time and happily in Oregon we were never put off by rain and here in Switzerland we take the kids out everyday too in all sorts of weather. I'm a Montessori teacher and we want the children to experience it all!! When my own little one arrives in a few weeks, I'm ready with lots of jumpers, knit outfits, snowsuits etc. We have no car and we will simply have to venture out just about everyday. Can't wait!!

Sofia said...

Dear Jo,

This is the first time I leave a comment, but I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog. My friend sent it to me about 3 weeks ago and I can't stop reading. I've also enjoyed going back and reading old posts (including those of your wedding, they are lovely).

Your pictures and posts are very soothing, so when work is getting a little overwhelming I'll just scroll through one or two posts :)

Looking forward to reading more!

Christy said...

One of my favorite things in the world is going outside on a winter night when it is snowing. It is so peaceful, like the Robert Frost poem. And of course, coming back in and drinking a huge cup of orange spice tea is great afterwards :) I love to be outside in the winter when everything is so crisp.

Sara Szatmary said...

We do that in the NW too. If you wait for sun here in Portland you'll be waiting a looooong time.

Samantha said...

Thank Heaven for parents like you! I was a infant teacher and we had parents leave our daycare because we took them out everyday!

Sunshine said...

I think the outdoor activities will be great for both of you. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures but I am not ready for winter yet!

www.cancerinthecity.com

Abbie said...

You can totally do it. We live in Portland and while we don't go out every-every day, I agree that my toddler is much happier when we just suit up and go. Check out Peter Spier's Rain book... such a happy representation of what can be done outside in wet weather.

Kersey Campbell said...

I'm officially inspired! It's funny because I have never heard a child complain about the weather and having to go out in it. It's the adults! If the kids are loving it, then I think we would/should too.

Charlotte said...

Joanna,

I couldn't help but smile when I read this. I grew up in Copenhagen and had a snow suit, a rain suit, rubber boots (a pair with and a pair without insulation), gloves, mittens and of course an elephant hat. If ever I expressed any desire to stay indoors rather than go outside because of the weather, I was told: no bad weather, just bad clothing.

Charlotte.

Erika @ ~TiptoeButterfly~ said...

CHEERS to this! - my friends from Belgium are the same way - i think it's more of a European thing ..

SO much to learn!

*kiss kiss*
Erika
~Tiptoe Butterfly~

Joanna Goddard said...

Haute Americana, i've been dreading winter since memorial day! i always get winter blues but i think this will help :)

Margaret said...

go with your bad self...love it!

CC said...

I do not have children but I have a dog and decided last winter (I live in Buffalo, NY) that I would take him on a daily walk no matter what the weather was versus just a quick trip outside so he could go to the bathroom. I invested in a really warm coat (I have no idea why I never owned one) and Sorel Caribou boots and was good to go... And it was fun! I felt more energized from being outside in the below freezing temps as well...

stellasstyle said...

I'm Swedish, and therefore grew up in Sweden (Stockholm to be exact) and, well, I must say its kinda true the part where we are out everyday.. We have great clothes, and the saying "there's no bad weather, only bad clothes" is something parents say to get their kids to go out.. However, some winters are very brutal and when its too cold (-20C) I think a lot of parents (I know my sister) keep their kids at home, simply cause its too cold outside.

however, I think you have a great plan, especially as winters are (at least in Sweden..) long and dark, and the little natural light you can get - well, you'll need it. Sounds like a great goal, and I'll try and keep the same for me, just skip the kid & play part, but a good walk everyday, no matter the weather, will only do you good! :)

btw, love the "Scandinavia, land of all good and true"!

Bess Callard said...

Joanna, I think this is a great idea!
I'm expecting my first child in the middle of what I'm sure will be a snowy Montreal winter, but am determined to not remain cooped up until May ;) I love this challenge, although I should probably double check with my doctor about taking a newborn out in -30C weather... May enjoy most of January and February in our cozy apartment. I also love the "there's no bad weather only bad clothes" statement, reminds me of what my mom (who comes from Finland) says "the uglier (your outfit), the warmer"! xx

Joanna Goddard said...

nora, good to know!! in the US, i'm sure in some places the kids go out everyday, but in NYC, we don't have backyards, and in terrible weather it's very hard to get down the snowy streets to the playgrounds (you can't push a stroller over the piles of snow at the end of the sidewalks). and that kind of thing...but we're going to do it anyway! :)

Rose said...

Haha, I can tell you that it doesn't really help. I've always had to get outside to cycle to school as a teenager and I dreaded winter just as much as you did. It does keep you more energized though, but the lack of light is actually the worst for me. You can be warm with the right clothes (but then if you want to run, or cycle really fast you get all sweaty :() but the darkness is the worst isn't it?
love from the Netherlands :)

Sarah said...

Some of my best memories growing up are playing in the snow and rain with my parents. My little girl isn't born yet, and we probably won't do much outside frolicking this winter, but next year you bet your bootie we're gonna make the most of the great outdoors! Especially if we end up in Seattle haha I'd go crazy staying indoors every rainy day there haha

Kristina Gulino said...

Great post! I don't have children myself (yet), but believe this to be so true. My parents were crazy about taking us camping as kids, and I thank them for it now as an adult. Being outside helps us mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. God bless it!

Joanna Goddard said...

haha, bess, i love that -- and congratulations!!! my friend from montreal told me how her children would go into the middle of the snowy streets (since no cars could get down them) and make snow angels! :)

colleen said...

I think this applies to adults too! My parents visited us in new york in february, which was quite a brutal month here, and we clomped all over the city -- through central park and all over town. We even ate outside! It was a bit of a revelation for me. Getting a good dose of fresh air every day is so energizing and walks are the best way to clear the head.
So I'm not surprised children benefit so much!

Joanna Goddard said...

rose, you know, i think you're right -- the darkness is the tough part. alex bought a light lamp thing a few years ago and it's pretty helpful -- you stare into the bright light and it mimics sunlight to your brain. odd but it really does kind of work! i should bust it out again this winter :)

Joanna Goddard said...

colleen, that's awesome that you even ate outside! :) and clomping is definitely the right word :)

M.R. said...

I think that's a great idea!

He will grow up loving the beauty of seasons!

mindofmr.blogspot.com

Elaine said...

That makes so much sense what Dr. Karp says about children being over and under stimulated at the same time when children spend too much time indoors. I, too, feel this way when I spend too much time in my little apartment. Ever since I got my little dog Zoey last year, I have spent a lot more time outdoors walking her every day and I am so thankful for that. Really clears the mind and makes you appreciate being inside when you do return home. I will join you this winter and brave the weather, rain or shine!

bethezda said...

I'm TERRIFIED of winter in NY too! Last November my son was born, and I spent ALL winter inside. It was dark, cold and I was stir crazy! I just can't do that again this year. I will just have to brush aside all the old ladies in the streets that comment about what a horrible person I am that I have my baby out in the cold! :) That happened almost every time I left the apartment last year... We can do it!

Anonymous said...

I think it's a great idea. I remember how the weather never stopped me from going outside as a kid...now it's always too hot, too rainy, too whatever. Sometimes going out in crazy weather makes it extra fun. I went to a petting zoo in a park after a blizzard and it was extra fun because the animals were so happy to see us show up with food for them, as their food dishes were temporarily under snow!

liz c. said...

I 100% agree with this post! I just wish I could follow it myself. I hate being cold. I do need better gear. Please share if you get additional warm winter pieces to go with your northface jacket. We dress my daughter in Patagonia layers and she never complains!
Why do the warm months fly by and the cold ones seem to linger on....?

Sarah said...

When we were little my mom took us on a walk every day, and we lived in Colorado so there was plenty of cold weather. She says an older mom gave her that advice when my brother was a baby, and she thought it sounded like a good idea. I definitely remember looking forward to it every afternoon, but oddly I don't really remember being cold or uncomfortable. I guess she did a good job bundling us up!

Anna said...

Living in Sacramento, the weather is really rather mild, and we've out on our rain boots and went jumping in the puddles every once in a while during the "winter" weather. But with an upcoming move to SF, i'm getting nervous about the colder weather we will encounter. I know it will be an adjustment to get myself and the little ones out into the weather... but like you said, keeping them cooped up can't be good for any of us.
So.. I'm gearing up and scheming all the places we could explore in the upcoming months.

Kate said...

Great post! My mother always tells me when i complain about the weather that there's no bad weather only inappropriate clothing...never knew it was an actual saying! We always played outside, and I definitely had one of those snowsuits in which i could not move my arms as a child, and looking back now i think it was such a great way to raise us. We had limited TV time and the rest of the time we entertained ourselves, mostly outside (ps. This was in the 80s, i'm not talking the days before TV got crazy). Now, i'm kind of a homebody in the winter, I like to be warm and dry inside, but I'm sure when I have kids I'll try to get them out as much as possible in all weather. And just remember, the best part of going out in the cold is when you come back inside, peel off your wet layers, and get some warm hot chocolate :)

Nina said...

I teach at a school that follows the Reggio Emilia philosophy. One of many principles we follow is that nature (in all kinds of weather) is so important for children's growth and learning! We go outside everyday, rain or shine!
Also, I'd really recommend this book about the real effects of a "nature deficit" in our kids' lives: http://www.amazon.com/Last-Child-Woods-Children-Nature-Deficit/dp/1565123913

Anne said...

Dear Jo,
had a lot of fun reading this post. It's funny because all those swedish stuff is also true for germany. We often have to say "there is no bad weather just wrong clothes" (and i was so glad, that this is a typical german phrase). Espacially in northgermany between the seas with its "lovely" wind.
I wish you lots of fun for all those rainy and windy days upcoming (do you also have those rain coats for buggies, they are standard basic here in germany).
Oh and i remember another german phrase that fit to this "all weather is fine" thing: Ihr seid doch nicht aus Zucker (You're not made of sugar)

Have a fun week,
Love Anne

Marianne Eee said...

I am Norwegian, and it's true, we do go out with our children every day. Kids often nap outdoors as well. My son of 14 months sleep outdoors in the kindergarden except when it's colder than -10 celsius.

Being outdoors is refreshing and healthy. Kids develop a strong physique and get to spend all their energy.

joya said...

Hi Joanna,

Yes most definitely will be spending days outdoors in north Chicago weather! Living in the city for past few years and in a small place- my boys spent time outside in all the elements. Good, warm clothes is key and a good stroller! Add some neighbor kids to share the time with :)
My 8 and 6 yo also love to come in and warm up to warm vanilla or hot cocoa!
Now with my 10 mo- we will all be out together!

Xo Joya

Manding. said...

"No bad weather, just bad clothing". I absolutely love this post. I wish you all the luck through NY's seasons!

LMH said...

I have a 2 year old son and we've spent loads of time outdoors in the City and Vermont over the last winters- I would highly recommend getting lots of lovely winter woolies for underthings and for sweaters (all imported from Germany, b/c they are either way too $$$ here or they don't make them), and, if you have friends in europe who can send them, wool tights! (I've not been able to find them here, but they make them even for boys in Germany at least.) Leo wore wool tights and light wool pants and wool onsies under his snowsuit all winter and was toasty. And the BEST boots for winter - great for rain and snow - are from soft star shoes. They are not cheap, but they are SO worth it. Those and some wool tights will keep toes toasty no matter what the outside is like. I can send you other brand names and websites for wool stuff if you like.

Laura said...

It's definitely all about the right clothing. I grew up in Scotland and was permanently cold in the winter. Since moving to Canada I've experienced the joys of proper outerwear! My daughter was born in June 2009 and I made a little vow to myself that we'd go outside every day. My birthday is in October so I politely hinted that welly boots and a good raincoat (I live in Vancouver) would be ideal gifts. I wrapped my daughter up warmly and even in a complete downpour I'd put the rain cover on the stroller and we'd go out for a walk.

That first year of her life it felt like such an achievement to make it out the door and into the fresh air. It cleared my head and relaxed us both. The times I see my daughter at her most focussed and content are when she's playing outdoors.

Megling said...

oh mercy! I always feel bad for you northern type folks with your knee deep snow drifts! But then I remember that you can always bundle your kids up and take them out for snow angel time...and like the first poster, here in AZ when it's 115 degrees outside I can't take them to the park naked! (But we do build a lot of tent forts and couch slides and blow bubbles in the kitchen and "go swimming" in the bathtub! Just some ideas if you find yourself trapped inside!)
What a great plan! Looking forward to the adorable snow suit pictures!

Mrs. Ham said...

winter has got to be hard to have a baby in. i'm from utah and most people just dont take em out until summer. rsv is huge.

tanandmeg.blogspot.com

mfelenyuk said...

I grew up in Ukraine and we definitely were outside every day, rain or shine or snow, no excuses. It is also customary there to take walks with little babies every day, so lots of moms are constantly on the street with their gigantic prams and babies all wrapped up in snow suits. But we did have warmer clothes and insulated boots (with fur on the inside - hello awesomeness!), that helped a lot!

Nicole said...

I grew up near Scranton and spent my days after school with a ton of my cousins at my grandparents house. My grandmother would always make us go outside to play until dinner was ready, year round. She didn't want squabbles over toys or tv while we were all still hungry and cranky from school. Then we'd come in for supper (or snack) and be calm and ready to concentrate on homework.
Like the commenter above, i don't remember ever being uncomfortable in the cold weather when I was outside playing.

I'm depressed just thinking about winter, but I'm going to buck up and follow your lead. Good attitudes ONLY!

KatieMaye said...

i love this idea! I feel like as an adult without kids I need to find the time to be outdoors myself and make it a part of my day. although i am terrified of cold weather, I think this is the year i will break out of that...hopefully

Alicia Marie said...

What a great idea. I am actually MUCH better about taking my boys outside in the winter. I am a MI girl and it seems normal...NOW, I am really bad about summer heat. We now live in VA and the summers last months at over 90 degress plus humidity. I tend to keep my pale little babes inside too much. Our outdoor exercise last 10 mins before they are both dripping in sweat and bright red. I just need to hose them down with some cold water and take them out...will try harder now!

meesch said...

I love the 'no bad weather, just bad clothing'! I suppose that is completely true! Dreading the midwest winter, but I guess I just need to be more prepared = )

-meesch
http://www.aperfectkindofday.com

kate said...

After Design Mom posted about her trip to Sweden this spring and wrote about the kids being outside in all weather, I got off my ass and started taking my kiddo (he will be three in October) for a walk outside every single day. It was truly life changing for me and it he loved it. Honestly, it made getting through the rest of neverending snow/rainstorms of Utah's will-it-ever-fucking-be-warm-again March-May slog so much easier. I am planning on doing the same thing every afternoon when I pick him up from preschool this coming winter. Plus it got me through that terrible 4.00-6.00 time slot when I feel like the dinnertime/bedtime routine will never arrive.

Sara said...

What an empowering idea, to dust yourself off and venture outside each day - I'd love to do this! I don't have a little one yet, but I'm sure that my dog would love it if we would go for a brisk walk in the South Dakota winter!

Giulia Doyle said...

here in Ottawa we have no choice but to go outside in winter or we'd spend all time inside! It is mandatory for our city run daycares and our schools to provide outdoor playtime 2x a day every day, even in winter. The only exception is when it gets colder than -14 F...Snowsuits, hats and mitts are key and how about a small sledge to pull him to the playground?

Kelley said...

I love that! I think it makes sense. "No bad weather just bad clothing." I like it! Down here in Texas, it's always hot it seems. I wouldn't like all of that snow, either, but now there is a new perspective about it. I need to change my perspective about this heat...

Kris said...

That's one thing I miss about Michigan- the cold weather. Believe it or not, it's a lot easier to bundle up and wear a cozy down coat than it is to try and bear the heat. Where I live now, we have a good 6 months of 80 to 90 degree weather and because I'm heat sensitive, I can't really go outside. I actually crave the cold weather lol.
And as for the stimulation problem for children, I completely agree. My parents always solved this by giving us books to read or teaching us how to cook instead of turning on the TV. We didn't actually didn't really have TV or video games, and I have to say, it's one thing I'm incredibly grateful for looking back on it as an adult :)

Marit said...

I love this post! I'm Norwegian and can confirm what you are saying about being outside in all kinds of weather.

I remember when I went to elementary school, we were always outside in the recesses, in fact the only times we were ALLOWED to stay inside was if the temperature was lower than -15C, in which case they would hang a paper snowflake in the window of the Headmaster's office, signaling that we could come inside.

There's nothing quite like the feeling you get when you breathe in sharply through your nose, and for just a moment your nasal hairs freeze together!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I am from Finland and yes we went out every day when i was a kid. I remember one winter when i was 15, the weather was extremly cold (-40) for few days. And there was absolutely no talk about staying home, we just walked to school as usual, with an extra layer or two on.
Now i have got three children myself. The youngest is called Toby by the way and he is three weeks older than your Toby :) Well, it is funny to notice how the children have a natural desire for outdoors. Even little Toby points out often, wanting to go. And when they are outside, they dont need anything special to do, they are just happy wondering around collecting sticks and stones etc.
Thanks for the blog and brilliant subjects you write about. I have followed this for a year now and really enjoy it!
All the best,
Henna

Sarah said...

Hi!

So I just saw this video and posted it on my blog on how to write letters to your children even before they are born so that they can look back on your memories with them and it's all using google. Super awesome. You should check it out if you get a sec =)

- Sarah
http://agirlintransit.blogspot.com/2011/09/dear-sophie.html

en annan said...

I live in Stockholm, our winters aren't too bad (-10 to -20) compared to further north in Sweden. I only kept my children indoors when they couldn't walk. I figure below minus ten is a reasonable limit for when it's a wee bit too cold to be sitting around (like they do before learning to walk).

We have several sets of coveralls, with lining and without (to combine with polar fleece jumper/pant combos). Woolen undergarments are a must-have and a "false turtle-neck" to cover that area where the jacket/coverall zipper comes up and won't quite close all the way. We also have MANY sets of gloves and hats of all shapes and thickness, rain/waterproof is most important down here where the winters are quite wet. Further north it's more important with warmth.

Also I remember both boys getting more than frustrated with their clothes as they ventured out in the snow for the first time after learning to walk. Heavy boots and bulky coveralls, not the best outfit to practice walking in... :-D

For trips to the mall or other indorsey places I use a big thick "sleeping bag" for the stroller (specially made for prams) and pop them in there with only "walkabout clothes" on. For extra warmth I have a couple of re-chargeable "heat-bags" (snap to activate then place under bottom and at feet or in gloves) to keep warm for 30-40 minutes. :-)

I realise it's a science, this whole cold-weather-gear life. But we don't really think that much about it, it just have to work itself out. :-)

I do have to admit I keep the boys indoors somethimes though when it's too rainy (and muddy). I figure they're outdoors every day at kindergarden so I don't have to push them outside if they don't really really want to. My youngest loves to play outside though, so I have to drive some really hard negotiations some days. :-D

Anne Mette Lie said...

OMG, we really live in different worlds! I had to laugh out loud and read your post to my husband, because it really showed another way of thinking. Here in Norway there is no question: of course you take your child outside in the winter! We have a lot of rain during the year, and really cold winters, so snowdresses and clothes of wool are a big part of every Norwegian childrens everyday live. Good luck living up to your new mantra. I`m sure it will be an sucess :-))

brittney elizabeth said...

i grew up in the mountain near lake tahoe and it is definitely snowy for about 6 months out of the year. we always went sledding and jumped up to our shoulders in newly fallen powder, however, i think it's definitely different living in a small, forest town than in busy nyc. you are completely correct about wearing the right clothes though - it makes ALL the difference if you are warm, but not too hot, and comfortable. good luck!

Lisa said...

Ok, I really need to post a comment here for the first time. I am born and raised in Sweden, in the dreaded north part of the country. I have experienced -47°C at the coldest, and believe me not even good clothes helped at that day!

But normally my parents "forced" me and my sister to play outside a little while every day, no matter if it was warm or cold outside. Of course they did not forde us out in the -35°C we have almost evey year, but -20°C? Hell yeah. At least for a while, even 30 minutes helps! Many layers of clothes, and always keep moving while you are outside and all of a sudden its not that cold! Of course you cant cover up every single part of your body (your face) but when it is that cold you feel the pinching feeling in your cheeks for the first 10 minutes and then you forget about it.

And I agree with what someone else said about fresh air being good for your baby. Leaving your child to sleep outside is very common in Sweden; if you live so that you can do that of course and they seem to sleep much better and also - stay healthier!

Go ahead and spend time with your little baby in the cold; just remember the mantra my mum always told me "Layers, hat and constant moving"

Cheers!

Nora said...

then it's a quite good idea to go outside in winter. sounds that nyc is an adventurous place in winter. maybe you can take toby in a baby sled to the playground. and don't forget oily skin cream. i love to loke rosy-cheeked in winter, but freezed cheeks are no fun.
thatwas my winteroutfit, when it was minus 20 degrees (68 F) last year.

wendy said...

it's so true. we live in LA, so we're lucky with weather, but we know that we have a short window of time indoors before both of our little boys start climbing the walls, breaking things and using each other as punching bags. rain or shine (mostly shine), we are outdoors. there are many a day, however, that i desperately miss new york city life...especially with kids...no place more magical than NYC.

Beate said...

Hi Joanna:)

I am from Norway, and I really like your post:)
I think it was funny to read, because I don't think of it like we have the opportunity to choose. I have a boy who is 2.5 years old, and he is outside playing every day. In the kindergarden they even sleep outside EVERY DAY:) We have this big, warm sleeping bag in the stroller, and they sleep in two layers with wool, and they alway wake up happy and smiling with red roses in their cheeks:) After kindergarden we go home to eat dinner, and than we go out playing with friends an hour before childrens tv (from 5.30-6.30) and than it is supper, bath and bedtime:)
But I have to say that I love the fall and the winter! I love every season! we were always outside playing when we were kids, and all of my friends and family have it the same way:) (Or we go to each other house and have play dates.) So I really support you to bring Toby outside every day! There is lot to explore even if it is winter:) Good luck, hope you will keep us updated:)

Jana Miller said...

I love having my kids play outdoors. We have mostly rainy winters and I just let them play and stomp and get wet...they never caught a cold from this kind of fun .And sailing boats down the gutter entertained them for hours.

Amanda said...

We go outside for a couple of hours every day, rain or shine. Both me and the kiddo have full raingear (from Polarn o Pyret of course ;-), snowgear etc.
I can't imagine staying in all day (we got outside even when my son's sick!). In my sons preschool they are outside for most of the day as well.

I live in Sweden, so autumn and winter can get pretty windy/rainy/snowy sometimes.

Enjoy your winter outside Joanna, I'm sure Toby will love it! Just make sure you get some good clothes, not just for Toby but for you as well. It gets so much more enjoyable to be outside in the rain when you're not soaking wet... ;-)

Katherine said...

With the weather changing going outside with my chickadee has been on my mind as well. I just got her a fluffy snowsuit to toddle around in & I'm with you in trying to make it a goal to get her outside at least a little bit everyday. We also notice that she sleeps better when she gets outside - definitely a bonus for us!

Robyn Ungar said...

My son calls walking in the rain "I walk on bubbles"...makes me want to play in the rain with him everyday!

tpanddz said...

I am determined to take my 18 month out daughter out this winter! Last year was hard because she was so little and I felt guilty, but now, as you mentioned, I just need to get the right clothes!

I would love to hear brands of rain and snow gear that people love, including boots. I was eyeing the Hatley raincoats, as they seem to have a cozy liner but they are $$.
Inspiring post, Joanna
thanks

Jessi said...

Well, I really don't mind winter for the most part (which most people find odd). i think its so peaceful to be outside trudging around. my dogs and i go hiking in the winter often... i love seeing them jumping over piles of snow... and my super warm coat is very comfy. and now that i have rain boots i just layer socks under them and am set for all types of weather!

but, i'll be preggo for this winter... so i'm bummed i can't go hiking like normal (i'll be way too topsy turvy)...

but next winter i'll be bringing my little babe all wrapped up for our winter wonderland walks...

thanks so much, love your blog so very much!

Jessi
finnpuppy@gmail.com

KJ said...

"No bad weather, just bad clothing" - I love it! I'll have to remember that the next time I forget rainboots :)

Courtney said...

I have been totally inspired by hearing that thing about "no bad weather." I get totally depressed in the winter when we're all cooped up (I live in DC). I am definitely going to try to go outside more this winter and just bundle up! There is NO bad mood my daughter can sustain while outside. I'll admit, it's actually harder for us to spend time outside in the summer when it's so hot and humid. In the winter you can always bundle, but you can only take off so much clothing in the summer. :)

Melanie said...

I'm from Germany and we have the same saying "there is no bad weather, just bad clothes" ;) Yes I do go out with my older son every day, he's three years old - he would wreck the appartment if I wouldn't...
My challenge will be to continue doing so this winter since the little brother will be only 6 months old by then. Oh well, snowsuit and blankets for him then as well!
PS: we even have so called "forrest kindergartens" here in Germany where the kids play outside in the woods ALL day EVERY day ;)

Briana said...

I love this idea. I was a nanny in Germany to 4 young girls and their mom ALWAYS wanted us to go outside every day, regardless of the weather. I'll totally be that mom (I'm due with my FIRST in March!!)

And my sister worked for 'The Happiest Baby...' and for Dr Karp in L.A. for 5 years! I'll be reading those books when my wee-one is born!

Miss Bibliophile said...

What a great goal for winter. I may have to use my pup in place of a baby and try it for myself! I think winter attitudes vary around the U.S. as well. My friend who grew up in Syracuse was amazed when I told here that in NJ, where I grew up, we had "indoor recess" in elementary school whenever the weather got too cold.

Anonymous said...

"The Last Child in the Woods" - recent book by Richard Louv that discusses the importance of exposing children to nature.

http://richardlouv.com/books/last-child/

Anonymous said...

I always have taken my boys out in NYC and -- like all kids -- they're never cold if they're having fun (even in bad clothes).

The problem is *I* get cold after a half hour since I'm NOT running around and climbing on frozen jungle gyms.

If there is a lot of snow, it's hard getting around with the stroller, forget the double. The bugaboo is great in the snow but people shovel just the tiniest paths so that two people can't pass, let alone get a Bug through. An umbrella stroller won't work. So you end up really close to your house, at the local playground usually. Eh.

We have a great sledding hill so if the street hasnt been plowed -- you have to get out early -- you can pull them on the sled to the hill. Fun.

We're really lucky that the local church/preschool sometimes will open it's great, old timey gym and that;s the best. No TV or toys. Just kids and trikes and basketballs on a cold day. And parents with coffee sitting and visiting

Eh, I think the cold weather is hard. In NY, I dont know anyone who DOESNT go out with their kids. Apartment life doesn't work without outdoor time. But I also don't know a parent who isn't happy to put away the snow boots and snow pants and all the wet things that have to dry in the bathrooms for a few months.

Anonymous said...

Love your idea! At my daughter's preschool, in the South, they would not take the children out if it was below 40 degrees in the winter. When we were in New Hampshire, they would not take the children out if it was below 10 degrees. Hmmm, wonder if that has anything to do with childhood obesity in the South...

luke and pamela said...

love these thoughtful posts. i am from arizona but had my babies while living in michigan, so winter was quite a shock. plus we lived in a town with not too much to do, so i kept us inside way more than i wanted to. i think living in a big city might make it more tempting to go outside in the cold - to play or walk or run on the way to a museum or somewhere new.

Emily said...

Ha, I'm reading that Karp book too and I think he hit the nail on that one, although some of the stuff he says about "primitive" peoples strikes me as a little, um, racist.
I live outside Boston and my daughter just turned 2. Last winter we were stuck in the house a lot- snowy sidewalks impassible by stroller- we went crazy! and I'm determined to get out daily this winter. Like the idea of making an actual resolution of it so we are in!

Stephanie @ Blawsom said...

I don't have children of my own... but of course I would take them out to play during Winter! Anyways... it doesn't hurt that I live in California ;) Love that mantra... 'No bad weathers, just bad clothing.'

diana said...

I relly never understood, when watching movies, how do Americans ( or Englishmen, Frenchmen, or whoever, for that matter) ride the winter. They seem to never wear a hat, or a scarf (only keeping it open, and what's the point for that?), never even seeming to button their coats. I live in Romania, we have HEAT in the summer - two full months at least of over 35 Celsius - and freeze like at least three months -with an average of -10 Celsius in the winter. Woolen hats are the best (we call them astronauts, I can knit one for a child in an evening) and gloves, and zipped all the way up. Snowsuits are the best for children, we pass them around from one child to another. I can remember at my grandmother's, in the days before Christmas, all four cousins being kicked outside to leave the women bake and cook, and being taken inside some two hours later, all frozen. The mothers undressed us, propped our feet on the warm side of the stove and gave us a piece of warm brioche. Heaven! And do you want to know how quickly we were falling asleep?

Melania said...

Ciao joanna!!!
Today you wrote a beautiful post...
I think your plan is really good for children and for the adults.
In the winter I love to go to beach. I like to walk on the wet sand and hear the sounds of the waves,
I live in Italy and in my city is not very cold in winter.

annemarie said...

I grew up in northern BC where sub-minus-forty is an annual event, and now I live in Winnipeg where winds of -55 can happen. I'm trying to get better at taking my daughter out, because as a child I was totally tossed out in the cold. In a dry cold, you put on eighty layers and a down snowsuit, and then you come inside with a dripping nose, a frozen red ring around your wrists and ankles, and then your legs get that excruciating burning feeling as they warm up. It's all part of the northern experience. :)

wildchild said...

i have no babies, but i definitely feel the need to be outside for at least a little bit every day. i go stir crazy if i wake up and go to bed every day without ever having breathed fresh air in between. it'd totally be hard because of how cold and snowy it gets here in upstate NY, but i'm game to take the challenge for just me. then for my babies too once i have some of those :)

Anonymous said...

do it! it makes sense--being out is good for everyone, kids most of all.

we spent a few years living in cleveland, home of very long, snowy, dreary, cold winters. but my mom used to take me to the playground even in the snow. it's something i still remember doing as a kid--we'd bundle up and i'd have the whole place to myself. it was a ball! hot cocoa afterwards warmed me back up, leaving only the fun memories and exhilaration behind.

Heidi said...

I just love this blog! We live in North Vancouver, British Columbia- we are kind in the woods here. We get lots and lots of rain and even a little snow. We try and embrace the outdoors because it makes everyone happier and more calm overall. The kids also sleep a lot better when they have had fresh air. My 16 month old son loves to run around outside and we just bought him this great rain suit! it even covers his head: http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Kids/InfantClothing/PRD~5020-268/mec-newt-rain-suit-infants.jsp, we have rain pants for my daughter and lots of gear for us. We even bought a backpack carrier so we can still get out in the snow (my stroller will not roll in the snow). Heres to a fresh air filled fall and winter!

Brave New Life said...

I agree with the previous Scandinavians. It is different way of being in the world. I'm born in Sweden and live in Denmark. My child was born in January and to get him to sleep during the days, the health visitor told me to wrap him up (in one those duvet sleeping bag things), put him in his bed and open the windows. The room was freezing and my baby was warm and asleep.(It's a good idea to turn off the radiatior, so you don't end up with a massive bill).
And as to the cycling, I was cycling everywhere when I was pregnant until I was in week 37 when there was a snow storm and I thought to myself that this might be over the top and parked the bike for a couple of months.
I have been told that in German you say "we are not made out of sugar". Also very good (if it is true).

Caroline, No said...

get a sledge and cart him around! I love seeing the little kids on sledges in Berlin! x

Diana said...

Another fantastic Motherhood Mondays post, Jo! I don't have children, but I've been making similar resolutions about walking my dogs.

We often forgo the winter walks, and I truly think it affects their mood. One of my dogs absolutely HATES the cold, but I think that (unless there's a blizzard and temperatures are below freezing) there's no reason we can't take them for a quick walk around the block.

You'll have to keep us readers updated on how your winter plan plays out. I'm sure Toby will appreciate it. :)

estelluxx said...

My son is 17 months and we spend an hour (more if possible) outside every day. We live in the Ohio countryside and I have always taken long walks each day. Once I had my baby I didn't stop! It clears my head and improves my mood, and it seems to do the same for my son. When he was an infant I would carry him in the Kozy Carrier - now he walks with me! What a sweet progression!

Kim said...

I grew up in Canada and never once did we get a "snow day" from school in 12 years, despite having snowdrifts 4 feet high. We just dragged out sleds to school in our snowsuits and spent all lunch hour going down the hills. I live in London with my nearly 2 year old and she and I are out every day, rain snow or shine. But that's because I have to walk everywhere or take the bus so she has no choice :) No it's good for us really, and it never gets that cold here.

kel said...

Thanks for the inspiration! I need to get some better warm winter gear, I feel the same as you about winter. My warm Texas blood doesn't take well to Colorado winter where I live now. My 22 month old loves the outdoors and I know she is going to want to play outside snow or shine, I don't want to be the one begging to go back inside right away!

Robin said...

Oh, yes! Gotta go outside, no matter the weather (although easy for me to say, I live in Denver, where, even when it is snowy, the sun is usually shining!)
Cool book you might like:
http://www.amazon.com/Last-Child-Woods-Children-Nature-Deficit/dp/1565123913

Alyssa said...

Good idea! The National Wildlife Organization has a campaign called "Be out There" (http://www.nwf.org/Get-Outside/Be-Out-There.aspx) that encourages people to make this same pledge. It's healthy for everyone!

Lindsay R said...

Oh I love this idea! Experience nature at all temperatures, right?!
I used to live in Hawaii and I loved it there for the reason it was never cold. It was perfect for kids and even rain was warm. I'm in San Diego now which isn't too far off.
You have to admit though that when you take your kid outside, it makes you feel better as well! Dont ya think?

fleur_delicious said...

oh yes! I grew up on the fringes of Oregon farmland. We didn't get out as much in the winter (mom was always afraid we'd "catch our death), but we lived outside in the summers - swimming in the river, hacking forts in the blackberry brambles, riding horses, watching meteor showers in the fields at night. It was a beautiful childhood. As an adult, I get to make the choice to go out in the rain - and like many Seattleites, I refuse to use an umbrella except in heavy downpours!

Jacque Nodell said...

Having recently moved to Denmark (only three weeks ago!) I can attest to the needing to get out even during bad weather. It has rained almost everyday since I have been here! We don't have a car, but errands must still be run, so walk in the rain we must! It really isn't so bad!

Katherine said...

Interesting! I am American and working as an au pair in Sweden. One of the kids is almost a year old and the parents always put him outside on the balcony to nap. At first I thought this was so strange and worried about him being too cold (even though it was summer, but it was a pretty cool summer with some wind and rain) but now from reading the comments here I guess it's a common thing! Sometimes we go out in the rain but it depends really. At first I was worried the parents would be upset if it was cold and rainy when I took him out but they just told me to put a blanket over him in the stroller, haha. And the two little girls in the family have rain pants...something I never had growing up in the US! I guess I'll have to see how this winter goes :)

Vanessa said...

We live in New England and the winters can be brutal. Last year after 3 days of snow we could not even get out of our house. When we did the snow was too deep for my four year old to walk through.

I bring the outdoors in if I can. I put her in her snowsuit and boots and stuck her in the bathtub. I went out and got mixing bowls full of snow and she has a blast. Sometimes you have to work with what you got!

I agree though with this idea of gettin gour hwen you can no matter the weather. I think in the U.S. we are taught to fear the weather by the media - "There is a huge blizzard coming", etc. I am going to make it a point to really try to get my kids out this year - rain, snow, or sunshine.

Andrea said...

I too HATE winter. Audrey loves the outdoors. I think this would be a wonderful goal and am up for it. This book came out earlier in the year and I've been meaning to pick it up. It looked great.

Fifteen Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids by Rebecca Cohen.

I also heard Richard Louv on NPR and read an excerpt of his book in Sun Magazine on related topic. He is outstanding. The book is Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder.

GREAT TOPIC, Joanna!

Natty by Design said...

My hubby and I lived in Utah for several winter - we had two little babies 12 months apart and my husband worked full time and was in school - he had no time to shovel the drive, so we did it. It was a great exercise and it got the babies out of the house!

Joëlle said...

What a lovely idea, I grew up in the Netherlands, in a town surrounded by woods and spent a lot of time outside (riding my bike to school, playing in the garden or taking long walks with my family and friends) and I love winter! Actually, I love every season and especially the changing of the seasons. There's nothing like the first smell of autumn in september or the smell of spring approaching in april. And that about that cold winter air freezing the insides of your nose everytime you take a deep breath! I hope Toby will come to appreciate it as much!

Astrid said...

I'm Norwegian and my mantra is absolutely "No bad weather, just bad clothing" - and it will still be my mantra when my little baby girl is born in the middle of November, which is such a grey, wet month here in Bergen, on the west coast of Norway.

FanFamFun said...

We're all for fun outdoors come rain, snow or shine.
Our Sunday walk along the Thames in London was a great example. The kids Polarn O. Pyret rain coats were at the ready! Fun was had by all.

http://fanfamfun.blogspot.com/2011/09/action-packed-sunday-stroll.html

We've also spent winters in NY and Stockholm and totally understand your pre winter anxiety. Do like the Swedes, get wrapped up and go out to play!

Victoria said...

I always get the children outside for some part of the day, whatever the weather. We don't get huge extremes here, but it can be miserably wet and grey in the winter. Nothing a pair of wellies, raincoat and umbrella can't handle. And the children love jumping in puddles and riding their bikes. Go for it.

Jenna said...

i'm an au pair and i live in helsinki, finland. the little boy i take care of has rain pants, rain boots, and of course the rain jacket. we go out everyday for at least an hour. it's incredible to see how much of a difference it makes in both him and myself included!

The Girlie Blog said...

Great post. As Seattle is getting colder and wetter, it's so easy to stay in and hibernate. But, I am definitely making an attempt to take my little one outside often too.

nightshimmers said...

Maybe somebody already posted this (too many comments to read every one): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fp4Nny_rIiw&feature=youtu.be

Andrea said...

When my mother (born in Michigan in1925)was a baby her mother would bundle her up and put her in her pram and stick her out on the porch for a little while everyday. She would go out and brush the snow off her now and then. Her philosophy is was fresh air was vital to her children's well-being. And I grew up in an era where we headed outside the minute we could and didn't come back in until the street lights were on. I think that children that are hand fed their entertainment (tv, video games) never really learn how to entertain themselves. We played outside with nothing but our imaginations.
I love that saying about no bad weather, just bad clothing.

Julia's Bookbag said...

Oh Joanna! I think you might have changed my life with this post. Seriously, I needed to read this. I have a funny circumstance because I'm from Hawaii but I've lived in the Pacific NW now for the past 20 yrs and the 9 months of grey and rain are really starting to wear me down. I get seasonal blues now something fierce. So I am going to FORCE FORCE FORCE myself and get out to see the sky and be outside with my daughter, even if I want to hide in a hole....(but I still would be oh so much happier if the weather were like Hawaii-weather all the time! :) ~Melissa

Sabina said...

living in northern california my kids have always had the luxury of playing outside almost every day. i spent so much of my childhood running around free as a bird - enjoying nature. i always wanted my kids to have that same freedom and sense of exploration but it's so much harder these days. i love this post -- great plan -- the Scandinavians have got this right!! happy monday :)

Courtney said...

I am so glad you wrote this post! I LOVE being outside with my son and in the warmer months we spend more of our time outside than anywhere else. It's refreshing, rejuvenating, centering, and both my son and I thrive in it. But I am not a fan of the cold at all and have also been feeling anxious about the upcoming winter. I don't want to be cooped up inside and having both my son and I on edge from a lack of sunshine and nature. So your post has inspired me to bundle up, be bold and brave about taking him out rain or shine. Who knows what adventures it could bring. Plus he's 2 now so maybe building a snowman and sledding and hot chocolate and new hats and mittens are in our future. I am not scared anymore, I am excited. Thanks Jo!

Benedicte said...

For my part, I cannot stay indoors a whole day ; I have to breathe fresh air, and feel the elements so I always took the kids out when they were younger (now 14 and 17, they just laugh when I suggest to leave the computer and go out for a walk). Here in Paris, we can have short periods of snow and cold, and loooooong rainy days for sure !

Kate said...

Jo, take a look at this program: www.cedarsongnatureschool.org. This is just one of a few of these popping up in the Seattle area and I adore the idea! No class room, just nature! When I have children, I very much hope I can enroll them somewhere like this.

Elisa Shere said...

Joannna - thank you so much for this post! Seeing how I live in Seattle, this is a good reminder to be brave and get out there even when the weather is crummy. My LO was a tiny baby last winter, but he's almost walking now and needs to get out.

If you can do it, so can we! Rain parkas and mittens, here we come!

megan said...

I know exactly how you feel! My son is 2. We live in Los Angeles so our weather is pretty ideal. We can get a lot of rain. The rain make the play grounds impossible once the rain has cleared. My plan this year is to have rainboots and coats for us so we can go out puddle jumping. I was so happy to have summer come but now that we have been having heatwaves with temperatures in the 100's I look forward to the chill in the air. The heat is actually worse than the cold when you have to be out in it. There are a lot great children's activities near by and our weather is pretty ideal so I can't complain to much. I do understand the dread you feel! That how I felt last year but we got through it. I'm looking forward to a pair of rainboots!

Lindsay said...

I'm so glad you brought this up. I live in Chicago, and I am having a baby in January. Worried about being holed up with a newborn for months on end and wondering how bad it would be to take him or her (we're not finding out!) on walks outside. As long as they're bundled up really, really well, I'm thinking it'll be okay.

Erica @ Acire Adventures said...

I live in Canada so owning a snowsuit really isn't an option for kids. There have definitely been weeks of weather up to minus 45 (Celsius, with the windchill) and many times that you have no choice but to be knee deep in snow. I have some amazing memories of playing in the snow as a child. It made playgrounds (or even just our backyard) an entirely different and exciting world to play in. And what's the worst that can happen? I've only had frostbite once and that was as an unintelligent teenager running in the snow in bare feet. Ahem.. anyways, so we try to get my son outside in all seasons. Not everyday, but often enough. Rain is also really fun for kids. As much as us moms might not enjoy getting wet, it's all worth it when you see how much fun kids have stomping around in puddles.

Seriously, messes can be cleaned, clothes washed, or dried, etc., but missed experiences just can't be replaced.

kate said...

Most likely due to the massive Norwegian influence, the same mentality abounds in Minnesota. Different seasons just mean different clothing and different activities. If we waited for it to be "nice" out we'd be inside for 9 months of the year. There is something to enjoy in all weather (except when its 105 and humid. There are no positives there.)

Amy said...

I live in Alaska where the winters are not only long but very cold and very dark (we're talking -60F and 2 hours of sunlight per day). This is my first winter with a baby; he'll be 6 months in October. I'm really nervous about being cooped up with him all winter but we don't really have the option to go outside because of the risk of frostbite. At -60 it only takes less than 3 minutes for any exposed skin to freeze. I'm hoping to teach him sigh language and some other fun things that we can learn and do together.

Chase, Paige, baby Link said...

I love this idea! It's actually really hard to be outside in Arizona in the summer but I'm having an Autumn baby this year so he'll be big enough to be in the pool by next summer! yippie! I can't wait for the cold weather and bundling up to go outdoors :)

Shannon said...

Hey Jo, about your winter blues- I had them too! Until one year my doctor convinced me to get a Happy Lite, and it's been one of the best purchases of my life. He recommended Gaiam's HappyLite (http://www.gaiam.com/product/happylite+deluxe+light+bath.do). You can also get miniature ones for travel, etc.

I used to become a different person in the winter, and now I don't. And it's all because of this light!! Hope it helps!

Anonymous said...

Hi hi I am from Iceland but have been living in Vermont for 5 yrs.
I have 3 kids ( 3, 7, and 9) and we go out in all kind of weathers.

I love the snow here in VT and it is so good to come in after playing outside, have i soup or hot chocolate.

If its raining, we also go outside....

Gyda.

2 by Design said...

Oye. I'm having the opposite problem! My little guy is 8 weeks now and we live in the hot, dry desert of Arizona. I've always been a walker and lover of the outdoors, but I have yet to venture out with our son further than around our condo complex. We've had one of the hottest summers on record (seriously, up to 117) and I'm worried about everything from heat stroke to sunburn! Seeing as he suddenly hates his stroller and has NEVER liked his Baby Bjorn, I think he's gotten a little too used to being inside. Loved, loved, loved what you said you read about kids being both over-stimulated and bored when cooped up. Makes so much sense! Seeing as though it's only 100 today, this post has inspired me to take a chance this evening. After the sun goes down, of course :)

Kate said...

I love this! As a kid I loved all four seasons and was perfectly content to sit inside, but I'm finding that as an adult I dread winter and I completely relate to how you described children feel indoors. Maybe I should challenge myself to take myself outside everyday? That actually doesn't sound like a bad plan!

Erika@BeyondRubies said...

My little boy and I are definitely outside every day, no matter what. Of course, like others said, here in Texas the problem is not the winters, but the summers. He is always happier/easier to manage outside, so in the summer there is always ice water in hand. There were several times in the winters when he possibly got a little too cold after a while, despite my best attempts at layering, but I always keep a super close eye on his status. But, yes, having this energetic boy---there is no way we would survive staying indoors all day every day!

Amy said...

My Icelandic friends think that we are crazy here in Virginia for spending part of the winter cooped up. I spent my teenage years in Southern California, so even Virginia is Cooooold to me. I should adopt your attitude, too. I'll work on it. And purchase the appropriate clothing.

Caroline said...

hello there! i come from germany. near the alpes to be exact. our winters get quite snowy and cold and i've grown up wearing those onesies (we have the exact same saying "there's no bad weather, just bad clothing" in german as well) and not caring what weather it is. snow? well there's so many fun things to do! i have some old photographs with me wearing a (horribly neon colored) onesie, standing next to a ginormous snowman (about two or three times my size :) and i look like the happiest little camper. i'm sure your toby will love snow. most kids do :) it's probably too early to introduce him to ice skating since he just learned to walk and idk if you have any hills in nyc but sledding is a heck of fun even for the littlest ones! :)

Rebecca said...

Don't be afraid of the weather! When I was a nanny in Paris (yes, I know how ridiculous that sentence sounds) we went to the park every day, no matter what. My little guy had water proof pants and boots and would play until I had to drag him home. There was always a *really* good nap after the park as well....

Anne said...

I grew up in Michigan where we were sent outside for recess no matter what the weather was!I have fond memories of playing "king of the mountain" on top of snowbanks. Now, my daughter lives in Long Island City and some of my favorite pictures of my 2 1/2 year old grandson were taken last winter when you all had a huge snowstorm and he got to build a snowman. Of course, he loved it and I don't think the cold bothered him a bit because he was bundled up.

Mona said...

Then you can look forward to coming inside and being cozy with a blanket and some hot cider/chocolate/coffee... :-)

emma said...

Thanks for posting this. I live in Michigan with my 4 month old twins and I have been wondering what we will do to keep busy this winter. Our daily walks keep me sane - it seems to be the only time of the day where I can guarantee that they will be happy. This post has inspired me to challenge myself this winter and get outside! I think I might need to get some baby snow gear though...

Justine said...

Hi Joanna

I now live in Winnipeg, but I grew up in a tiny Manitoban town. (A "village", really.) I was constantly outside, and I loved it. My brother and I would play in the sandbox, make mud pies, or play house in our garden shed in the warmer months. In the colder months, we'd bundle up and spend hours outdoors making snowmen, making tunnels or make-shift igloos in our backyard, and toboganning. (In fact a few families would go to a big tall hill in a field somewhere.. we'd tobogan down the hill, and then our dad would attach our sled to his ski-doo and pull us up the hill, so we didn't spend all our time walking up!! Ahh, memories.) We have pretty extreme weather here in the prairies.. hot summer days can read 35 degrees Celcius (95 F), and winters easily dip down to -40 with the wind chill. Our outdoor wardrobe had everything from splash pants, wind breakers, and rain boots, to heavy-duty winter jackets, insulated snow boots, and ski masks that make you look like you're about to rob a bank.

You can have just as much fun outside during the winter as you do in the summer. Maybe more! Instead of sand, you have snow, which you can do more with. You can still do scavenger hunts and play on swing sets. It's just all about bundling up for the occasion. :)

-Justine

Erin said...

I grew up in Wisconsin where we went sledding in the backyard and made snow forts in the cul-de-sac. I can't even imagine a winter without those snowsuits, and they'll make for incredibly blackmail photos. I will admit I complained, but in retrospect those are some of my best memories and now I think snow especially is so magical.

Plus -- hot chocolate! Just buy some finger and feet warmers to slip into your mittens and boots, they work like magic.

Carrie said...

Hi Jo! I just found your site! It's just wonderful. Even though my child is a grown man at 21 I still remember taking him out. I grew up in a snowy environment and then lots of sun by the lake. We were always outside playing no matter what. It makes the children alot more adventurous I think. Lets the imaginations grow and creativity too! Enjoy being outside with your little one! They grow too fast!
XO Carrie

www.carriefabulous.com
www.livefrombungalow63.blogspot.com

Julia said...

Growing up, I spent a lot of time outside. It was so fun! We had a woods in our backyard with a playhouse and swing set. I know I probably did play inside (being from Wisconsin), but I don't remember it.

This past summer I babysat for two kids ages 6 and 8. They hardly ever wanted to go outside... granted they didn't have a very fun backyard, but it was so strange to me. So much has changed!

Isabel said...

My dad is Swedish and I was born in Sweden. When I was a baby my parents used to wrap me up warm and put me out on the balcony in the dead of winter in my stroller. According to my mom, the cold air was supposed to be good for me. It doesn't seem to have done me any harm and I actually think it is quite common in scandinavia. The idea is babies should have 'frisk luft' or fresh air. In fact, you often see babies in Stockholm left outside in the cold while their parents sit inside having coffee. Couldn't really do that in New York!

sara-ananda fleury said...

Hello Joanna,

I am from a part of France where it rains more than it snows and as a result... I love the rain!

Now I live in Montreal and even after 3 years living here, I still can't enjoy fully the winter. It is HARD to be outside more than a few minutes in the months of January or February.
I just had a baby boy and I am a little scarred of the winter months ahead of us.

Not only because of the winter temperature, but also because I am afraid to be isolated (maternity leave is 9 to 12 months here), people just stay indoors a lot and not much is going on... or maybe I am just too lazy to do activities when it's freezing outside. ;)

Plus, you are not going to believe this but while I was pregnant, I developed something called Raynault Syndrom which is basically a allergy to cold.

Anyways, I am scarred of the coming months and I hope my child and I won't have a bad case of cabin fever during the coldest months.

Oh well, there is always the balcony! (kidding)

And oh my! Have you seen Canadian Goose baby snow suit??? So beautiful! (but coasts a leg)

http://www.sportinglife.ca/sportinglife/browse/productDetailWithPicker.jsp?productId=23343544&categoryId=JUNIOR_BOYS_OUTDOOR1_PIECE_SUITS

Meagan said...

In hot Florida, we HAVE to go outside. Even when it is 105 and 100% humidity. I shorten our play times though and just make them more frequent. Before nap, after nap, and then after dinner to share a popsicle. It helps break up the day and help ALL of us without going crazy being inside all day. It also helps that it is beautiful here 10-11 months out of the yr. Can't complain!

Anonymous said...

Your timing of this post is perfect for me. I live in Yukon Canada (beside Alaska) and am expecting my second baby in November. I'm so worried about getting stuck inside and going crazy all winter but I'm going to take on your challenge. Outside everyday (unless of course, it's minus 40 and dangerous to be outside with a baby)!! Thanks :) Love your blog btw.
JT

jen fuller said...

We live in Salt Lake City, Utah. It gets cold and we get a ton of snow! This is my baby boy's first winter, too, so your post was nice to read because I've been trying to set a goal to get outside everyday - rain or shine!
Smoking Crayolas Blogspot

Paige said...

Hi Joanna,

I grew up in Seattle, where our winters are not too cold, mostly rainy and grey. But it can still be so easy to want to stay inside all the time.

However, the best way to get outside and go for a walk is to remind yourself how cozy you'll be once you're back inside. It will feel so nice to enter your little apartment after romping around with Toby. Hot chocolate, tea, a cuddly book and a blanket. Fun!

Joy said...

Great post! I spent a semester in Denmark, and after growing up NYC I was so impressed with all the kids braving the miserable weather and playing outside for hours. I have countless photos of my 3 year old host sister in her adorable elephant hat- I'm sure you could find one for Toby somewhere in the city? :)
Did you know babies take naps in (covered) strollers outside, in the middle of winter? there's also something called a "Forest kindergarten", where most of the day is spent outside, rain or shine.
You might find this post interesting:
http://joybelamarich.blogspot.com/2011/01/children-chillin.html

(I kept a blog while i was abroad).
Denmark is such a wonderful place. You have to visit! xo

Vivika said...

I can attest, as a Danish American, that Danish women are AWESOME and have no fear of weather, traffic, grey hair, or swimming in public. We need to take a great lesson from them about feeling comfortable in our own skin, living in our environment, and being ourselves.

Kristina Larson said...

Totally agree! I like snowstorm days the best since most people stay inside, making sidewalks extra quiet and peaceful. A fast, chilly walk makes me feel like I earned the coziness of a blanket and cup of hot chocolate afterward. (Staying in and drinking the hot chocolate anyway just makes me feel lazy.)

I am determined that my kids will not suffer from Nature Deficit Disorder!

{molly beth} said...

I totally agree!

I think that parents are too paranoid these days. If you ask me, my grandparents turned out just fine and they didn't have the luxuries that kids have today!

Come visit me over at alwaysamrsforeverakidd.blogspot.com

Anna said...

We live in Vancouver, Canada possibly the rainiest city in North America and like all the preschools and daycares round here, I too have the rule - at least ONE part of the day is dedicated to outside time NO MATTER what the weather is. So, my hall cupboard is stocked up with rainboots, snow boots, rain pants, rain jackets (or you can get the all-in-one suits - more annoying for potty time!), snow suits, hats, scarves... and as a Mom it can be annoying but if you suit yourself up with rainboots and a rain jacket you actually like (eg. Hunters!), you grab a coffee and you just follow your little walkers out the door and let them lead the adventure!

www.simplystylishmom.com

Holly said...

i can't lie, i don't have kids, but i love this idea! Growing up most of my memories are spending time outdoors. Whether warm or cold my parents would set me up and let me enjoy! i can't wait to see what kind of activities you can come up with all winter!

Frieda said...

I'm with Nora- even if Germany doesn't sound as glamorous and progressive as Skandinavia, me and my brothers were out every day, no matter what the weather was. My mom always said that she needed to air us out, or we (and she) would go insane. My childhood wouldn't have been the same without those walks in muddy gumboots and cold toes...

Shana said...

Girl, I'm in!!! I'm originally from MI's Upper Pennisula, and i remember playing outside every day! (interestingly, there's lots of Scandinavians there too...)

I made this pledge with my first while we lived in sunny Denver, but now that we're in Philly and have two...it's going to be harder, but I'm up for it.

Thanks for the reminder!!

Anonymous said...

oh, how I miss NY weather! We moved from NY to Hong Kong a year ago and I (and the kids) really miss being outdoors. Unfortunately, it is the pollution, not the weather that keeps us indoors... and no clothes can help that obstacle! But I will be thinking of everyone in the cold, crisp air this winter! Enoy!

SmartBear said...

We are SO passionate about this in our home. Everyday is a day to get out and enjoy. We splash in the rain and go sledding in the snow. Hikes in the snow are good fun too. Little tip? For the first couple years, I just wore a winter coat and snow boots. Last year, we finally realized the beauty of grown up snow pants! Not pretty but...your bum will thank you!
Have fun!
Best,
Tina

Em said...

Mackage coats (a montreal brand) make the warmest moth beautiful coats. Also, a fur coat will keep you warm even in -40 (I lived in Northern Ontario for two years...) My family is Canadian, so we believe in going outside no matter what. Canadians put vaseline all over their babies face to avoid windburn during walks. And some Canadian bundle up there babies and put them on the front or back porch for 5 minutes at a time on really cold days.

Julia is Trop Cool said...

Hi, Joanna!
I grew up in the French Alps, and we were definitely out every day. Even when we were at school, all of our recessess were outside, and the long lunch line would snake all the way outside. I do remember being cold quite a lot, but thats how it was! But everyone was well equipped with snow jackets and the right gear. Living in the Alps has lots of pluses though, including the best snowboarding slopes :)

Hannah J. Holmes said...

I also really dislike winter (I grew up in the tropics), but I get so depressed when I hole up inside all day. I, too, have made a pact with myself to go out more often this season--investing in a really, really warm coat is definitely a must, though!

Alissa said...

I'm excited you wrote about this today. I was just thinking how hard it will be to entertain the baby I nanny for indoors all winter. But you're right, it is completely possible to enjoy being outside no matter the weather! It makes us both so much cheerier.

Laura said...

I agree with Kate, I think the strong Scandinavian influence is what makes Minnesotans all about being outside year round...and it's fun! I remember in elementary school, recess necessities included snow pants and a sled. Layers are your best friend...and a cup of cocoa when you get home, of course!

Michelle {lovely little things} said...

I love the quote, "no bad weather, just bad clothing," so true!

Jenny said...

I'm from the NorthWest and we have rainy cold winters and we just go outside anyway! All you need is a warm rain coat and rubber boots and you're good to go! We were constantly outside as kids no matter what season.

abigail said...

I was just texting with my husband this morning about how I took our 10.5 month old outside today to frolic around and he said- good, we don't do that enough!

And it's so true. In fact we just read that quote from the happiest toddler book and couldn't agree more! Our daughter is so much happier and less fussy when she is outside. She has a greater sense of peace... like when we were at the shore this summer, she was so chill and her attention span was longer. She sat back, peacefully looked around, smelled the air, watched the seagulls and people dance about.

My husband was born and raised in Alaska and we lived in Maine for a bit... and are now just outside of Philly for the next few years... anywho my point is My husband grew up in a harsh environment where they felt the same way about just bundling up and playing outside ALL of the time. In fact every halloween his costume had to fit over a snow suit!! INSANE! SO yes, this is a big goal of ours.

I think you would like the book The Last Child in the Woods, by Richard Louv- it goes more into detail about the role of nature in cultivating one's imagination and how today's children are too plugged in. It explores the important role of nature in past President's formative years and in the lives of poets, artists, scientists- it's crucial and can also have a rehabilitating effect on kids with ADD etc.

thanks for talking about this!

~abigail aka http://tiptoethrough.blogspot.com/

deb said...

I love this and I totally agree with you; we've noticed that Jacob almost never throws tantrums outside, only inside. In a lot of the world, kids nap outside everyday. Under a pile of blankets in an insulated stroller, but still. Imagine how nice that fresh air must be for their little bodies rather than their own dim rooms and cribs they already spend 12 hours a day in. Btw, did you see that they're opening Polarn O. Pyret store downtown? I passed it last week on our way to Battery Park, but it's not open yet. Can't wait!

Joanna @ things after rings said...

This is a great goal! And great info too. I get so overwhelmed and stir crazy when I'm inside all day and am getting a little bit anxious for winter and the shorter days.

Last fall a co-worker said to me: "I love fall. I don't understand why people don't like fall...I think people that don't like fall and winter just aren't dressed properly." It totally changed my outlook on the cooler weather. Now I make sure that I have the appropriate outerwear and I don't feel so miserable when it gets cold.

ALi said...

I'm in the same boat and am going to have a 1 1/2 year old running around this winter and am dreading it. To make things worse we might even be moving to Minneapolis in a month which would be even colder. My boy already loves being outside, his first word was 'side meaning outside. We are going to have find a way to brave the cold and get out of the house, but I also plan on taking him other places such as library, museum, etc, just so he can see new places and not get sick of our house.

AMS said...

Dear Joanna,
Here in Montreal, we have really cold weather in the winter, sandwiched between two seasons of mostly cold rain... I have 2 winter babies and I took them outside even in the cold or rain. They sleep so well with the fresh air! They love being outside. Of course, I had good winter gear for the babies : plushed cocoon for inside the stroller, a plastic cover with some holes for aeration to prevent the very cold wind to freeze my baby, good winter clothes on me as well. I only have good memories and now aged 5 and 8, my boys loooove to spend their day outside, even in the rain or in the winter. There's just no good reason to keep them inside. I love it that way. I think it's healthy and part of being Canadian! :)

hello. said...

winters get chilly here, but here in wisconsin, the kids are tough :) i on the other hand am a wimpy californian who dreams of beaches in the wintertime...

so even when it is cold (unless bitterly so), we try to do something outside. it's hard to get motivated when you are nice + warm inside, but it's invigorating to be outside.

Amy Marie said...

I have recently moved from Las Vegas (my hometown) to Grand Forks, North Dakota (my new home) and am dreading this up an coming winter...

You have inspired me to get outdoors every single day no matter the weather. Thank you!

Here is my blog pot I wrote about it: http://amysaycich.blogspot.com/2011/08/ame-details.html

Nancy said...

We lived in Western MA last year, so I got my then 2 yr old some serious snow boots (kamik, they are awesome!!) and my then-infant lived in her bunting, and we went outside whenever possible, mostly to go to th nice, warm library. We're back in NYC, living in a 700 square foot studio so I've scheduled us for two playgroups a week and signed my older one up for all day preschool 2 days a week, to get her out of the house. At her preschool, they go out to play rain, snow or shine! She also has a big, gigantic snowsuit. :)

Lane said...

Great post! We live in MN (funny the clothing statement is a MN sentiment as well. I have a 4 and 2 year old. In the past winters we do go outside everyday! Some days it is hell, but I force myself to do it! My kids love playing in the snow my 4 year old keeps asking when it is coming. I think the main difference between summer and winter outdoor play is the amount of time spent outside. I just bought some CC skis for my oldest! I think living in a northern climate you have to make the most of it or it is just boring and you feel lazy! We will welcome out 3rd baby in Nov. and I plan to take that person out as well snug as a bug in a moby in my coat :) Wish you well with your and Toby's winter adventures!

Eve Harvey said...

This post reminds me of last winter. Our son was born in October and we live downtown in Ottawa Canada. So lots of snow and very cold temperatures in the winter months. Since we don't have a car, my husband and I would carry the stroller over the knee deep snow just to get to the grocery store. Our son was bundled up in a very warm snow suit and didn't mind at all.
Looking back now, it was quite the adventure as new parents! I'm really not looking forward to winter but we'll get some warm clothes again and hopefully it won't be so bad.

Jaime Rugh said...

I'm a big believer in fresh air everyday no matter what. Even if it's only five minutes staring out into the storm from the front porch. Sometimes I open the windows while we cook.
I dread the winter too - prefer the warmth and sunshine. With children it's a test those long days - have to be creative. Can't just go when they get stir crazy. Sometimes we pretend were at the beach.
Such extremes make us want the other i guess-my yards exceedingly out of control this time of year - I imagine it covered in snow to hide it! In late winter i wish for green to poke through - :)

s and c said...

I love this post! I went to Copenhagen this past spring and I loved seeing all of the mom's out and about with their kids. I have never seen so many prams, even in the rain. They put a cover on them and go out and about pushing their little babies along the streets!

themostincrediblething said...

I grew up in the relatively unknown prairie region of Canada in a province called Saskatchewan. Our farm was located on the bald prairies, unprotected from the elements and Saskatchewan is known for its harsh winters, rivalling even the extreme North such as Iqaluit, Nunavut in the numbers of consecutive days hitting well below -40 (I'm talking celcius here). Our winters are long, freezing, and dark. But growing up, from the time I could crawl until I left home for university and my 3 siblings and I went outside everyday. If/when I have my own children they will likely not be raised in Saskatchewan but they will still be spending all their free time outdoors. In the summer we even did our homework outside. Some tips for dealing with the cold: 1. You are on the right track with thinking about this from the perspective of just needing the right clothing. With the right gear you can spend all day out doors, even in -40, plus you can always come back inside to take breaks. Tops on your list should be fabulously warm boots that come over your ankles, very warm, but flexible in the cold, mittens (not gloves, the finger separation makes you lose body heat faster). And a very warm hat that covers your ears. We lose 90% of our body heat from our heads. 2. Learn to build forts! There is nothing better to get your blood pumping than constructing a shelter. Its a great learning experience for both you and your kids and then when its done you have someplace to hang out and catch your breath between other outdoor activities. Growing up my brothers were obsessed with coming up with new, better floor plans for our increasingly complex series of summer and winter forts. 3. Keep moving! I remember my Mom would often just jog on the spot to keep warm while supervising us (when we were very young). Keeping your blood moving, you'll be surprised how much longer you can stay outdoors with an active child!

I'm so thrilled to read this perspective! Good luck!

deb said...

Dear Jo,
I adore your blog, too. This is my first time leaving a comment, but I wanted you to know how much I love everything you post. I am a public schoolteacher/mother of one boy, and your blog keeps me afloat on the busy hectic days.

For us in Texas, it's the summer. Summer is awful. This summer was particularly bad, as we had a stretch of 100 plus days, which made going outside uncomfortable and sometimes even scary.

I found that I had to be careful about the timing. Going out in the morning was lovely, but after that, not so good. Evenings were okay too, but not if the mosquitoes were out.

I think it's also important to find activities that fit the weather. For us, it was swimming, sprinklers, and any place with lots of AC -- museums, libraries, etc. I know that's not exactly outside, but I tried to change it up to keep things interesting.

And this may sound weird, but I try to construct a fun mental narrative when the weather gets really brutal. This is for me, really. I would try to imagine the most perfect, storybook thing a person could do during the summer -- catch fireflies, roast hotdogs, spend all day in your bathing suit, etc... and then I would try to plan my day around these little fantasies. Sometimes they worked out, often times they didn't, but just the notion of having an idyllic summer (when it was awful outside) kept me afloat on hard days.

Maybe yours could involve hot cocoa, sledding and making snowmen?

spark said...

I have the opposite problem coming up with the beginning of Summer over here. There are long periods of being over 105 degrees. For us, we work on timing. When my girl was first born, it was too hot to go out during the day but we always planned to have dinner out by the river as soon as the sun went down. This year my girl will be 12 months old and I'll be planning early morning beach and river trips (about 6am before it gets too hot). Being outside makes such a difference to babies sleeping and mamas happiness. When I lived in Eastern Europe it would get freezing and you would see parents still take out their kidlets. It is all in the timing...you would always see masses of kids at around 2pm when the weather would be at its mildest of the day. Good luck!

Jenna said...

I love taking my daughter outside. She's nine months now and I know at the very least she'll be outside every morning and afternoon to feed calves!

Gen said...

I live in Montreal, Canada and we have a very looooong winter here. From Nov to April, the temperature is below 0 C and it goes down to -30 C pretty often (it's colder than Scandinavia here, no joke!).

I have a 13 months daughter and during her first year, I would say that there are maybe 2 or 3 days that we haven't been outside (because of a crazy snow storm or minus 40 something...). We have great winter clothing, that's the trick. And a good stroller, to roll in the snow banks :-)

My baby becomes fussy when we don't go outside, she actually needs it!

Have fun in NYC this winter! It's not even a real winter for us... ;-)

xxxx

K Cummings said...

My two year old, one year old and I go outside every day, in every weather. On the coldest, wettest days we get the usually busy DC parks to ourselves. It's surprisingly peaceful to walk in the rain/snow and I feel like it makes us all feel a little closer to be alone together in usually crowded places.

Best luck.

Chessa! said...

I'm with you on this one, Joanna! Last winter even with all the crazy snow we went out every day...on the obvious blizzard days we didn't go anywhere but if it wasn't snowing or pouring rain we went outside. Lucia was practically sweating she was so bundled but I know she loved that cold air on her little face. I remember one day that I had to pull the stroller down the sidewalk backwards bc it hadn't been plowed enough and I my enormous stroller didn't fit and couldn't navigate the mountains of snow! She goes out every day now (and she has pretty much since day one) and she loves it. she's still on two naps so she goes out after her am nap and after her pm nap. and now that she's walking forget it, she loves to be outside of her stroller exploring. I was also thinking that I could take her to a museum and just let her go nuts running in an open space if it's during a time that's not too crowded. My husband's aunt raised her son in Manhattan and he learned to walk inside the Met bc that was a great place to take him when it was too cold (or hot) outside. Plus, this winter I'm definitely going to invest in a 7am enfant...they are so warm! nevermind all the adorable hats and scarves, etc out there:)

Chessa! said...

PS--they're opening up a polarn in tribeca soon! I passed by last week and there was a HUGE sign in the window...I think it was murray on the west side highway! :)

Renee said...

We live in Houston and find that the summer is the time that we limit our outdoor adventuring. Athough our plastic pool did get a workout this summer, during the over 100 degree days we tended to stay in if we did not get outside VERY early in the day. As for rain, we've found that the BEST days to go to the zoo are the drizzly overcast days: most people stay in, so the crowds are smaller, the animals always seem to be more awake and active, and we've slowly learned that we won't melt in the rain. It is almost a family tradition to get frizzy-haired and drenched at the zoo on rainy days! I found on my ski trips that I've never been cold because of my snowsuit, but living up north do people look at you funny if you wear snow gear on a daily basis? I've always wondered that... I'm definitely more heat-tolerant, and enjoy the mild Texas winters.

Tara said...

Growing up in western Washington state, no one thought twice about going outside to play in the rain. The temp wasn't that low in the winter (40s), but it was always wet, and that dampness gets in your bones and feels colder than it is. But since it rains nine months of the year, you really don't have a choice but to go out. People go hiking, play sports, ride bikes, everything in the rain.
As for Scandanavia, I had a friend whose children went to preschool in Copenhagen and class was held outside in the woods everyday, no matter the weather. Incredible. Good luck this winter!

Allie said...

I think this is such a wonderful idea! And you could pack hot chocolate in a good thermos :)

hello, Friday said...

It's hard to say what is right and wrong when it comes to parenting. but did you know boys often wear shorts with high-knee-socks in winter time in Japan? xoxo

http://hellofridaybypaik.blogspot.com/

Ida Thue said...

I grew up in Denmark and I remember how shocked I was when I arrived in California (in December) and everybody was inside all the time. I worked as an au pair and took the kids out everyday and the playgrounds were completely empty those first 2-3 months. To this day I just don't understand how people manage to stay inside a whole long rainy day with kids, though honestly I probably need to get outside everyday just as much as the kiddos do.
Trust me, once you've incorporated outside time into your routine, you'll love it. Yeah, somedays it might only be for 30 minutes but it's still a nice change of scenery and so refreshing.

Flannery W. said...

My dad was born in upstate NY, but very much keeps this a secret considering he's lived in Arkansas since he was 15 - and before that in Panama! He's lost it all now, he certainly bickers in the winter but said his mother told him she wrapped him up real warm in blankets and set his little bassinet outside on the porch like all the other mothers in the neighborhood. She said she felt crazy, but they all assured her this would make him used to the winter and was fine. To me, this is crazy - but he said he didn't recall ever freezing his tush off when he lived up there.

vivi said...

Hi Joanna,

I live in Finland and I work a lot with children and it is true that we take the kids out in all weathers! I remember playing out in -25 c when I was a kid and it was completely okay. Of course we don't take the little babies out when it's that cold, but for the others it's fine. The thing is really to wear appropriate AND good quality clothing! I mean, rainproof when it's raining, and when it's cold, you wear a lot of different layers of wool, linen, etc. Never acrylic! Even cotton's not that good, it's not really absorbing nor warm. I'd prefer linen, bamboo and silk for shirts, for example. In some point it means we just have to forget being fashionable, but at least we won't get sick. And nowadays they do quite cool weatherproof clothing and shoes, too. I hope you have nice time staying out with Toby!

Nora said...

although I'm not the first Nora to write that... :)
no it is not especially a scandinavian/swedish thing to say that there is "no bad wheather just bad clothing". But I guess you will hear it aswell in every single country with normal seasons. besides the uss?
I'm curious as well? What it is with you us citizens getting away with staying at home during rain and snow?

Anonymous said...

Dear Joanna,

mhhh, yes, in Europe it is definitely normal to go outside in all kinds of weather with your children (at least until they are of an age to state the opposite ; )) I think many teenagers prefer to stay inside). Have you heard of the concept "Waldkindergarten"? This is all the rage here in Germany. Children stay in "the wood" with their Kindergarten teachers the whole day, in any kind of weather. The only "indoor space" is a little wooden hut or something similar. By the way, we just ordered a rainbow- colored snowsuit (Molo) for our daughter. So, when it's cold, rainy and horrid and I'm at the playground with my daughter, I'll find comfort in the thought that you'll be there, too. On the other side of the world.: )

........ said...

I live in Hamburg, Germany which means we live with a lot of rainy and grey days. Winter is also cold and wet. But here in Germany we also take our kids out as much as we can. So all the kids here also have rain gear and snow pants and stuff like that. If you want to spend as much time as possible with your kids outside even in "bad" weather don't forget to get the right clothes for yourself. For me that means some real good winter boots, some leggings under the pants if its really cold, a coat (the longer the better) and a mütze. I think that is also the reason german women are often dressed more functional & practical than fashionabel or chic. It's hard to be both ... I think.

tone almhjell said...

Yup, we go outside. Most days. If it's really, really pouring or really, really cold, we stay inside, but M always gets a little restless and cranky when we do. He needs fresh air and he needs to run around. We live in Norway, so there's an abundance of good outdoor gear to be had. Snowsuits, yes, but more importantly: soft, non-itchy wool/silk blends to wear underneath. Three layers, including the suit, and temperatures way below freezing are no problem. Just make sure you go the same way. I don't own a snowsuit, but the wool layers, definitely. Try nostebarn. Their stuff is great.

Melinda said...

the people in Switzerland take their kids out in ALL weather! i had my daughter in a forest playgroup here, and they took them out in snow, rain, sleet, whatever. only problem is, if your child isn't use to it, they can get quite ill, like my kid did and ended up spending 6 days in the kids hospital :( so use caution with Toby. even with the warmest clothes etc. still doesn't mean you can't get sick!

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