Third Annual #ThankfulForFamilies #OutdoorFamilies Instagram Contest

It’s that time of year again! Time to get excited for THANKSGIVING!

glacier-7-of-22Thanksgiving may not have the razzle dazzle of Christmas or the promised sugar rush of Halloween, but it’s one of my favorite holidays. Taking time to be grateful? I think everyone can get behind that.

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Baby Safety: Hiking and Biking

Thanks for following the Owlet Baby Care Baby Safety Month Blog Hop! Every day in September a new blogger will post on a baby safety topic and give you a chance to enter Owlet Baby Care’s Baby Safety Giveaway with BIG PRIZES (see below)! Did you catch Amy’s crafting baby safety tips from TheHappyScraps.com from yesterday?

Alright. Let’s talk baby safety in the outdoors. Baby L has hiked, biked and swam with us through our entire National Park to Park Highway tour. It’s only been possible thanks to being prepared. Here’s what we do to keep our baby safe while hiking and biking.


Hiking

The American Hiking Society recommends taking these ten essentials on every hike. Bringing baby along means you’ll need these essentials as well.

Baby Carrier

  • For kids under six months – Use a wrap or front carrier designed for young babies. Newborns lack muscle coordination in their head and neck so it’s important to provide support. Babies this age should not face forward as the jostling involved with walking can be dangerous for their developing necks and spines, and if the baby falls asleep there’s a danger of airway obstruction. Also, a baby carrier with leg support is recommended since legs dangling for too long can affect spinal development and circulation. Some brands include Baby Bjorn, Moby Wrap, Tula, or Boba.
  • For kids over six months – If baby can hold their head up on their own you can carry them on your back with either a soft sided carrier like Ergobaby, LILLEbaby or Onya Baby or a framed hiking pack like the Kelty Pathfinder, Osprey Poco or Deuter Kid Comfort. Those little ones get heavy so a pack is important. Our favorite baby carrier reviews can be found here as part of the great baby wearing project from TalesofaMountainMama.com.
Other Baby Hiking tips
  • Bring drinks and food for everyone in your group. A bottle or breast milk for baby and food for you give you both energy for the hike.
  • Keep it short, keep it happy. It’s physically demanding to carry a baby while hiking so start by doing hikes of three miles or less. 
  • Know where you’re at and where you’re going and always tell someone where you’ll be and when you’ll be back.
  • Here are more tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics A Minute for Kids.

Biking

Although it may be tempting, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend biking with kids under the age of 12 months. Younger babies don’t have the neck strength to support their head wearing a helmet, and as tempting as it might be to bike with a baby in one of the carriers listed above, it is not safe for you or the baby. Maneuvering a bicycle with a baby strapped to you is awkward, not to mention the added weight increases braking time.

Baby Bike Seats

  • Child Bicycle Trailers – The American Academy of Pediatrics states that it’s preferable for children to ride in a bicycle-towed child trailer. Trailers are lower to the ground so in the case of a crash the child would not fall as far. We’re a fan of our Burley D’Lite, but whatever bike trailer you choose, make sure it meets ASTM standards for safety. Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a Burley Solstice Jogger!
  • Rear Mounted Bike Seats – If you prefer a rear mounted bike seat make sure it attaches securely, has spoke guards to protect hands and feet and a high back and sturdy shoulder harness that will support a sleeping child. 
  • Cargo Bikes are not recommended for carrying children.

Helmets

  • Babies should be at least 12 months old and able to hold their head up well. Always put a helmet on baby when biking.
  • Get your child a well fitting helmet that meats CSPC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) guidelines. Follow these recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Never buy a used bike helmet. Do not use bike helmets that were involved in a serious bike crash.
Other Baby Biking Tips
  • Plan a safe route. Riding on the road with baby on board may not be the best idea. Look for bike paths and smooth pavement for traffic free biking.
  • If you must ride on the road ride with the flow of traffic, stay to the side and wear bright colors for visibility.  
  • Don’t ride with kids at night. Reflective clothing and bike lights may not be enough for cars to see you.

    Now that you know how to keep baby safe hiking and biking get out there and have some fun! But before you do enter the giveaway below and don’t forget to visit TastefullyFrugal.org for tomorrow’s baby safety tips.

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    This post is sponsored by Owlet Baby Care makers of the Smart Sock which is designed to alert parents if their baby lacks oxygen. Other items mentioned in this post were given to me to review. This post also includes affiliate links. Burley Design is a sponsor of our National Park to Park Highway tour. 

    Style in the Wild Kids GIVEAWAY

    Last week I posted 6 Tips for Having Style in the Wild as a Mom. This week it’s the tots turn! 
    I have a range of fashion feelings with my kids. Big E could care less what he wears while Little G will change her outfit three times a day to find that perfect fashion combination. These pieces have the whole family covered. Plus you have a chance to win a pair of Real Kids Shades or a Fawn and Foal shirt in this GIVEAWAY!  

    There is nothing so cool as kids in shades, and these sunglasses are the best I’ve tried. Real Kids Shades offers sunglasses for kids using flexible, shatter resistant materials that really stand up to kids use and abuse. 
    The flexible frames are kid proof, easily bending but still bouncing back to their original shape. They’re durable and the elastic band for sizes 0-2 keeps them on baby L, even when she’d like to rip them off. I love these sunglasses. Unfortunately my kids don’t. 
    When Real Kids Shades gave me these sunglasses to review, I was sure my kids would be overjoyed. At first they were, especially Little G who loves to accessorize. But after the newness wore off, my opinionated kids refused to wear them, except Baby L who didn’t have a choice. 
    Even though Real Kids Shades offers 100% UVA and UVB protection, Big E decided he wouldn’t wear them. All winter long I tried to get him to wear sunglasses or ski goggles on the slopes. Sun glinting off the snow can really strain the eyes, but he wasn’t interested. And if Big brother E doesn’t want to do something you can be sure Little G will be quick to follow. I offered, bribed, may have even begged. But forcing them to wear sunglasses, even cool ones, wasn’t worth the fight.
    Maybe it’s a matter of setting a better example. My own sunglasses broke a while ago – they didn’t have the same flexible frames that Real Kids Shades have – so I’ve gotten used to not having them. When I get around to replacing them for the summer, maybe Baby L and I can set the fashion standard for the whole crew. C’mon Big E and Little G. If you’re cool, you wear sunglasses! 
    This summer I hope to put Real Kids Shades to work. Prices range from $14.95 to $29.95 but if you order before April 30th you get 10% off your whole order! They just launched their new line for Young Adults and You have a chance to win a pair in the giveaway below! Enter by April 13th!
      

    Fawn and Foal Textiles

    Someone in Utah loves Big E. I’ll give you a hint – it’s the woman who birthed him. Last summer I was introduced to Fawn and Foal Textiles at Outdoor Retailer. Walking by their trendy booth I wasn’t even going to stop because owners Juliana and Ben McLenna seemed way cooler than me. But then I saw an adorable onesie and since Baby L was strapped to me I had to stop and check it out.

    I’m so glad I did! It turns out they have so much more than just baby clothes. Fawn and Foal Textiles is a small screen printing business based out of Boise, Idaho. They print state shirts made in the USA as well as cute designs related to the outdoors. Every state in the union is available in their ‘Someone in ‘your state’ Loves You’ line, with sizes for the whole family from baby onesies to adult.

    Fawn and Foal sent me a shirt for Big E to try out and he loves it. The other day I took it out of the dryer and handed it to him. This is what he said:

    E – Yes! This is my favorite shirt! (Pulled off his other shirt and put this one on immediately)
    Me – Really? Why?
    E – Because it’s so comfortable!

    It’s odd to see my otherwise fashion oblivious son suddenly care about what shirt he’s wearing. But I get it. Fawn and Foal shirts are made from soft cotton, comfortable, durable and machine washable. Prices range from $18 to $26. And they’re obviously easy to move around in.

    Now you have a chance to win your own! Adult and Baby sizes for Giveaway available only in grey. Enter the giveaway below before April 13th for a chance to win a shirt from Fawn and Foal. Go ahead. #BeTheSomeone.

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    I contacted the companies above to ask for items to review unless otherwise noted. I chose those companies because I thought their products were uniquely designed for outdoor families and relevant for you, my readers. My opinions of their products are my own. This post includes affiliate links. I receive a small commission if you purchase something by clicking through these links. 

    Perfect Picnic GIVEAWAY – Food and Drink

    Only 1 more day to enter! Giveaway ends March 29th!

    The third and final day of our Perfect Picnic GIVEAWAYS. Don’t forget to post about your outdoor eating adventures on instagram, twitter and the Mountain Mom and Tots Facebook Page. Tag @mountainmomtots in a photo of your perfect picnic so we can share the outdoor dining love.

    Today we’re talking food and liquids. I consider myself a connoisseur of water bottles. From twist tops to pour spouts I’ve tried just about every bottle combination and it’s given me a strong favorite. But before I get to it, let’s talk about the youngest in the family.

    Bubi Bottles

    These bottles you need to feel to believe. Made from squeezable silicone, the squish up small for portable storage. Seriously so squeezable.

    But when I first tried out this sample Bubi Bottle gave me, I did not like it at all. Squeezable or not, it was hard to screw on the nipple since the material of the bottle is so squishy. The built in hard plastic retainer helps with this but it seemed like I was constantly missing the threads and leaking all over my baby. Plus Baby L wouldn’t use it for months.

    Now that Baby L is older, however, she has mastered the Bubi Bottle and I like it much better. I think the squeeze top attachment would be more useful than the baby nipple since that’s what you want to do with it anyway. But Baby L seems to like it. Maybe it feels like the real thing.

    Polar Bottles

    This sample pack of water bottles was given to me at the Outdoor Retailer trade show last summer. The innovative design of the Polar Bottle 22 oz Ergo’s half twist spout is hard to see in the photo, but it just requires a half turn to open and the flow is regulated by turning the top more or less. I’m not a huge fan of the crinkly paper look, but that’s what gives these BPA and Phalate Free plastic water bottles their insulation.

    I like the ease of pouring. It helps me fill up the kids water bottles without having to share germs. I don’t like the squareish shape because it tapers too wide to fit in my backpack’s side pocket.

    It’s cool, except that it’s not very obvious when the top is twisted making it prone to leaking in my house. Also, the Polar bear icon the polar bottle has a tiny head. I don’t know why this bothers me so much, but it really does.

    The traditional sports top on Little G’s 12 oz Polar Bottle Kidsworks great. It has become her favorite.

    AVEX Sport

    My favorite water bottle I’ve tried is the AVEX Sport FreeFlow . It’s the pink one in the photo above. With a simple push button pour system it makes it easy to use for all ages. I can refill the kids waters from my larger bottle or if I forgot to bring theirs they can drink easily from mine, even the baby. The amount of water released is controlled by the pressure placed on the push button.

    I liked it so much I included it on my great giftable gear post from 2014. And now the redesigned AVEX Stainless Steel FreeFlow is the next generation. I contacted Avex to ask for a prize for one lucky winner!

    Now to the food! A Perfect Picnic wouldn’t be complete without tasty snacks.

    Wacky Apple
    Two years ago we did a review for Wacky Apple, a company that knows its way around an orchard. My kids loved their flat fruits and flavored applesauces so I knew immediately who to ask for a Perfect Picnic Giveaway Pack.

    Enter the giveaway below before March 29, 2016 to win! And don’t forget to enter Day One and Day Two of Perfect Picnic Giveaway Week!

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    This post includes affiliate links. I receive a small commission if you purchase something by clicking through these links.