Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Whatever the weather

Spring has come to England!  Well, it was here--last week was absolutely glorious, but the rain and chillier temps have showed up again in the past two days. You never know how long nice weather will last here.  The English seem to spend most of their time grumbling about how bad the weather is, then when the nice weather comes, you just hear "Well, it won't last, will it?" It's hard to just live in the moment and appreciate what you've got!

I must say, having Gus around makes living in the moment a bit easier. I think he has really been enjoying the nicer weather--I'm enjoying sharing it with him, anyway!  We played out in the grass for the first time last Wednesday. He didn't want to sit (he never does!), but I took his socks off and stood him on the grass.  I picked a daffodil for him to play with. He thought it was a great toy: bright colors to look at, nice to touch, interesting smell. But apparently it didn't taste very nice, because he only put it in his mouth once, accompanied by a rather confused look! He also played with some rocks and a rosemary bush--he kept trying to taste/smell it, and got poked in the face by the leaves.

I couldn't play and take pics at the same time last week,
so you'll have to settle for this picture from last month of Gus and a tulip :)

I really like to take him out to experience the world. We go out walking most days (some days you just need a relaxing day in!), usually with Gus in the wrap. It is hard knowing how to dress him for the weather, though. He seems so vulnerable, first as a newborn in the cold, now with his delicate skin as the sun comes up. But at the same time, I want him to be able to feel the fresh air on his face (he always seems excited by a gentle breeze!) and the lovely sun kissing his skin. And I think a few light drizzles can't hurt him, and he probably enjoys the different sensations, as long as he is warm and his clothes don't get soaked through.

So I usually end up having him in multiple layers that come on and off as I feel is necessary. I especially like to have a fleece baby blanket in the colder or drizzly weather, as it is both warm and water resistant, can cover his face from gusts of wind (although my scarf works well for that as well!), and can fold up into the changing bag when we reach our destination. It is generally not a hands-free option, though, which is why I would really like a purpose-made vest or poncho--better save up my pennies or bust out my sewing machine for one of those, though!

But in the sun, I find it a bit more difficult. I never really worried about Gus getting too cold in the winter, except maybe on the most wet and frigid of days, because I wear him under my (unzipped) coat, where he has the benefit of my body heat. But in the sun, it seems to be a choice between being covered and too hot, or skin showing, but possible harm from the rays. His skin has never known this much sun before! Plus, I almost never burn, so I can't use my own experience to gauge when enough is enough. And what about vitamin D--how much sun is appropriate for a baby's needs? I have bought sunscreen for him now, so hopefully that will make things a bit easier, but I still think I'll be adding or taking off layers every two minutes.  (As an aside, I used to worry that people would think I was a horrible mother because Gus didn't wear as many layers as a baby in a buggy would need. It took me a while to convince myself that I had a better idea of what my baby needs than some stranger on the street! Although, I think I might have to do this again with regards to the sun and heat!)

So in conclusion, I want Gus to be safe, but I also want him to have fun in the world, experience all its various ways and weathers, and not be afraid to go outside anytime it is something other than 70 degrees and sunny. I imagine this is similar to what most parents want, so why is it so hard to figure out how to get it right!? 

1 comment:

  1. I struggled with that too last summer, wondering if I should dress him in less clothes cause it was hot, or more to protect him from the sun. I got him a nice sun hat which helped me feel better. I think you said it right, and you know my motto: follow your instincts! Who knows Gussy better than you?

    Winter has had a reprive here too. Hopefully soon it will be warmer!
    Love you!