Keeping Baby (+ Mom) Warm on Winter Walks & a 7.A.M.ENFANT NIDO Review

I love, love, love going on walks…. long walks.  The kind that I can make five phone calls on (with all good conversations). It’s likely the influence of my mom, who I’ve gone on walks with since I was in high school.  It’s a time to get some fresh air while getting some exercise, enjoy nature, and to recharge… and often to multitask while catching up with friends on the phone.  I’ve never let below freezing weather stop me.  In fact, before Alexa was born, I would take our dog Logan on long walks (of course I had to get him his own puffer vest)… even when we lived in Boston and temperatures would drop to nearly single digits.  People totally think I’m crazy (“you just got back from a walk… in this weather?!”), but with the right gear, you don’t even notice the temperature after 2 minutes into the walk.

Now that I have a sweet little baby, I have to worry about someone else’s comfort before my own.  This is her first real winter (as she was born at the end of February 2014), and I have admittedly avoided taking walks with her, as I didn’t want her to get cold (and boy, I’ve been missing them!).  Blankets fall off and move around, and some of the other cocoons I’ve tried are flimsy or are cozy, but do not keep her warm enough on frigid days.  As I work from home and days are short, I’ve been getting immense amounts of cabin fever lately.  Thus, I was thrilled (and inspired!) to take a walk with the brand new 7.A.M.ENFANT NIDO.

The NIDO is a car seat cover and stroller foot muff intended for babes up to 18 months old.  My first impression of it was that it was gorgeous and just the type of thing that I’d want to put my baby in, which was no surprise coming from 7A.M.  While it’s incredibly snuggly and full (like my warmest down coat), it has a back cutout that prevents any material from coming between baby and the car seat’s 5-point-harness safety system.  And we know its especially safe as it was designed with The Car Seat Lady team.  It was incredibly easy to put on the carseat and get A loaded in…with her extra winter layers and her new NIDO she is snug as a bug in a rug!

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Now that Alexa is snuggled in (and really comfortable, by the way)… here we go!  These Saucony sneakers (and BOB Revolution wheels) have gotten a lot of miles, and it’s good to get them back on!  Maybe you caught them last week as one of our featured products (on a really good sale).

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My favorite path is walking around my adorable neighborhood and then into town.  And if it’s a special day, we stop for frozen yogurt (even if it’s freezing out).  What can I say, I’m quirky and I love a good fro-yo.  I keep Alexa in her carseat as I love her facing forward so I can talk with her as we go on her walk.  I also have a phone holder and stroller organizer to keep everything I need conveniently in front of me.  These are the best I’ve found so far (links at the bottom).

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It is a freezing day, but my girl is snuggled in and super warm.  One of my favorite parts of the NIDO is that it really embodies her close… for example, it has separate leg muffs to ensure that she keeps warm (which is also great for transporting baby in and out of the car… as after the car has warmed up, the NIDO’s simplistic tri-fold design makes it easy to adjust the car-seat cover for a little one’s optimal comfort.)

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The sun is setting, but both baby and mom are very warm, thanks to our awesome gear.  If it weren’t getting dark, I would walk another five miles.  I have been beyond thrilled with my stroller, which allows for a great balance between walking and running (although my percentages there are usually 95% to 5%).  The BOB Revolution is a running stroller but makes for a great walking stroller too, because of its incredibly smooth ride, suspension over almost any terrain, and sturdiness.  It has been durable (still looks brand new, too) and also folds open and closed very easily.  The canopy is excellent and helps add another layer between baby and the elements on a cold or windy day.

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After my test-run (eh, walk) with all of my winter gear for baby and me, I feel ready to make walking part of my routine for the frigid Northeast weather over the next couple months.  The NIDO was an excellent addition to our walk and also will be a go-to for when we are moving A in and out of the car (a blanket, even on top of layers, doesn’t do it).  When I took her out of her carseat on this frigid day, she was toasty, but not overheated.  A+ on the NIDO!  Read more below about all of our top winter essentials for keeping baby and you warm!

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winterwalkessentials

For Baby

1) Heattech shirt and pants (or long underwear) over a long-sleeve onesie: If you’re a Little Lister already, you know our love of Heattech products (by UNIQLO) for our families.  Its innovative technology keeps us really warm.  I layer my baby with a onesie first, and then some kind of long underwear as the first layers.

2) Magnificient Baby bear jacket or a one piece fleece suit: I am beyond obsessed with this Magnificent baby bear jacket (which was a gift, thanks NH!)… besides being absolutely adorable, it’s warm AND has magnetic buttons, which is so helpful when dealing with a squirmy 10-month old baby.  I also love the one-piece fleece suits when we will be out in the elements for awhile, as they keep baby extra warm.  If your outfit of choice does not include footies, we slip fleece socks on for A.  We tried some sheepskin booties, and unfortunately she wasn’t having them.  Maybe next year!

3) Hat (and possibly mittens): If you can keep a hat and/or mittens on your baby, score!  I find that the ones that connect under baby’s chin are extra helpful… they tend to forget about trying to take them off.  We have no trouble keeping hoods on, if we can’t get the hat on to stay.

4) 7A.M.Enfant NIDOCocoon: A cold-weather must-have.  I am beyond thrilled with this new product, and it fit a major void in our ‘keeping baby warm’ repertoire.  It is so soft and cozy… I would love one for myself.  It is a really well engineered and designed product that makes so. much. sense.  And at $59 retail, even without a sale, I think it’s a tremendous value.

5) Stroller blanket: With the NIDO, you don’t really need a blanket on top of it, but I love keeping a blanket on hand for whatever reason.  Whether it be shielding sun or wind from baby’s face, it’s good to have with you.  In the summer, I usually opt for a muslin swaddle blanket in its place.

 For Mama

So, I am assuming you know how to dress yourself for the winter :), so I won’t go into the basics (i.e. scarves, gloves, and sneakers(, but here are some of the pieces that keep us the most warm:

1) LL Bean Silk Underwear: Silk Underwear or Heattech products are an absolute must-have for the first layer when I go out in the cold.  If I don’t have this layer on, I sometimes even get the “to-the-bone” chill I can’t shake.

2) New Balance Windblocker Tight: These pants were given to me as a gift a few years ago, and they are my go-to on a really cold day.  The inner-fleece is super comfortable and warm.  If it’s really cold, a layer of silk underwear will only help!

3) North Face Thermoball Jacket: I switch between a Thermoball Jacket and a New Balance jacket (pictured) that are both incredibly warm.  The right jacket can make all the difference.. and it doesn’t necessarily depend on its puffiness.

Top Walking Gear

1) BOB Revolution Stroller (Bob B-Safe Carseat): As I mentioned earlier, I couldn’t be more thrilled with this stroller for its sturdiness, smooth ride, and ease of use.  It’s especially nice when going over curbs or over bumpy roads… Alexa hardly notices.  Using the carseat within the stroller adds an extra level of coziness on our walks (I don’t want to move to the forward-facing stroller!!)

2) Britax Stroller Organizer: I tried a few organizers, and this one has by far been the best.  It has two spots for bottles/drinks and then storage space too.  It’s stable and doesn’t drop things.  Something like this is so important when you take your stroller into stores or other destinations.  I keep a credit card, cash, and any essentials for baby (and dog) in it.

3)Brica Phone Holder: I bought this on a whim, and people always ask me about it.  It’s so nice to have my phone conveniently in front of me, so I can see if anyone is calling or texting.  It’s much better than digging through my pocket!

4) Think King Swirly Hook: Everyone told me that I needed this hook, and I will tell you the same thing.  It holds everything from a shopping bag to a shopping cart.  It’s heavy duty and gives you an extra place to hang things.  I’m all about stroller gear and making things easy!

Hopefully we helped you with some ideas for your winter walks with your child.  What did we miss?  We’d love to hear what your must-haves are when walking or running with your little one.

With love,

LL

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