Elsa started walking at 12 months so during the first year she was not moving so much. In cold weather, covered in insulation, crawling is as challenge in itself and we found her happy to mostly sit and explore things. We’ve spent days discovering leafs, small bugs, birds, looking at clouds, animals, roots and stones. Things I haven’t looked at with a deep interest as a grown-up, but with Elsa I rediscovered a lot of things and I’ve seen things I wouldn’t have seen in the same way without her. There are times when Elsa laughed at waves in the ocean, followed a bird until it disappeared behind a hill or a house and then looked at me for answers. For us, the key has been to have multiple choices and not a hundred must-do’s during the trip. During the first year I think we had our best adventures when we walked less, took a lot of breaks for waterfalls, holding sticks, scouted for squirrels, did campfires and found happiness in small things, being in the moment without needing or longing for anything more. Leaning against trees and watching whatever passed by.
We most often use a full buckle carrier for carrying Elsa when we’re out. There is a range of different brands and fits so the best tip is to try a few different to really find one that suits you. During the first year we have mostly used an Integra carrier. It is simple to use, has a snug fit and if you carry your baby in the front you can comfortably carry a backpack at the same time since the shoulder straps are thin. From around 6 months of age (when the baby can sit without support) it is possible to carry her on the back. Different people have different solutions. Elsa is now 15 months and I still prefer to carry her in the front; as she has grown it get’s more difficult to see your feet and the next step as clear, but at the same time you can interact with your child easily and you have the possibility to carry a backpack as well. When we carry her at the front we usually hold her feet or hands. It feels good and adds some extra protection from the elements. She also feels comfy and get som heat from us. For longer walks Emelie mostly carry her on the back nowadays as she feels that this is more comfortable now when Elsa is 10kg+, carrying the daily stuff in a waist bag instead of a backpack. She also carries a lot in woven wraps, and with these it’s easy to vary the type of carry. If you’re out for a night the other partner can carry the gear.
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