11.19.2014

STROLLER NAP SEASON!


Cold weather days are here! And allow me to be the first to wish you a Happy Nap Stroller Season! To you, and you, and youuu!

We're all in now. This is it. The high today is 34. There are no freak 70-degree weather days to hope for anymore. The sandals be gone. Whisked away to off-season storage. This year, just like every year before, we made a big afternoon of it, paying a fond farewell to our summer-weight clothes and bringing up all our winter gear. We sort through our scarves and coats, fold up our thickest socks + take inventory of our missing gloves, sort through our winter clothes, sort through our stroller's winter clothes . . . hah! Our stroller has more winter gear than all of us, probably. Rain covers, hand muffs, stroller blankets, winter foot muffs, cup holders and storage pockets and fleece linings. We make a huge mess of things when we do this, it always seems to take us a day or two to fully recover + get the house back to normal. We're not in our stroller much now that Huck is four, in school, a pretty reliable walker, and still light enough in case I have to carry him a couple dozen blocks when his "legs are broken," ;) but the colder weather is still an exciting time for me, because colder weather has always meant the return of a city mom's very best trick: the stroller nap. 

a small collection of stroller naps caught on camera . . .

Huck was never much of a napper, bless his rude little heart. He gave up his morning nap at something around 8 months, his afternoon nap at just about 14 months, and though he remained always pleasant + never missed a beat + always made up for that lost sleep during the night (dude was a reliable 13-14 hour-er), I was always jealous of that quiet pocket of dedicated "do something" time that parents of nappers seemed to get every afternoon (even if they had to be trapped at home for it to happen). But then, every winter, something about that elixir of cold air on his cheeks and warm air from his bunting at just the right time of day would often combine to result in a solid two hour nap in the middle of the afternoon, meaning I was free to do anything. ANYTHING. Take meetings with my editors at Babble, run errands, walk aimlessly around the city to sort out my thoughts, or to come back in straight away to clean the house from top to bottom while Huck napped in his parked stroller in the living room. Thank your, winter! As a parent I've loved the cold weather for this very reason. The drearier the day, the better the chance of a good, decent nap. Even now, with Huck in school and the stroller waiting patiently in the basement for the odd chance I'll need him, I still feel that familiar excitement on a miserably cold day, for the cosy sweaters under the big winter coats, for the long long walks all over the city, and nostalgia for the sleeping baby + all that under-carriage storage. ;)

a quick shot post stroller nap. sigh. huck!

The trick to a good stroller nap, and to surviving a winter in general I think, is in the proper gear. You need to be warm enough to stay toasty when outside, but not so warm that you'll suffocate once inside. I used to struggle with that balance when I was at BYU. I'd be so freezing walking between classes, and then immediately get inside and feel like I was going to combust I'd be so overly hot. The solution is, duh, the right breathable materials. (As opposed to polyester thrifted clothes from the DI I always wore back then. Oh, college.)

I've been working with The Woolmark Company this season, a fantastic textiles company based out of Australia, and during our time together I've learned a lot about Merino wool that I'd always sort of suspected just based on experience--most specifically its connection to good sleep. Merino wool makes such a great winter staple precisely for the same reason it makes such a great new baby staple--it is warm enough to retain heat in the coldest weather, but breathable enough to remain cool when the temperatures are warmer. Sleep temperature is such a key factor to a restful nap or night's sleep. I'm a total hot sleeper, I'm always fussing with sleep temperature conditions and fighting an endless battle with Brandon to let me leave the window open. :) In fact, studies have revealed a correlation between woolen bedding and quality sleep patterns, and Merino wool has been proven to increase total sleep time, promote sleep onset, and improve sleep efficiency. (-source -source and lots more good info here.) Wool is also odor resistant. That's cool.

old grainy stroller nap photo, for your pleasure :)

We've been a longtime partner with Bugaboo here at the HNJ HQ, and I've always loved working with the brand because their standards and integrity for design and function are so on point. I always know that a Bugaboo product is going to be top of the line, hard working + long lasting. Bugaboo recently partnered with The Woolmar Company to make a Merino wool stroller blanket, and sent one our way to try out. It's taken a beating already and washes up like a dream. I wore it as a scarf the other day ;).

I've become more convinced that wool is a crucial part of a parent's arsenal through this partnership--crucial for stroller naps, for bedding, for sleepwear, for wraps, for winter clothing, for crafts! Knitting! Wool is natural, renewable, biodegradable, and sustainable. (More on that here.) It's also gentle on sensitive skin, and I can vouch for that. We battle eczema with Huck every winter and whenever his immune system takes a nosedive, so I've learned to be hyperaware of the fabrics we choose and their effect on his skin. I've gotten really good at detecting wool quality by touch over the years. Good Merino wool is the opposite of scratchy. It can feel like silk or velvet, at different weights. It is a dream to work with when knitting or weaving. 

In preparing for this post I went through my old external hard drives to try and find those photos of Huck napping in his stroller, and, a million hours later, hahaha, will you look at this child?


Ah geez.
Okay. The end.

This post was sponsored by The Woolmark Company. And a special thank-you to Bugaboo for the sweet gift for being such an amazing sponsor over the years. :)

21 comments :

  1. Well done! I was born in Canada in January and my Mom left me in the carriage outdoors to nap every day - she assured me I was always well bundled up and cosy, and that it is good for babies. I wonder if that has something to do with me living my adult life in Florida.... LOL Great post!

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  2. Blahblahtodisguisethisasarealpost, woolmark ad, Bubaboo ad, another woolmark ad, blahblahcutepicstomakereadersforgeteverythinginbetween. I'm grateful for your blog and adore Huck, but cute pics don't really make posts like this any more palatable.

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    1. i'm not a huge fan of sponsored post, but this one? i really liked this one. i have the same arguments with my husband about opening a window (but reverse the sides) and now i know that i should give wool a try. and finding the perfect balance between warm for outside and cool for inside? this was the best information i received all day. also, i always thought wool was kind of scratchy and old and from her woolmark posts i'm starting to think i should give it another try. i dunno, i think that natalie manages to do sponsored posts pretty well.

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    2. I LOVE your blog and don't care if you do sponsored posts once a day! You deserve to make money for content and I love seeing pictures of baby Huck. Keep em coming!

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    3. I completely agree with Kelly.....you're a professional blogger, of course you can do sponsored posts! And actually, you do them really well....you can always hear "your" voice.

      It's your blog, you do what YOU like :)

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  3. Oh a two hour afternoon nap is sounding fabulous right about now!

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  4. adorable photos!

    www.amoderngypsy.blogspot.com

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  5. this is one adorable post, natalie! I never really stopped to think about it, because I don't have munchkins of my own, but it does seem that this is the time of year you typical see kids passed out in their strollers whilst christmas shopping at the mall. very clever!

    love, arielle
    a simple elegance

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  6. I'm a new reader to your blog so I have a hard time telling when pictures are from your old apartment or your new one. I'd love to see a post giving us a "full tour" of the new place. I can't figure out where the bathroom is connected to the living space, or Huck's room!

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  7. those naps are beyond! and of course when you have a cozy stroller who wouldn't nap! huck is the cutest. :)

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  8. I love it! I've never really needed one as we live in a farm in the middle of nowhere but we have two big trips coming up and this would be perfect- especially if it could get my youngest to nap! Thanks for the recommendations and reminder that I need to check it out!!

    www.hollandsreverie.blogspot.com

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  9. LOVED seeing all these old photos....Huck just gets cuter!!! and you my friend just just get cooler

    http://thebudusadventure.blogspot.com/

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  10. Those pictures of huck are to die for! And your hair is so so long! I forgot! We are headed to The City next week and I pray that my desert baby indulges in stroller naps.. and time change! Also, I feel like this was a good sponsored post. It seemed natural and that you truly stand behind the product. I appreciate it!

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  11. Uh, I really enjoy our Bugaboo! My baby is almost 5 months and he takes all his day time naps outside on our balcony in the grey Copenhagen weather. His naps are definitely longer when he is outside.

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  12. I was given the most amazing merino wool blanket for an engagement gift which sadly I had to leave back home in Australia.. but I cannot WAIT to one day return to the motherland and have it on my bed and bask in the glory of the amazing merino wool blanket!

    Us Aussies know how to do wool that's for sure.

    My future babies will definitely have a wool blanket or two!

    :)

    Jemima x
    http://jemimajaneblog.com

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  13. ok you and your brooklyn-pom-pom-hat-winter life is PERFECT. excuse me while i pin all of these for future goals
    xoxo
    e
    emmyjake

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  14. BIG fan of the stroller nap. It saved out sanity on our recent trip to Japan. Allowed us a few hours a day of slowing down and experiencing Tokyo without chasing our 3 year-old through the streets ;)

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  15. Do you mind telling me where you got your coat in the stroller collage where you're at 'the mall'? Is it Jcrew Factory? I have that one and am curious if it will be warm enough for a New York winter! Thanks!!

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  16. It is true that a stroller brings more advantages than disadvantages. But if it is being misused, it will bring harm to them users. When choosing a stroller, it is better to bring the children along to determine the perfect size of strollers. visit this website

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