Family adventures

A walk in the woods

Spring sunshine, wild flowers, nesting birds and a sleeping baby = perfect Bank Holiday family stroll.

We’re now three weeks into this parent business and still making it up as we go along. We’d be lying if we said we knew much about what we were doing, or if we were even good parents, but even at this young age we’re pretty sure we know what Sonny likes and dislikes. He hates being hungry, hates having a wet or dirty nappy, hates being too cold and isn’t a huge fan of being left alone in his Moses basket when he’s wide awake; but apart from that he’s a pretty chilled out baby.

He was born during a lovely week of spring weather so has already spent a lot of time outside in his pram, nestled into one of our chests in his sling or cradled in our arms as we stroll around the garden. He seems to really enjoy breathing the fresh air, feeling the sun on his face, listening to birdsong and smelling those lovely spring smells. It calms him down immediately and means we can spend time outside too, doing what we love doing.

Yesterday we decided to take Sonny and our jack russell Mario on one of our favourite walks, down the Ouse Valley Way on a footpath known as the Thicket from St Ives to Houghton. It’s a round-trip of around 4 miles, which made us slightly nervous as it was Sonny’s first big walk, so we loaded up the changing bag with nappies, baby wipes, changes of clothes, muslin cloths and pretty much everything else we could think of, then set off down into the woods.

It turned out we had nothing to worry about whatsoever. Sonny had been changed and fed just before we set off, was wrapped in three blankets and a fancy little hat with ear flaps, and nodded off as soon as the pram started moving. To cut a long story short, he slept the whole way there and back, in a journey that lasted over two hours. The weather was glorious, we watched coots building nests, swallows swooping along the river bank and horses grazing in paddocks, stopped for a coffee in Houghton, then headed home.

Sonny never woke up once, but I’m convinced these experiences are good for him. The sights, sounds and smells will hopefully be cultivating an interest in the outdoors even at this early age; and the added bonus for Gemma and I is that we’re able to continue our lives almost as they were before Sonny was born. We’re both very conscious of the toll a newborn can take on relationships and as a result are keen to keep doing the things we’ve always enjoyed together. So far so good!

Next time we’ll try to go a little bit further, and stay out a little bit longer. Watch this space…

 

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