5 Tips for Walking with Toddlers
This is a bit of a personal one, a bit of a slide show! But it was such a lovely little trip out and a mere 15 minutes walk from my house, I just had to share! We live right by the beach in Blyth, and alongside some cute little beach huts, a sandy beach, the sea (obvs), a fish and chip shop come ice cream parlour, a big park and a little park, there’s also the dunes. You can walk all the way from Blyth to Seaton Sluice.
On the days when it’s just Reuben and I, I have really been enjoying getting out in the fresh air. And particularly now the weather’s starting to turn a bit. The only trouble is, despite having some great places to go within walking distance, I have a bit of a reluctant walker so it can be tiring at times without the buggy! I was feeling a bit sick of the parks, well it is a bit dull after the 100th visit, don’t you think?! Even with your phone and a coffee… So on this occasion I fancied seeing if Reuben would enjoy a walk through the dunes.
We’re kind of at that awkward stage where Reuben wants to walk a bit but not all the time, which is frankly exhausting because he’s also too big to carry for too long! So, it a bit of a buggy gamble and I did the sensible (lazy) thing on this occasion and drove the mile down the road because I knew I wanted to walk through the dunes, therefore, the buggy wasn’t welcome, but I didn’t want to have to carry him the mile there and home again!
Since this trip I’ve been thinking about what worked, but also what I’d change for the next time Reuben and I go for a walk… and here they are.
my 5 tips for walking with toddlers
1. Go somewhere interesting
As soon as we arrived at the dunes, Reuben was all over it. Paths do not interest him in the slightest, unless it’s by a really busy road, so he just doesn’t want to walk. It’s boring. Stick him on a grassy hill, in a forest, on the beach; yes please! He likes the element of challenge and/or danger, I guess.
“Don’t run down that hill…slow down!!!” Is something he hears frequently and ignores.
A tunnel of grass…now this is something I can get into!
2. Dress appropriately!
You will see in many of these photos that Reuben’s adorable little high tops are getting wrecked. That’s right, I put him in trainers and jeans to walk through wet grass. What a dope. I would say, wear wellies and waterproof trousers/suit for most destinations (except in the heat of summer, obvious! – then you’d probably want sturdy footwear and 1 thin layer of long sleeves to protect from nettles and bite-y things!) but don’t get too wrapped up on top. All that extra movement will warm them up and if you do end up carrying them home, they are less bulky and heavy!
Seriously, what am I wearing?
3. Don’t go too far (or for too long, unless you have provisions!)
Reuben and I went right into the dunes and then down on to the beach and along – it was a bit too far and I had to carry him most of the way back. Exhausting! Go at their pace, if they are enjoying being in a particular spot, let them run up and down it, or explore. We spent a little while looking/poking at snails and spiders out enjoying the morning dew but should have spent maybe a bit more time doing this rather finding new routes to go down. And I’d say an hour out is probably plenty but as I said, it depends on if you have provisions.
4. Take a snack
I forgot this bit…Reuben is often really hungry in the morning and not so much the rest of the day. But hunger quickly leads to grumpiness and, if you’re out walking, tiredness so that means you’re carrying baba! Fortunately, I foraged in the bottom of my bag and found a tiny biscuit in a packet – one of those ones you get with your coffee. This gave him a little pick me up, but it wan’t quite enough!
5. Don’t forget mama!
After all the inevitable carrying you’re going to be shattered so try and plan for a nice pitstop either in the middle of your walk or once you’ve made it back out. Or pack a flask of coffee to enjoy once you get back to the car. You deserve it!
Do you like walking in the Dunes? And what are your tips for enjoying a walk with your toddler? What have I missed?!
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