exercise / parenting / winter

We all Need (vitamin) D

10859738_925507227462153_769225206_nThis winter has been more mild than last winter so far. Last year we got snow in October and didn’t stop getting snow until the end of March. This year there’s snow on the ground but to me it’s not nearly as bad as last year (hopefully I’m not jinxing us.) Being a Californian; my first winter was full of excitement for experiencing snow, my second winter was full of pure hate, and now my third winter is full of calm acceptance. (Side note: I’m letting Wesley pull all the wipes out of his wipe container while I write this so he’ll stay happy while I’m writing.) Last winter I struggled pretty strongly with seasonal affective disorder; for those of you who live in warm states that’s when you get depressed and feel all around icky in the winter; possibly due to a lack of vitamin D. Out here some people who would normally never step foot in a tanning salon find themselves tanning a couple of times a month just to get a little dose of light therapy to boost their mood. That can get pretty pricey so last winter when I was enormously pregnant I mostly hid inside.  It was rough on both my physical and mental well-being. This winter I’ve been going outside much more. Since the baby is ALWAYS with me, that means he’s been going outside too. Turns out Wesley loves watching snow fall, must be the winter baby in him. 10841511_925507220795487_304456892_nI don’t go out for long treks, maybe eventually I’ll be New Yorker enough to do snow-shoeing and skiing but that time has not come yet. It’s little things that keep me sane; trekking through piles of snow to check the mailbox across the street, parking in the back of the parking lot and trudging through grey slush to get into the store. On warmers days (20 or more degrees) we go into town and walk down main street. It’s nice to do that because if I think that the baby needs a break from the chilly air I can just step into a shop to browse. Babies need vitamin D too and I think these little adventures outside keep Wesley healthy too. There’s nothing like some fresh (albeit cold) air after you’ve been cooped up inside all day. It’s true that you can set your baby in front of the window to absorb the sunshine coming through the glass but I haven’t found that to be nearly as effective as going outside, not to mention Wesley doesn’t sit still for long.  I don’t believe from an evolutionary standpoint that humans were meant to spend all day indoors; winter or not. I keep the baby warm by having him in a lot of layers. I layer leg warmers under his pants, socks, shoes, a onesie, a shirt, a sweater, a jacket, and a hat. The less skin exposed to the biting air, the better.10393902_10152875255824486_4850066669548599640_n I’m a babywearer so I put him in his ergo or ring sling – being snuggled up to each other keeps us both extra warm.  On weekends Daddy joins us on our outings and they tend to last longer even though he complains about the cold more than me.   With it being the holiday season, there are plenty of family activities to do outdoors; cutting down your own tree, looking at Christmas lights, going on a sleigh ride, sledding, building a snowman, visiting reindeer at a local farm, etc.  Some days it’s hard to find the motivation to brave the wind but we always feel better for it. 


2 thoughts on “We all Need (vitamin) D

  1. I totally agree! I take a vit D supplement because of low levels no matter what time of year. As a society though, we need to stop hiding indoors during winter (and in AC during summer)! The fresh air (warmer than -5 or so) is good for all of us! If you’re moving when out and about, you stay warm and even sweat. Babies sleep better after getting cool, fresh air. And remarkably, it’s a free activity! Win, win!


  2. I love how proactive you are being. I remember how hard last year was on you. He looks too cute all bundled up. 🙂 I didn’t realize last year was only your second winter out there. Stay warm my friend.


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