Suggestions on what to do with a 9 mo (human) while feeding/barn chores- update #33
Okay... I have a wonderful 9 month old son... he LOVES going outside & he even enjoys watching the horses from his stroller while I feed. BUT with the weather getting hotter, I'm concerned about him getting too much sun/heat and trying to figure out what I can safely do with him. Before he was only allowed to come out with me when the weather was ideal and his father watched him when it wasn't.
However, my husband has cancer & isn't doing well and is very limited in how much he can watch him, so my son pretty much has to come out with me when I feed (unless the weather is dangerous).
His stroller canopy provides a lot of protection from the sun, but I don't feel that it is large enough... he still is getting sun on his legs and I don't have shade around the barn. I have run in sheds with an attached feed room that gets really hot, so I don't have a cool stall/tack/feed room that I can put him in.
Today, I put a blanket overtop to block the sun, but he couldn't see, so he wasn't happy. I've also tried parking his stroller in the shade close to the house or on the porch, but he wants to be part of the action & he can't see me or the horses from there & isn't happy.
I've thought about several ideas...
1. Getting a tent with a floor that I could put up close to the paddocks, so he could watch, but be shaded. Honestly, I know nothing about tents or camping, but I would think the floor of the tent should keep him safe from ants & insects & that I could even put some of his toys in, so he could play. However, I don't know how permanently you can leave a tent out and I don't know if a tent would be the best option because it can be really windy at our farm (too windy for one of those canopy sort of things).
2. I've thought about putting up an umbrella, so he can stay underneath of there. But I need to do some experimenting to see if there is a sturdy enough base that would work to hold the umbrella securely if it is windy. I couldn't use the table with it because then the stroller wouldn't fit.
3. Other thoughts?
I'm also not sure if they make sunshades that could be used with my jogging stroller... I'll have to look into that... first baby... I have a lot to learn...
I have a bug net for the stroller, but I'm not sure that it is enough to provide sun protection. It was just an inexpensive one that I got... nothing fancy...
Kiddo is too active to just be stuck somewhere that he can't see what is going on. He really does LOVE going outside and watching the horses, birds, and cats, so happy kids make happy moms! I have so much stress in my life right now that there could be a simple idea that I'm just not thinking of because my brain is so fried.
Last edited by M.K.Smith; May. 8, 2009 at 11:22 PM.
Reason: added info
I used a Pac-n-play portable playpen when my kids were little. I covered the top with a crib sheet for shade and used clothes pins to hold it on.
If you used a tent it might be safe if you anchored it down with screw in anchors (like dog tie-outs). If you decide to go with the tent set it up and leave it for a few windy days to make sure it's safe. Low profile will catch less wind.
The done tents set up and dismantle pretty quickly so you could move it without too much hassle.
I have seen a camping tent that was made for dogs that would be a nice size for kids.
Regular, enclosed tents can get pretty warm during the day, at least the ones I used as a kid did, even in the shade with the window and door open. Maybe one of those screened canopies? You could wheel the stroller right in, zip/tie the screen shut and he's got visibility and protection from sun and insects..JPG
Not a parent, so this may be somehow wrong for the baby's age, etc., and I'm not real handy myself so I'm being a total hypocrite, but I think a miniature screened-in porch would be perfect. A simple wood frame with a-frame roof for shade (could be canvas, like a kid's playhouse), staple-gun the soft black mesh they use for screened porches on three sides, and one side has a basic door - wood panel attached to one support with hinges, latch. The floor could be a tiny deck, or a sandbox.
The pack-n-play is a great invention for sure. Very handy for all types of situations, as long as your kid doesn't figure out how to climb out of it, as my son did at that age. He started walking (well running) at 9 months so climbing out of things was also mastered long before I expected it.
If the stroller keeps him in place I would stick w/ that and find a shady spot w/ visual stimulus to park him while you do chores. I kept my son parked in the barn isle while I did chores and he had the cats, dogs and horses to entertain him and he could easily see me coming and going as I cleaned stalls, fed and turned out. Or maybe you'll have to do your chores during the cooler times of day, early early morning (maybe while he's still sleeping?) and late afternoon/early evening.
If you can't find something for your jogging stroller, how about buying or borrowing one of those nifty enclosed bike trailers for any weather (rain or shine.) Plenty of room for toys, snacks and such. Like this one I found quick on eBay. http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-2009-InSTEP-...QQcmdZViewItem
Pack-N-Play!!! Seriously! With toys galore and sippy-cups, or bottles, or whatever he uses with juice, or water so he can stay hydrated. For shade, check with One Step Ahead (http://onestepahead.com/home.jsp). They have some great shade tents and other ideas for shade. I ordered a number of things from them when my son was younger, and I was never disappointed.
Good luck, and do you mind prayers for your husband? I'm sorry you're having to go through all of this (you being the entire family).
"IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique
My trainer set up a playpen right by the side of the ring while she taught lessons, and kid would wave at us every time we rode by. Seemed to work fine for her.
When her daughter got a little older, (more mobile) she would trade lessons for babysitting. I don't think I paid for a lesson for a few years. Don't know if that would be an option for you.
Once the kid was about 3, I was paroled and she employed a very trusted horse as babysitter. Plop the munchkin on her back and set her loose. That kept her occupied for several hours every day. Quite amazing to see a 3 year old galloping with a huge grin on her face.
I have a 17mo old and a 2wk old, and for the older (Sadie) I have a playpen we made with a picnic umbrella on the outside shading the inside. It works pretty darn well, and because we used those "puppy panels" (the plastic ones also used for kids playpens) we can move it pretty much anywhere. Sadie doesn't try and eat everything now, so I don't worry too much about the grass, but you can put a tarp down as well! Also battery operated fan is a great thing to have for if you aren't near a power outlet (fan OUTSIDE of where baby can reach. My 2 week old chills in his stroller near a fan next to said playpen. Works for us! And worked through a HOT TN summer last year! And a jumper thing in a doorway works well too.
couldn't you stick him in one of those baby carriers
that attach to your back?
we used to carry my sis when she was little in one of those. the one we used had a aluminum or some kind of light metal structure with a little seat. you put it on your back and so long as you're not running it's pretty sturdy. of course, i'm not sure if i'd want a kid in that while cleaning stalls - it can get dusty. but maybe for turning horses out?
I also did the backpack thing w/ the kids when they were little. Works great for feeding and such. You can get a nice sturdy one at an outdoors store.
When I'd bring the horses in, however, I'd strap them into the stroller and park it out of the way in the barn.
We also have a lockable "play house/play pen" complete w/ roof - homebuilt by DH out of wood, about 6 foot by 4 foot, about 2 feet off the ground (think picket fence w/ a platform and a roof). Place it in an out of the way spot but where they can see you (w/ toys) and let them have fun while you do chores. In this case, 2 kids work better than one (for entertaining each other).
In the winter (which is cold here!) - I'd drive the car down to the barn (got stuck 2 times) and left them in their car seats while I fed (about 10-15 min). They could see me the entire time (fed outside).
Could you get one of those carport type things that has a roof and is more sturdy than a regular EZ-Up canopy? Then, he could have shade, but there would still be breeze to keep him cool? I'm not sure how expensive those are, but it could be handy for other things, too.
On anohter note, I pray that your husband's condition gets better, and that you and your family have strength through this trial.
I am so sorry about your husband. I had a friend recently diagnosed- what a crappy disease. Many jingles and good thoughts to your whole family.
I just used my stroller year round. I was able to roll it into both barns though. I invested in the big time SUV of strollers at the time - a Zooper ( everyone (family) made fun of me because I just had to have this hummer of a stroller until we went to our first horse show with it... and I could have sold the thing 100 times over- it's pretty awesome!). I also did a lot of feeding on the fly - out to the barn before the sweeties were awake and saved the bigger chores for when I had someone else around.
One of my clients ( I'm a vet) found an old fashioned playpen- they are a little sturdier than a Pack and Play- and put it in her barn. I think an E-Z canopy with a playpen would work well. THe canopy could stay up in most types of weather.
I never really liked the backpack ( or frontpack) it restricted me too much. It was OK if I just had to throw hay or water but I felt it was too dangerous when you are actually dealing with a horse. It affected my balance etc and also put my baby a little closer to harm than I was comfortable with.
As you have already figured out.... this time will go really fast!! Mine are now 8 and 5 and barn work is no longer a logistics problem!
Oh, look at the Moby Wrap. Really comfortable to wear and holds those little suckers in really well either on the front or back. And you can MAKE one for like $10 with no sewing too if you like the look of it. Just shoot me a PM if you want the "pattern"
i have a 9 month old son who sounds a lot like your little guy. we go with a sunhat, sunscreen, and a hiking baby backpack (soft frame with a padded waistbelt). he loves it. i have an armchair in the house that use to get him situated before slinging him onto my back.
i don't handle the horses with him on board, but i can feed, clean the water trough, toss hay, open and close paddocks, muck, and brush them in the field.
my big chestnut mare loves to make him giggle and she'll nudge his foot to get him started.
* trying hard to be the person that my horses think i am