You know you’re a new parent when eight hours of sleep seems like the stuff of legends.
Sleep is a new parent’s fantasy. It’s something parents daydream about while waiting for the first four-shot espresso of the day.
Let’s be honest, sleep is simply not part of the package for new parents. So let’s move on. Let the caffeine do its thing and get some fresh perspective. When faced with sleep deprivation, getting outside is one of the best things you can do.
Enter the Sea to Sky Gondola’s Baby and Me hiking program. It’s an opportunity for parents with newborns to shake off the effects of sleeplessness and enjoy the trails. The series takes place every Wednesday and involves a guided walk or hike with 10 other participants.
“Baby and Me was created because we saw a lot of moms coming to the gondola with babies in tow,” said Shannon Lorenz, Sea to Sky Gondola event programmer. “We recognize that once you come into motherhood or daddyhood you are looking for a few things in your life and socialization is a big one.”
It’s true that being social takes on a new level of importance in the mind of parents. Newborns keep us close to home. You know it’s time to get out of the house when you talk to your newborn expecting her to respond.
The hikes allow parents to connect with nature, exercise and meet new friends. The first round of hikes takes place over a six-week period this spring with plans to extend the program into the summer. The full six-week session costs $60 (not including a day ticket or season pass) and drop-in costs $12.
The Baby and Me guided hikes take the stress out of exploring a new place with baby in tow.
“We aim to create a very comfortable environment for parents so they don’t have to worry about getting lost exploring a new trail. We keep the hikes to about an hour and afterwards there is always the option of getting a coffee with new friends,” Lorenz said.
Just 45 minutes south of Whistler and open all year long, the Sea to Sky Gondola has put Squamish on the map. The gondola is a 10-minute ride from the base of Howe Sound to beautiful Coastal Mountain terrain, 885 metres above sea level.
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While the eight passenger gondolas can accommodate strollers, the aim of the Baby and Me program is to get parents and their babies off the beaten path. Lorenz recommends wearing your baby to the group hikes.
“We ask that parents bring baby carriers rather than strollers. It allows for more accessibility in checking out new trails or viewpoints,” Lorenz said.
So far the response has been very positive.
“Everyone seems to really like it. It is something different and people really love the idea of getting outside and a program like Baby and Me that provide the motivation,” Lorenz said.
In celebration of Baby and Me, readers have the chance to enter and win a Sea to Sky Gondola day ticket and drop-in pass to the program. See mountainmama.ca for details.