Outdoor life and the under 3s

Anna and Jacob are active people who love outdoor life all year round. They are also the parents of a baby – how do they find the time and energy for their outdoor life? We went hiking with them and little Edith in the Åre mountains in Sweden. They discussed life as the parents of a baby, new perspectives and challenges with us.

BABYBJÖRN Magazine – Anna, Jacob and little Edith enjoy nature and outdoor life up in Åre mountains.
“Everything is much more fun when Edith comes along with us.” Anna and Jacob love hiking in the mountains, with their daughter Edith in a baby carrier.
Photo: BabyBjörn

The silence is magnificent and the view is stunning. Heavy grey clouds are skimming over our heads; this is the closest to heaven you can get. As the wind picks up, tentative rays of sunshine pierce the grey.

I like to be out in real weather, when you can feel the forces of nature.

Edith screws up her eyes and parts her lips as if she’s tasting the wind. She seems perfectly happy to be packed snugly in a baby carrier and in the middle of a warm hug between Mummy and Daddy.

BABYBJÖRN Parental Magazine – Edith is carried in a baby carrier on a hike with Mummy and Daddy.
Edith likes her outdoor life with Mummy and Daddy.

“This is the life, when you can get out into the wide open spaces and breathe,” smiles Jacob. “I like to be out in real weather. When you can really feel the forces of nature.”

Edith looks at him, wiggles her arms and legs, and laughs. She seems to agree. She gets several kisses from Mummy and Daddy.

Nature and outdoor life

Both Anna and Jacob are active people and longtime sports enthusiasts. Jacob has been an elite-level water skier, while Anna has been involved in many different sports and has been a lifelong skier. They’ve lived and worked in Åre in central Sweden for several years now.

It’s no coincidence that the couple chose to settle down in Sweden’s leading ski resort. They love its village atmosphere in summer and its city pulse in winter. Everything they need is right on their doorstep: the closeness to nature and the options for enjoying an active outdoor life all year round.

I love the autumn with its blazing colours and crisp air.

While they were expecting Edith, they talked a lot about what life would be like with a young child. All the things they’d need to change. But they didn’t want to end up dull and no longer doing the things they love.

“We’re fit and active people who love skiing and hiking in our spare time, it’s a part of our everyday lives. And so we realised that life with a baby will be whatever we make of it,” explains Anna.

“But obviously we’ve had to adapt,” says Jacob. “Our daily lives and routines are different now we have a child. We go to bed earlier and get up earlier. And we don’t go out in the evenings as often as we did before, but that’s not something we miss.”

Be flexible and keep things simple

Anna nods in agreement. The challenge facing parents of young children is largely about flexibility and detailed planning because everything undeniably takes more time and needs greater preparation.

And successfully pursuing outdoor activities with children also requires lowering your expectations and taking things as they come. In other words, letting go a little. Choosing activities available close by is also important. More tips – how to take young children on outdoor activities.

This is why hiking in the mountains is their favourite outing. They take along a thermos with a hot or cold drink, depending on the season, and something to eat, a sandwich and a banana. It’s a welcome break from their daily chores and a chance to recharge their serenity and energy levels.

A simple outing can be an exciting adventure.

In the summer months, they hike with Edith in a baby carrier and in winter they ski with Edith in a sledge. When she’s old enough, they plan to take her downhill skiing – there are lots of child-friendly slopes here.

(Part 2, coming soon: There are a lot of fun things to do in the mountains with children, here are some tips for Åre, a leading ski resort in Sweden.)

BABYBJÖRN Parental Magazine – Anna and Jacob tickle their daughter Edith after a hike in the mountains.
Anna Kihlström and Jacob Lönnström live with their daughter Edith in the Swedish ski resort Åre.

Jacob tells us how much Edith enjoys being outdoors; they notice that the freedom, peace and quiet have a positive effect on her.

“Nature is a fantastic place for families with children. All the colours are stimulating and instructive, and you can look at and touch different structures and materials. Rustling leaves in the autumn, soggy moss in the spring, tiny alpine flowers in the summer. A simple outing can turn into a great adventure here.”

New perspectives with children

“I think everything is much more fun now that Edith comes along with us,” says Anna. “Hiking with a child heightens the whole experience. We’ve been on countless hikes, but when Edith is with us it’s as if she gives us new perspectives and expands our horizons. It’s amazing fun that I would never want to be without.”

Edith has now fallen asleep in the baby carrier. The outdoor life is full of impressions, the fresh air makes you sleepy and it’s so comfy to take a little nap, gently rocked in the baby carrier, close to Mummy and Daddy.

Watch the video of Baby Carrier One Outdoors with Anna, Jacob and Edith.

About Anna and Jacob in the article

Anna Kihlström works as Visual Merchandiser at Peak Performance. She likes skiing, interior design and working out. Jacob Lönnström works at Peak Performance, and is also a retained firefighter and gym owner. He likes CrossFit, as well as downhill and cross-country skiing. Both Anna and Jacob are models for Babybjörn’s new baby carrier One Outdoors.