Brand New Stokke Beat: Connect in the Heart of the City
Stokke launches new city stroller and provides a parenting guide for urban working dads looking to find the right balance
Life in a big city generally means chaotic commutes and busy days with little down-time; tricky to balance for any parent, as it means less quality time spent with the kids. For new parents, and particularly for dads, finding the right balance between family time and work or other commitments can really be very tough.
Despite the introduction of new initiatives such as Shared Parental Leave in 2015, the uptake of paternity leave has fallen for four years in a row , so it’s more important than ever for new fathers to make the most of their time with baby.
To celebrate the launch of the Stokke Beat this month (more info below), designed to nurture connection whilst keeping pace with city-life, Scandi parenting experts at Stokke have compiled their tips for city dads.
Linda McNeill, Stokke parenting expert from The Positive Family Academy, says: “It’s crucial that any new parent makes the most of their time with their baby. Fast-paced city living is a reality for many new parents and for dads in particular, this can really impact the amount of time they have to bond with their child. But this doesn’t have to be the case. With some simple hacks, inspired by our Norwegian heritage and Scandi lifestyle, all new parents can maximise quality time.”
Read on for Linda’s tips:
1. Less is more
Don’t get sucked into buying every time-saving gadget. Instead consider what you and your child’s individual needs are, speak to parent friends or family to find out what they consider to be the essential bits of kit and research products that will work for you.
For example, do you need a bulky, all-terrain pushchair that can handle mud and uneven ground? Even if it is the latest in family fashion accessories, if you’re living in the city, the answer is probably not. Something compact and easy to manoeuvre in and out of cafés and on public transport will be far more efficient. A few well-chosen products that fit your busy lifestyle will help you save time and money, leaving you to enjoy more time with baby.
2. Don’t rely on tech-nannies
It can be tempting to soothe or distract your child with the help of tech. Whether you’re trying to clear the kitchen, or your gorgeous offspring is simply having an inexplicable full-blown tantrum, in just a few seconds you can pull up a colourful character on screen who will absorb your child’s attention and return them to the happy, amenable child you love so much. We’ve all been there! But make sure you’re not over-relying on a screen to occupy your child as it will inevitably become an unhealthy habit.
Instead, consider what you enjoyed as a child – no doubt it involved simple things like singing, dancing, playing with bubbles, peek-a-boo, or listening to a story. Factor some time into your day, even just 10 minutes before work, for dedicated one-to-one playtime and bonding and be creative when daily chores or admin need to get done. Dancing with music on in the background is the only way to get the living room tidy
3. A new cheerleader
We all know about the benefits of fresh air, but as we head into autumn, the cooler temperature means many new parents worry about taking their baby outdoors for any length of time. However, it’s important to remember that, in many cultures, and especially in Scandinavian countries, fresh air is non-negotiable, no matter what time of year it is. It’s not uncommon to see babies and toddlers bundled up, taking a nap outside in the pram or buggy even in the winter. Many parents claim this helps their children enjoy longer and deeper naps. You just need to ensure they’re wrapped up snugly.
So next time you head out for a jog or a game of 5-a-side, rather than frantically searching for a babysitter, take your little one with you! And remember that when they’re awake, it’s the perfect time to fit in some quality father-baby bonding.
4. Slow things down
There’s no two ways about it, city life is fast-paced. As a parent it’s even more important
to find a way to slow things down. Children learn by example, so if they only ever see you rushing around and stressing, they will grow up thinking this is the norm. Try and leave your work at the office and as soon as you get home, switch off your phone and embrace home-life.
5. Share the load
Scandinavian countries are known for their generous parental leave, which is often taken by both parents to ensure both have time to care for, bond with and enjoy their new child. Unfortunately, this isn’t as commonplace in the UK, so if your partner is your child’s primary caregiver, make sure they find time to also spend on themselves.
Whether it be a coffee with a friend, a new class they want to try, a spa treatment, or simply some good quality sleep, this is the perfect time to fit in some one-to-one time with your child.
The New Stokke Beat Stroller
The Stokke Beat is designed to be convenient, compact and comfortable – the ideal companion to life in the city. Lightweight and boasting excellent manoeuvrability, true one-hand folding for use from new-born to children weight 22kg / 45lbs. Available from £520.00.
The Beat also launches with a limited-edition canopy design, thanks to a collaboration with NY artist, Jayson Atienza. The lilac, teal and blue canopy design is in Jayson’s signature painting style and featured in the recent Daniel Goßrau show at Berlin Fashion Week.
For more information, visit: www.stokke.com/GBR/en-gb/pram/5396