Fresh air is incredibly beneficial for parents and babies alike. However, it can be easy to stay home all day when caring for a baby or toddler because it often feels like the simpler thing to do. If you choose to be intentional about regularly getting outside with your baby, you will soon realize just how beneficial it really is for your mental health and overall wellness. Here are a few tips to make getting outside with your baby a little bit easier.
Grab the Stroller and Go For a Long Walk
One of the easiest ways to get outside with a baby is to take your baby for a walk in their stroller. Most babies love to be strapped into their stroller and walking is an easy way to get some fresh air and even factor some light exercise into your day — two activities that are great for your overall health. If you live in a walkable, residential area going for a walk is super easy because all you have to do is get your baby in the stroller and step outside. If you don’t live in a safe or walkable area, you can still easily take your baby out for a walk, you’ll just have to put your stroller in the car and drive to your closest park or neighborhood.
Utilize a Baby Carrier
Baby carriers are one of the best baby items to own, especially while your baby is young. Babies typically love to be worn in a carrier and it gives you the freedom to walk around while your baby is safely secured to you. You can drive to a park and place your baby in the carrier to go for a nature walk or hike, or you can simply wear your baby while walking around in your backyard or neighborhood. Baby carriers make getting outside with multiple kids even easier because you can wear the younger baby but still have two hands available to hold your older kid’s hand or push them in a stroller.
Set up a Playpen in Your Backyard
Having a nice outdoor area at your home, such as a porch or backyard, makes getting outside with a baby very simple. Set up a playpen for your baby in the backyard to give them a safe area to play while outside. Some playpens come with a sun shade so you won’t have to worry about your baby getting too much sun, or you can simply set up your playpen in a shady area, such as under a tree. You can bring some of your baby’s favorite sensory toys, teethers, or board books and place them in the playpen to keep them busy as well.
Have a Picnic at the Park
Find a nice grassy area near your home and bring a big blanket for you and your baby to sit on. You can pack some snacks for yourself and for your baby, if they’re at an age when it is safe to eat solid food. Grassy areas and parks are a great place to take babies because they offer shade, fresh air, and there are often other families nearby. Bring a large blanket to lay out on the ground and your baby will have plenty of room to crawl or walk around. Grassy parks are the perfect place for older babies to practice their first steps because the ground is soft and safe so you won’t have to worry about your baby falling down and getting hurt.
Plan a Trip to the Beach
The beach is a wonderful place to bring babies and toddlers of all ages. If you have a toddler who is past the age of walking, the beach provides plenty of wide open space for them to run around and burn off energy. You’ll likely want to bring a sunshade of some type, regardless of your baby’s age to help protect both of you from too much sun exposure and to stay cool. Also plan to bring some snacks and water so everyone can stay hydrated. Play safely in the water with your baby or toddler to stay cool. Water play is a great stimulatory activity for babies that can even help with development.
Go to an Outdoor Mall or Market
Farmer’s markets or outdoor malls are another fun outdoor activity for you and your baby to try together. Outdoor markets offer a safe outdoor area where you can push your stroller and even be around other families. Malls are ideal also because you can always pop into a store to get some air conditioning on a hot day.
Outside Safety Tips for Babies
- When taking your baby for a walk in their stroller, always remain on a sidewalk where possible, utilize crosswalks, and vigilantly pay attention to any vehicular traffic.
- Avoid taking your baby outside during weather extremes such as thunderstorms, snowstorms, or excessive heat.
- Dress your baby appropriately for the weather. Use loose, cool clothing during warmer days and always protect your baby’s sensitive skin from the sun when necessary. In a cooler climate, bring extra blankets and place a hat on your baby’s head to keep them warm enough.
- When playing in the backyard with your baby, always look out for any ant piles or stinging insects that may be nearby. Only let your baby play directly on the grass after you have ensured that there aren’t any bugs or other dangerous animals on the ground.
- Never leave your baby unsupervised to play alone in the backyard or at the park. Do not leave your baby alone with any strangers when in public places.
- Practice water safety when playing with your baby at the beach or a pool. Always supervise babies and toddlers who are near the water and utilize flotation devices when necessary.
- Utilize sun protection such as protective clothing, a sun shade, and natural sunscreen. Your baby’s skin will likely be sensitive to the sun so you’ll want to limit the amount of time they spend in direct sunlight.
- Always check to make sure that your baby is properly strapped into their stroller when taking them for a walk. Make sure straps are snug but not too tight and check to see that nothing is pressing on your baby’s neck.
The Pop N’ Go playpen is a safe, spacious playpen that makes outdoor play a no-brainer, featuring an easy-to-setup design and an included sunshade.