It’s no secret that heading outside for some movement can make anyone feel happier and more energized. And when you’re with toddlers or older kiddos, it is almost instinctive to get them outside to burn off some energy. But are there benefits when we get outdoors with babies? You bet there are!
At the bökee, we are outdoor enthusiasts, and we designed the bökee to go with us wherever we needed. It suctions to just about any hard and smooth surface to make bottle prep and feeding time easier no matter where you are. Grab a couple for your family today.
Benefits of Getting Outdoors with Your Baby
Does this sound familiar? You’ve been inside all morning, fitting in a few chores around the house while caring for your baby. After a while, your baby gets cranky, and nothing seems to help. They aren’t hungry, and it isn’t nap time, but they need something different.
Head outside! The fresh air and change of scenery likely will do everyone a world of good since being out in nature improves mood and boosts our mental health.
Babies are constantly learning and taking in information about their surrounding environment. Going outdoors gives them different temperatures, smells, textures, sounds, and sights to experience and helps them learn more about the world around them. Being outside is great for parents and caregivers, too, especially if you can incorporate some movement like a walk through the park.
Keep your expectations simple and start small when you head outdoors, especially if you are newly postpartum. Although some exercise is great with your doctor’s approval, don’t overdo it too soon. It’s ok to stick close to home since even your backyard is full of wonders for your baby.
Getting out the door with a baby can feel intimidating and time-consuming, but it’s usually worth the effort. Here are seven ways to get outdoors with your baby and enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer.
1. Take a neighborhood walk.
Going outside doesn’t have to involve a grand adventure. Start small and simple, planning for a short walk around your neighborhood or on a flat trail close to home.
Whether your baby’s in a stroller, in your arms, or in a wrap or carrier, getting some movement will benefit you both. While you’re walking, you can point out trees, wildlife, and the weather to your baby.
Often a quick walk is sufficient to help you and your child calm down and enjoy a mental reset. And if you have older children, a neighborhood stroll is perfect for them, too.
2. Take tummy or story time outside.
When the weather allows, enjoy some of your normal daily routine outside. Take a blanket and a couple of books to a shady spot for a quiet time reading together outside. Or set up tummy time outdoors for your little one. Sometimes, babies who don’t like tummy time are more receptive to it outdoors.
If you time it right, your baby might even nod off for a nap on the blanket. So be sure to have a book for yourself, too!
3. Check out local playgrounds.
While playgrounds may not seem like an obvious choice for babies, they can be a fun destination. Consider going at a time when they might be pretty empty, such as earlier in the morning. There may be walking trails, and most parks also have baby swings available.
If your child is mobile, they can explore the ground or try crawling on some of the low-to-the-ground equipment. Those large motor skills will be blossoming in no time!
4. Head out for a picnic.
Change up your usual snack or lunchtime routine by going outdoors. Use your backyard or a nearby park for dining al fresco and livening up everyone’s day. People watching and enjoying the fresh air is a simple way to boost your baby’s mood. And being outside might even help them sleep better when nap time or bedtime comes.
Simply moving your child’s highchair outside for a snack or meal can offer enough change to help them calm down when they’re cranky. Or snuggle up to nurse your baby outdoors to help you both relax and reset. Babies eat so often, so why not take at least one of those meals outside?
5. Visit a local farm to pick some fruits or veggies.
Look online for a u-pick farm near you where you can pick some berries or peaches or just shop in their market. You don’t have to pick bushels to make it worthwhile. Your baby will enjoy the new sights and sounds of a different place, and many farms also have animals children can see or pet.
And if your child is eating solid foods, this outing can be delicious! Stick your bökee onto a picnic table at the farm and load it up with some berries or other easy-to-eat treats.
6. Break out the bubbles!
Bubbles are super fun and easy to take outside. Blowing bubbles for your baby gets them moving their head and eyes around as they track the bouncy bubbles. You can even craft bubble solution from simple homemade ingredients using this recipe.
As your baby gets older, they can practice gripping the bubble wand. And let’s be honest, watching toddlers try to blow bubbles is hilarious!
7. Enjoy some sensory play.
There are endless ways to introduce new sensory experiences outside because it’s the perfect place for more messy activities such as playing with water and sand. A few cups, pans, utensils, and a tub of water can provide loads of fun for your baby.
A small pool with just a few inches of water takes their play to the next level. You can get a variety of objects and explore what floats and what sinks, or let your little one try to pour water from one container to another. Safety reminder: Never leave your child unattended around water.
There are so many different things to touch and explore with hands that are eager for new textures. Smooth rocks, soft leaves, and bright flowers are all great things to lay out for a baby to explore. You can also take the fun off the blanket and see what your baby thinks about grass on their legs and hands.
You can also bring a more active toy outside, such as a ball, to roll around with your baby. Babies love to slap and hit lightweight bouncy balls, and outside is a great place to do this.
Take the bökee on your adventures.
No matter what activity you choose, it’s a great idea to get outdoors with babies. Being outside offers tremendous benefits to you and your child, regardless of age. And be sure to have the bökee on hand to keep feeding time simple wherever your adventures take you.