As much as you want to coddle your baby and keep her indoors to protect her, it might be in her best interest to be taken outdoors once in a while. Infants are curious by nature. Getting out of the house and looking at the surroundings will not only satiate their curiosity, it will also be good for their overall health. Exposure to the rays of the sun will give them a nice boost of vitamin D besides giving them a good sensory experience. It will also be enough to tucker out the little tykes so that they can have a nice nap in the night.
So here are 6 outdoor activities which can help break the mundane routine for you and your little one --
Sit on your porch or terrace
If you don’t want to overwhelm your baby with crowded places and want to slowly ease her into the whole outdoor experience, you can start by just literally setting one foot outside your house. Your porch and your terrace are wonderful places to show the baby what the outside world looks and feels like. You can spot cars, autos, cycles and many other objects of interest from these two vantage points.
Lounge on the lawn
The lawn is a great place to get your baby to start loving the great outdoors. You can lay your infant on his stomach on the grass and let him enjoy its texture. As he moves around to explore more, he gets more exercise which will help him strengthen his muscles.
Visit the market
Markets are a visual wonderland. The sights and smells that assail you when you enter a traditional market are enough to please a fully-grown adult. Imagine what a pleasure it will be for your baby. You can strap him on to a carrier and take him down to your local market. He can explore the different textures of the fruits, vegetables, spices and flowers that are sold there. The next time you make dinner for the baby, talk about all the good stuff that you saw in the market. This way you get to finish your shopping too, so it’s a win-win for both of you.
Play in the park
The park is another area that will make your baby’s sensory exploration skills go into overdrive. The park is filled with flowers and trees which your baby will enjoy touching and feeling. Even the rustling of leaves and breeze can be intriguing to an infant. You can lay him on a blanket and just have him look at the trees. He can drink in all the other intriguing bits as well. Putting the baby in bucket-seat swings or allowing her to play in the sandbox for some time is a good idea.
Time with animal pals
You can start off by pointing out the dogs, cats and other beings that can be found around your house. You can mimic the sounds they make and encourage your baby to follow along. Take your baby to the zoo and show her around. She might not remember this when she grows up but her baby senses will be drinking in every bit of the experience. This will also ensure that she grows up having a healthy respect and love for creatures big and small.
Go for a quiet picnic
Pack up some of your baby’s favourite toys, a book or two for yourself and all the food items that you might need. Go to the park or any area where you can a get a bit of sunshine and peace. You can organise a nice little picnic for your child and yourself here. While your baby takes in all that nature has to offer, you can relax and catch up on some reading.
Tips to remember while taking baby out
While taking your baby out can be a joyful experience, there are some precautions that you will have to take to make sure it remains so. The great outdoors can be filled with beauty but on the other hand, it is also filled with irritants that can make your child sick.
- Parks and lawns can be home to mosquitoes, ants and all manners of critters. You have to protect your child from them if you want her to enjoy her time outdoors. Always have sanitisers and baby-friendly repellants handy when you step out.
- Your baby should be under your supervision constantly. Do not take her to places, which can get crowded. Choose your outdoor visit timings accordingly.
- Do not take her out when it’s extremely hot or cold outside. If you are worried about exposure to the sun, talk to your paediatrician and take precautions in the form of a sunscreen.
- You will also have to carry extras of everything including spare clothing, blankets and diapers.
That said, don’t forget to enjoy your time with your baby. This is as much as a break for you as your baby. Both of you will be equally enriched by spending time outdoors.