Now that the weather is warming up, you’d like to take your baby outdoors.
Even if he’s a newborn, you don’t need to wait (unless your doctor says otherwise).
Fresh air and sunshine are good for everyone.
Let’s talk about how to enjoy some safe time outside with your baby.
I’ll divide up this post into problematic topics.
Your little one has delicate skin.
It’s best to enjoy the good weather before 10 AM and after 4 PM.
Then, if you’re in the sun, don’t let your baby have direct exposure for more than fifteen minutes.
That way, you’ll avoid the strongest UV radiation and minimize the chance that he’ll get sunburned.
Since she can’t tell you if she’s too hot or too cold, you’ll have to guess.
Dress her as you would yourself for that kind of weather.
You don’t need to bundle up a baby to take her outdoors (1).
On the other hand, layers are helpful. Then you can remove the clothing she doesn’t need to keep her comfortable.
No one likes getting bitten by bugs.
Did you know that you can put bug spray on your baby?
Once your child is at least two months old, you can protect her with insect repellent.
There are at least three commercial types that are FDA-approved for infants.
You could also cover her stroller or playpen with mosquito netting.
If you put her down on the grass, treat her blanket with bug repellent first.
Babies are people magnets. They attract attention.
Every parent soon discovers that random people can’t resist fussing over a baby.
Feel free to say no if you don’t want someone to touch or hold your child.
That mosquito netting comes in handy as a physical shield against unwanted intrusions, too.
Also, don’t be shy about asking friends and family to cleanse their hands before holding him.
The same thing goes for animals as for strangers. As much as your baby might want to pet the doggie, you have the right to say no.
It’s better to deal with a tantrum than a dog bite.
Keep in mind that you might be more comfortable at a park where pets are leashed.
Are you aware of what poison ivy and poison sumac look like? Do you have them in your yard?
What other things do you have growing there that might be poisonous if ingested?
Your little one is curious and likely to put pretty much everything in his mouth.
A few minutes to educate yourself can save you from trauma later.
Tips for moms and dads
Up till now, we’ve covered things to consider to keep your baby safe and comfortable outside.
But what about your needs?
For one, both you and the baby need sunscreen.
A good place to start is mineral sunscreen for pregnant moms. It’s mild enough to use on your child in a pinch. It won’t interfere with nursing, either.
Remember to reapply it if you’ve perspired a lot or gone swimming. And remember the sunglasses.
Next, the same bug spray use on your baby should be good enough to use on yourself.
Did you know that a 30% DEET formula will last for hours in the deep woods?
Then, just like you’d bring along snacks and drinks for your children, bring something yummy for you.
There’s one other thing to think about.
Would you prefer to push her in the stroller or walk with her in a carrier? If the latter, take it slow until you get a feel for how far you can go with her on your back or chest.
If the former, you can stay out for longer and go farther. Furthermore, you can bring a diaper bag with necessities for you both.
The more enjoyable time you have, the better it will be for your child, too. Then you’ll both look forward to repeating the experience.
1. https://www.lamaze.org/Giving-Birth-with-Confidence/GBWC-Post/when-is-it-safe-to-take-baby-out-in-public by Cara Terreri, published August 15, 2018, accessed March 4, 2020