Warm sunlight, a fresh wave of breeze, and looking at the cottony soft clouds are sure to improve one’s mood and freshen the mind.
How would you feel if you are confined in your house and never step outside to soak all the goodness of nature?
Bored? Irritated? Or…Frustrated?
Can you even think about staying inside of your home for a whole week? Imagine what will happen to your physical and mental health? The lockdown imposed due to COVID-19 has made us all understand and value the blessings bestowed upon us by nature.
People were craving to step outside of their houses and treat their lungs with fresh air. However, as much as we all understand how important it is for a human to step outside and take a break from staying indoors, we tend to forget that small babies need that too.
The majority of the parents are not in a favor of taking their babies outside because of safety purposes. They fear that their precious babies might be exposed to dangers when they are outside.
Parents try their best to keep the surroundings of their little munchkins safe and for that reason, they baby-proof the house to allow their babies to move safely without hurting themselves.
However, parents cannot baby-proof the surroundings outside of their house. To protect their babies, they simply refrain to take their babies outside.
Keeping the babies at home, to protect them from outside dangers is not a workable solution for this situation. The best course of action for parents in this scenario is to take their babies outside by taking safety precautions.
By taking your babies outside, you will not only make some memories with them, but your babies will also reap some benefits that will boost their cognitive and language development, and enhance their imagination alongside.
In today’s article, we will shed light on the benefits of taking your babies outside, and how you can safely introduce them to the outdoors. Without compromising on their safety.
Benefits Of Taking The Babies Outside
Don’t you just love it when your babies get excited after exiting the homes and stepping outside? Being in the open air and under the warm sunlight is sure to lift your babies’ mood and keep them happy.
But apart from inhaling fresh air and absorbing the goodness of the sun, there are some benefits in store for your babies.
When babies are outside, or in a new environment, most of their senses are engaged. Looking at the new colors engages their visual senses, hearing new sounds keeps their auditory sense busy, and if the babies get the chance to touch something, it involves their tactile senses too.
When the senses of the babies are engaged, it helps to improve their language and brain development, and also helps to make them sleep longer at night.
1. Builds Connection Between Brain Cells
When you take your babies outside, they are exposed to new views, sounds, and even textures. All these simulations engage their senses and help the brain to develop the connection between the cells. This in turn helps to promote the cognitive development of the babies.
You might think that your babies are oblivious to their surroundings and do not pay attention to them. But, let us tell you that babies are the most curious and inquisitive creatures. Even if they are comfortably lying in their strollers or clung to their mothers in a carrier. They receive all the stimulations in their surroundings such as the chirping of the birds, waves of breeze, traffic, people talking around them, etc.
You don’t have to take your babies to the top of the mountains or to the rainforest to give them a new and distinct experience, no. A walk in your nearby garden will do the same wonders.
2. Language Development
It is a celebratory moment for parents to hear their babies talk and say their first words. Did you know that taking your babies outside can impact their language development?
When you take babies outside and they see something new or exciting, they want to share it with their caregivers. They cannot use proper words therefore, they use their coos and body language to express themselves. If the caregivers respond to them and encourage them to share more it will have a positive impact on their language development.
When you take your babies outside, talk to them as if they are your friends and will understand each word that you say. For instance, if you see a red color car, show it to your baby and describe how it looks or what do think about it. Your baby will respond to you. Keep talking to him about different things and you’ll be amazed at how your baby talks back to you.
3. Helps To Sleep Better
Which parents would like their babies to stay awake? Not even a single parent would wish that their babies wake up in the night and destroy their sleep too.
If you want your babies to sleep better and longer at night, then make sure they spend enough time in sunlight.
Our bodies secrete a sleep hormone known as ‘melatonin’. If a human body spends more time in the sunlight, it has a positive effect on the production of melatonin. So, if your babies give you a tough time falling asleep, then make sure you take them outside during the daytime.
By getting enough exposure to sunlight, your babies’ cardiac rhythm will establish much quickly as compared to staying indoors. This helps them to sleep longer and peacefully at night.
If you don’t want your babies to miss out on these amazing benefits then do not fear to take your babies outside. Below we have mentioned some tips for you to prepare your infant safety checklist.
Eight Essential Tips To Safely Introduce Your Baby To The Outdoors
1. Dress Them Appropriately According To The Weather
Another item to include in your infant safety checklist is to dress them appropriately. These tiny creatures cannot tell if they are feeling hot or cold. Both the temperatures when extreme, can prove to be detrimental to your babies’ health.
Therefore, whenever you take them outside, make them wear comfortable clothes that can protect them from the harsh weather.
i. Hot Weather
When the weather is hot make sure that your baby is dressed up in light-colored clothes and minimum layers.
The bodies of the babies are different from ours. They do not have sweat glands like us adults, therefore, they cannot cool off themselves the way we do. Make them wear a cap to protect their scalp. Use the sun shield of the stroller to prevent exposure to direct sunlight.
ii. Cold Weather
Babies get cold more easily than adults as they lose their body heat faster. If the weather is cold then try to dress your baby in layers rather than making them wear one thick jacket or cardigan. It will be easy for you to remove the layers if your baby feels overheated.
Also, keep a soft warm blanket to cover your baby if the weather gets chillier.
2. Stay Away From Direct Sunlight
The first safety tip to introduce your baby outdoors is to protect them from direct sunlight. As a parent, you should take extra precautions for the protection of your baby’s sensitive skin.
You might find it contradictory to what we stated above about the benefits of sunlight. No wonder sunlight is good for your baby. However, direct exposure to sunlight will not only burn his skin but will also increase the risk of skin cancer in the later stages of his life.
As an adult, it is very easy to protect our skin from sunlight by applying a good sunblock with an SPF above 50. However, applying sunblock to the baby is out of the question for babies because their sensitive skin can develop skin allergies. Moreover, some contents of the sunblock can even prove to be poisonous to your tiny angels.
Try to stay in shade as much as possible. If you are carrying your baby in a carrier, then make sure your baby is wearing a cap to protect his scalp from the damage of the sunlight.
If your baby is inside a stroller then exercise more care as the metallic and plastic parts of the stroller can easily get hot if kept under direct sunlight. The same goes for the infant car seat. Refrain to park your car under direct sunlight.
3. Avoid Crowded Places
This point doesn’t even need much emphasis due to the prevailing condition of the COVID-19. Try to avoid crowded places as much as you can.
Not only does it expose the baby to a myriad of bacteria and germs, but also overstimulates him. When a baby gets overstimulated i.e. exposes to many sounds and activities at once; he becomes tired, cranky, or even sleepy.
Try to take your baby to a place that is less crowded and noisy. It will allow your baby to stay active and enjoy his time outside.
Moreover, you will also stay relaxed and won’t worry about your baby being exposed to any contagious disease or infection, etc.
4. Don’t Take The Baby Near The Plants
Plants are of immense importance to mankind. Life on the earth would cease if the plants are wiped out from this planet.
You might be wondering that if you take the baby near the plants, it will be good for his lungs to get fresh air infused with rich oxygen.
But…what about the tiny bees, insects, and bugs that reside inside them?
The bugs and bees can sting your baby that can develop into rashes and other skin problems. Therefore, try not to take your baby too close to a plant. If you have lots of trees near your house then make sure you apply mosquito repellent to protect your baby’s soft skin from becoming the dinner of mosquitos.
Make sure that the repellent you use is safe for your baby’s sensitive skin.
5. Never Leave Your Baby Alone
Remember a simple fact: Nobody would care for your baby more than you.
Never leave them alone when you are outside even for a single minute. Always keep them with you if they are in a carrier. If your baby is in a stroller, do not hand it to anyone else, especially to a child. Be extra vigilant if you are on a busy road.
Moreover, if you are traveling with your baby in a car then never leave them alone in the car, even if it’s just for a second. If it’s urgent to step out of the car, then one parent must stay inside to look after the baby.
Also, it is a common practice for parents to take tons of pictures of their babies. Whilst doing so they often make their babies sit on the bench, grass, or even on the roof of the car alone. Don't do that. Always sit with your baby or ask your spouse to attend them whilst you take his pictures or videos, etc.
6. Check The Strollers And Car Seats
Do you check your car and fuel level before you start your car? If yes, then you are a smart person.
It is a good habit to check the tires, fuel, and other necessary things before you ignite the engine. Do the same for your baby. Before you make them sit in the car seat or their strollers, make sure they are fit for use and not damaged from anywhere.
Don’t forget to check if the safety belts are well intact or need repair.
7. Keep All The Necessary Items With You
Babies can be unpredictable. You never know what they might need when they are outside. One minute they can get hungry and in another, they would need a diaper change.
Thus, be prepared to cater to all their needs. Prepare your diaper bag. Keep some extra diapers, a few paper bags, rash cream, wet wipes and other essential baby items. to easily change their diapers on the go.
Moreover, don’t forget about their snack time. Take warm water in the bottle and their formula milk to feed them when they’re hungry. If your baby has started to eat solids, then pack some pieces of fruits and veggies for them to munch.
8. Cleanliness And Hygiene
To make the outdoor experience safer for your babies and prevent them from falling sick, take extra measures for their cleanliness and hygiene.
Keep a pack of baby wipes to clean their hands and face if they’ve played around. Keeping in view the current condition of the global epidemic keep a sanitizer in your bag to clean your hands before you pick up your baby or touch them.
Another effective tip is to bathe your baby once they are back at home. Change their clothes and toss them in the laundry basket if they’ve been worn for longer hours.
If your baby will stay clean the germs and bacteria will stay away from his body. A healthy baby is a happy baby. Keep extra measures for his cleanliness when he returns from the outdoors.
In A Nutshell
Taking your babies outside, not only allows you to bond with them but also boosts their language and cognitive development.
So, mamas and papas, plan a barbeque, or a pool party to allow your babies to enjoy to their fullest and experience new things.
Don’t forget about the above-mentioned tips to introduce your babies safely to the outdoors. Because, no matter what, the importance of infant safety shouldn’t be compromised at any cost.