Everyone loves something about being outside.
We can only spend so much time cooped up in our homes watching TV and tapping and talking on our various devices.
There are extremely important health benefits from exercising, breathing fresh air and generally communing with Mother Nature. Fresh air and exercise are known to be particularly beneficial for postpartum moms, for example.
All this is especially true for babies and infants. They often seem the happiest in sunshine and under a bright blue sky and they deserve to enjoy this opportunity as often as possible. Just a simple walk in mom and dad’s arms or a short trek in a stroller can do wonders for a temperamental tot. Point out trees and critters. Let him handle (perhaps wrapped in plastic or other protection) a rock, pine cone or flower. Start teaching him to count with the petals of a flower. Have fun imitating birds, dogs or even vehicle sounds.
It should go without saying (but parents do sometimes overlook it) that many babies tend to be very fair-skinned and they should be protected with head covering, baby sunblock, or both. Special sunblock formulas are readily available for babies of specific ages.
But sometimes we find the need for some additional gear or equipment. We’ve already recommended a selection of baby swings and similar products that are particularly suited for outdoor use but there are other useful items as well.
Here are several that will help your baby and the rest of the family enjoy some time outside:
JJ Cole Outdoor Blanket
When picnicking or simply taking a breather outdoors, any old blanket will probably do but this attractive, 5-foot-by-5-foot version is water-resistant, folds easily because of its sewn-in insert and comes complete with a detachable strap. It’s easy to protect the babe from the bugs with this stylish blanket, which comes in an assortment of color combinations.
Summer Infant Pop ‘n Play Portable Playard
This cleverly designed, freestanding portable play area is impressively spacious at 14 square feet. It has a lightweight but sturdy metal frame and takes only a few seconds to set up and take down. It is also very compact and it comes with its own travel bag. The mesh sides allow the baby (or babies) to see and hear everything that’s going on in the environment. If you have a child who’s just beginning to stand, note that the sides are 26 inches tall.
Early Leaning Centre Frog Baby Shade Pool
We haven’t mentioned water yet, and here’s our chance with this clever, frog-themed baby pool. Not just a simple ring, this product boasts an inflatable back to protect your baby from slips and bumps and it also serves to screen against dangerous direct sunlight. For safety’s sake, it only accommodates enough water for splashing. Note, however, that a baby in any amount of water should never be left unattended, not even for a second!
Signstek Instant Pop Up Portable Outdoor Travel Baby Beach Tent Crib
This product offers more of a tent-like look and feel with its overhead protection (great for that sudden summer shower!). It pops open and closes in just a few seconds, closing down into a very compact, 14-inch disc, much like a car windshield visor. When in use, it measures 43 x 27 x 20 inches, which should be plenty of room for the most active baby.
KidCo-GoPod, Portable Baby Activity Station
This clever device is perfect if simply observing the wonders of nature isn’t enough for some babies. It’s a foldable nylon device that allows the baby to be safely kept in a standing position while accessing his favorite toys. It has protection for bare feet down below as well. The metal frame is light yet sturdy and reliable. It’s 30 inches high.
Children’s Unisex Indoor/Outdoor Lightweight Denim Blue Kids Ivy Cap
We mentioned head protection, right? This snazzy cap will give your baby a sporty, jaunty look while also keeping the hazardous rays of the sun away. It’s all cotton with a soft, denim feel and comes in sizes to fit newborns to 6-year-olds. The elastic back guarantees a perfect (but comfortable) fit. A moisture strip absorbs perspiration.