With Summer in full swing, it can be a bit of a challenge to figure out new and exciting things to do with a baby. Newborns and babies are so sensitive to everything including temperature and humidity that it is imperative they are not put in situations where they can end up hurt or sick. As a new parent or even an experienced parent, it can be hard to know what is a safe activity to do with a baby and what you should stay away from when you are bringing your new little bundle of joy along for the ride.
Included in this list are ten unique and easy things that you can do with your little one to break up your day a little bit and add a bit of spice to your everyday routine. There are also ten things that you should probably stay away from if you have your little one with you for various reasons, some of these may seem like common senses and others can be a bit of a surprise! One of the most important things to remember when taking your baby anywhere in the summer is to pack lots of fluids and always protect your baby completely from the sun!
20 Play With Water
Although it is best for babies to stay away from large bodies of water dipping their feet in a kiddie pool is a great way to cool down their body temperatures on a hot summer day. According to an article on Today.com, it is best to slowly acclimate your baby to water by starting off small. If you do it slowly and not all at once your baby will reward your patience with some giggles and maybe even a smile or two! Once they get a bit older and have mastered controlling their heads then you can allow them to sit in a kiddie pool and enjoy splashing around.
19 Breakfast In The Park
Making sure that your new little baby gets some fresh air is important for their health and development. It can be tempting to keep your baby holed up in your house away from any germs but some fresh air is a good way to build up their immune system while also exposing them to new sights and sounds. Depending on where you live it can get pretty hot in the summer, therefore it is always best to bring your little one outside in the beginning of the day. The morning sun has not reached its full peak and you can still snag a couple hours of coolness before the real heat kicks in. This is the reason that having an outdoor breakfast, which most likely consists of a bottle, is a nice choice for your baby.
18 Take A Morning Walk
Once again, fresh air is good for your baby as long as it is done in moderation and before it gets too hot outside. A nice morning walk is a great way to get outside and feel the sun on you without risking your baby getting too hot. So pop your little one into their stroller with a sunhat or shade and head out for a nice morning walk. It is best to try to get your walk in before the sun reaches its full peak. Once that happens it will most likely be too hot for your baby and it will be best to skip the walk and stay in the shade or air conditioning. If your baby is outside in the extreme heat, even with sunscreen, they can develop heat rash which is very uncomfortable.
17 Go For A Short Hike
Now this one may seem a bit strange to do with a baby but it is actually a great way to get your blood pumping and give your baby some fresh air. Of course, it's important to wait the allotted time after having your baby before performing almost any physical activity but once you are cleared by your doctor it is a great way to spend some time with your baby and work some muscles that haven’t been used in a while. Like always, it is best to do anything outside with your baby in the morning because it will be a lot cooler and make it as short of a hike as possible. You don’t want to get to the top of a mountain with an already fussy baby and have to hike all the way back down.
16 Mommy & Me Class
This is one of the best ways to spend some quality time with your baby, form a special bond as well as meet other moms who have a baby around the same age as yours. The best thing about mommy and me classes is that they are almost always inside in the air conditioning so you won't have to worry about your baby getting too hot during this activity. Also, most libraries or community centers offer them for free or for a small fee so you won't have to break the bank to do something new with your baby during the summer.
15 Library Story Time
There are not many things that your baby will understand or comprehend for the first couple of months. However, there have been a ton of research that one of the best things to do from the moment that you find out there is a little one is growing in your belly is to read to them. They may not understand all of the events that are happening in the books but they will begin to hear different words and sounds which will help them form words at an earlier age than kids who were never read to. Most libraries have some sort of story time for you to bring your baby to which is another great indoor activity for the hot summer days.
Now this one may sound a bit crazy as this is a list of things to do with little babies but this can actually be something fun to do with even newborns. Just put a little bit of paint on their feet and let them squirm all over the paper. They will create their own version of a masterpiece and also tire themselves out for a nice long afternoon nap. At the end of this activity, you will have a cute little painting that you can frame or put in their baby book. This is something that you can keep forever and whip out when they become a famous painter who travels the world.
13 Spend Time With Friends
Once you get the all clear from the doctor that it is ok to take your new little bundle of joy around other children then why not plan a couple of play dates? Your baby will get to make some new friends and have some valuable interaction with other children their age. Even when they are super young interaction with other kids is important for their development. Moms will also get to hang out with their friends who they may not get to see very often and swap some crazy stories. Of course, it is always best to have playdates inside in the air conditioning and in someone's home as opposed to a crowded, public place.
The aquarium is a great place to bring babies because it is so visually stimulated that your little one will not know which way to turn. Since most of them are relatively dark inside the fish tanks will really appeal to your baby's senses and get their little minds working. This is also another indoor activity that you can do with your baby to make sure that they are staying cool and out of the sunlight. This can become something that you and your little one do every year with a group of friends or family so be sure to extend an invite to anyone you can think of as there is something for all ages!
11 Mommy & Me Yoga
Now this one may seem a bit crazy if you are not one who is into yoga too much but it is actually a great way to get back into shape after having your little one as well as enjoy some quality bonding time with your baby. There are some yoga studios and gyms that offer classes but this is something that you can also do in the comfort of your own home. There are a ton of tutorials online that can help guide you in the right direction if you have never attempted yoga before. Be sure to try this activity when your baby is awake and the most alert, most likely the morning.
Depending on where you live, going to the beach every weekend is somewhat of a tradition for many families. It is typically an inexpensive way to get out of the house and enjoy some sunshine. However, it is not the best for your baby for a couple of reasons. First off having your baby in sunlight for long periods of time can result in sunburn and an uncomfortable baby in general. Most sunscreens are not recommended for young babies so your baby will have almost no protection. Even if they are out of the sun they can suffer from heat rash depending on how high the temperature is, this is both painful and uncomfortable.
9 Boat Rides
Boat rides can be fun in the summer because it is typically cooler on the water than anywhere else. However, the strong winds that usually occur when you are on a boat are not good for a baby. The strong winds can cause ear infections in young babies and is generally just uncomfortable for them. Also, the direct sunlight and heat can be a big problem for babies like always. It is best to save the boating outings for when your little one is a bit older and can understand everything about it a little bit more. However, if the boat has a cabin a short trip shouldn’t be a problem.
8 Long Road Trips
When your baby is just a newborn they will most likely not last very long in the car without getting fussy. So for their first summer, it is always a good idea to plan short road trips instead of cross country ventures as you will most likely find it more frustrating than anything else. The number of times you will have to stop for feedings, changes and just general fussiness will make your trip double the time and stress. If you do have to take a road trip with a newborn then it is always a good idea to feed, change and burp your newborn right before you get in the car so they can sleep peacefully for at least a little while.
7 Outdoor Activities When The Sun Is The Strongest
Until your baby is old enough to move around on their own then they will most likely despise the sun and everything that comes along with it. Depending on where you live, the summer sun can be powerful and nearly impossible to get away from when it is at its highest point. The sun is at its highest and most powerful in the middle of the day, according to americanskinassociation.org, this is between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Therefore it is best to avoid doing anything outside for long periods of time during this time as your baby is most at risk for sunburn, heat rash, etc.
6 Busy Restaurant's
Now this one can be a bit tricky because most places are busier in the warmer months but when possible it is a good idea to avoid packed out restaurants or large crowds. This is mainly for the obvious reason that there are a lot of germs in busy places. However, germs multiply when it is warm outside so it is best to avoid busy places with your baby at least for a little while. According to Babycenter.com, it is best to wait at least two months before bringing your baby to a restaurant or other busy place. Before then a baby’s immune system is so weak that they are literally susceptible to every germ and disease out there.
5 Public Pools
During those long summer days, it can be very tempting to grab your little baby and head down to the pool to cool off. However, it is not a good idea to put your baby in the pool right away for a couple of reasons. The first reason being that the chemicals can cause them to break out or have some sort of reaction. The second reason is that in public pools or large bodies of water, like a lake, there is a ton of bacteria that can give your baby an infection or cause them to get sick. According to Babycenter.com, it is best to avoid any pools or bodies of water until your little one is at least two months old because they will then have the chance to build up some sort of immunity towards germs and bacteria.
4 Being Outdoors During A Heat Wave
This probably goes without saying because most people know that babies cannot be in extreme heat. Most sunscreens are not recommended for small babies and even a sunhat will not protect a newborn from heat rash or sunburn. According to fitpregnancy.com, if the temperature is over 80 then a baby’s body can not cool off as is should. Babies do not sweat like adults do so their bodies have virtually no way of cooling off. Therefore if the sun is beating down it is best to keep your new little bundle of joy inside and away from the sun
3 Being By A Bonfire
One thing that many look forward to when the warmer months descend upon us is bonfires. Bonfires are a great way to spend time with family and friends because they are usually at night meaning you get to escape the sun and heat. However, it is not a good idea to bring your little one around bonfires, mainly for obvious reasons like having your baby near an open flame is not a good idea. But also because they are outdoors at night, this means bugs and lots of them. A bug bite to an adult is annoying and an inconvenience but to a baby, a simple bug bite can land them in the hospital. So why not find a babysitter for your little one and use a bonfire as a moms night out with friends or your significant other
2 Outdoor Activities At Night
A bonfire is not the only outdoor activity that you should avoid with your baby. Until your baby is older it is best to keep them indoors when the sun goes down because bug bites can cause major problems for little ones. In an article on thebump.com, it is recommended that if your baby does happen to get a bug bite or two to watch the area and make sure that they are not developing an allergic reaction. It is best to take your baby for a walk in the early morning or right after dinner before the sun goes down if the days are sweltering and you are bursting at the seams for some fresh air.
1 Dressing In Extra Clothes/Accessories
Now, this tip may sound a bit strange because if you are not going to dress your baby in clothes then what are you going to dress them in? By this, we mainly mean that if possible try to dress your baby in as few clothes as possible. It can be hard to resist some of the cute and high-end outfits on the market that come with every accessory you can imagine. However, all of these cute accessories will only make your baby even hotter and more agitated on those long summer days. When they are just hanging around the house a diaper or onesie should suffice. Even if you are going out a onesie will provide enough coverage to your baby’s skin without causing them to overheat.
References: today.com, thebump.com, fitpregnancy.com, babycenter.com, americanskinassociation.org