Inside: Are you a new mom looking for activities for infants during the summer? See our list of practical things to do with a newborn baby after you give birth.
I remember how refreshing it felt in the gentle spring weather, to be home with my new baby after four days of being in a hospital room. I was finally able to take a stroller walk down the block as my postpartum body healed. But two months later when the summer heat arrived, things got a big trickier.
I felt limited in what I could and could not do with a newborn…because having a newborn baby around in the summertime can make things a little complicated when it comes to getting out. Infants can’t be exposed to direct sunlight until about 6 months of age — the age at which their delicate skin can handle sunblock. It’s also even harder to get away without stressing, if you are nursing and feeding on demand.
But that doesn’t mean a new mother should be trapped indoors all season! You might be surprised, but there are actually a number of safe summer activities that baby can partake in…you just have to be a little savvy about it.
Here’s an easy way to start: 4 simple activities mommy and baby can enjoy throughout the sizzling summer months!
Things to do with a newborn baby in the summer months
1. A Walk in the Park
A simple stroll around the local park (or block) is a great way to get some fresh air and a change of scenery. Just secure baby into stroller and make sure he/she has ample shade from the sun’s harmful rays (which can still be present on a cloudy day too). An easy way to do this, is by making use of your strollers natural awning, if that’s not sufficient you can use a breathable receiving blanket to extend it. (Note: For safety reasons, just be sure to never completely cover baby’s carseat/stroller with a heavy blanket which could be dangerous!) If you need more more protection from the sun, consider a baby-safe stroller fan to add a fresh breeze.
I was luckily to also have a snap-n-go which made transitioning from car to stroller and house much easier to handle. The soothing ride will usually put baby right to sleep — and if he’s awake, it’s a chance for him to explore the new world!
2. Picnic in Backyard
Your backyard can be the perfect solution to “getting away” when you can’t actually go too far away. Just find a shady area near a tree or umbrella and throw down a comfy blanket (this easy-to-clean water-resistant picnic blanket is a must for babies and toddlers and I wish I had purchased it sooner!). Then just grab a few snacks for yourself — baby will enjoy the summer breeze and nature sights around him and mommy can unwind for a little bit while taking time to smell the roses.
3. Mommy & Me Classes
Whether it’s yoga, a baby gym or swim lessons there are quite a few options when it comes to escaping the heat through mommy and me classes. All of these classes are a great opportunity to bond with your baby through movement while offering him a number of developmental benefits. Plus, you can make some new mommy friends in the process! (You can read about all the benefits for new moms in taking mommy & me yoga here.)
If you’re having trouble finding things to do with a baby near you, start with a simple google search [name of activity + your town]. That will bring up a few options for you to search through.
4. A New Mom’s Group
This is my personal favorite and area I’ve been learning more about recently. It is very important to have some sort of support group to turn to after giving birth to avoid a host of issues like postpartum depression. Participating in a mom’s group (especially as a new mother) gives you the opportunity to share personal experiences with others going through the same thing. You can share stories about things like nursing, bottle-feeding, swaddling, crying babies etc. and even cultivate life-long friendships.
What better way to stay cool and meet others in the same boat? It’s definitely something worth exploring and contacting your hospital about.
Another easy way to find mommy groups is through local Facebook pages — almost every town has a local page and if not, be the first to start one for new moms in your area. It’s an easy way to find baby classes, get feedback and start your mommy tribe.
As a new mom it may be tempting to just stay in all day and prevent heat exposure and exhaustion that way. Just because the experts warn against exposing a newborn baby to large crowds doesn’t mean you need to lock yourself up in your room like a hermit.
Truth be told, doing this only increases the risk of mommy losing her sanity and being a bit more prone to postpartum depression. Doing little things each week outside of the house, even during the hot summer months is an important part of a healthy motherhood.
Don’t get cooped up indoors all summer! Trust me, I know it can be challenging with a newborn on board but there are ways to enjoy even the hot days with a little research and prep. Start small and be easy on yourself, mama!
What are some activities YOU like to do with baby during the summer time?
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Ana, a mom to three rambunctious little boys, has supported hundreds of thousands of women throughout their pregnancy and motherhood journey since 2012 as a blogger and maternal health advocate at MommysBundle.com.