Parents sometimes overlook the value of spending time outdoors with their tiny ones. It almost seems natural to take a toddler outside, but a baby? What can they do outside? Taking your infant outdoors provides them with a baby development experience that will benefit them forever. There are unique sounds, colors, lights, sensations and textures that a baby can experience and process each time they go outdoors. Many parents report that their fussy children become calm when they go outside. This isn't surprising since there is so much for a baby to take in when they go out.
Why is Going Outside good for Baby Development?
Think about how calming it is for you when you take time to go outside and smell the fresh air, bask in the sunshine and listen to the birds singing. It is the same for your baby but even better. Your little one has probably never seen, heard or experienced bird songs, the smell of lilacs, the splash of a fountain, or the texture of a cottonwood pod. By exposing him to these new experiences, you help him build neural pathways as he processes what is going on around him. A side benefit of taking your baby outside is that she will begin to associate being outdoors with happy fun times and will want to be outside more and more. Outside. Away from the tv and video and electronic gaming systems.
Outdoor Activities For Baby
From her first days of life, I started taking my baby girl on morning walks with my dogs. Now that she is almost a year old, she loves the walks as much as the dogs and I do. I find that she points things out to me that I have tuned out. For example, earlier this week, she whipped her head around and pointed. I couldn't tell what she was looking at until I noticed a small bird in a bush that was singing. She saw it and enjoyed it. Not only that, but she processed it and brought it to my attention. When she is outside, she takes it all in. A benefit to me is that I get to experience nature through her eyes.
Try taking your baby outside this week, regardless of his age. A fun thing to do with your little one is to take him around and show him leaves with different textures. Help him feel the different textures and explain the different types of leaves (if you know them - if you don't, it doesn't matter to your baby). We have a stone fountain that my daughter loved to watch and listen to when she was tiny. Now, at 11 months, she loves putting her little hands in the stream of water and feeling the rough texture of the stone. Use your imagination. Nature provides an unlimited canvas of learning and bonding opportunities for your and your infant.
Try this outdoor activity for baby experiment
Take your baby outside each day for the next week, if only for a few minutes each time. Note how she reacts. Pay attention to how her behavior may change when she goes outside. Use the opportunity to re-charge and bond with your little miracle. Make notes about the experience. In the months and years to come, you will look back over those notes and smile. Perhaps more importantly, you will be helping your baby grow and develop. Take your baby outside today - it's natural for baby development!
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