A lot of new parents are incredibly protective of their babies — to the point where they mostly stay indoors. However, many health professionals actually advise spending time outdoors with your newborn as it has a myriad of benefits for both you and your baby. While there are a ton of fun outdoor activities that you can do with your infant, going for a walk is arguably one that has the most impact on you and your baby’s relationship and well-being. In this post, we’ll take a look at the benefits of going on a walk with your baby and how you can prioritise their safety during your outdoor strolls.
Why You Should Take Your Baby Out for a Walk
Below, we’ve listed some of the perks of enjoying a walk outdoors with your baby.
It Encourages Sleep
All parents know the struggle of getting a good night’s sleep when there’s an infant inside the house. If you want to establish a good sleep strategy for your child, taking them out for a walk might help. In fact, a Finnish researcher found that babies napped longer outdoors — some going for as long as up to 3 hours. When babies nap on their own, inside a stroller, they learn to sleep independently. This, then, can help them sleep longer hours at night and give parents a chance to recuperate and recharge.
It Helps You Work on Your Fitness
For many mums, it can be hard to get a head start with shaving off the pregnancy pounds and working on personal fitness. Chores and tasks can easily pile up with a newborn — and an exercise regimen and diet are the last things on a busy mum’s mind. This is why it’s best to start a daily habit of taking your baby out for a walk. Other than getting your daily dose of Vitamin D and fresh air, a daily walk can help busy mums get moving and stay active.
It Can Help With Emotional Wellness
Without a doubt, having children can be a great source of happiness and fulfilment. However, taking care of a baby can also become a significant source of stress. Verywell Family’s article on the common causes of stress for mothers points out that the financial, emotional, and physical demands of parenthood can affect the emotional well-being of a new mum. To help regain a sense of clarity and alleviate their stress, mothers can use the time they walk outdoors with their child.
What to Keep in Mind When Taking a Walk With Your Baby
Before heading out for a walk with your infant, you need to make sure that the conditions are optimal and that you have everything you need. For one, check the weather beforehand to know what kind of attire to wear for you and your baby. However, it’s best to always keep a spare jacket for you and blanket for your child in case it’s chillier than expected. Also, be sure to find a walking route that’s in a safe neighbourhood and has concrete pathways for your child’s stroller.
Your baby’s comfort and safety should be your number one priority when going out for a walk. For babies less than six months old, iCandy’s guide to prams highlights the importance of having a pushchair that lets them lie flat, as opposed to one that lets them face the world. This is to aid with their lung and spinal development. Meanwhile, babies older than six months, who can sit up on their own, can definitely enjoy a pushchair that lets them see the world around them — provided you keep your distance from other people, of course. You should also store supplies in your pushchair’s storage like water, snacks, and a small kit for nappy changes.
To further secure your safety during outdoor walks with your baby, be sure to look for parent support groups that usher activities like this. Baby buggy running groups like Buggy Movers in Salford are some that can help connect you with other parents who want to find a safe walking or running route with their babies.