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Explore nature together at each stage of your baby’s first year. Time outside provides fresh air and a change of pace that’s both calming and stimulating for babies, and is sure to boost your mood too.

When you do go outdoors, make sure you and your baby are well protected from the sun. Be sure to avoid the sun during the hottest part of the day, wear protective clothing and use a sunscreen as your paediatrician advises.

Baby’s Age: Birth to 3 Months

At this stage, lack of sleep, fluctuating hormones and attending to your baby’s every need can lead to a roller coaster ride of emotions for mum. But it’s also a joyous time, as the bond of love builds between you.

Outdoor activity:

  • Make time for short walks with your baby in a stroller or a carrier. Even 10 minutes can be beneficial
  • Exercise and fresh air are great for your post-partum health, which often takes a back seat to your baby’s needs. A happy mummy equals a happy baby. Why? Your little one can sense when you are tense or upset
  • Babies, especially newborns, are soothed by white noise, which mimics sounds heard in the womb. Luckily, nature is filled with white noise, such as the wind in the trees, a babbling brook, and rain on a rooftop

Baby’s Age: 3 to 6 Months

At this stage, your baby starts to smile, coo and babble, and they’re able to see things around them more clearly, too. They’re not usually crawling or walking yet, but they’re definitely craning their neck to view the exciting world around them.

Outdoor activity:

  • Point out trees, grass, and flowers, saying the words for each object several times. They may not be able to say the words yet, but they’re absorbing everything they hear and see
  • Enjoy your baby’s smiles and watch as their eyes widen with a sense of wonder. So will yours

Baby’s Age: 7 to 9 Months

At this stage, your baby usually has head control and can sit up on their own. It’s a time when little explorers are bursting with the desire to get moving, and may even be crawling already. Meanwhile, mums often feel that it’s time to take care of their own health by exercising more often.

Outdoor activity:

  • Shop around for jogging strollers, baby backpacks or trailers that you can tow on the back of your bike
  • When exercising, make sure your baby is secure and get your heart pumping
  • They might also take a nap during your workout, which means they’ll be rested for playtime later.

Baby’s Age: 10 to 12 Months

At this stage, your baby is beginning to recognise that words refer to specific objects. Also, at this age “object permanence” is fully intact, which means that they now know that objects still exist even when they are out of sight.

Outdoor activity:

  • Spread out a blanket on the lawn or in a park and have a picnic
  • Your baby’s eating a variety of solid foods by now, so bring out a few of their favourite treats, along with a pile of books to read together outside
  • Gather some natural objects — a smooth rock, a pinecone, a dandelion — and cover them up with a cloth. Say to your baby, "Where did it go?" Watch as your baby delights in pulling the cloth and discovering the treasure underneath
  • Bring bubbles to blow — this classic activity never fails to please a baby

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