Fun Ideas To Entertain Your Baby This Spring & Summer
Fun Things to Do With a Newborn This Summer
Have a newborn baby? Now is not the time to be cooped up inside. Warm weather awaits! Here's your definitive list of fun things to do with your new baby this summer.
BY LINDSAY TIGAR AND KATE ROCKWOOD
Fun in the Sun
In case you've been trapped inside, breastfeeding every few hours, changing more nappies than you knew could ever exist and generally catching sleep whenever the opportunity arises, we have something to tell you: It's summer (almost)! It's beautiful outside! It's warm!
And though having a tiny baby might make you sometimes feel a little overwhelmed and disconnected from the outside world, the good news is, most newborns are highly portable. If you catch one of those lengthy naps, you can basically do anything—if you dare to step out on the green grass and look up at the blue skies.
If you're worried about what you can do (that's normal), we have you covered. Here are some awesome ideas for things to do this summer with your newborn babe. You can do it, New Mama! Summer awaits!
Take a Fab Field Trip
Zoo: If your baby lights up every time you reach for Good Night, Gorilla, he’ll have a blast pointing to lions right in front of him. You don’t have to make a day of it, either. Have a laugh with the monkeys and then head home for naptime.
Butterfly Conservatory: Strap your sweetie into your baby carrier for a stroll through a world of fluttering, colorful creatures. If one lands on your baby’s head, make sure someone’s there to snap the moment.
Botanical Garden: Many of them now have playgrounds and fountain areas that are a haven for toddlers. And you get to smell the roses and feel like an earth goddess.
Animal Farm: The snorts and brays may fascinate or startle your baby at first, but if you enjoy the sounds, he’ll take his cue from you. Plus, chickens bobbing IRL is awesome-sauce!
While Running Errands, Make a Pit Stop
Play With Water: Dip your baby’s toes in an outdoor park’s water fountain and get rewarded with peals of laughter.
Admire New Construction: Pause across the street from that big cement mixer; it’s fascinating for wee ones, and really for anyone. How do those things work?
Visit the Local Farmer's Market: Life is good when you can teach your baby his colors by strolling the produce stands! Also, it’s an opportunity to hit up the dog moms so your baby can meet a furry friend.
Head to the Pool
Many community pools will post designated times for family swim, when the crowds thin out and you don’t have to avoid splashing teenagers or serious lap swimmers. Hop in and watch your baby’s face light up as she experiences the magic feeling of weightlessness for the first time.
Host an Art Show
Buy a big box of chunky sidewalk chalk and sit beside your babe, doodling all over your driveway or sidewalk. It doesn’t matter if he isn’t old enough to draw his own stick figures. He’ll enjoy “helping” you and you’ll end up with a colorful entryway to your home.
Breakfast Picnic in the Park
When to Go: In the morning, before it gets too hot. Ya know you're up already!
What to Bring: A few diapers, the carrier (if baby is big enough), some portable breakfast items for you (go ahead and munch that smoked salmon and deli meat now!), a blanket, book to read and an umbrella (in case it's really sunny).
What to Expect: Baby might cry, but hey, it's morning and probably a random Tuesday, so who really cares? While he is quiet, you can squeeze in time to take in the views and the sun, or catch up on a book you've been meaning to read since your second trimester.
Who to Invite: No one but your babe. Enjoy your time, Mama!
Brunch With the Girls
When to Go: Saturday around 11 a.m. Brunch places rarely open earlier (so you might have to have a pre-breakfast breakfast) and the drinking crowds won't arrive until after their hangover wears off, around 1 p.m.
What to Bring: A few diapers, the carrier (if baby is big enough) or the stroller, and your chicest diaper bag (the one that looks most like a handbag).
What to Expect: Go ahead and make reservations (or get Baby's god mommy to do that work for you), and let the girls coo over your newborn. They'll probably want to hold her, so let them. It gives you a break, and if you make sure to feed baby right before you leave, she'll probably be sleepy. If you opt for that mimosa, wait at least two hours before you nurse your sweetie.
Who to Invite: The girls. (Or any of your friends who like babies!)
When to Go: In the morning, before the sun gets to it's hottest peak around noon.
What to Bring: Just the babe, some baby sunscreen and suitable coverage in case it's too hot.
What to Expect: If you're baby is still less than two months old, it might feel like any task outside of the house is too much. Challenge yourself to at least explore the backyard—check out those bushes you planted, pick up sticks—whatever it easiest for you to do. The fresh air itself will rejuvenate you!
What to Do:
-Picnic Breakfast: Skip the hot noon sun and spread a blanket in the a.m. When you’re done, lie back with your babe and watch the clouds shift shapes (when’s the last time you did that?).
-Bring Out the Infant Bathtub: Because those kiddie pools look Olympic-size to a 4-month-old. Fill yours so you have just enough water to get him wet while you play together.
-Try a Sprinkler: Move your garden sprinkler to the patio, and run through it holding her.
-Always Bubbles: We have yet to meet a baby who doesn’t squeal at the sight of them floating from a wand!
-Welcome the Birds: If your backyard feels bereft of wildlife, hang a bird-feeder and wait a few days. Watching sparrows swoop in for a snack while you and your sweetie swing in a hammock or sit on a blanket will take lazy-day lounging to a new level.
Who to Invite: Your new bestie: your baby!
Head to the Beach
When to Go: If you're up at sunrise, go then. Being up that early is only worth it if you're at the beach, right?
What to Bring: A few diapers, an umbrella or small tent to keep baby protected from the sun, a baby carrier (if baby is big enough), sunscreen (for you, hubs and baby), blanket and books! Also bring an inflatable baby pool and park it by you under your beach umbrella. Then fill it with a couple inches of water and some toys. Your cutie will have a ball without getting sand in every nook and cranny!
What to Expect: Your newborn will likely sleep while at the beach, but check with your doctor before bringing him into the water. Infants under two months might not have the immune system needed to fight bacteria often found in the sea, so its better to hold off paddling until after that. Also, babies of all ages have difficulty regulating their own body temperature, so if the waves feel chilly to you, you can bet your little guy will find them even chillier. Either way, while you're there, let baby snooze in the tent or under the shade of the umbrella while you and the hubby enjoy the view through your sleep-deprived eyes.
Who to Invite: The baby, and that handsome hubs of yours.
Take the Long Way to Get Iced Coffee
When to Go: Whenever that gotta-have-caffeine-right-now feeling strikes.
What to Bring: The carseat if you're driving, the stroller if you're walking, and a few diapers.
What to Expect: If you desperately need to get out of the house—or you might have a meltdown—use your daily cup of coffee (or three, if that's your thing. Hey, you're not pregnant anymore!) as your excuse. Get out the stroller or baby carrier and walk off frustrations together. After all, it’s not winter—you don’t have to worry about coats or hats for either of you, and it’s light outside well after dinner. You may as well take advantage! Take the long way there, put on some music, and take your time. There is no rush, and Baby won't mind the extra time outside.
Who to Invite: Your fellow mama friend who needs a break from the nursing room, too.
Mommy and Me Yoga
When to Go: During the time when baby is awake for longer periods or when she'll take a nap long enough for you to make it to savansana.
What to Bring: Baby's stroller, a few diapers and your yoga mat.
What to Expect: Lots of yoga studios offer restorative yoga or classes designed for mom and baby. If your babe can stay alert to make it through class, let the instructor guide you. Or if he'll sleep through it, enjoy the postnatal stretch on your own.
Who to Invite: Your fellow new mom pal who wants to take a chance on summertime yoga, too.