The dog days of summer bring an incredible sense of freedom to any parent that has been trapped inside for the winter with a tiny baby. Although babies cannot run around on the playground like older kids, they will enjoy being outside watching the world go by and breathing the fresh air. Just about everything is new to babies; they will explore their world by wiggling their toes in the grass and smelling the flowers. There are a number of fun things to do with a baby in the summer.
Have a Picnic
Babies love to explore the world with their eyes. Wheel the highchair outside and let your baby have a picnic. The change in scenery will be good for everyone. Your baby will learn a lot about the world by watching the birds and bugs in the backyard. They might just distract her long enough for you to get all of her food into her mouth. The best part will be leaving the sweeping to the squirrels.
Babies older than 6 months are ready to try the pool in the secure embrace of a caregiver. The American Academy of Pediatrics cautions that taking swim lessons will help your baby feel comfortable in the water, but will not prevent your baby from drowning. Parents should keep all children within an arm’s length near the water. Babies also love the feeling of sand between their toes, so take your baby to the beach. If the beach is far away, try filling a shallow container with sand or cornmeal. Give her scoops and shovels and bring the beach to your backyard.
Balls are entertaining toys at any age, especially when playing outside. Around 3 months of age, babies will begin to play with balls as they spend more time on their tummies and lift their heads. This is also the age most babies begin reaching for things and trying to grasp them, which makes playing ball exciting for them. Babies who can sit up will love rolling a ball back and forth with their parents or playmates. Ball can be played alone, one-on-one or in groups.
Babies are too young to blow the bubbles themselves, but they will enjoy watching them drift around on the summer breeze. If the thought of blowing bubbles endlessly leaves you breathless, buy a bubble-blowing machine. A number of companies make a variety of designs that make bubble blowing easy. Encourage baby to reach for the bubbles, but be careful that they do not pop in her eyes.
Sunscreen is not recommended for babies under 5 months old. It is essential to protect a baby’s delicate skin from the sun’s rays with sun hats, loose clothing that covers her or umbrellas and other forms of shade. It is also important to keep your baby hydrated in the summer heat. Water is not recommended for little babies, so be sure to have plenty of breastmilk or formula available. Never leave a baby in an enclosed car or other small space without ventilation.