By Sandy Pedrogao
When you’re a new mom, it’s easy to get lost in the routine of sleeping, diaper changing and feeding. It can sometimes feel like Groundhog Day, and it’s easy to get cabin fever and spend time wondering how to fill your days — without involving a mop or a washing machine.
Remember that your local park is not just for dogs and kids. You and your newborn can and should enjoy countless afternoons at the park.
Being around nature will help your mood and mental health, and give you both the fresh air and sunshine you need to flourish as a new team.
Getting outside in the daytime will also help set your baby’s circadian clock and help you both sleep better and longer at night. There are so many benefits to enjoying your park and best of all, it’s FREE!
Here are some tips to make your outing an enjoyable one:
Make sure your diaper bag is fully stocked; you may have to change your baby’s diaper while you’re out.
A blanket will come in handy for diaper changes, tummy time and just lounging under a tree.
Be prepared with an extra feed. If you’re breastfeeding, amazing, you don’t have to worry. If you’re not, don’t forget to bring a couple of extra bottles with you.
Today may be the day your baby is extra hungry or you may meet a friend on your walk and you don’t want to have to rush home because you don’t have enough milk for your baby.
Bring a bottle of water and a snack for you. If you’re nursing, you’ll find that you’re hungrier and thirstier than usual.
Pack a book or magazine in your stroller. It’s lovely to read while you sit in the park during your baby’s sleep. It’s not often that you get to read or spend quiet time by yourself, so plan for it!
Remember to stay out of direct sunlight with your baby. You shouldn’t be applying sunscreen to a baby less than six months old, so make sure she is dressed appropriately. Look into a sun canopy for your stroller with UV protection. This will make it easier to venture out on a sunny day without exposing your baby to harmful rays.
Getting outside is important for you and your baby.
Fresh air, sunshine and walking will help with your
mood, and seeing and talking to other parents in your neighbourhood will give you a sense of community and connection.
You just had a baby – time to introduce him/her to the world, starting at your local park!
Sandy Pedrogao is the editor and co-founder of Oh Baby! Magazine and www.ohbabymagazine.com. She is also the co-producer of The Baby Show, Ottawa’s largest early parenting show. When she’s not running her business and parenting her two children as best she can, she can usually be found enjoying real life or online conversation.
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