Encourage your baby to chase butterflies and swallow nature whole.
Most parents would agree that when you are at home and the baby is unsettled and you have tried everything and nothing seems to be settling them or changing their mood, that getting outside in the fresh air whether it be a bush walk, a walk in the pram, a play on the sand at the beach or down to the local park, there is always a positive shift in moods. All of a sudden things seem that little (or a lot) better and clearer. The child's mood lifts, your mood lifts and you wish you had come out hours earlier. Another fantastic opportunity is to head the the snow throughout winter. What a wonderful experience for your little one to feel the snow crunching between their gloved hands.
The younger your child gets outdoors and with nature, the more beneficial it is for their bodies and mind.
Spending time outdoors, feeling the breeze on their face, touching the different textures that nature provides, feeling the grass and dirt under their feet, watching the bright, beautiful and rainbow colours that the world has on offer, seeing creatures move about, watching bugs and insects flying, walking hopping around, seeing the trees sway in the wind, watching the bright glow of the sun or feeling the rain drops on their cheeks- these experiences that nature and the outdoors have to offer babies and children are endless.
- Physically children have the space to run, jump, bounce, lay, stretch and tumble around. Trees promote oxygen, which is a great way for children to breathe in fresh air and really help their lungs grow and expand. Sleep is also improved when you get outside daily.
- Emotionally they can feel at peace, feel free and unrestricted.
- Socially, this is time to play with friends, run around with parents, sit and learn about the animals and flowers with their grandparents or explore on their own as they discover the amazing wonders this world has to offer.
- Sensory stimulation can not be beaten while being out in the elements. What the baby can see, touch, hear, smell and taste is limitless.
- You may get out into you garden to plant some new seeds for flowers or your vegetable patch. Let your baby sit down on the dirt. Don't be afraid to let them get dirty. That's where a bath will come in handy later.
- Have a picnic in your backyard on the grass.
- Lay down in your yard on some lovely soft grass and read your baby books.
- Take the baby carrier and go for a park, beach or bush walk.
- Head to the local oval with a ball and let your baby hop down and crawl around on the grass. Even laying on their tummies is fantastic.
- Babies that are only sitting and aren't moving much yet, will have the most amazing time watching everything around them, looking up at the trees move about, seeing the birds fly in the sky and people running everywhere. They can still take in so much while just sitting and watching. Babies are like sponges and soak in absolutely everything more than we will ever understand.
Try to get outside with your baby every single day, letting your little one out of the pram is so important too. They need to be able to "touch and feel" nature. If some days this isn't possible, a pram walk around the block is better than nothing. The fresh air, the sun and being outside will make everyone's mood happier and refreshed. It is invigorating for your mind and body.
So what are you waiting for, plan your adventure for outdoors now and tomorrow your new daily routine starts! Have fun!