Obviously I love getting outside, being in nature under the blue sky, whether trail running or hiking, swimming or sitting in a river, playing golf, or just a short walk around the neighborhood, anything outside makes mama happy. But, I’ve definitely been embracing it more lately to get through the early weeks with a newborn. The first month was hard – screaming and crying baby and mama. How did I forget all of this hard work, or is this new little one just a higher need kiddo than the first one? After nights of the little babe staring back at me refusing to go to sleep, I stepped outside with her and stared at the green grass and bushes from all the rain and heard chirping birds and the wind blowing through the trees. This calmed us both down enough to make it through another night and day.
During these first days of getting to know the little girl, getting outside was a vital part of the day. My breakthrough for coming back to life after popping out the baby was a beautiful hike on the greenbelt one morning when she was about two weeks old. My world opened up once El Nino went away and it stopped raining. I figured out how the Baby K’tan worked and hit the trails. On an early morning hike on the Barton Creek greenbelt, I saw a movie filming and sat and typed a draft of this post sitting on the rocks next to the water with the baby sleeping in the carrier.
During this hike I realized that little girl just likes to be close to her mama and loves being outside. No more screaming during the day! Only took us two weeks to figure that out, and man what a long two weeks. After that hike I ventured outside nearly every morning with the gal around the neighborhood, on Lady Bird Lake trail with the jogging stroller, or hikes on the greenbelt and then spent a lot of afternoons porch sitting and watching our new native landscaping grow (more on this adventure later).
It turns out there are is a lot of research on the benefit of getting outside for babies, it can even help them sleep better at night. Here are a few good articles with more info on the power of being outside for babies and outside activities with infants.
- A Daily Dose of Fresh Air
- Why Outdoor Play Boosts your Baby’s and Toddlers Brain Cells and More
- The Importance of Taking Infants and Toddlers Outdoors
Here’s what I offer as keys to getting outside with a little baby. Take it easy, be flexible and find a good carrier and jogging stroller and don’t forget a blanket for a picnic.
What about being outside makes you happy?