Those early, blurry days of new parenthood can make it seem that your life is just a steady parade of feeds, burping, nappy changing and trying everything you can to get everyone some sleep. You’re tired, unsure and probably overwhelmed most of the time.
Want a quick-fix pick-me-up survival tip? Grab your bub and get into the outdoors!
If BB (that’s “before-baby”) you were more inclined to spend your spare time outside, up mountains or deep in the bush, then this will be something you’ll be keen to find a way back to. If, like many of us, the occasional trip to the national park or beach (when not hunting for the perfect latte) was more your style, then taking a small person out for an excursion like this may seem more like a Bear Grylls-type endeavour!
Here at Take My Hand, we’ve got some BestPlay tips for making the move out to the fresh air, green (or watery-blue!) spaces and sunshine. Keeping your little one safe and happy while rediscovering your own sanity isn’t really too hard to balance. Baby steps are all you need (yes, we know, our puns are hilarious!).
Make up a small back pack containing some basic essentials such as baby snacks, nappies, sunscreen, insect repellent and a hat and keep it handy for those times when the opportunity to stop and go for a walk pops up. If you can fit in a beach towel (those lovely round ones double beautifully as a picnic rug!), then you’re set! Take more than you think you’ll need for bub to eat and drink if they’re up to that stage, or otherwise, make sure you have enough for you to drink on the way. Then pick your chosen destination! It can be as fancy as a driving to your local national park or as simple as venturing out to a local park for a while, or even just your backyard, if you are lucky enough to have oneI Not to sound like a party pooper but if you are planning on going off the beaten track for a bit, just make sure you think about possible hazards such as large bodies of water, slippery nature paths, animals (we’re looking at you, snakes) and even mosquitoes. Safety first people!!
So why am I doing all this, we hear you ask? Well, being outdoors does amazing things for babies. You may find your baby is calmer, and you will be too. They’ll have new sights and smells to think about. Even just lying on a towel, watching the sunlight through the leaves of a big tree is a wonderful thing for someone who can measure their life-span in months, not years. Why not lie down with them and watch the clouds float by together? Give your little one a seed pod or leaf to hold, or put their feet in the sand to feel its grainy texture (making sure the things you give them are safe for them to hold and play with of course!)
It’s really all about creating opportunities for you and your little one to connect with each other and nature in a fun and easy way. Do it as often as you can – especially after those horrendous, sleepless, walk-the-floor-for-hours-on-end nights. You’ll both love it and definitely feel better for it!