Taking Baby to Playground Tips
Now that you are comfortable with your bundle of joy and have yourself a rhythm going, you may want to venture out beyond the perimeter of the home. This is especially true if you have older children who are rambunctious and climbing up the walls.
Taking baby to the playground is one of the best bonding adventures that you can have with the whole family. Depending on the age of your baby, the playground may be just another venue to sleep or a carefree zone to explore. Let’s consider some tips on taking baby to the playground below.
1. Choose a Nice Day
When taking baby to the playground, you don’t want to go out when the weather forecast is predicting record heat, rain, or overcast skies. Choosing the ideal day can make their first adventure in the playground a positive experience.
If you choose the wrong day, you may inadvertently conclude that they don’t like the playground very much. But any baby will become irritable if the weather is hot, muggy, wet, or too cold for playing around. A dry day that is about 80 degrees and clear is the perfect time to take baby to the playground in new summer wear.
The more remote the area, the more you will have to show your baby. Choose a playground that is located near shallow streams, a beach, or other interesting natural landmarks. An inner-city street court that hosts the local urban basketball leagues is probably not a great choice.
You want your baby to be immersed in the totality of the experience, all the natural sights, fresh breezes, fragrant flora, and even some interesting fauna if you are lucky. And the truth is that your baby is still a very sensitive part of you.
Therefore, when you feel even the slightest bit of discomfort, your baby will feel it a whole lot more. Taking baby to the playground on a nice day and in a beautiful area makes the experience pleasurable for the whole family. Taking baby to the playground on just any day is nothing memorable.
2. Avoid Unsafe Playgrounds
You should also choose a playground that has quality equipment. Many playgrounds are rusted and in disrepair. A playground that looks like it is well maintained will put you at ease when your older kids want to jump around on swings, slides, and other equipment.
And while you do want to go someplace that is rural and remote, you don’t want to find yourself desolated and alone in the middle of nowhere. These areas probably have overgrown grass and other undesirable features. Find a popular valley or suburban playground that is in a campground, park, or nice neighborhood.
And because the UV radiation is strongest between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm, and especially 1 pm to 3 pm, you should time your arrival for half an hour past three. This will give you plenty of time to take advantage of the warm weather and daylight without risking a bad sunburn or discomfort.
3. Pack Accordingly
Taking your baby out to a nice playground can put you in destinations that are outside of civilization and home. For this reason, you should be fully prepared for anything. This means that you should bring extra diapers, extra formula, a cooler, snacks, and a comfortable shirt for breastfeeding.
And because playgrounds don’t always have an area to change babies, it’s smart to plan ahead and think of how you will change your baby in a pinch. Many parents have a tailgate in their SUV cargo area that they can safely change a baby in, no matter where they may travel.
4. Find a Place to Change Your Baby
Most parents will prepare to change the baby in the privacy of their car or truck. They may lay a blanket down and use the seats as a changing station. However, at many parks, there are both playgrounds and changing stations inside of bathrooms. You may find that it is more comfortable for the whole family to find a nice local park with a playground.
And if you have other younger kids who are running around, you should always ensure that you have plenty of cold water. Heatstroke and dehydration are the top issues that people experience when they engage in outdoor activities during the warmer seasons. By staying hydrated, looking for shade, and watching for signs of profuse sweating that may indicate that it is just too hot, you can keep your family out of danger.
Some playgrounds and parks even have their own swimming pools, natural ponds, or waterpark areas. These can be a bonus activity if you have a swim diaper for your baby and don’t mind getting a little wet yourself. Remember never to swim with your baby or put them into water that you would feel uncomfortable going into even if it is just to wade their feet.
5. Prepare for Injuries
And when taking baby to the playground, you should also pack a First Aid kit that is full of band-aids, antibiotic ointment, and even acetaminophen if your kids fall and experience pain. It is common for even a tiny cut on a child’s toe or a small scrape from falling off a bike to turn into a major tantrum that requires immediate attention.
Make sure that you pack a comfortable baby carriage. You should never expect your baby to feel comfortable if they are forced to sit next to you suspended in a car seat. And the carriage should have a sunshade to protect your baby’s sensitive skin.
6. Apply Sunscreen
You may want to ensure that your other children are protected with sunscreen. The risk with sunscreen, however, is that they may feel nauseous and dizzy if they get any in their mouth. Applying it carefully and ensuring that they don’t transfer the lotion to their mouths can be a challenge.
Babies can use sunscreen if they are at least six months old. However, it is generally more effective to keep them in the shade and to use a sun umbrella, sun hat, or other shade to shield their delicate skin. A high-quality sunscreen will have an SPF of at least 30 and contain zinc.
7. Excite Your Baby
When you are taking baby to the playground, don’t forget that they are the center of attention. This is a trip for them to feel the cool breeze on their skin and to breathe in the fresh air. It may also be one of their first experiences out in nature.
Although they cannot go out by themselves and play around like older children, you can still get them playing with things and excited on a sensory level. Taking baby to the playground can be a lot of fun because you can see how they react to elements, such as soft sand, cool water running through their toes, or lying on soft grass.
Because babies aren’t going to get the same level of athleticism or intellectual stimulation as an older child or adult, the focus should be on helping them to feel different textures. Let baby feel a smooth river stone rubbing across baby’s palms, feet, or even his or her cheeks.
Baby may start to giggle, bounce, and flail his or her arms. The entire experience can be stimulating, a break for the ordinary. Letting your baby see, smell, and touch flowers is another fun learning experience. Although you should always identify any plants before letting baby near them, introducing them to nature is a treat for parents and baby alike.
8. Take Breaks
Taking baby to the playground can be very relaxing. You can expect more privacy at a park with secluded trees and foliage. This is the ideal atmosphere to breastfeed and unwind.
And when taking baby to the playground, you can even bring your very own foldable camping chairs. Most parks don’t have very comfortable seats. If you bring a collapsible camping chair that is made of canvas or even a hammock, you can enjoy the experience a lot more than you would on steel benches or wooden picnic tables.
9. Plan a Cookout
Taking baby to the playground doesn’t have to be all about baby. You’ve done such a good job as a mother or father that you deserve a treat. And a regional or state park with a playground can be a real treat. Most of these recreational areas also have a place for grilling some food.
Have yourself a cookout by bringing your own little Hibachi or using some tinfoil to take advantage of whatever grilling area may be available. If you pack your cooler with fun treats that kids love, you’ll find that everyone wants to come to the playground a whole lot more.
You can marinate the steaks or chicken for your shishkabobs the night before and have some really delicious cuisines. In fact, there are a variety of foods that are popular and perfect for cookouts. Try any of the fantastic foods below and make taking baby to the playground like a personal vacation.
- Corn on the cob
- Thawed Macaroni and Cheese dinners
- And so much more …
Taking baby to the playground should be a memorable event. By following these tips and finding the best park or playground for the event, you can memorialize it in video and photographic moments. These memories of their first days and activities will be precious to both of you as you mature. Enjoy the simple times while they last!