Every parent is concerned about their baby’s health. You want to do whatever you can to raise the happiest, healthiest baby possible. It might mean researching the right formulas, buying organic baby food, or using an air filter in your house to keep the air clean.
Keeping your little one happy and healthy can be a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be. Going outside is a great strategy to add to your arsenal of raising a healthy and happy child.
Increase in Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for both adults and babies. Although you can find vitamin D supplements that can help, the best way for you and your child to get this important nutrient is by going outside.
Fortunately, getting vitamin D by going outside is effective in the summer and the winter, even if it means you have to get your little one bundled up to go out. Try and spend at least a little bit of time outside each day.
Going outside and getting enough vitamin D boosts health by:
- Helping the body absorb calcium
- Regulating the immune system
- Supporting the healthy development of bones and teeth
Improve Physical Development
Babies are learning how to move and interact with their environment as soon as they are born, and boy do they learn fast! Even very young children can grasp and pick up things in their environment.
Heading outside is a great way to help your little one develop gross and fine motor skills. All children are motivated to pick up sticks, pick flowers, and play in the sand. Simple tools like shovels and buckets can keep little ones entertained for a long time.
Encourage your child to develop their fine motor skills by doing activities like:
- Painting with water and mud
- Collecting sticks and stones
- Drawing with sidewalk chalk
Improve Language Skills
Talking to your baby matters. Little ones with parents who speak to them regularly have better vocabularies, which in turn predicts success when they get to school.
Reading is one great way to spend more time talking to your little one, especially if you explain what you’re reading and what you see on the page. Another great way to work on your baby’s vocabulary skills is to take him outside.
Allow your little baby to explore, even if it just means peeking over the blanket and watching an ant crawl through the grass. Then, talk about what it is you’re seeing together. Point out the ant and the color of the grass. Talk about the sky, the trees, and the squirrel playing in the tree. Babies are naturally curious about nature, and there’s a lot to talk about when you head outside!
Create Healthy Sleep Patterns
Have you ever noticed that you are really tired after a day spent out in the sun? Our bodies have to work a little harder when in the heat, and that’s a good thing, especially if you have a little one that has trouble sleeping.
Although you shouldn’t go outside during a heat advisory, it’s a good idea to go out and play in the sun for a little bit each day. Not only is it fun, but it can help tire your baby out so he will take a nap.
It’s not just the sun that can help your child maintain healthy sleep patterns. Exposure to daylight, even if it’s windy or cloudy, can help your baby sync up with his circadian rhythm.
It Can Soothe Fussiness
Infants, babies, and toddlers can all get fussy from time to time. Unfortunately, figuring out exactly what is wrong can be extremely difficult. If you have tried feeding or changing your little one and they’re still cranky, it’s time to get a bit more creative.
There is a lot of advice out there on how to soothe a crying baby, but did you know going outside can do the trick? Fresh air may be all it takes to calm both you and your little one down. The change in light, air temperature, sights, sounds, and smells can distract him from whatever was making him upset, calming him right down.
Caring for your baby’s health requires a comprehensive approach. It includes what he eats and what kind of environment he lives in, but it also includes heading outside! Make time to go outside from a very early age and your child will reap the benefits throughout his childhood and beyond.