With the arrival of summer, Arthur and I are still heading out on lots of walks as I mentioned in my last post. My trainers might not be seeing much running at the moment, but they’re still getting the miles in pounding the pavements. As well as our walking adventures, I’m keen that Arthur spends time outside as part of our day-to-day activities. There are many things we’ve been doing together to allow him to experience the outdoors and nature on a regular basis, so he hopefully grows up seeing it as an integral part of our lives. Obviously most of these are summer outdoor activities, and a little weather dependent so we’ve been making the most of the recent sunshine!
Summer Outdoor Activities
I’m exclusively breastfeeding at the moment, so we can dine ‘alfresco’ when we’re out and about, as well as in the garden. It’s definitely more tricky now Arthur is a bit older as he gets pretty distracted by what’s around him, but I’m hoping that it will become normal for both him (and me) to feed outdoors. We have mostly just sat in the garden so far, but I did feed him whilst we were walking around Gardeners’ World Live in Birmingham a few weeks ago, sitting outside one of the show gardens under a tree!
Outdoor Play Time
Spending time on their front helps babies to strengthen their neck, core and arm muscles in preparation for rolling, sitting and eventually crawling. It’s something you can do with them from birth, slowly building up the amount of time that they spend on their tummies. I’m not going to lie, Arthur hated ‘tummy time’ to start with and would just lie down with his head on the mat! It’s only in the last month or so that he’s become more interested, and will look up and reach for the toys around him. We love this padded play mat from Etta Loves – it has black and white patterns on one side (newborns prefer bold black and white images until their eyesight develops) and colourful patterns on the other.
From day one we’ve tried to introduce Arthur to lots of different noises so that he will nap in different places – James got the hoover out the day after we came home from hospital! Four months is a bit of a challenging time for sleeping generally (what naps?!) but in the early days we would come back from a walk and park the pram in the garden for him to carry on sleeping outside. I highly recommend the Rockit portable baby rocker which attaches to the pram handle, helping to keep a gentle rocking movement going once you stop walking.
Everything is new for babies, so introducing them to the simplest of things like the feel of grass on their bare feet is a huge sensory experience. We have some wooden windchimes in the garden which Arthur loves listening to, and when we’re out on walks I try to let him look up at the trees and see the patterns of the leaves and the clouds in the sky – as long as it’s not too bright and sunny! We also have a bubble machine which blows bubbles of different sizes for Arthur (and others) to watch – everybody loves bubbles no matter what age they are!
Mr Wheezy aka James is a big fan of gardening, hence the trip to Gardeners’ World Live. Arthur sits out in his bouncer and watches James as he mulches the flower beds or weeds, and James carries him around the garden or the greenhouse pointing out different flowers. A few weeks ago, the whole family planted sunflower seeds to see whose would grow the tallest – at the moment Arthur is definitely winning the sunflower race!
I’m looking forward to some more water-based play as Arthur gets older – if we have another hot spell like we did recently I’m definitely going to get a paddling pool with the excuse of needing it for the baby…
It’s been hard to keep Arthur cool in the hot weather, and we have to make sure he stays in the shade when we are outside or on walks too. It’s recommended that babies under 6 months don’t have suncream on their skin as it’s too sensitive, so we’ve been making sure to wear a hat, using the sun sail on our Silver Cross pram, and sitting in his Anti-UV Babymoov tent. He’s also been wearing some lovely summery shorts and t-shirts from adidas which are made of really lightweight cotton jersey material. The waistband on the shorts doesn’t dig into his stomach and there are poppers on the necks of the t-shirts to help with taking them on and off easily. We’ve struggled with heat rash and eczema in the past few months, so having breathable outfits during the summer is really important to ensure Arthur can keep enjoying his fun summer outdoor activities!
NB: adidas items purchased with a gift card awarded as part of my role in the adidas blogger community.