Babies require a lot of care. They have sensitive skin, soft bones, and developing immune systems that make them more vulnerable to danger than adults. That said, people tend to overestimate their fragility – while their body systems greatly improve with age, you can take infants out in public within days or even hours of their birth. Just mind proper safety precautions.
Cabin fever is a real issue among mothers. Extending their confinement won’t do any favors to their well-being. Most people believe they need to stay at home with their babies for at least a month before both are cleared to travel, but babies are actually tough enough to leave their homes hours after their birth. You’ll discover a whole new world that allows all these activities with your baby, though some of these may come later than others.
- Coffee Shops
- Neighborhood Walks
- Swimming Pools
- Pet Stores
- Stroller Walks
- Plant Pressing
- Treasure Hunts
- Beach Walks
- Ice Cream (Frozen Breastmilk for Them!)
- Nature Hikes
- Bubble Blowing
- People Watching
- Play Dates
- Stuffed Toys
- Dress Up
- Library Tours
- Park Strolls
- Bird Watching
- Star Gazing
We’ve come up with a few safe, adventurous options to try your hand at after giving birth. Just think about what sounds the most appealing to you down below! Note that some of them do recommend a certain minimum age for your baby, but we’ll indicate them as they come up.
Postpartum yoga serves as a nice way to ease back into a more active lifestyle, and some classes even let you include your babies in the routine. Mom-and-baby yoga classes make use of a thick blanket for the baby to lay in comfortably, though it’s rare for them to remain placid throughout the session.
The nice thing about mom-and-baby yoga is that the environment is specifically designed to accommodate mothers and their children. The workout area will be clean, quiet, and considerate whether you’re rocking, feeding, or exercising with your baby. Sometimes the instructors might even hold the baby for you to strike a few yoga poses while caretaking.
While yoga does make for a good option, it’s not one you should spring for immediately. You want to hold off until your baby can lift their head on their own, which means an age somewhere around the three-month mark, though six months old is preferable.
2. Coffee Shop
Coffee shops always have such an atmosphere to them – soothing, homely, aromatic. They make for a cozy place to meet with family and friends, easing back into the social side of the world.
You can even take a few sips of coffee while drinking in the ambiance. Just don’t overdo it, as small amounts can sneak into your breastmilk while feeding. Limit yourself firmly under 300mg of caffeine, which usually amounts to about 2-3 cups of coffee. Sugar content doesn’t affect breastmilk quality, so feel free to indulge on that front (just mind your own health!).
3. Walking Around the Block
Not every trip needs a destination. Sometimes the journey itself makes it all worthwhile. Spending quality time with your baby to take in the neighborhood view can be a wonderful bonding experience. You can even do it at any point in the day, unlike some of the other time-dependent options present here. Just mind the sun, as babies have very photosensitive skin.
Groceries are among the best place to bring babies. They’re filled with a lot of eye-catching shapes and colors that are wonderful at keeping a toddler’s attention. The pushcarts are usually built to accommodate children, so you’ll hopefully have a manageable time going through different aisles.
Younger babies will be dazzled by the huge array of distractions while older infants can start practicing using words to express what they see. It’s a nice, safe, and accessible way to improve your child’s intellectual development while getting some needed shopping done.
It’s not completely risk-free, but fortunately the biggest concern there is quite manageable. The worst that could happen is an item on the shelf catching their eye, followed by them throwing a tantrum if they don’t get what they want.
There’s no harm in letting them hold onto it for a short so long as they don’t ruin the product. Try to entice them with something you were going to buy anyway to avoid any issues with the store.
5. Swimming Pools
Swimming has a lot of great health benefits, especially done early on in development. The activity promotes muscle growth, motor skills, and balance in children. There are even classes specifically dedicated to training infants as young as four months old to swim safely.
The more obvious benefit is the reduction in drowning risk among infants. This is more of a concern in states near large bodies of water or coastlines. Swimming with your infant also makes for a decent alternative exercise to yoga class.
There are a few risks that need to be considered before swimming. Babies can’t regulate their body temperature like older children, so cold water will rapidly sap their warmth. While infants do have a diving reflex – immediately holding their breath when submerged – it’s not very reliable. Testing it could just lead to your child swallowing dirty water, which might make them ill.
A bit of sunbathing can reduce jaundice risk on top of promoting vitamin D formation in their little bodies. It’s a nice option, and you can even do this on the way to trying other things on this list. It does come with a few caveats to address if you want the best experience.
As mentioned earlier, babies have very sensitive skin. A bit of natural light is fine but harsh, direct exposure will pose a significant health hazard. Stick to the sun early in the morning (5-8 am), as anything past that point can be a bit much for them earlier in their lives. This baby activity should be done very carefully to avoid skin cancer risk down the line.
7. Read Them a Book
While they might not commit the story to memory, newborns love to hear the voices reading them. Try to find a nice, relaxing spot with a good book to rest at and read your adorable child a few excerpts. It doesn’t matter if it’s a cute story about velveteen rabbits or your college physics textbook – so long as it’s you that’s reading it to them, they’ll enjoy the experience.
8. Pet Stores
Animals are always a welcome sight, and going on a short trip to a nearby pet store may as well be zoo day for your little tyke! They’ll be safe to view behind glass panes and steel containers. Going on a window-shopping spree could really perk both of you up.
Of course, exposure is always a concern – especially for younger babies. Some animals might be carriers of human diseases or have recently come in contact with sick handlers. Infants are still developing their immune systems and are more susceptible to illness than adults.
We’d recommend saving these types of trips past the six-month mark. Clarify any potential allergies your child may have and do not let them touch anything without proper disinfection.
9. Finger Painting
It might sound like a recipe for disaster, but there are a lot of edible fingerpaints in the market. Let your child’s creative passion run wild at thumb-point. Just observe how much work they put into their magnum opus – what’s not to love?
Obviously, don’t give them inedible paint. Those blends are toxic, and even if by some miracle the child didn’t slurp it up, you’d still be dealing with dangerous fumes being exposed to their still-developing respiratory system. Even for edible paint, it’s better to wait for your children to hit the six-month mark before taking them on this activity.
10. Stroller Walks
Yoga makes for a nice workout, but it’ll take a few months before you and your child are cleared to do that. While you might have your hands a bit full for a proper aerobics workout, that doesn’t mean you can’t stretch your legs a bit with a stroller walk.
You will need dedicated jogging strollers for this, as normal strollers lack the fixed front wheel. This makes the latter very difficult to handle at higher speeds or difficult terrain. Jogging strollers are meant to handle conditions normal strollers can’t manage. They boast better performance, handling, and stability while fast walking.
Stroller walks are appealing because they allow mothers to ease back into the groove of exercise, building back their endurance. The infants will also be very appreciative of the stroller’s movement gently rocking them to sleep. It also has the added boon of improving your child’s balance, spatial awareness, and general coordination – especially at high (but still safe) speeds.
This can be done at any point in the day, as the stroller can protect them from direct sunlight or biting winds. Keep your stroller walks under an hour long and never leave your child unattended.
11. Plant Pressing
Going on a short nature tour with your kid would do everyone some good. It’s always nice to be a bit more in tune with the earth, but it’s not safe for infants to play with insects and other small creatures – most of them have some sort of defense mechanism that could leave them sick or crying out in pain. Plants are generally less actively defensive and are much safer to collect.
They can stumble onto something a bit riskier like poisonous plants, and these cases could lead to rough conditions like itching and rashes. Some might even cause allergic reactions, which are very dangerous that early on in their immune system’s development.
When going with them to press plants, be sure to supervise during the process. As usual, ensure that they don’t put any plant specimens in their mouths.
12. Treasure Hunt
Babies are naturally curious and tend to be drawn to things that catch their attention. You can’t go wrong with something shiny. Pinpointing things off their sense of sight is much quicker for infants than using other senses at their disposal.
Make sure their play area for the hunt is properly sanitized and free of debris. It would also be best not to use household objects to play the role of treasure, as these items might end up displaced randomly in your home. Keys are at particular risk of that.
Pocket mirrors make for great improvised treasure if you need options, and might keep their attention for a long while if you’re fortunate. Don’t use small objects like coins, as they also pose swallowing hazards.
13. Beach Walks
Long walks on the beach don’t have to be romantic all the time. You can celebrate a different kind of love and still enjoy the feeling of sand between your toes.
Beach walks with your baby are best done very early in the morning or when the sun goes down. If you’re doing it early in the day, try to keep your walk brief – no more than ten minutes. You have a bit more leeway at night, but in either case, be sure to bundle the infant up snugly to protect them from the elements.
14. Ice Cream (Frozen Breastmilk For Them!)
How could you ever go wrong with ice cream? It’s one of the few sources of pain relief for both physical and emotional duress – of which babes bring an abundance off (along with joy!). Be sure to stock your freezer thoroughly, and bring a thermally-insulated case if you’re going out for a bit.
Keep your supply to yourself, though – ice cream isn’t good for babies. That’s because most commercial ice cream is loaded with artificial sweeteners or sugar.
Some flavors also have other additives that might end up as either choking hazards (cookies), allergy risks (chocolate), or both (peanuts).
While they can have ice cream after the six-month mark, it’s best to wait until they’re two years old before serving them anything store-bought. Instead, just give them frozen breastmilk! They’ll fit all their nutritional needs, with the added benefit of mitigating teething issues for your child.
These make for an awesome way to cool your infant off, and you can even include fruits and other soft food in the mix once they hit the six-month mark.
Once your baby passes the six-month mark, you’ll be permitted to feed them soft food. This is the best time to prepare picnic plans. Milk is both very temperature-sensitive and quick to spoil, so making these plans before that age will be unfeasible.
The picnic might take you someplace without refrigeration. It could also be someplace warm, which affects how well your food might travel. Keep teething biscuits in your basket as a layer of insurance. Scrambled eggs and pasta are your next choices of fare, as they have some level of durability against the elements. Your children’s main meal should be soft fruits, but those are liable to spoil quickly. Make sure you have enough food to provide a healthy helping for the both of you!
16. Nature Hikes
Nature hikes provide a walk with a view and can be a welcome way to pass time with your child. It’s not a top recommendation, because a lot of things need to be accounted for to ensure the best experience. The sun bearing down is bad for your infant’s sensitive skin, and insects and animals could hassle you two during the walk. Be sure to cover up properly to mitigate those concerns, as this baby-bonding activity can get a bit strenous.
Infants adore music – for good reason, as it improves their physiological, psychological, and intellectual development! You can get your melodic fix anywhere from a concert to a restaurant performer playing a gig, or even just the mall’s speaker system. Possibilities are endless, and any songs are welcome among listening children.
While babies aren’t too picky on song choice, we’d recommend a few genres: namely reggae, classic rock, RnB, and orchestral compositions. All of these are pleasant and easy on the ears, while also offering a little something for the parents too!
18. Bubble Blowing
Babies are absolutely dazzled by bubbles. They reflect prettily in most lighting and can be made with soap and water with ease. Entertainment and cleanliness in one convenient package!
Soap isn’t edible, so be mindful of where your child puts that blower. Try to be the one in control of it most of the time, and only encourage them to blow on it while you’re watching them. Soap may also burn the eyes, which is a notable danger for sensitive newborns. Even if it just gets on their body, it still poses a risk to dry their skin out significantly.
You may use castile soap, which is one of the best soap choices for babies. It foams without burning and doesn’t dry skin due to being made from vegetable oils. Castile soap won’t be making that many bubbles, though. Stick to castile soap with infants for their safety, but once they’re a bit older you can start allowing them to play with normal soap (with proper supervision).
If babies like reading and music, singing falls the perfect distance between those activities! Babies love to hear your voice. It doesn’t matter what you’re singing or even how good you are – to a child, their mother’s voice is the sweetest sound in the world. Kindly feel free to indulge their excitement, and share in those wonderful, carefree moments of song and shared warmth.
Dancing is also quite fun and also doubles as a decent workout. When your baby is a little bit older, you can even include them as a partner in your new routines. The best songs for dancing with them are ones they’ve already developed some familiarity with, like nursery rhymes.
Be careful not to shake them too much – no one wants their brain jostled. Babies are quick learners and will pick up on cues for new moves at a remarkable pace. After six months, they’ll be decent partners to work with rather than adorable – albeit drooling – props.
21. People Watching
People-watching can be a decent way to pass time with your baby, and you can do it in a whole lot of venues. Look for a nice crossroad with decent foot traffic and just take in the people flitting about like busy, little bees.
Be sure to include your child in the experience by making up stories or even just pointing out all the eye-catching individuals you spot. That said, it might take a while for them to also start looking along with you – babies need to be at least a year old to see clearly.
It’s also a dreadful exposure risk if you chose to observe in a crowded area. We’d recommend going for venues that offer some level of isolation: either thick glass, high elevation, or both. The second floor of a restaurant makes an excellent choice for this, on top of providing a nice meal.
22. Play Dates
Play dates with other parents and babies have a lot to offer. They give you much-needed time to spruce yourself up and enjoy like-minded company, which you’d likely be starved of in the later stages of pregnancy. What play dates have to offer – along with their risk – change drastically with age, so bear the following ranges in mind. They do make for an accessible activity with your baby, so don’t discount the opportunity for them (and you) socialize!
Before the six-month mark, babies are essentially props for conversation. They won’t even be able to lift their heads up properly! They’ll just be little, giggling lap warmers that drool a bit.
Between that and a year, you can allow them to play with other babies. The extra stimulation works wonders, and if both of you are lucky your own kids can successfully maintain one another’s attention, allowing you to just unwind with someone who understands the lifestyle.
Babies more than a year old tend to develop a modicum of clinginess, which makes these play dates a bit less effective. They also end up with separation anxiety when away from their caregivers – especially if left in the company of unfamiliar faces. You’ll need to ease them into the presence of new people, bit by bit. Eventually, their fear will dissipate, so just bear with the process.
23. Shopping For Stuffed Toys
Infants and stuffed toys get along quite well – though the relationship might be a little one-sided! That’s perfectly fine since stuffed toys allow infants to develop attachments and social skills outside of their immediate caregiver’s company.
These also help encourage babies to pretend play, allowing them to nurture their creativity and imagination. Through this, they learn the valuable skill of self-soothing, which is especially important for situations where caregivers can’t lend a hand.
Clean your child’s stuffed toys at least once a week. Avoid using toys that shed fabric, since they’ll inevitably end up wedged between your baby’s teeth.
DO NOT let them sleep with the toy. It’s a very clear suffocation hazard, and should never be left with them unattended. A bit of play is perfectly fine, but you don’t want them napping with these toys – especially when they’re large enough to smother them.
24. Dress Up
Fashion waits for no mom, and infants make for the most adorable models! It’s important to buy clothes often, as babies will grow out of their wardrobe very quickly. You’ll be dropping in the store for their sake anyhow, so why not let your precious little one tag along?
25. “Baby and You” Photoshoot
Time to commemorate the both of you! Babies grow fast, so you want every moment of your shared growth captured through that journey. “Baby and You” photoshoots document that process, giving you something more tangible than fond memories to look back on.
Photography studios have nice, warm lighting, and maintain good sanitary conditions. They make for a safe spot to bring even newborns to. Babies also happen to be naturally photogenic, so all you’ll have to deal with is picking out your pose – that is, if the baby isn’t bawling their eyes out.
26. Library Tours
Libraries are calming in ways few other venues can achieve. The world awaiting behind bookcases is soft and silent, with cold winds carrying the aroma of old paper. You don’t even need a book in your hands to read the atmosphere. Libraries work wonders flushing anxiety straight out the body.
We wouldn’t recommend bringing an infant that’s throwing a fit inside – be considerate to the other patrons. If your precious baby is well on their way to sleepy town though, hauling them in could only improve on that. They make for a nice place to stay to round out a tiring day.
27. Park Stroll
Parks could be considered a less exhaustive alternative to nature hikes, maintaining most of that crucial greenery without tiring you to nearly that extent. Going for a walk in nice, autumn air can do wonders for the mood. Like library tours, park strolls make for a nice choice to unwind.
Please be careful about stray animals that might pop up in the vicinity. We’d also advise against setting your baby down on those benches, as public rest areas are breeding grounds for bacteria. You can afford to be a bit more relaxed once your child passes a year old, but prior to that point, it’s best to play it safe and steer clear for everyone’s sake.
Playgrounds are tailor-made to accommodate kids. They tend to be populated with other caregivers minding their children, with all the noise and energy that’d warrant. They’re the equivalent of mixers for parents, and provide a safe space for them to take care of their children.
It’s also one of the few places where crying children are part of the ambiance, so you don’t have to worry about bothering people too much if your little one throws a fit. The extra wary adults also provide another layer of priceless security to the venue.
Generally, you only want to bring them into playgrounds once they hit six months of age. Their immune systems and general fragility put them at significant risk – especially from other children.
29. Bird Watching
Bird watching is a great activity to kill time. Unlike insects or plants, it’s unlikely for your child to get ahold of these specimens. There’s less risk of them eating something they shouldn’t have, and you can also do this at any point in the day.
Some birds are also musically-inclined and can captivate babies with their chirps and songs. All in all, bird watching is just a nice activity bound to keep your infant’s attention with very little danger. It’s also not venue-dependent, and can even be done while traveling to other fun spots.
The night ambiance is just perfect for babies. It’s very tranquil and can help ease you and your baby into a more peaceful frame of mind. You can even use this time to tell them about the stars – it won’t matter what you know, so long as you keep talking to them! Keep them engaged during this activity, and the two of you can end the day on a strong, nurturing note.
Important Health Considerations
Babies are still developing their bodies, so they have a lot of health considerations that older people already outgrew. They tend to slip one’s mind easily, which is dangerous as these genuinely pose significant health risks for infants. Below are a few general considerations you must bear in mind.
- Babies can’t regulate their body temperatures the same way younger children can, making them susceptible to temperature extremes – especially when swimming.
- Babies have extremely sensitive skin, which makes them vulnerable to sunlight exposure.
- Babies have developing immune systems. While they can be taken out even hours after birth, mind infection risk and other dangers while traveling.
- Babies will put things they find in their mouths with no regard. Keep them far away from choking hazards, poisonous materials, or electronics.
There’s a lot you can do with your newborn – it’s not all bedrest and feeding. Babies are delicate, so they need a lot of care, but they’re less fragile than we give them credit for. You’re more than welcome to take them outside of the house days or even hours after they’re born. While out, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover all those neat activities you can do with your adorable baby!