We expect nothing but the utmost for our babies. That’s why outdoor playtime is so important – it offers a range of advantages that can aid their physical, mental, and emotional development.
Sunlight provides many benefits; outdoor activities can help babies learn and remember things better. And according to recent research, outdoor naps may also help reduce babies’ risk of catching colds! So bundle up your little one and head outside for some fun!
12 Outdoor Benefits for Babies
Outdoor activities are not just for big kids. There are plenty of reasons why babies benefit from spending time outside.
The sun is a powerful force that can provide many benefits for babies. Sunlight helps to produce vitamin D, which is vital for a baby’s immune system.
Sunlight also helps to improve moods and increases attention span and memory. Additionally, sunlight is essential for strong bones and teeth.
2. Movement and Thought
When a baby is constantly moving, it uses energy and stimulates its brain. This can help with things such as focus, attention, and memory. Being outside in nature can also help to promote thoughts and improve brain function.
Fresh air and sunlight are great for overall health and help keep a baby’s mind active and healthy.
3. Nature Helps Determines Behavior in Babies
The outdoors can provide babies and toddlers with plenty of opportunities to explore their natural surroundings, which in turn helps to determine their behavior. For instance, a baby who spends time crawling around in the grass will likely be more inclined to crawl around on the floor at home.
Similarly, a toddler who spends time playing by a river will likely be drawn to water and want to play in it. In both cases, nature provides a valuable learning experience that helps shape the child’s behavior.
4. Increased Memory and Attention in Infants
The fresh air and natural light outdoors help improve memory and attention in infants. Stimulating different colors, sounds, and smells also helps to engage their senses in a multisensory fashion and improves their focus.
Additionally, being outdoors in nature is exceptionally calming for babies, which can also help to improve their focus and attention span.
5. Fresh Air Soothes Neonates
There is something about fresh air that just seems to soothe babies, and this is especially true for neonates. Fresh air helps clear the lungs and improve breathing, so newborns often need some time outdoors.
6. Babies that Snooze Outside
Sleeping outdoors benefits babies in several ways. Firstly, it helps boost serotonin and oxygen levels, improving sleep quality, relieving stress, and boosting thinking and mood.
Secondly, sleeping outside increases brain activity, which enhances youngsters’ happiness, focus, and memory. Finally, these advantages increase your child’s cognitive development and openness to learning.
According to Katie Palmer, a London-based sleep specialist, babies who nap outside may sleep longer, enjoy higher-quality sleep, and be exposed to fewer infections. However, it is crucial to keep the baby warm and bundled up when sleeping outside in the winter to avoid hypothermia.
Some days are best spent inside; a covered patio with a fireplace in the backyard may be ideal for baby naps on milder days.
7. Lower Stress Levels in Parents
In many ways, spending time outdoors can help lower parents’ stress levels. For one, being outside in nature provides a sense of peace and calm that can be soothing for frazzled nerves. Additionally, getting fresh air and exercise can help to refresh and energize parents, providing them with the stamina they need to deal with stress.
Finally, spending time outdoors allows parents to connect with their children in a fun and relaxed way, strengthening their bond. All of these elements work together to generate a less stressful environment for parents and babies alike.
8. Decreased Nearsightedness in Babies
Outdoor activities help to decrease nearsightedness or myopia in babies by keeping their eye muscles flexible. After long periods of focusing on close objects inside and walls, or screens and books, the eyes need a break.
Focusing on distant objects outside, like the sky and trees, helps to relax the eye muscles. Sunlight may also prevent or delay myopia. But, on the flip side, always protect babies’ eyes from harmful UV rays and bright sun.
9. Exposure to Nature Increases Babies’ Vocabulary
One of the main ways that exposure to nature and the outdoors helps to increase babies’ vocabulary is by providing them with a wealth of new things to see and explore. With so many different textures, colors, and shapes to take in, babies are constantly learning and expanding their vocabulary as they go.
In addition, nature provides a calm and relaxing environment that can help reduce stress levels and promote better cognitive function and vocabulary growth.
10. Outdoor Activities Help with Gross and Fine Motor Skills
For several reasons, outdoor activities can help babies develop gross and fine motor skills. First, outdoor activities promote significant muscle movement and exercise, which are essential for gross motor skill development.
Second, outdoor activities allow babies to explore their environment and use their senses, which helps with fine motor skill development.
Finally, spending time outdoors in nature provides a stimulating and enriching environment that can help facilitate overall motor skill development in babies.
11. Parent-Child Bonding in Nature
Outdoor time with your newborn and youngster promotes parent-child communication. When a person’s attention is restored, they are less frustrated, have a higher self, and can detect social cues better.
Spending time outdoors helps parents and children bond. Nature may provide divine strength and purpose. Forests, streams, and hillsides frequently inspire awe.
This may enhance the connection between parents and newborns. Outdoor time improves family dynamics. Outdoors, coherence, oneness, closeness, and getting along are common. This may generate lasting family bonds.
12. Encourage kids to take Calculated Risks
The outdoors can benefit a baby in many ways. Outdoor-playing kids are more inclined to try new things and explore their surroundings. They learn about their limitations and boundaries in a safe environment, which builds self-confidence. Additionally, the outdoors is a multisensory, ever-changing area to play, which helps impart vital life skills such as self-regulation.
The outdoors can help a baby to enhance their concentration and be calm.
When outside, the fresh smell of nature, the sound of the wind, and the sight of trees and sky. These all combine to create a peaceful environment that can help a baby to relax and focus.
Additionally, being in nature can provide exercise and fresh air, both beneficial for a baby’s health.
If you wish to spend some quality time with your baby, why not do it in the great outdoors within your backyard?
Sources of Information
Adams, C., Donnelly, C., Johnson, K., Payne, B., Slagle, A., & Stewart, S. (2010). The Importance of Outdoor Play and Its Impact on Brain Development In Children [PDF]. Child and Family Development Center In Collaboration with UMKC Nursing Students. https://www.casadeibambini.school.nz/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/The-Importance-of-Outdoor-Play-and-Its-Impact-on-Brain-Develpoment-in-Children.pdf
Lingham, G. (2021, March 18). Time spent outdoors in childhood is associated with reduced risk of myopia as an adult. Nature. Retrieved September 17, 2022, from https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-85825-y?error=cookies_not_supported&code=1b2392d2-2b07-4f5b-8035-d408758bf126