There is no greater joy than sharing your love of gardening with a new member of the family! If you’ve recently welcomed a new baby into the family, you might be wondering how early is too early to take them out to the garden.
As long as the temperature is comfortable and the baby is protected from harsh UV rays, it is never too early to start taking them outside. In fact, there are many benefits to taking babies and toddlers outside!
Here are 5 reasons why you should start exposing your bundle of joy to the wonders of your garden.
Gets them away from screens
These days, too many children under the age of four are spending too much time in front of a screen. Agencies such as the World Health Organization have found that infants and toddlers that are repeatedly exposed to sedentary screen time are at risk for obesity-related health problems. To combat the dangers of screentime, health professionals urge that babies and toddlers spend more time engaged in physical activity.
Young babies will enjoy going for a walk with you around your garden and looking at all the flowers. Older babies and toddlers will enjoy getting the chance to independently explore the garden. Encouraging physical activity when they’re young will establish a healthy relationship with physical activity when they’re older.
Boosts their immune system
Many parents worry that taking their baby outside will expose them to germs and bacteria that will get their young baby sick. However, exposure to the non-sterile outdoors can actually strengthen their immune system. Early exposure to the outdoors can help protect children from allergies, asthma, and other illnesses later in life.
Breathing in fresh air can also reduce the chances of infection. Inside, bacteria and dirt get trapped within air ducts and spread throughout the house, repeatedly exposing your baby to old germs. Going outside exposes the baby to fresh air. Of course, you will want to use common sense. If your baby is already showing signs of illness, taking them outside could trigger their symptoms.
Establishes healthy sleep patterns
Many newborns tend to sleep all day and stay up all night. This is because their circadian rhythms aren’t yet established. Exposure to sunlight during the day helps babies learn that they need to be awake during the day, which helps them sleep better at night.
Older babies benefit from being outdoors because it allows them to be more active. Running around your garden, exploring the trees, discovering animals, and breathing in all that fresh air will tire your toddler out so that they’re ready to take a nap on one of these best selling mattress pads for cribs. A well-rested baby is a happy baby!
Feeds their curiosity
Babies and toddlers are naturally curious about the world around them. Early exposure to your garden allows them to begin learning about plants and animals. When you go outside with a young infant, talk to them about what is going on in your garden. Tell them the names of plants and trees. Brush leaves against their skin and teach them about texture.
Once your baby begins to toddle, let them help out around the garden. Give them tools that allow them to dig holes. Show them how to plant seeds and pull out weeds. Exploratory learning lets your baby examine and investigate the garden. By giving your baby time to explore, you’re allowing them to naturally learn to love the world around them.
Helps your mental health
Getting outside doesn’t just benefit your baby. It benefits you as well! Sometimes after people have a baby, they find that the sleepless nights and feeling isolated from other adults leads to depression, anger, and other negative moods. Exposure to sunlight encourages your brain to release serotonin, a hormone that helps boost your mood and make you feel calm.
Not only that, getting outside with your baby can strengthen your bond with your baby. Without the distraction of screens, you and your baby get uninterrupted time together. And teaching and exposing your baby to one of your hobbies creates memories that will last a lifetime. A deep bond with your baby can establish a lasting healthy relationship between the two of you.
If you’ve recently had a baby, there is no reason that you have to give up your love ofgardening! Share that love with your baby. It’ll improve their health, get them interested in the outdoors, and strengthen their relationship with you.
I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.