5 simple ways to get outdoors with baby this summer

Originally printed in the pages of Simply Family Magazine’s July 2017 issue. Never miss an issue, check out SFM’s digital editions, here article by Angela Douglas featured photo by Jana Graham Photography When you have a newborn or infant at home, it’s pretty easy to become extremely content in your air-conditioned living room. After all, everything you or baby needs is basically right at your fingertips! Fussy? Take your pick of toys or swing! Hungry? No nursing cover necessary! Napping? Helloooo mama time! Blowout? Have no fear. The bathtub is near! Yes, we all love the comfort and convenience of being home, but sooner or later you need to get out of the house. Fresh air and sunshine is good for the soul and you can bet baby will enjoy it too! Leaving the house doesn’t have to be a big production, here are five super simple ways to get outdoors this summer:

Backyard Bubbles

It doesn’t get much easier than this. Gather up your picnic blanket, sunscreen, sunhat, bubbles, and baby and head out the back door for some fun in the Montana sun! Not only will you gush over your adorable baby as they watch the bubbles float by, but it’s also a great development opportunity for their visual tracking skills as they follow each bubble. A win-win!

Take a Walk

Put some pep back into your step with a nice long walk or even a short jaunt around the block. Whether you’re looking for a way to ease back into your pre-baby exercise routine or just trying to squeeze some sort of activity into your day, walking does the trick! You can even turn it into a social event by inviting a friend along for a nice long gab session while baby contently sleeps or coos along the way. Maybe include a fun destination – coffee? Ice cream? Smoothie? Whatever suits your fancy! Grab the stroller, some water, a few baby essentials and you’re well on your way!

St. John’s Summer Concert Series

Who doesn’t love some good tunes on a warm summer evening? For the past 20 years, St. John’s Summer Concert Series has served as a fun, free, family-friendly outing on Thursday nights during the summer. Bring a blanket and get cozy with your baby and honey as you enjoy a nice night being serenaded by some of Billings’ finest musicians! See this summer’s concert schedule at sjlmevents.org.

Visit the Zoo

Taking a trip to ZooMontana is a fun outing for everyone. Baby will love checking out all the different animals – and you’ll have just as much fun making animal sounds for each one! If you have a newborn, the zoo is still a welcoming environment that allows you to escape from your routine for an hour or two, as you stroll along with your darling sleeping beauty. For zoo hours and announcements, visit: zoomontana.org.

Cool off at the Pool

From spray parks and splash pools to swimming pools and water parks, Billings offers a variety of options for cooling off on a hot summer day! Your little one will love splashing around, while watching all the other kids play around them. If you’d rather avoid the crowds, set up a wading pool in your own yard. Visit billingsparks.org for a complete list of city pool and spray park locations.

Keeping Baby Safe in the Sun

  • Infants under six months of age should be kept out of direct sun because their skin is too sensitive for sunscreen. It is safe for babies six months and older to wear sunblock. Apply broad-spectrum (SPF 30+ sunscreen is suggested).
  • Put a wide-brimmed hat or bonnet on baby.
  • Dress baby in lightweight clothing that covers their arms and legs.
  • Use a stroller or car seat cover to keep baby in the shade.
  • Baby sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection.
  • Try to avoid mid-day walks when the sun is high in the sky.
about the author...Angela has lived in Billings for eight years and considers herself a Montana enthusiast! She enjoys being active and exploring the great outdoors with her husband Miles, and 1-year-old son Dylan. As a new mom, Angela loves seeing the world through her kiddo's eyes and is learning to pause and soak up all of the little things.