As a new mom, you may feel pretty confined to your home. This is especially true for nursing mamas who may feel uncomfortable breastfeeding in public. However, it is important for the health and happiness of both you and your little one that you get outside to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.
One of the biggest benefits of time spent outside is the additional vitamin D your body will absorb while you are spending time in the sun. Not only does this ensure your body remains nutritionally balanced, it can actually help fight postpartum depression. This makes it even more important to go out of your way to get some time outdoors several times a week.
So where can a person go to spend some time outside with their little one? Well, there are actually a number of places that you and your baby can enjoy together.
Below we have put together a list of our top places for mommies to get in some quality outdoor time with their little ones.
The Neighborhood Park
Perhaps the easiest outing for a mother and child is the neighborhood park. After all, it's nearby, it's free, and there are nearly always other parents hanging around to chat. That said, many moms are hesitant to take a small baby to the park. After all, it isn't like they will be sliding or even swinging any time soon. Still, the park does offer a good opportunity to get out of the house, meet other parents, and maybe take a quick stroll.
It's so relaxing to lay a blanket and picnic lunch out and just spend a few hours outside with your baby. You can also exercise in the park with your baby close next to you.
This particular outing is ideal for those who are just getting the hang of nursing. Stock up on wraps and tops that are perfect for going to the park so you can breastfeed.
Although there is a bit more work involved, a trip to the zoo is perfect for mothers looking to work off some baby weight while taking in some interesting sights. Consider inviting a friend to stroll with you around your local zoo; this is the perfect time to catch up, and baby should stay relatively happy riding in the stroller or being worn.
Additionally, as your little one grows older, they are sure to love looking at the animals with you. Older babies particularly love watching fish and birds, and will stare intently for as long as you'll allow it.
Nursing at the zoo is no problem as long as you have some good quality nursing wear. This local attraction is likely filled with other parents who shouldn't have anything negative to say.
If your city has a botanical or Japanese gardens attraction, you should definitely be putting it to use. The lovely colors and scents found in the garden—in addition to the movement of your walking—will likely lull your tiny one off to sleep, leaving you to enjoy the scenery and have a peaceful walk.
When baby wakes up, be sure to talk to them about their surroundings. This will encourage language development, and before you know it they will be talking back.
As far as nursing goes, be sure to wear a comfy nursing top or cover if you like. Make yourself comfortable and feed away. If you would rather not nurse in front of other visitors, try to find a quiet corner. This shouldn't be too difficult in a large garden, and the beautiful flora makes for a very relaxing breastfeeding session.
These are some of our favorite Los Angeles gardens here.
A State Park
Every state has a collection of state parks. These are beautiful places to visit, and can be enjoyed by mothers and babies of all ages. When baby is a newborn, he or she will appreciate taking a ride while you take a walk and explore the various parts of the park.
However, as your baby grows older, they will be thrilled to play in lakes or rivers, crawl on soft forest floors, and tumble through the grass. By regularly taking your little guy or girl to state parks, you are giving them a deep connection with nature, something they will always treasure.
If your little one needs to nurse while you are visiting a state park, you can simply find a boulder, bench, or fallen log to sit on while you feed them. If this doesn't sound appealing, you may consider learning to breastfeed while babywearing.
Very few people can resist the call of the ocean for long. Therefore, if you live near a beach, you should definitely give into your longing and go today. The sound of the waves and the salty scent will be relaxing for both you and your newborn, something you will both benefit from.
When baby grows a bit older, consider bringing sand toys and swimsuits for some fun play time and a great bonding experience.
Breastfeeding at the beach can be a bit challenging due to the sand and a lack of places to sit. For this reason, it is a good idea to wear good nursing tops and have a folding chair or sun shade. This way you don't even have to move from your spot!
This is the perfect self care setting. Coffee, a croissant, baby, and a good book make coffee shops a peaceful and perfect place to relax and nurse baby when needed.
Now we're not saying to go on some strenuous hike. Go find a nature path or easy level hike where you can embrace the outdoors and also stop and nurse when needed. Hiking is relaxing for baby and gives mom a boost of endorphins and a chance to unwind outside of the household.
Babywearing and hiking makes a great experience for all.
Sometimes it is pretty cold outside when hiking in more woodsy areas, and going outside to breastfeed doesn't seem like a good idea. So try the Bun Maternity Polar Fleece Nursing Hoodie to brave the elements. Bundle up your baby and yourself in this cozy and warm hoodie and you can keep breastfeeding outdoors.
While it does require a bit of effort on your part, getting outside with your baby is definitely a worthwhile endeavor. Consider trying to get an outing or two in each week. These little adventures, combined with some time spent in your own yard, will help develop your child's brain and have you and baby in better spirits in no time at all.