Walking Outside With Your Baby
Getting outside with babies is essential and walking is beneficial to both parents and infants. When you find your baby is inconsolable, taking them outside in the fresh air can immediately calm them down. The movement of a stroller can lull some babies to sleep, making a walk necessary for nap time. And there’s just so much to see and talk about with babies on a walk that getting outside really shows them the world! I’m sharing ways you can make walking outside with your baby a daily routine, with stress-free tips.
1. Put All Your Walking Essentials Together
When I’m ready to take my baby for a walk, I don’t want to make a dozen trips back inside the house to get what I need. I created a place in my garage that holds all of my walking essentials in one place. Think about the things that you use when you go for a walk and place them in one central spot for quick access.
- Walking shoes & socks
- Sunscreen (for you and for the baby, 6+ months)
- Music player & ear buds
- Water bottle
- Sweatshirt (for chilly days)
- Cooling Towel (for hot days – one for you & one for baby!)
- A clip-on stroller fan for baby
- Baby care needs, including diaper/wipes, pacifier and pacifier clip and sipper cup/snacks for toddlers
When walking outside with an older baby, consider purchasing a “Dropper Stopper” that will tether toys, pacifiers, snack cups and sippers/bottles. When you’re trying to keep up your pace, having to stop constantly for dropped items is frustrating! A Toy Tether will keep items attached to the stroller so that baby can pull them back in and nothing gets lost.
2. Choosing the Right Stroller for Your Baby
My family is already a fan of the Ergobaby line. I have the Ergobaby Omni 360 baby carrier. I’ve called it my “must-have travel item for babies“! It’s come in so handy on vacation. But I also use it every day when I need to hold my toddler but also remain hands-free.
As soon as your doctor gives the okay, it’s usually fine to take your healthy newborn outside for a walk. At first you may choose to place your baby inside of the front carrier. But eventually you’ll probably want to graduate to a stroller.
The Ergobaby 180 Stroller has so many great features, including a reversible handlebar that quickly adjusts for height. I like the simple recline with breathable mesh side panels so my daughter can comfortably nap on our walk. It’s a very simple-to-use stroller, with one-hand folding and easy-tap foot brakes. Having a stroller that’s equally easy to maneuver and also comfortable for your baby is ideal.
3. Where to Walk With Baby?
If you live in a neighborhood or city, hitting the sidewalk right outside your front door is great. On particularly hot days, I’ve taken my baby and stroller to the indoor mall for window shopping while walking. I personally love to walk in the park. Local parks often have looping walking paths that are perfect for walking with your baby. The Ergobaby 180 stroller has 4-wheel steering and easily moves from smooth sidewalks to rougher terrain. You can quickly adjust the wheel locks by pressing a button to adjust each wheel.
At just 20 lbs, the stroller is lightweight for travel and easily folds with one hand. It’s also car seat compatible (with the Ergobaby 180 Car Seat Adapter). Grab your walking essentials, load the stroller into the car and head out to the park!
4. Best Time of Day to Walk With Baby
In the warmer summer months, early morning hours are ideal for walking with your baby. However I have a toddler, so my daily walk is intended to kick-start her nap time! I usually don’t start my walk until around 11 am. This means it can be warm outside and I need to take the proper precautions to prevent overheating.
I make sure that my daughter has her sipper cup filled with water and that I’ve applied sunscreen to her legs. The Ergobaby 180 stroller has an over sized sun canopy to protect her from too much exposure. The stroller also has roll-up panels that reveal full mesh sidewalls. This helps to keep air circulating and prevents the baby from overheating when she naps on our walk.
5. Benefits of Taking Baby for a Walk
- Fresh air, exercise and stimulation! I find that a daily walk helps me to work out my thoughts, improves my sleep at night and gets me moving (especially in those early months with a newborn, when you feel like you’re sitting and nursing all day!). Walking is one of the best at home workout routines you can have, especially post-partum.
- If Baby is overstimulated by the view or if you simply want to keep an eye on her while you walk, the Ergobaby 180 stroller has a quick response. The handlebar has an easy flip option so you can turn it to face either way in about three seconds!
- Taking babies for a walk can help ease them into nap time. Choose a stroller with lay-flat recline so they can sleep while you walk.
- Sometimes I’ll walk to the store and pick up a few essentials. The under-stroller basket on the Ergobaby 180 Stroller is extra large for holding plenty. Usually my goal is getting my baby to fall asleep so a long walk benefits us both.
Extra Tips for Taking Toddlers for a Walk
Walking is one of the best things to do with a toddler, especially when they start getting restless. But if you know toddlers, they’ll want to walk and not ride in a stroller! Most toddlers want to express their independence by walking ahead and not holding hands.
I’ve found that having a backpack with a tether like the animal versions from Skip Hop are invaluable when walking outside with your baby. My daughter is wearing the butterfly version in the photo. Toddlers can stay close while still on their feet. They can explore within your reach, as you can loop the tether around your wrist. Store a few essentials like a bottle of water or a beloved toy inside. I never travel without our harness backpack!
If you’re looking for more things to do with toddlers, check out this list of 25 things to do with little ones at home.
6. Safety Concerns
- Don’t walk where you don’t feel comfortable. Choose walking areas away from vehicle traffic and that are well-lit.
- Consider walking in a group with other people.
- Use the brakes on the stroller every time, even if you stop on flat ground. You never know if baby’s movements will cause the stroller to roll.
- Don’t put your wallet or phone where it can get grabbed. The Ergobaby 180 has a hidden storage pocket behind the seat where I place my valuables and then zip it closed.
My toddler and I really do like the ease and comfort of the Ergobaby 180 Stroller. We’ve already taken the stroller on a trip and appreciated the lightweight frame & ability to fold down small into the trunk. Have fun exploring the world with your baby!
This post was originally published May 8, 2018 and has been updated and republished.