Ready to get up and start walking outside with your baby? Shortly after the birth of your baby, your doctor will likely recommend walking as a first exercise. Walking is perfect, because your pace can be as quick or slow as you wish and you may walk for as long as you feel comfortable. And my favorite: You can exercise when baby is with you! Here are my useful tips on walking outside with your baby with ideas for keeping baby happy.
I received an Ergobaby 180 Stroller to facilitate this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post was originally published May 8, 2018 and has been updated and republished.
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.
There’s just so much to see and talk about with babies on a walk that getting outside really shows them the world! The movement of a stroller can also lull some babies to sleep, making a walk necessary for nap time.
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 both you and for the baby, 6+ months)
- Music player & ear buds
- A clip-on stroller fan for baby
- Water bottle
- Sweatshirt for you and a baby blanket for your little one (on chilly days)
- Cooling Towel (for hot days – one for you & one 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. 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. Grab your walking essentials, load the stroller into the car and head out to the park!
After living in the suburbs, we moved to a more rural house in the country. The upside was that traffic noise was non-existent. The downside? No sidewalks.
Definitely not the most ideal location to walk in our neighborhood, when we are walking in the road. Ensure that vehicles can see you and the stroller when walking outside with your baby.
- Consider purchasing a stroller in a colored version rather than dark gray or black.
- Dress yourself in a bright color or wear a vest with reflective elements.
- Outfit your stroller with these easy to apply reflective stickers to attract attention when walking along the side of the road.
3. Best Time of Day to Walk With Baby
In the warmer summer months, early morning hours are ideal for walking with your baby. However with toddlers, a daily walk may be intended to kick-start nap time! Choose a stroller that has an over sized sun canopy to protect children from too much sun exposure.
When my daughter was a toddler I usually started my walk until around 11 am. That meant it could be warm outside and I needed to take the proper precautions to prevent overheating. I’d make sure that my daughter had her sipper cup filled with water and that I’d applied sunscreen to her legs.
Also, look for a stroller with adequate ventilation. Watch for fabrics that keep air circulating and prevent your baby from overheating when they nap on your walk.
4. 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 and improves my sleep at night.
Usually my goal is getting my baby to fall asleep so a long walk benefits us both.
Walking 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.
Is Baby is overstimulated by the view or if you simply want to keep an eye on her while you walk? Look for a stroller that offers a handlebar with an easy flip option. That way you can turn it to face either way.
Taking babies for a walk can help ease them into nap time. Choose a stroller with lay-flat recline so that kids can sleep while you walk.
Sometimes I’ll walk to the store and pick up a few essentials. Purchase a travel unit with a large under-stroller basket.
5. 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 Skip Hop backpack with a tether are invaluable when walking outside with your older baby. My daughter is wearing the butterfly version in the photo but there are many animal versions to choose from.
Toddlers can stay close while still on their feet, which they love! Walking babies can explore within your reach, as you can loop the harness 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.
- 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.
- Consider walking in a group with other people.
- Don’t put your wallet or phone where it can get grabbed. The Ergobaby has a hidden storage pocket behind the seat where I place my valuables and then zip it closed.
7. Choosing the Right Stroller for Your Baby
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.
A stroller for an infant is very different than what you’d use for an older child. Fortunately many strollers are made to adjust for growing kids. Make an investment in a high quality stroller from the start. Take care of it and you’ll have it for many years!
These are a few suggestions for best strollers for babies.
Ergobaby Metro+ Compact Baby Stroller
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.
The Ergobaby Metro+ Compact Baby Stroller has so many great features, including a handlebar that quickly adjusts for height. I like the full-flat recline 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.
The Ergobaby Metro+ Compact Baby stroller is perfect for airplane travel. The stroller easily folds down to fit into most overhead airplane bins.
Maxi-Cosi Zelia² Max 5-in-1 Modular Travel System
If you’re looking for a complete set that includes a car seat and stroller, the Maxi-Cosi Zelia² Max Travel System is one of the best. New babies should not sleep for extended times in their car seats.
The carriage mode with this stroller is ideal for newborns, who can lay flat comfortably while you walk. As baby ages and wants to sit up, the stroller converts easily to a variety of positions.
Adjustable for forward or rear facing handles, so baby can face you or face the world. Storage is a cinch too, as the stroller unit is self standing when folded.
The included car seat will fit your child up to 30 lbs, while the stroller accommodates kids up to 50 lbs. This is a high-quality stroller you could potentially use for your child from birth to approximately 5 years old!
Baby Jogger City Mini GT2 All-Terrain Stroller
There’s a reason that the Baby Jogger City Mini GT2 All-Terrain Stroller is the style most theme park rental companies use. It’s a high-quality stroller that will last for years. Ideal for trails, the all-terrain rubber tires will never go flat.
The Baby Jogger City Mini stroller offers all-wheel suspension for a smooth ride, even when parents are jogging.
The seat recline will adjust to lay nearly flat. Purchase a separate car seat adapter to fit many models right into the stroller. Stroller collapses and locks with a single hand tug on the strap.
Will fit children up to 65 lbs, making this another stroller choice that will get you through the years!
Summer 3Dlite+ Convenience Stroller
For a baby aged 6 months and up, having a lightweight and convenient umbrella stroller can be handy for quick walks. The Summer 3Dlite+ Convenience Stroller has been a fantastic lower-priced but still high quality option.
Confession: We owned the Ergobaby and gave it to a family member because we thought my daughter was done with strollers. Then we took a vacation and realized that all the walking was exhausting and she needed a place to nap mid-day.
We purchased the Summer 3Dlite+ Convenience Stroller and it’s been perfect. Usually I don’t care for umbrella type strollers because they don’t move well or the wheels get hung up. This stroller rolls and maneuvers beautifully, even with my older daughter onboard.
The stroller only weighs 14 lbs and has a compact fold so it’s easy for me to place into the trunk of my car for walking away from home. The deep recline allows my kid to lay down and sleep. There’s a large canopy to protect her from the sun.
Summer 3Dlite+ Convenience Stroller fits children up to 50 lbs. My daughter is 38 lbs and over 5 years old and can still fit into the stroller nicely (though she is getting a bit tall for it!)
Have fun exploring the world with your baby!