Being a parent is exciting, and it is hard to wait until you can begin to introduce your baby to all of the things that you enjoyed as a child. Taking your kid to the playground is one of those special parts of being a parent, and giving them time to play on the equipment stimulates their development. You can begin to take your baby to the playground as soon as you are comfortable taking them to public outdoor spaces. Even a newborn can enjoy a trip around the park in a stroller. However, it will be a few more months before they can actively play at the park, and this guide will help you know when your baby is ready.
Assess Your Baby’s Development
There are a few developmental milestones to look for that help you know when your baby is ready to play on the outdoor playground equipment. For instance, babies who are able to sit with minimal support while holding their head up are likely ready to ride in an infant swing. Your kid might also be ready to explore on the playground if they are crawling or show an interest in trying to walk up ramps and steps.
Look for Baby and Toddler-Friendly Playground Equipment
Outdoor playground equipment is built specifically for children who have reached certain ages. Baby and toddler-friendly equipment is lower to the ground so that the littlest children can reach the features without having to worry about a major fall. Play structures for toddlers often have play panels that encourage the children to manipulate the various features. Your baby will love turning gears and spinners to see what happens next.
Check for Shaded Rest Areas
Toddlers and infants typically can only withstand being in the sun for short periods of time. Look for a playground that has spaces for you to help your child rest and cool off. A bench or picnic table is the perfect place to let your child take a break and enjoy a bottle or snack.
Pack a Few Extra Items for a Fun Day
You’ll want to bring all of the things that your child needs to stay happy during your outing. In addition to the usual diapers and food, you’ll want to pack sunscreen and hand wipes. A change of clothing is also helpful to have if your toddler tends to venture off into the dirt or loves to play in the sand.
Stay Close By
Supervision is important at the park for children of all ages, but younger children need you to keep an even closer eye on their movements. Spend time actively engaging with your baby as they explore the new environment. They’ll be more likely to test out their developing skills when they see you responding with a big smile.
As your baby grows, you can look forward to even more adventures at the park. With supervision and support, your child will eventually learn to climb ladders, go down slides and use a swing set by themselves. Make sure to take lots of pictures, and soak up each moment. These early years help set the stage for them to enjoy a lifetime of physical activity outside.