Dr. Montessori said that children from birth to 6 years were sensorial learners. If so, nothing comes close to the explosion of senses one experiences in nature. I have loved outdoors and I hope that my daughter feels the joy in nature too.
It can be a bit tricky to get out with infants because there is sleep to consider and a few (million) things to pack! But here are some reasons its still worth venturing out, even in the first few months:
- Nature tells the baby about the ‘real’ world they live in.
- Nature stimulates baby’s brain cells, while movement outdoors feeds oxygen, water and glucose to the brain optimizing its performance.
- Nature is naturally calming and soothing for a baby.
- Nature as the backdrop minus distractions of chores is a good way to connect and bond.
- Fresh air and sun light is great for a child’s overall development.
- Anika sleeps the longest after our ‘outdoor adventure’.
- Exposure to all weather, since the beginning of life helps to develop their immunity and strength. We make sure that clothing is appropriate.
- Great activity/ exercise for a new mum 🙂
- Forest School at 1 Month- Anika could not open her eyes in the bright day light till she was 4-5 weeks old. This being a very fragile/ sensitive period anyways we would only spend a few minutes walking on the deck in the mornings. Mostly cuddled up with me, she could hear the birds and smell the fresh air. We occasionally went for walks down the road in my carrier (mostly) or a stroller.
- Forest School at 2 Months– After week 5, we ensured to spend an awake session (usually mornings) outdoors on the deck or under a tree. The days it was raining, I set up a mat near the deck so she could hear and smell the beautiful experience. We would also go for walks in my sling some evenings.
- Forest School at 3 Months- With our daily rhythms well established and the little one settled, we made it a point to go our everyday. The days it was raining, I would wear her in my carrier (wear my trekking shoes with strong grip to be safe) and we would go out with an umbrella. Otherwise, every morning as soon as she woke up we would walk to our nearby reserve. Our ‘routine’ consists of dressing up, walk to the reserve, find a tree, tummy time, back time, time on mama’s leg while she practiced grasping leaves, grass, mud, bark. I would wipe her hands with a wet cloth immediately. Then we would stop at several trees on the way back and oh the joyous cooes!
We are tremendously lucky to live in New Zealand, where we are surrounded by nature and we plan to make the most of it. I mainly wrote this post as a reminder to myself to stay motivated to go out even as it gets colder each day in Auckland. Hope you found this post helpful. Love to hear how you like to venture out with our little ones?