Getting inside into nature is so important for babies, children and caregivers! From physical development, language and communication, sensory learning and stimulation and the health benefits, there are a ton of reasons why your baby will thrive outdoors!
Babies are growing at an incredibly rapid pace, just take a look at the drawers full of vests and baby-grows that they never got to wear! In order to aid and support their rapid physical development, it is important that we provide plenty of opportunities to be outside. From lying on the grass waving their arms and kicking legs, to reaching for leaves and clouds and eventually leading on to sitting up and then crawling on uneven surfaces, the outdoors holds many opportunities to support and develop these physical skills as well as balance and coordination.
Consider this, crawling across a smooth tiled or wooden floor is much different to crawling across a bumpy grassy garden, and babies need to use their cognitive skills mixed with physical skills to navigate this terrain. It is through these challenges that babies will develop brain-body connections that will lead on to eventually master these skills.
It's no secret about the benefits of fresh, clean air, and the same is true for babies. Breathing in fresh air helps to calm the nervous system, as well as providing fresh oxygen to the developing lungs and circulatory system! Sunlight also naturally provides Vitamin D, which is essential for baby bone development. On top of that, being outside in nature has incredibly calming and soothing effects for both baby and the caregiver and it has been directly linked to better sleep quality due to the exposure to natural light and fresh air. Win-win for everyone!
Nature is a wealth of sights, sounds, smells, and textures that provide a feast for the senses. Babies learn and develop through all five of their senses, taking in the world around them and building knowledge and skills. From listening to bird songs to touching soft blades of grass to watching the leaves shake on the branches, to smelling sweet flowers, these sensory-rich experiences stimulate babies' cognitive development, creating a foundation for building future skills.
Connection to the Earth
It is important to remember where we all come from, and one of the most grounding ways to reconnect with ourselves and each other is through nature. Fostering curiosity and respect for the natural world and the creatures and lifeforms that belong to it from an early age is essential in supporting children to love and appreciate the earth. Simple ways to do this could be encouraging your child (and yourself!) to walk barefoot, taking time to pause and listen to the birdsong early in the morning or in the evening, and noticing the breeze on your face and the rustling of leaves.
Language and communication
Nature provides an abundance of vocabulary and talking opportunities for parents and caregivers. Though they may not understand what we are saying yet, your baby is listening to every word you say and will soon respond through babbling, cooing, and repeating. Pointing out items that we see, hear, touch, and smell outdoors can boost babies' language and communication development.
Ever notice how calm babies are when they're outside? There is a sense of peace and tranquility outdoors, away from the hectic busyness of day-to-day life. The wider, open space and fresh air often have a soothing effect on babies, helping them to calm and regulate their nervous systems and even leading to better sleep. It can also foster a deeper connection between parent and caregiver through enjoying the soothing benefits of the outdoors together.
The natural world provides a wealth of opportunity for supporting babies growth and development. Take baby for a walk, have a picnic outside, visit the beach or even just hang out in the back garden, there are so many positive benefits to being outside not just for baby, but for us as caregivers too! by providing babies with plenty of opportunities to explore and engage with the natural world, you will be supporting their physical, emotional, social, language and cognitive development (and hopefully get a better night's sleep!)
Did you know that there is a brand new Twinkle Kids session designed just for babies? Check it out and book your spot today!