6 Ideas to Keep Your Baby Cool and Happy All Day Long
1. Be an early bird. If your baby is up with the sun, take advantage and get outside right away, before swings, slides, and strollers are too hot to handle. Try a walk to the park with the early morning joggers, or take a 7 a.m. backyard tour to see what’s happened overnight: any new flowers or veggies in your garden? How about dew on the grass or a ladybug stopping by for a visit? Let your baby take a look. Bring breakfast for two outside for a change of scenery. Or sit on a park bench and look at all the people, cars, and pets passing by, and the clouds and birds overhead.
2. Offer some eye candy. Babies love to see new things! Try a mid-morning outing to someplace that’s cool and gives your little one a lot to look at. Especially if your baby is not yet walking, an art museum can be an enriching and still relaxing activity. For busy toddlers, check out children’s and science museums that have lots of hands-on options. Call ahead to find out when big groups are coming in so you can avoid them.
Another alternative: your local mall. Maybe it has fun features, like a fountain (mesmerizing to little ones!). How about a glass elevator or an escalator ride? All are exciting experiences for your baby, and they give you plenty to point out along the way.
3. Read all about it. For a free and fulfilling outing, don’t forget your local library. Hit a story-time session or just let your baby page through new-to-you books. Many libraries also have toys to play with onsite or even check out and take home. Bookstores, too, are a great place to hang out on a hot afternoon. You’re surrounded by books! You can read a few, buy a few (but it’s not required). And many have reading time and other free activities for kids.
4. Go sightseeing. Take a ride in an air-conditioned car. Babies and toddlers learn language and so much more just by listening to you, so play tour guide and narrate what you’re seeing, even if it’s just a big brown dog or a shiny new building. Look for stops along the way, such as a pet store, where you can eye the colorful birds and fish, or the dollar store, where you can walk the aisles and delight baby with all the sights and sounds of objects on the shelves.
5. Get wet. Turn bath time into playtime. Even if your baby isn’t due for a scrub, let her splash in the tub or a wading pool, with plenty of toys to play and experiment with. Bring out the wind-up boats, plastic measuring cups, and kitchen strainers (make it rain!). Or, fill a low plastic tote with water and let your toddler bathe baby dolls, plastic animals, and kitchen items. Just place the bucket or bin on the floor on top of some large towels—and of course, never leave your baby or toddler alone near water.
6. Camp in. Instead of roasting in an outdoor tent, go camping indoors where it’s cool. Use a play tent or a bedsheet to make a little hangout spot for cuddling, reading, pretending, or maybe even taking a nice, long nap!