We know that stroller walks are good for the soul! Getting out of the house and breaking up your daily routine has plenty of benefits for the well-being of parents and babies alike.
But just how good are stroller walks for your baby?
We have found seven primary benefits for a child, and we discuss some tips to get the most out of your outdoor time.
7 Reasons Why Stroller Walks Are Good for Babies
This list is focused on the benefits for a baby, but there are a number of these benefits that will extend to mom and dad.
So making a regular stroller walk part of your routine will benefit the whole family!
1. Variety in Stimulation
Even if you walk the same path every day with your stroller, the variation in the environmental experience compared to being at home can accelerate neural development over time.
As soon as you step outside the stimuli your child is exposed to increases significantly which makes every walk a sensory experience.
- Visual – The passing streetscape, people, cars, and trees are ever-changing as you walk along.
- Physical – The movement of the walking is a new type of stimulation that your baby will feel while secured in the seat.
- Audible – The birds are chirping, kids are running, and noisy cars zip past. All new and exciting compared to the tranquility of your home!
These are all things that we as adults hardly even notice. Whereas an infant will be curious, engaged, and sometimes overwhelmed by all of this.
Even a newborn in a bassinet-style stroller will benefit from all three of these stimuli, even though they cannot yet sit up and look around.
2. Soothing Environment Encourages Sleep
The sound of your wheels rolling over the sidewalk creates a gentle hum that is similar to white noise.
When you combine this with the gentle rocking motion of the movement and a light breeze running over their face and you can see why they often fall asleep within minutes.
So if you are ever struggling to get your baby to nap then a walk around the block in a stroller could be just the circuit breaker you are looking for!
3. Mentally Refreshing
Just as the variety in environment can help with cognitive development, it also can have an impact on your baby’s mood.
A trip outside the house is exciting and the ever-changing scenery will capture their attention while they go for a fun ride in the stroller.
If you end up at a park then interacting with other children and running around will add further variety. This helps prevent your baby from falling into an irritable state in a stale environment.
4. Social Development
If you ever walk with other moms, or just chat with other parents at the local park, then your baby will be listening to and observing these interactions.
Your expressions, tone, language, and even how you listen to others are all things that babies pick up on and can help accelerate the development of their own communication skills.
It also provides a strong foundation for their future social skills.
5. Get A Vitamin D Hit
This point applies to children over six months old. You should not use sunscreen before six months of age and direct exposure to sunlight prior to this can be risky due to a newborn’s delicate skin.
But, once they get older then you can lather up sunscreen and head outdoors without needing to avoid the sun.
Generally, 10-15 minutes of sun exposure is enough to keep vitamin D levels high enough to support bone development and the body’s ability to absorb calcium. An important part of maintaining good health.
Try to stick to early morning or late afternoon for sunlight exposure. The UV rays will be too high for a little one in the middle of the day, especially in summer weather which can become hazardous.
6. Light Exposure (AKA Fresh Air)
This is slightly different from the sun exposure discussed in the previous point. Just getting some fresh air outside and being in an environment of natural light instead of artificial lights has been shown to improve the length and quality of sleep at night time.
A 2004 study found that “babies who slept well at night were exposed to significantly more light in the early afternoon period.”
The light assisted in developing the regulation of the circadian rhythms and was far superior when compared to kids who spent more time inside.
7. Stop and Explore!
You can walk further and longer around your neighborhood when using a stroller compared to if you had your baby in a baby carrier. This means you can access more destinations within a walkable radius of your house.
You can stop, lay down a stroller blanket or picnic rug, and let your child explore the surroundings.
Unrestricted outdoor play can be another way to help develop cognitive skills, encourage a sense of curiosity, and get some exercise. It is a fun and healthy addition to your daily routine that can benefit infants well into their toddler years.
Exposure to a non-sterilized environment will also help them develop an immune system. In other words, letting them play in the dirt will make them stronger over time (within reason!).
This can be one of the hardest things for an exceptionally clean mom to adjust to!
Finally, all this outdoor time will tire them out making nap time later on easier and stress-free for the parents!
There are of course plenty of benefits to a parent when going for stroller walks.
Regular exercise will improve fitness levels, the mental refresh of getting some air and sunshine, and the added variety in your day are all great things to keep you interested in regular stroller time.
But as you can see, stroller walks are good for your baby and are an important activity to build into your regular routine.