Family Activities with a Newborn (Stress-Free Ways To Beat Cabin Fever)

Family Activities with a Newborn (Stress-Free Ways To Beat Cabin Fever)

Nothing prepares you for life with a newborn. I remember the last few days of pregnancy, just wishing he would come out so I could finally get some sleep (I still laugh at myself regarding that one). If you are reading this, you are probably in one of two situations. A – you are a new mom struggling with cabin fever. However, you have realized that a newborn can make venturing into the outside world an overwhelming undertaking. Or B – this is not your first rodeo, but you are looking for ways to spend quality time with your other kids and bonding as a family.

Time is Fleeting

One thing I learned about having small kids is that the days are long, but the years are short. Those sleepless, milk-stained days and weeks can easily blur into each other and disappear into the ether.

But the newborn period is precious and fleeting, and making memories is what family time is all about. Unfortunately, with a new addition to the family, it can feel like you have less time than ever to create those cherished moments. However, families with a newborn can enjoy plenty of activities together. So keep reading for ideas on how to make the most of this wonderful time as a family.

Go for a Hike

family activities with a newborn

This may sound overly ambitious. When it first came to mind, I conjured images of myself trying to climb a mountain with an overloaded diaper bag and breast pump in hand. All while my husband tries to stop our toddler from seeing if his Superman cape is the real deal. But then, I realized that we had the power to tailor our adventure to suit reality.

family activities with a newborn

Fresh air and exercise are probably the best gifts you can give yourself. And a hike is the perfect way to do this while having some family time. And you don’t have to climb the Matterhorn. Instead, a lush forest or shoreline trail are great places to reconnect with nature. You can even use your stroller to make it easier on the little one. The great thing is that hikes are suitable for any age, and you can make it as long or short as you like.

Related post: Surviving the First Few Weeks with a Newborn and Toddler

Go to the Museum

family activities with a newborn

I can just imagine you rolling your eyes, thinking ‘As if”, on this one. But our tired brains sometimes make us think inside the box too much. I am not suggesting you take your toddlers to the Met. Many museums focus on themes and exhibits that will suit small kids. Some offer special family programs, guided tours, hands-on activities, and even baby yoga. Go online to see which museums near you provide something that tickles your family’s fancy.

Going for a Swim

family activities with a newborn

Swimming can be an excellent way to spend time together as a family and introduce your newborn to water. In addition, an outing to a pool or lake can be a great way to cool off in the summer heat, get your blood flowing nicely, and help you relax. There are, of course, some logistics to consider with this one. There is no way you can handle a newborn and small kids in the water on your own, so make sure you go as a couple or with friends and family that you can trust to be as vigilant as you are. Make sure your older kids have the appropriate flotation devices. And whatever you do, don’t forget to pack sunscreen.

Related post: Things to do with a Newborn in the Summer

Going to the Beach with a Baby: Tips and Tricks

You’ll notice that I list the beach separately from going for a swim. The reasoning is obvious. The beach with a newborn is a different animal entirely.

It is perfectly safe to take newborns to the beach. The main thing to keep in mind is keeping them out of direct sunlight and ensuring they are hydrated. Newborns can get dehydrated quickly, so it’s important to keep an eye on them and ensure they drink plenty of fluids. Also, dress your baby in light, breathable fabric, and ensure they are smothered in a good sunscreen.

family activities with a newborn

Accept that there will be sand…on everything. The good news is that sand can be washed off. The bad news is that it will most likely find its way into every single little crevice imaginable: your baby’s hair, their ears, their nose, their mouth…the list goes on. Just go with it and try to relax – If you enjoy the experience, your baby will likely be relaxed and calm. On the other hand, if you are stressed, tense, or anxious, your baby will probably pick up on that and become stressed or anxious as well.

Visiting a Zoo

family activities with a newborn

It always amazes me how kids have this natural obsession with animals. It seems to be universal, and I think it’s pretty cool. So this is an outing that would most definitely have your older children’s buy-in. And if your newborn is your first, it’s still a great place to get outdoors and not worry too much if your baby gets noisy and niggly. Who can really complain about natural behavior and instinct when they are at a zoo?

Try Some Crafts Together as a Family

Family Activities with a Newborn

 Okay, sure… it’s not like the baby is going to be involved in this one. But if you have older kids, they will love it. And it is something you can easily organize and facilitate, even when dealing with diaper changes and a feeding schedule. And if your tiny bundle is your first, finding a creative outlet for yourself will do wonders for your mind and spirit.

Related post: Things to do with a Newborn in the Winter

It’s not as overwhelming as you think.

Family Activities with a Newborn

As you can see, I have tried to be as pragmatic as possible with these suggestions. And yet the very thought may seem overwhelming. I recently watched a couple of Friends reruns and had a good eye-roll. When Rachel was a new mom, newborn baby Emma popped out for scenes central to the plot, but other than that, Rachel’s life carried on uninterrupted. Her figure was back, and her skin was glowing – heck, she even went on a couple of dates. And there I was, high-fiving myself for successfully going out to clear the mailbox without bursting into tears.

But you’ve got this! Gently easing into the outside world will make a world of difference to your family and you. Take care of yourself. You matter.

Related ideas: Things to do with a baby outside the house!

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