Springtime brings new hope and light to new motherhood along with a whole new set of challenges and things to consider when it comes to baby safety and logistics. As the season changes, you may have questions about how to handle sun exposure, temperature fluctuations, even flying insects that always seem attracted to whatever baby shampoo you happen to be using on your little one. Here are a few tips and tricks to enjoying spring weather with your baby while staying safe and sunburn-free.

Enjoying spring with your baby is one of the highlights of parenting as you get to see flowers, insects, and sunny days through your child’s eyes for the first time. After the winter freeze lifts and your new mommyhood hibernation comes to a close, the warmer weather is a welcome change of pace, providing opportunities for fun outings and activities for you and your baby.

Don’t be afraid to venture out! Staying home may have been the solution all winter but with warmer weather, you must work up the courage get out with your baby. Ensure your car seat is installed correctly, pack your bag for the day and explore your neighborhood park. Even with a young infant, the sunshine, fresh air, and sounds of children playing will breathe new life into both of you! Check out online reviews of playgrounds in your area. I’ve found many with “baby playgrounds” and sandboxes that can entertain and stimulate the senses for even the youngest of kiddos!

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If you’re planning a longer outing, like a hike or a trip to your local farmer’s market (both highly recommended for babies!), plan on wearing your infant to get the most out of the experience for you both. Walking for long periods with an inward-facing baby in a wrap, sling, or structured carrier makes for easy breastfeeding on-the-go, stress-free napping for your little one, and you’ll have both hands free to enjoy the grown-up aspects of your outing.

Conventional sunscreen is especially unsafe for your baby’s brand new skin. For your infant’s first six months, it’s best to avoid sun exposure by keeping them fully clothed and wearing a sunhat and perhaps even adorable pint-sized sunglasses if they’ll tolerate them! Create shade with a light blanket, if necessary, but remember that some sun exposure is actually beneficial, raising our Vitamin D levels and our feel-good chemical response in the brain. If you’re headed out for a long period with a baby over six months of age, check with The Environmental Working Group’s sunscreen database for the best sunscreen brands, before you run to the store.

Insect repellents are also searchable through the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database. If you’re out at dusk, when the scary stinging insects come out to bite your little one, be prepared! Take it from me, there are few things worse than a bug bite on a baby! I carry a little spray bottle of essential oils that keep insects away (Lavender works for most, believe it or not!) and I keep it next to the front door so I can give us a spritz on our way out! Easy and natural!

The best advice I can conclude with is to go easy on yourself and have little to no expectations for your first Spring season with an infant and to enjoy it!