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Taking a baby to the playground may seem strange, but it is fun early on if done right. Here are tips on what to do to make it both fun and safe for your child.

taking baby to playgroundPin

Going to the playground might seem like something you do with a toddler rather than with a baby. But there are things you can do really early. Like talking to other parents while your baby is asleep, for example… :-)

Just kidding!

There are things to do with your baby at the playground too. Having fun in a baby swing, for example, is something that has been shown to help babies develop their sense of balance too.

Check our tips and head for the park!

8 Tips for Taking Baby To Playground

You can go there early

As soon as your baby can hold their head and back steadily and is more awake and interested in the surroundings, you can start taking trips to a playground if you like.

My experience is that this happens when the baby is around four months old. By that time, their vision has also improved enough for them to find it interesting to watch some action at a distance.

Your baby is still too young to be able to play much, but he or she may very well enjoy seeing other kids playing, as well as just checking out the new surroundings.

Where to go

To be able to actually do something with your baby at the playground, try going to one with a baby swing with a high back.

Also, make sure the playground is sheltered from strong sun and strong winds.

Seeing a lot of other kids (and parents) is also much more fun than sitting in an empty playground with your baby.

Safe use of a Baby Swing

when can baby go on swingPin
When your baby is able to sit steadily and control their head, they can try an infant swing. These can be bucket-style or high-back swings, like the one in the above image. They need to be snug, or you can make them snugger by placing a folded blanket or a small pillow around your baby or behind their back. Most babies are ready to try an infant swing at around 6 months, sometimes a bit earlier.

But be very careful and only push the swing slowly and gently!

When and How to Use the Slide Safely

Many babies love slides. As your infant is still too young to go down alone, it doesn’t really matter how steep the slide is. Just use the lower part of it, hold your baby all the way down, and go!

Something NOT to do is to sit together and ride the slide with your baby on your lap. This may be tempting, but recent research has found high injury risks for lap rides.

As your baby approaches 1 year, he or she might be able to slide down gentle slopes on their own.

Playing in the sandbox

Sand is usually lots of fun – and tastes good, too, if you ask any baby… :-) Either you sit down and hold your baby in the sandbox, or you’ll have to wait until he or she can sit steadily, at around 6 to 8 months.

At this age, your baby’s idea of playing in the sandbox is probably grabbing-as-much-sand-as-I-can-and-shove-it-into-my-mouth-before-mom-stops-me. Well, a bit of sand will not be dangerous, but don’t leave your baby alone even for a minute! Remember that the sand can contain small stones and, unfortunately, cat poop, cigarettes, glass, and all kinds of things that are dangerous to put in the mouth!

Your baby can also get sand in their eyes, causing irritation and what is called corneal abrasions. Flushing the baby’s eyes with a lukewarm saline solution will most likely help; if not, it is best to take them to the doctor.

Bring a bucket and spade or a small plastic car and play with your child.

Playing with sand is perfect for creativity, sensory stimulation, and free play, even at a young age.

Sandbox playing is

Watching other kids

Watching other kids is actually often great fun for a baby. If you’re lucky, your baby will be content just sitting in the stroller, looking around, while you get the opportunity to sit a talk to other parents. Nice!

What to bring

Here’s a list of things that are practical to bring along:

  • Paper for runny noses
  • Water to wash dirty hands or eyes or nose with
  • A camera/mobile phone with a good camera
  • Something to eat and drink, both for you and your child
  • A blanket so that you can breastfeed without your baby being totally distracted by all the fun going on around you
  • Bucket and spade or other toys to play with in the sandbox
  • A blanket with waterproof backing to sit on (or change diapers on)
  • Extra clothes and diapers

What to wear

What to wear will depend on the season, of course!

If it is very warm, the clothes should, above all, protect your baby from the sun.

If it is cold, a snowsuit is probably the best clothes for your baby.

If it is not too warm outside, a pair of waterproof pants is very practical for your baby. Wear them either with only a shirt or a jacket, depending on the weather.

Use them together with ankle-high boots or rain boots. This way, you will not bring home the whole sandbox in the shoes and trousers after playing in it…

Your baby will also need a cap.

You also need to put on clothes that will make it possible for you to play and stand still for long periods.
It is much more fun to go to the playground if you are dressed to participate in the playing rather than worrying about your designer jeans or shoes…

That was it! Find more baby activity tips here. You can also find indoor games to play with your baby month by month here.

Research references

Jennissen, C.A., Koos, M. & Denning, G. Playground slide-related injuries in preschool children: increased risk of lower extremity injuries when riding on laps. Inj. Epidemiol. 5 (Suppl 1), 13 (2018).

American Academy of Pediatrics, Safety in the Sandbox.

Leave a Reply

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Roberta Beckert

    No, you don’t need to cover up to breast feed your baby in public anywhere in the world. Just be proud! Baby is #1 and fuck anyone who bothers or stares!

    1. Mallory

      “A blanket so that you can breastfeed without your baby being totally distracted by all the fun going on around you”
      The suggestion about the blanket is for your baby not to be distracted. Has nothing to do with what other’s may think.

      1. Paula @easybabylife

        Exactly, thanks Mallory! -)

      2. Qits

        How could you possibly misinterpret that sentence? The only possible explanations are that English is not your first language or your internet sucks and it stopped loading right after: a blanket so that you can breastfeed and you didn’t see the rest of that sentence.

    2. Mae

      Hi it’s not safe for babies to slide with them in your lap. If their limbs get caught, your weight will make them keep going and they’ll break a bone.

  2. Avienne Rorik

    I’ve been enjoying taking my baby (8 weeks old now) to the playground in her carrier and gently rocking back and forth on a swing. It’s not exactly playing, as such, but she seems to enjoy it :) We usually hit up the playground to break up our walks.

    1. Paula @easybabylife

      Hi Avienne, that’s wonderful! It’s amazing how early we can start “play” a little bit with our babies, don’t you think!? :-)

  3. Anonymous

    Apparently u must have a blanket over you and your baby ‘if you have to breastfeed in public’. I can’t believe I just read that in 2016.

    1. Paula @easybabylife

      Hi there! Well, for babies older than 6 months, it can be very distracting with all the fun action going on around them when trying to eat. Hence, a blanket is perfect for “older” babies to help them focus on eating. The tip is primarily to help the baby, not hide the mom. For someone who has already breastfed for 4-6 months, they have most likely already found their own level of needed shelter when breastfeeding. But, since you misinterpreted the tips, others may too. I have clarified what I mean in the post. In 2016, breastfeeding in public in as much or little coverup as you choose for yourself feels like the obvious personal decision!

      Thanks for taking the time to share your view. :-)


      (For anyone who needs tips on how to breastfeed in public, if you DO need tips for being able to do it in a discrete way, read this post: https://www.easybabylife.com/breastfeeding-in-public.html )