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30 Exciting Things to Do with a Newborn in Summer

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What can I do with my newborn in the summer?

You’ve spent all winter couped up inside growing that bump, and now that your little one has arrived, you want out of the house.

I was right there with you. My maternity leave was smack in the middle of summer, and I wanted to get out with my little guy. Most days, that meant sitting on our front porch watching the world go by.

But you can’t just sit every day. So here’s the ultimate list of fun things to do with a newborn in summer that you’ll both enjoy.

Just remember to keep your little one safe while enjoying the outdoors in the summer heat. Check out the top tips for taking a newborn out in summer below all the fun summer activities.

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What are fun things to do in summer with a newborn?

set of beach chairs and umbrella on the beach
Photo by Gabriela Sola

Things to Do with a Newborn in Summer: Water Activities

1. Set up a mini water play area

Beat the heat by setting up a shallow water play area in your backyard. Then, grab some mold-free water toys for your baby to enjoy.

While a water table may be too big for your little one, something as simple as a shallow dish pan or a splash pad would be easy to set up and enjoy in the shade.

2. Find a baby-friendly splash pad

On days you want to spend some time away from home, head to a local splash pad or water park.

Splash pads are areas where water sprays out of the ground or from fountains, but the water does not collect in a pool. It’s a fun way to introduce your baby to water play while you cool off.

Just a precaution when visiting splash pads, older kids can be rambunctious. Some splash pads have special areas for small children, so take advantage of those spaces.

3. Take baby for a swim

Use a baby pool in your backyard or visit your local pool to cool off.

While a newborn is too little to hold up his own head, you can enjoy the water right along with him. The easiest way is to sit in the baby pool and let your little one rest his back against your chest while splashing about.

You could also head to the shallow end of your local pool if you’d rather have more space. Some pools even have a babies-only section, so you don’t have to worry about older children playing too rough.

Two things to consider when taking a newborn swimming:

  1. Use swim diapers. A regular diaper will absorb too much water and become heavy and uncomfortable. Swim diapers also help delay the spread of bacteria, whereas a regular diaper will not.
  2. Don’t go swimming if you are still experiencing postpartum bleeding. Rather than sit in the baby pool with your child, sit behind it and allow your baby to rest against you while he enjoys the water.

4. Visit the beach

Experience the soothing sound of waves crashing and show your little one all there is to enjoy at the beach. As a new mom with a young baby, you want to look for a beach with fewer people.

You also need to be aware that babies under 6 months of age should not wear sunscreen, so you’ll want to take extra precautions to avoid the sun’s harmful rays on your baby’s skin.

You’ll want to invest in a baby beach tent or hang out under an umbrella while relaxing in the sand.

5. Take your baby for a boat ride

Choose a calm lake or river for a relaxing experience with your newborn.

If you don’t know anyone with a boat, look for local river cruises or tours in your area that will allow you to enjoy some fresh air.

Make sure you have an infant life vest, a rash guard swimsuit, and a sun hat to keep your baby safe.

path through a garden with pink bushes
Photo by Pixabay

Things to Do with a Newborn in Summer: Nature Activities

6. Take a stroll in the park or a garden

Explore the beauty of nature while enjoying some fresh air with a low-impact stroll through your favorite park or garden.

Going on a walk with baby through your favorite park can be a great pick-me-up for you and your newborn. You can choose to baby-wear or take a stroller if it’s an especially hot day.

7. Visit a local farmer’s market

Introduce your baby to a range of fruits and veggies, while supporting local farmers.

While your newborn is still too young to experience the flavors of anything but breast milk or formula, they can enjoy the colors and textures of different produce.

And all too soon, your little one will be starting to eat purees, and the farmer’s market is the best place to find fresh produce you can puree yourself.

8. Visit a local community garden

If you have a local garden, it is a great place to sit and enjoy nature without the noise of a playground. You can teach your baby about plants and enjoy the serenity of a green oasis.

Pack a lunch for you and baby. Take a book to read. Even let your newborn enjoy a nap outdoors while you get some fresh air and vitamin D.

9. Visit a local fruit orchard and pick your own fruits

Engage your baby’s senses by picking fresh fruits and enjoying the flavors of the season.

Visiting a fruit orchard is not only a fun experience for your newborn, but you can also pick up some fruits and make fresh purees for older babies.

10. Explore local botanical gardens

Immerse yourselves in vibrant colors and intriguing scents while surrounding yourself in nature.

Your newborn will enjoy the atmosphere and bright colors while you enjoy your time strolling through the gardens. Whether indoors or outside, you’re sure to find many beautiful displays and some great newborn photo opportunities.

colored pencils, paper and books on a blanket outside
Photo by Karolina Grabowska

Things to Do with a Newborn in Summer: Playtime

11. Set up a baby sensory play area outdoors

Stimulate your baby’s senses with soft toys, textures, and nature-inspired materials.

One of my favorite things to do in the fall with my newborn was to place a blanket on the ground with the fallen leaves underneath, so he could crunch them and practice tummy time.

It also works great as a summertime activity. Grab a blanket and your kiddo’s favorite lovey, some textured blocks, and even some beach toys and work on tummy time, colors, shapes, and textures.

12. Set up a shaded outdoor play area with a baby swing and toys

Create a safe and enjoyable space for your newborn to explore and play.

Whether it’s on a covered porch or a tent in the yard, having an area outside where your baby can spend some time out of your arms is a good idea on hot summer days.

Use a swing, bouncer, or even their highchair so your little one has the support he needs.

13. Set up an outdoor painting session

Let your baby explore their creativity in an outdoor setting.

Newborns don’t do much, so you’ll be the one leading the charge on this summer activity. Start by using non-toxic paints (preferably ones that are easy to wash). And dress your baby in something you don’t mind getting a little messy or even just a diaper.

Let them explore the paints, by putting their fingers and toes in the paints. Use outdoor objects such as leaves and sticks to create your artwork.

You could also try making handprint or footprint crafts for summer while you’re enjoying the outdoors.

two lambs playing on a hay bale
Photo by Vlad Vasnetsov

Things to Do with a Newborn in Summer: Learning Opportunities

14. Visit your local library for storytime sessions

Enjoy interactive storytelling activities with your newborn and meet other families.

Storytime sessions at our local library only run during the school year, but they do have outdoor activities in the summer for kids of all ages.

Connect with your local library and see what all they have to offer. (You may even find a great place for your baby’s birthday party.)

15. Attend baby-friendly outdoor music concerts or festivals

No, I’m not talking about taking your baby to a rock concert. But there are a lot of festivals going on in the summer months that usually have local musicians that would be suitable for little ears.

Our area has an outdoor stage that hosts local artists in the summer and nearby restaurants provide food. Find something fun in your area to give your little one his first introduction to different sounds and rhythms.

things to do with a newborn in summer: baby sitting in mom's lap

16. Attend mommy and me music classes

An outdoor music or movement class is another great way to introduce your baby to music, which is truly beneficial for their developing brains. Music helps children regulate emotions, build relationships, and strengthen language skills (source).

Singing the ABC song is what helped my son start talking.

17. Visit a petting zoo or farm

Allow your baby to learn about gentle animals and different species by visiting a petting zoo or farm.

This is the best way to see animals close up and get young babies interested in the outside world. After visiting the farm, you can teach your little one more about animals by reading books.

18. Take a trip to the zoo or wildlife sanctuary

Explore fascinating animals and teach your baby about the wonders of nature. Some zoos even offer special up-close encounters with the animals.

Use a stroller with a shade to keep baby out of direct sunlight and allow for naps on your trip through the zoo.

19. Visit a baby-friendly museum

Introduce your baby to art and culture in a child-friendly environment.

Children’s museums are great places for young children and older kids alike. Everything in a children’s museum is hands-on, so no need to worry about knocking over an expensive dinosaur skeleton.

They offer a lot of sensory experiences with indoor and even outdoor activities. It’s a great place to offer your baby a new experience with the exhibits while also watching other children play.

woman practicing yoga outdoors
Photo by Monstera

Things to Do with a Newborn in Summer: Get Moving

20. Go on short hikes or nature walks with baby

Use a carrier or stroller to explore nearby trails and connect with nature.

Walk with other moms with newborns to get some socialization. Pick rocks or leaves from your walks to create an outdoor sensory bin at home or for fun outdoor activities.

Be sure to carry plenty of water with you, so you don’t become dehydrated.

21. Attend mommy and me exercise classes held outdoors

Stay active and bond with your baby through outdoor exercise classes with other new parents and newborns.

Try using a baby carrier if the classes are not too intense. This way you can be close to your little one. Just remember to use breathable fabrics for yourself and your baby.

If the classes are more intense and your newborn baby will be jostled too much, lay out a blanket so they can practice tummy time while you exercise.

Don’t forget to mingle with other new moms while you’re there. It’s a good time to make some new mom friends and set up some future playdates.

22. Organize baby-friendly outdoor yoga classes

If you can’t find any local exercise classes, why not start your own? Focus on relaxation and connect with your baby through gentle yoga movements.

You could always practice yoga with your baby right in your own backyard. But if you’re looking to get others involved, put out flyers around your town that you will be meeting in the park once a week for mom and baby yoga classes. Of course, double-check with your local community if you need any special permits.

23. Go on a gentle bicycle ride with your newborn

Let me start this by saying that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children should not ride a bike until 12 months of age.

However, if you are an avid bicyclist and can’t wait to get back out there, or biking is your main mode of transportation, you do have some options.

I personally have problems keeping myself balanced on a bike, so I am not the expert here. But you can learn how to bike safely with baby if this is one of your favorite things to do in summer. Please remember to check any bike laws in your state before heading out.

If you want to wait until after your little one turns one, check out these bike trailers for added protection for your little cyclist. Or you can choose to push a stroller alongside the bikers in your family.

food on picnic table
Photo by Askar Abayev

Things to Do with a Newborn in Summer: Socialize

24. Have a picnic in the backyard or nearby park

Pack a blanket, some snacks, and a few toys, and spend some quality time together in nature.

What’s so great about a picnic is that it can be just you and your new baby in your backyard, so you don’t have to do much planning and can run in your house if you need anything. You could also make it a backyard playdate and include dad or other family members.

For a change of scenery, grab that picnic basket and head to your local park. You can enjoy your time together while meeting other families (and set up some playdates).

25. Have a family barbeque

Enjoy a delicious meal outdoors while bonding with your baby.

Whether you choose to have the barbecue at your home or just attend one, it’s a great way to introduce your newborn to family and friends.

And if you don’t want your new baby passed around, you can simply tell people you don’t want your baby to get overheated and head inside to enjoy some air conditioning.

26. Arrange playdates with other parents and newborns at the park

Socialize with other families while your little ones interact with each other. Although it may be time spent on mom’s lap, this is the easiest way to get your little one to engage with others.

Don’t know any new parents to ask to the park? Don’t worry, just start spending time at the park. You’ll start seeing familiar faces each time and can strike up a conversation.

27. Have a family photo session

Find a scenic outdoor location and create lasting family memories with a professional photographer.

The newborn phase goes by so quickly, and you really should get those newborn photos done within the first two weeks while your little one still easily folds into the fetal position.

But if you weren’t feeling up to being in photos after just having a baby, now is the time to take advantage of some precious family moments. And if you can’t book a professional photographer, you could always have a friend take a few snapshots for you in your favorite outdoor location.

outdoor movie
Photo by Roberto Nickson

Things to Do with a Newborn in Summer: Relax

28. Read under a shade tree

Engage your newborn with captivating stories in a tranquil outdoor setting.

You could read to your baby anywhere you like, but why not head outside for some fresh air in the hot summer months?

A personal favorite of mine when my son was a newborn was to sit on our covered porch at different times during the day watching the neighbors. I talked about the trees, the animals we heard, the cars on the street, and all our neighbors’ names and where they lived.

It was the easiest way to spend time outside without worrying about sun exposure or if my little guy was overheating.

29. Go for a scenic drive

Take a leisurely drive to enjoy the beauty of nature and explore new places.

When you can’t do anything else, but you NEED to get out of the house, pack up your baby and take a drive. I always find that going someplace green or near water helps me relax.

30. Go to a drive-in movie or outdoor movie screening

Watch family-friendly movies under the stars with your little one.

Although your newborn is too little to enjoy a movie, this is a great summer date night idea for new parents, who aren’t ready to leave their little one with a babysitter.

Pack your baby in his car seat and enjoy the movie together. And if your little one gets fussy, go for a quick walk in the night air and show him the night sky.

mom and baby standing by a lake at sunset
Photo by Oleksandr Canary Islands

How do you take a newborn out in the summer?

Now that you have a list of all the best things to do with your newborn in summer, let’s talk about how to keep baby safe in the warmer months.

Sun Safety Tips for Newborns

  1. Keep your baby out of direct sunlight. Stay in the shade as much as possible. Use an umbrella or baby tent at the beach. Use a stroller canopy to create shade and keep baby cool when out for walks.
  2. Dress your baby appropriately. Opt for a light layer of clothing that covers as much of their arms and legs as possible. Wear colors that reflect the sun and watch out for signs of overheating.
  3. Use a wide-brimmed hat. Keep the sun off your newborn’s head, back of their neck, and ears with a hat.
  4. Use baby sunglasses. Keep the sun’s harmful rays out of baby’s eyes with a pair of newborn sunglasses.
  5. Limit sun exposure during the day. Take your baby out in the early morning before it starts to get hot. The best times to be outside with your newborn are before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m.
  6. Keep your baby well hydrated. Stick to your usual milk feeds while you are out and watch for signs of dehydration, knowing you may need to offer milk or formula more often.
  7. Keep an eye out for reflected sunlight. Surfaces such as water and sand reflect the sunlight and can unknowingly cause a sunburn.
  8. Apply sunscreen on exposed skin for babies older than 6 months of age. The best way to keep the sun off baby’s skin is to avoid direct sunlight and keep baby covered in breathable fabrics.

As always, speak with your pediatrician if you have any questions about how to safely enjoy those hot summer months.


There you have it: all the fun things to do with a newborn in summer. With fun ideas for water and nature activities, playtime and learning opportunities, and ways to get moving, be sociable, and even relax, this summer with your new baby is sure to be one you won’t forget. Please just be cautious in very hot weather and keep your little one safe.

Have you tried any of these things to do with a newborn in summer? Let us know which was your favorite in the comments.

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