As soon as I could, I brought my baby out for walks with me. Why? Well, for starters I hate being indoors all day long and for some reason you tend to get into homebound patterns. Let’s face it, having a newborn doesn’t make a normal routine easy. However, it will pay you back in dividends to leave your house, even for short walks. As your baby ages, you will find this easier and easier and once your baby starts to notice things around them, even pleasurable.
While out for walks, be sure to take your time, stop frequently and point things out to your baby. Remember, there’s no hurry to reach a destination. When my son first started walking, I let him set the pace and we would stop frequently to enjoy the sights. I never planned a destination before leaving, so we had no goals. If I wanted to see the river though, I would make sure to pack him up in the stroller and set out. From there, out he came and we would wonder around. Even when your toddler is walking, make sure you bring a stroller around if you plan on heading in a straight line away from your house. Toddlers don’t have a lot of stamina right away so you may end up having to carry him or her back home. This can be backbreaking to say the least.
If you go via stroller, make sure you stop, crouch down, make eye contact and then sign things you see. You want to make sure that your baby and you both see the same things so signs are learned for the right things. Once you’ve taught a sign, you can be pretty sure that your baby is looking at the right things especially if you can see them sign as you push them along. In this case, you can simply talk about what they are seeing and signing.
So the main thing to keep in mind is to stop often, talk often, point things out and when something of interest shows us, crouch next to your baby and have a conversation about what you are seeing. I highly recommend taking your signing baby outside to see things firsthand.