Taking Baby for a walk

Babies need fresh air and light. Going for a walk outdoors is also stimulating and fun for your child. A healthy baby can go outside every day in any season, as long as the temperature isn’t too hot or cold.

Babies poorly tolerate hot summer weather and must be kept out of the sun Protecting your baby from the sun). If it’s very hot out (25°C or more), short, light clothing and a diaper are sufficient.

When it is very cold, don’t stay outside too long as your baby runs the risk of frostbite, especially if she isn’t moving around. It’s hard for a baby to tell you she’s cold. That’s why it’s important to dress your baby warmly and ensure her head, hands, and feet are well covered. Wind can also make your baby uncomfortable, so make sure she’s protected (e.g., by raising the stroller hood).

Your baby’s first outing should be short—about 20 to 30 minutes. Then you can start going out for longer periods, provided you and your baby are comfortable.

Baby carriers

Essential information to remember

Baby carriers are fun for babies and practical for parents.

Photo: Pquan Nguyen

Babies like to be snuggled up next to their mother or father when taking a walk or at home. Baby carriers are convenient for doing everyday tasks and taking your baby on outings. The body heat and movement often put babies right to sleep.

Certain precautions must be taken to carry your baby safely. Get a baby carrier that fits you and is appropriate for your baby’s age and weight, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure it’s in good condition and meets current safety standards.

Always make sure that your child is properly positioned in the baby carrier, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In order for your baby to breathe properly, her face shouldn’t be squished against you, your clothes, or the baby carrier itself. Also make sure her chin is not resting against her chest. You should be able to see her face at all times.

When you have your baby in a carrier:

  • Hold your baby when you bend over.
  • Take extra care going up and down stairs.
  • Make sure your baby’s clothing is not so tight it cuts off blood circulation.
  • Don’t fasten your coat around the baby.
  • Don’t lie down or nap while your baby is in the carrier.

Baby carriers shouldn’t be used during activities where there’s an increased risk of falls (e.g., biking or walking on icy sidewalks). Avoid using them while cooking due to the risk of burns.

For more information, consult:

Institut national du portage des enfants (INPE)
inpe.ca (in French only)

On your bicycle

Essential information to remember

Your child should always wear a helmet, whether she is riding in a bike seat or a trailer.

Photo: Liliana Gomez

Your baby is ready to ride in a bike seat or trailer once she is

  • At least one year old
  • Able to sit up on her own while wearing a bike helmet

By this age her neck muscles are strong enough to support her head and the bike helmet in the event of an accident, and her head is big enough so that the helmet will fit her properly.

Make sure your child is seated properly in the bike seat or trailer with the straps adjusted correctly. She should be sitting upright, with her shoulders and head well supported. The bike seat should be equipped with a headrest and leg protectors for maximum safety.

Check the seat’s maximum weight capacity and make sure it is compatible with your bike. If you use a bike trailer, install the safety flag on the back to make it more visible. Be sure to read the recommended safety precautions in the user guide that comes with the bike seat or trailer.

Never leave your child in the seat when you’re not on the bicycle as it could tip over and injure her.

With the extra weight behind you it takes longer for the bike to stop when you brake, so take it easy the first few times out until you get used to the feeling.

In the stroller or carriage

Information to which you should pay special

When it’s very hot, do not put a blanket over the stroller even if it’s to shield your baby from the sun. The temperature inside the stroller increases rapidly.

There are many styles of strollers and baby carriages to choose from. Models that convert from carriage to bed to stroller are practical year-round. Those with reclinable seats are an excellent way to get around. Umbrella strollers are handy but light, and can tip over.

Always buckle up the safety harness and keep a close eye on your baby. While it’s convenient to hang a few shopping bags from the stroller or carriage handles, be careful not to overload it, which can cause it to tip over.

Strollers and carriages retain the heat. When it’s very hot, make sure your child stays comfortable. You can install a stroller umbrella or a small fan.