When you have a baby to look after it’s easy to feel a bit stuck at home. While one year olds don’t necessarily need to get out and about, it’s likely that you as an adult do. If you’re struggling to know where to go, check out these places to take a one year old. We’ve separated them into indoor and outdoor to make sure you can find somewhere to take your one year old, whatever the weather.
Indoor Places to Take a One Year Old
This selection of places to take a one year is full of fun ways to spend cold or rainy days, as well as days where it’s too hot to be outside with a baby.
Take Your One Year Old Swimming
I loved taking my babies swimming. I was nervous at first and went with my husband to start with but once I’d got the hang of getting in and out of the pool while holding the baby, I happily went by myself. Swimming is a great sensory experience for babies and you’re doing something really useful by getting them comfortable in the water from a young age.
Go on a Coffee Date with Your Baby
It might not sound that exciting but babies are usually quite happy to just watch the world go by with you. Sitting in a cafe, enjoying a hot drink while your baby has a snack can be a really pleasant way to spend an hour together. It works particularly well if you choose a busy town centre with lots going on.
Visit a Soft Play Centre
While you might think of soft play as being for slightly older kids, babies can enjoy soft play as soon as they can move independently, be that crawling, bum shuffling or walking. Try and find a soft play with a dedicated baby area to avoid your little one being run down by the bigger kids.
Go to the Pet Store
Babies are often fascinated by animals so a wonder around the local pet shop can be enjoyable for them. You can usually see rabbits, hamsters, mice, rats, guinea pigs and fish. It’s a great opportunity to work on language skills by naming the animals for your child.
Take Your One Year Old to a Baby group
Baby and toddler groups are a great place to take your one year old. While they don’t need socialisation yet, they often enjoy watching the older children and other babies. It will give them the chance to explore some new toys while you get some much needed adult company.
Take Your One Year old to a Baby Class
If you prefer something a bit more structured there are plenty of baby classes to choose from. These can be easier if your’re an introvert parent because a class leader takes you through a range of activities, there’s no need to chat to others if you don’t want to. Have a look at this guide to the best baby classes to help you choose the right one for your baby.
Go on a Train Ride
While your one year old might not have reached the train obsession stage that many children go through, babies often enjoy the sensation of being on a train. My in-laws regularly took the children on the train and they loved the journey as well as the hustle and bustle of the station. If you have a miniature railway near you, your one year old will probably enjoy that too.
Whether you attend a session specifically for babies or just hang out together and look at books, the library is a great place to take one year olds. If you attend an organised session you can meet other mums and will probably learn some fun new songs to sing with your baby.
This may seem a strange place to take your one year old but many cinemas offer parent and baby showings of films. In these showing the lights are usually turned up and as everyone in attendance will have a baby with them, no one minds if they cry. They are best for before your baby gets too mobile, they tend to be hard work once they are really on the move.
I love the aquarium and it was a great place to take my children right from birth. The low lighting and the sound of water make the aquarium a fun sensory experience for one year olds as well as the beautiful creatures you can see.
A Mother and Baby Exercise Class
If you’re keen on fitness then see if there are mother and baby exercise classes in your area. The exercises are suitable for women who’s bodies have recently given birth and babies are often made part of the exercise routine.
Outdoor Places to Take a One Year Old
If the weather is nice it’s great to get outside with your baby. These places to take a one year will let you get some fresh air while you’re entertaining them.
Feed the Ducks
This is a really simple thing to do but something most one year olds love. Make sure you take or buy an appropriate food for the ducks (we know bread is bad for them now), peas or oats are good choices. For safety, don’t take your little one too close to the water, if they aren’t walking yet, you can keep them in the buggy or sling.
Take Your One Year Old to the Beach
A trip to the beach offers one year olds a totally different sensory experience to everyday life. The sea air, the smell of the water, the sand and sea on their feet are lovely experiences for babies. To be extra safe, choose a beach that has life guards and follow their instructions.
Go to a Playground
While the most fun at playgrounds is to be had once they are walking, pre mobile one year olds can still enjoy the swings at the playground, either in a specially designed baby swing or on your lap. You can also help them go down the slide and go on the roundabout with them. Once they are walking they’ll love running around the different equipment and trying new things.
Go for a Picnic with Your One Year Old
Most babies eat all of their food in a highchair so going for a picnic, where they get to eat outside and sitting on the floor, will be a fun new experience. It can also be a great time to offer food they are less keen on as the novelty distracts them!
Visit Some Gardens with your Baby
If you live close to any Royal Horticultural Society Gardens or indeed any other maintained gardens, then they can be a lovely place to walk with your one year old. You’ll probably have to pay for yourself but under 5s are often free.
Visit an Outdoor Play Centre
We are lucky to live close to an outdoor play centre that encourages babies to enjoy unstructured play outside. It includes things like mud kitchens, water play, tents, blocks to build with and sand. These types of places are great for encouraging independent play in your one year old.
Go on a Boat Trip with Your One Year Old
Like going on a train ride, the movement of the boat will be an interesting sensory experience for your baby, as will the smell of the water. Depending on the type of boat, you may need to wear life jackets so make sure they have babies sizes available.
Go to an Animal Sanctuary
By visiting an animal sanctuary you’re both supporting a charity and giving your baby a new experience. There will be lots of different sights and smells for baby to enjoy as well as the opportunity to practise naming animals and making animal sounds.
Visit a Petting Zoo or Park farm
Petting zoos and park farms often give you the chance to get hands on with the animals adding another sensory experience for your baby. Many also have playgrounds and soft plays in addition to the animals so they can make a great day out.
Go for a Walk in the Woods
All kinds of walks can be fun with a baby and the woods will offer your baby a different atmosphere for their walk. On sunny days the light coming through the trees will look pretty and if it has rained recently then the woods will smell different. In some woods there will be paths suitable for buggies, for others you might need a sling if your one year old isn’t walking yet.
Attend a Buggy Fit Session
These are like mother and baby exercise classes but done outside with your baby in their buggy. They can be a great way of getting some exercise and meeting other parents. Babies will often fall asleep during the session because of the movement of the buggy.
Choosing the Right Place to Take Your One Year Old
Babies change a great deal between the time they turn one and the time they turn two, and some of these places are more suited to one end of that time period than the other. Below are some summaries of the best paces for each stage of being one.
The Best Places to Take a Just Turned One Year Old
If your baby has just turned one, they may well not be walking yet. The places below work well for non walkers.
- The Cinema for a mother and baby showing
- A mother and baby exercise class or buggy fit session
- Out for a coffee date
- On a picnic
- A baby class
- A walk in some gardens
- An animal sanctuary
The Best Places to Take an 18 Month Old
Most children are walking by 18 months and this can change the sort of activities that work well. These suggestions work well for walking one year olds.
- Go swimming
- Take them to a baby and toddler group
- Go to the aquarium
- Go to the beach
- Go to the petting zoo or park farm
- Go for a walk in the woods
The Best Places to Take a One Year old Who will Soon Turn Two
At this point, your baby is practically a toddler and this opens up a lot more places to take them, my favourites for the age are:
- A soft play centre
- The Library
- A train ride
- The Playground
- An outside play centre
- A boat ride
- Feeding the ducks
What to Take With You When you Go Out with a One Year Old
Taking a baby out seems to require a huge amount of stuff. In fact it’s often the idea of how much we have to take, along with the fear of forgetting something, that stops us going places with a baby. If at all possible, it’s best to have a bag you keep packed with everything your baby needs to go out and about. Having it already there can make the idea of going out much less daunting.
Here is a summary of the key things you’ll need to take when going to places with a one year old:
- Nappies – It’s best to have quite a few packed so that you’re prepared for both short and long trips out. Make sure you update the size you carry as baby grows
- Nappy bags – If you’re using disposable nappies then you’ll want thin plastic bags to put soiled nappies in, if you’re using cloth nappies then you’ll need a wet bag
- Wipes – Either disposable or reusable, make sure you’ve got plenty. If they are reusable you’ll want to take wet bag too
- Changing mat – Some places will have lovely clean mats to change your baby on, others not so much, so it’s best to have your own just in case
- Milk – If your baby has regular milk to drink then you’ll want to have some with you, you can keep a bottle of ready mix formula in your bag along with a sippy cup to give it in as these don’t need to be sterilised for babies over one
- Spare clothes for baby – You’ll definitely want spare clothes for your baby, because of leaking nappies and spilled food and once they are on their feet, because there’s every chance they’ll fall in a puddle and need to change
- Spare clothes for you – If you have a sicky baby, you might want to pack spare clothes for yourself too, if you drive, you can always just store them in the car rather than carrying them around.
- Snacks – It’s good to have something for both baby and yourself so that you don’t ned to cut your outing short due to hunger
- Water – For both you and baby in case you get thirsty
- Toys – It can be useful to have a toy or two with you in case you need to keep baby occupied
Hopefully these ideas have inspired you to get out and about with your one year old and you now feel ready to go exploring together.
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