Gardening with a baby is possible and can even be fun once your child is a few months old. Just follow some common-sense measures and make it a great experience for you both. Exercise reasonable precautions when allowing babies in the garden.
How to Garden with a Baby
Only take a baby into the garden when old enough to sit, crawl, and/or pull up. Find a sturdy, lightweight playpen for a shady spot near the garden. Be realistic as to how long the baby will be entertained with a few toys and the outdoor experience.
It may seem obvious to most people but you shouldn’t take the baby out in the heat of the day. Both mom and baby should stay indoors during hot, sunny times of the day, especially midday in summer, unless you’re in a shady area. Avoid having the baby in the sun for too long, if at all, and when you do it’s a good idea to apply proper sunscreen.
Apply a baby-safe insect repellant, or better yet, refrain from being outside when insects, such as mosquitoes, are most active – like later in the day.
Older children can help with keeping the baby occupied, as can your pets. When possible, make outdoor chore time in the garden a fun, family time. Don’t expect to work in the garden with an infant but rather use this time to take care of little tasks like harvesting veggies, cutting flowers, or simply sitting/playing in the garden.
Other Tips for Gardening with a Baby
If your baby is still an infant when gardening season begins, take advantage of those doting grandparents to watch baby (and other small children) while you’re outside working. Or, take turns with other gardening adults in the household as to who will garden and who will care for the baby. Perhaps you can alternate with a friend who also has a baby and a garden.
Use a babysitter for those trips to the garden center, where you’ll be lugging bags of soil and concentrating on buying seeds and plants. It’s can be dangerous leaving baby in a hot car even for a short time while you’re loading it with necessities.
If your garden spot is not near the house, this is a good time to begin some container gardening closer to the home. Care for potted flowers and veggies on the porch and then move them to a nearby sunny spot or whatever works in your layout. You might bring a baby monitor outside with you for short periods of time as well.
Gardening with a baby is manageable and should be fun for all involved. Safety is top priority. As the child grows, you’ll be glad they’re accustomed to the gardening process. As they get a little older, you might give them a little garden spot of their own, because you know they’ll want to help. They’ll also be happy they’ve learned this skill set at an early age.