Summer may just be the best season to be a new mom.
1. You can say farewell to cabin fever
It's pretty tough to motivate yourself to go outdoors when it's minus 10 degrees outside. Even tougher when you're possibly sleep-deprived and still recovering from childbirth. But during summer maternity leave, when the weather is warm and subby, getting out and about is far more appealing. Even if you only go for a short walk or run a few errands, you'll feel better for it.
2. Ice cream. All the ice cream
Hey, you've just had a baby. You deserve as much ice cream as you can get your hands on. (Make mine a pint of Ben and Jerry's!) The same goes for popsicles, corn dogs, lobster rolls and any other summer snack you just can't get enough of.
3. Your baby can wear fewer clothes (and that means less laundry!)
When you have to layer your newborn up in a bodysuit, T-shirt, pants, cardigan, snowsuit, hat, gloves and socks, sometimes it's just not worth the effort. This is why summer trumps winter for maternity leave, hands down. You want to get dressed and get out of the house before Baby spits up/needs a diaper change/demands a feed, right? Time is of the essence—and light summer layers are your best friend.
4. It's easier to make friends when the sun is shining
It's undeniable: people are happier when the sun's out. Light nights mean garden parties and barbecues, which mean more opportunities to socialize. Plus, the relaxed, informal vibe is usually child-friendly, so you don't have to miss out on the fun if you don't want to leave your little one with a sitter yet. The good weather bringing everyone outdoors will also boost your chances of meeting new mom friends: in the park, at the pool, or just on stroller duty around the neighborhood trying to get baby to sleep.
5. There's Vitamin D on tap
And speaking of sunshine—hey there, free vitamin D! If your baby is jaundiced, exposure to sunlight every day will help. And you, Mom, need vitamin D for a healthy immune system, to fight disease, and help regulate mood and ward off depression. Don't overdo it, though—stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day and remember your tot will overheat much quicker than you do. Dress her in lightweight, loose clothing, keep her hydrated and scope out a shady spot wherever you go. And ask baby's pediatrician about sunscreen.
6. Dare we say, there are fewer germs...
Delicate newborns need to protected from germs and infections all year round, of course, but doesn't it seem like it's easier to avoid cold and flu bugs during the summer months? Yet another high five for having a warm-weather baby.
7. Summer fashion is 4th trimester-friendly
Swollen legs and feet from pregnancy? Stilettos relegated to the back to the closet for ever more? Flip-flops are your summer maternity leave godsend, along with comfy, floaty skirts and maxi dresses and loose tops. Summer fashion is super fourth-trimester friendly!
8. It's easier to fit in exercise outdoors
Walking is one of the best types of exercise both during and after pregnancy—it's low-impact and can be done by women of all fitness levels, but still counts as weight-bearing cardio. It gives your muscles and tissues an oxygen boost, and during pregnancy this benefit is passed to the baby via the placenta. Just make sure you wear comfortable shoes and take plenty of water when you head out. Another great low-impact exercise is swimming—find an outdoor pool and enjoy a refreshing cool-down while strengthening your muscles, reducing your stress levels and boosting your mood. (Because mental health is just as important as physical health, particularly when you're a new mom.)