Tips to Landscape Your Backyard for Newborns and Infants: Insights From a Newborn Photographer

Backyard Landscaping Ideas for Kids| 3 Things to Keep In Mind
I often shoot on location in a family’s home. Taking family portraits, or even select newborn pictures at one’s home is a great alternative to studio newborn and family photographs. Because I have done quite a bit of this in my time, I can provide families with some things to think about as they prepare their own backyards. Not only will you be happier, the kids will have more fun and you can take your own awesome pictures throughout the year.

Landscaping a backyard with newborn and older infants and children in mind takes planning. Safety, fun and beauty all have to work together. If you are a family with children representing a range of ages, planning a backyard can be even more challenging. Younger children want a sandbox, older children want a tree house, and still others want a half-court basketball area. No matter what you decide to do most likely something will be sacrificed. However, keeping in mind age, safety and climate will help design the best backyard landscape for your kids.

1. Age: If you have young children, you will probably want to create a sandbox. Be sure that this is placed in an area that is not directly under trees. Bird droppings and small children can create havoc. At the same time, however you want to be sure that the sandbox is shaded at some point in the day. Few parents want their children sitting in the blazing hot sun for hours making sand castles. The other consideration is a bike or tricycle trail. Most families opt for poured concrete or paving stones that are not too bumpy. Design the tricycle trail so that it comes very close to the door of the home. This way, children can keep their tricycle covered in a space near the door. Many tricycle trails are designed to go around a garden. Children like to work in gardens and be responsible for watering the plants.

2. Safety: No matter what the ages of your children, it is best to select plants that will not attract bees or wasps. This is especially true for newborns and infants up to age 18 months. Evergreens are a good choice to avoid this problem. You also want to make sure that children have access to shade and water. If planting a tree is not possible given your situation, you may want to install a semi-permanent tarp that children can sit and play under. Or you may consider installing a drinking fountain and planting shade trees in appropriate areas. Jungle gyms are a childhood favorite, but unless you can afford playground safety material you may wish to provide only small slides and climbing areas no higher than 3 feet off the ground.

3. Climate: Keep in mind the climate you live in. Trees which lose their leaves may ruin sandboxes and clog up tricycle trails; not to mention create more work for you. Evergreens are great. They’re clean and look attractive all year. If your family has a tree house. Imagine how it will perform in each season of the year. Will it be safe in winter? Will ice form on the steps? Will it be too hot in the summer? How will it be ventilated?

Planning a backyard for children can be very fun. Not only will kids have a great childhood, but it can look terrific as well. Keeping in mind these three concerns will help you design a backyard landscape for kids that you will be proud to share.

Katie is a maternity, newborn and infant fine art photographer in Los Angeles, 91042.