HOW LONG BEFORE YOU CAN BRING A NEWBORN OUT IN PUBLIC?
Nothing is more exciting for new parents than showing their newborn to the world; it brings so much joy. It is also very elating for friends and family, and well-wishers to welcome your baby to their midst and show love, especially if you enjoy a cordial relationship with people. It is the same feeling for seasoned parents as well; parents of a newborn are eager to show off their adorable baby.
Taking your newborn baby outside for the first time is an exciting milestone for parents. But the question is when it is safe to take your baby out in the public?
Is it Safe to Take Your Baby Out to The Fresh Air?
Taking your newborn baby out for the first time could be daunting.
Well, if your physician hasn’t advised you otherwise, you may take your newborn out as soon as you feel yourself ready for it.
Fresh air and a change of pace can be good for people of any age, including babies, as long as you follow the safety rules.
You may feel daunting because of the fragility and the small size of your baby at first, but the fresh air and the change in the atmosphere will bring a good change in your mood.
However, in certain circumstances, like if your newborn baby was born premature or he/she has a health issue in which the immune system can be affected, your doctor may not suggest you go outside with your baby.
When to Take your Newborn Baby Out in Public?
You shouldn’t be in a hurry to take your fragile baby out in public, especially to crowded places. Although, it is not medical advice; bitter and regrettable experiences of some mothers should serve as a lesson and precaution to wait until your baby’s immunity is strong enough to withstand the harsh reality of the world we live in. Whenever you decide is a good time to take your baby out for the first time, you should follow a few tips that can help you keep your baby safe.
3 Important Things to Do Before Taking Your Newborn Out in Public
While you can take your baby out for the first time whenever you feel ready, there are a few things you should do that will help you keep your baby safe. Follow this list of tips:
Make sure the weather is suitable
Always check the weather before taking the baby out, especially in the few first weeks after birth. Spring is a wonderful time to take your baby out for the first time, same with fall. In summer, you need to protect your baby from the sun, therefore mornings or late afternoons are the best time of the day. In the winter, it’s perfectly safe to take your baby outside as long as your baby is bundled up properly and the temperature isn’t too cold. During the cold winter days, you can keep the trip brief. Once temperatures start to drop below 20º F, it’s best to stay inside if you can.
Every season has its ups and downsides; this should be a consideration before you take your baby out. Some mothers who warned against hurrying to go out with their newborns cited incidence of flu and other airborne germs common at a particular time each season as the reason.
Dress your baby for the appropriate weather
If it is hot, don’t overwhelm your baby with too many cloths. It will be uncomfortable for them. When it’s cold, dress your baby warmly and don’t stay out for too long.
Here are 3 newborn outfits for their first time outside:
Cotton baby outfit for hot days
These insanely cute jumpsuits from Amazon are perfect for newborns and great for hot days. They are made from cotton and linen material which makes them comfortable and breathable to wear. The fabric is soft and there are buttons at the bottom of the jumpsuits that make it easy to open whenever you need to change your baby’s diaper.
Fleece baby bunting bodysuit to keep your baby warm
This baby bodysuit is the #1 Amazon Best Seller on Amazon. It’s made from durable fleece and will keep your baby warm when they need it. This cozy bodysuit has rollover cuffs that convert to mittens and booties that help adjust the bodysuit to the weather outside. The zipper makes for easy diaper changes and getting dressed before going out with the baby.
Get a newborn baby stroller
The best way to take your baby out for the first time is with a pram (also known as a stroller with bassinet) such as this one or a fully reclining stroller that is good for newborns like this one here. The main difference between a stroller and a pram is that a stroller has an upright seat, whereas a pram has a flat, reclining surface. Although you can also use a baby carrier that will hold your baby on you, it is way more comfortable for you and the baby to have the first walk outside with a newborn stroller. This way you can place your baby safely inside and cover him or her with a blanket if needed.
Best baby stroller with bassinet for newborns
I personally used a stroller with a bassinet just like the one in the image above for walking around with my newborns until they turned to be 5-6 months old. Honestly, I think that these are the best for newborns. Think about it as a rolling bed on wheels for newborns – because they are so delicate and they need to lie on a flat surface at this young age – this option is just perfect for them. In most cases, you can use a baby pram until they get to the age of six months. This is when they start to be too big to fit stroller bassinets and then you’ll have to move them to a regular baby stroller. In fact, there are many parents that buy fully reclinable strollers like Mompush or the one with the bassinet which are exactly what newborns need. This way you can use an all-in-one stroller that fits infants and toddlers, save money and adjust the stroller as your baby grows older. Some of them even have the parent-facing option to turn the chair so the baby will face toward you when you walk with the stroller (like this stroller from Amazon here).
Here are some of the best newborn baby strollers on the market today:
You can also check Amazon’s Best Sellers in Baby Strollers page to check the best options.
What about taking your baby to crowded places? Should you Avoid Some Places?
Yes, there are certain places where it is not good to go with your newborn baby. For instance, newborns and younger babies can easily catch germs and fall ill. I remember when I put my son in a daycare, he was sick very often during the first four months until he got caught all the possible baby viruses and got used to them. According to NHS, immunity in newborn babies is only temporary and starts to decrease after the first few weeks or months. Therefore, it is better to avoid taking them to crowded places such as shopping centers and restaurants, especially in the first 6 weeks of your baby’s life.
Similarly, you may also not welcome too many guests at your home in these early weeks. Obviously, everyone would like to embrace your newborn baby, and this will expose your baby to a number of different germs.
If you cannot stop people from visiting you, you can ask them to wash their hands thoroughly before holding your newborn and avoid kissing your baby’s face.
How long should you wait?
A pediatrician in the ER corroborated these experienced mothers’ warnings, and advice you should wait at least six weeks before taking your newborn out in public to crowded places. As mentioned earlier, the reason for six weeks without public outing is to have the child immune system appropriately strengthened to withstand the many possible infections flying around outside the house.
She said infants under six weeks old with fever complications would immediately get a septic workup and spinal tap which will cause them to be admitted in the hospital for about 36 hours. The reason for such a terrible condition, she said, is because the baby’s immune system is still fragile and will breakdown with any exposure to infection. Even while at home, you should be careful who you allow access to your newborn because not everyone is as healthy as they look.
She added that your baby looking hale and hearty now doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind as a baby can present any sign of sickness at any time that can be severe. She concluded that from her experience, she waits at least six weeks before contemplating taking her newborn out to crowded places.
Newborns Are Delicate
A newborn is in the formative age that just left the well-protected environment of the womb where everything is available for their needs. And now have to build his defenses to cope with the real world; mothers should be patient to allow their babies to grow enough before subjecting them to the harsh reality of the world.
Nobody is saying a medical report or research asks you to keep your newborn in the house up to a specific time, but experience sometimes is the best teacher we need to learn from. Some mothers hit the streets with two-day-old babies without any incidence. While their immune systems are beginning to kick into gear to keep up with everything they’re exposed to, they are still susceptible to illnesses that can be dangerous for them.
Dangerous Illnesses lurk around
You need to protect your newborn from these fatal illnesses:
- Stomach Viruses With Diarrhea
- Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
- Whooping Cough or Pertussis
Schedule Doctor’s Visit Wisely
If you want to take your child to a doctor for a regular visit, weight check, or even because of jaundice concerns, you should plan your visit wisely.
This is because such places are not ideal for newborns to visit and spend hours there waiting for their turns.
Many clinics offer separate waiting areas for sick and well, just to separate these populations and keep healthy kids safe from exposure to germs. Some doctors offer separate waiting areas for newborns as well.
The best thing you can do to keep your newborn safe is to avoid busy timings. Usually, when a doctor’s office is open and right after school (around 3 pm), the place is crowded. Therefore, it is better to avoid these timings.
However, these tips can help you:
THINGS TO PAY ATTENTION TO WHEN TAKING YOUR NEWBORN BABY OUT
If you have a newborn baby and you want to take him/her out, there are some tips to help you:
- Keep Your Newborn Baby Tucked Away: If it is necessary to take your baby out to a family gathering, holiday, or to a religious ceremony, try to keep your baby in a bassinet, cot, car seat, or a stroller. It is better to keep your child in the corner of the room, or preferably in another room.
Remember, people can praise your child from a distance as well. Avoid passing your child around, as it may increase the chances of going your kid in the hands of a sick person.
- Cover your Baby: While you are out with your newborn baby, try to keep him/her covered with a blanket.
- No Direct Sunlight: Keep your newborn baby away from direct sunlight. Newborns can only get indirect sunlight. It is because newborns have low melatonin, which makes them prone to sunburn.
Keeping these guidelines in mind, you can take your newborn baby out and enjoy your time with them.
What to do when you are back in the house
Since there is no tradition that says you can’t take your newborn baby out in public, but be guided as already discussed. If you ever go out with your baby, ensure to bathe her immediately if needed, when you are back at the house to wash away possible germ. It is advised to wash your hands before feeding or doing anything to your baby.