This exact question ran through my head when my daughter was a newborn. I think it does for most moms who are about to have a newborn or have one currently. Even though your newborn is teeny and fragile there is no reason to keep them cooped up inside all day.
Your newborn may even like all the different sounds outside and it is fine for newborns to get some fresh air every now and then. One thing to consider is the time of the year your newborn will be born in.
My daughter was born in July, we were outside often to enjoy the warmth. I would feel cooped up from being in the house all (sometimes that’s life with newborn) day so I would put my newborn in her baby carrier and we would go walking around our neighborhood. This got us outside and a little workout in as well.
If your baby is due in the winter time I would not go outside often. Newborns hardly have any fat to keep themselves warm. That being said use your judgments. If it is a sunny winter day maybe wait until midday since that is usually the warmest time of the day. Bundle your baby up and go get the mail or take a short stroll.
Use these tips below to help you know when a good time would be to take your newborn out in public.
Make sure to read to the bottom of the post or save it so you can come back later and finish! I don’t want you to miss any important pieces of information. Enjoy!
How Long Should I Wait Before Taking My Newborn Out In Public?
When is it safe to take my newborn out in public?
If you were for any reason advised not to by your baby’s pediatrician, you can take your newborn out in public whenever you feel comfortable enough to do so. It can be really nerve-racking to take your newborn outside the comfort of your home for the first time. However, getting some fresh air for both of you can do you some good.
If you are looking for an exact number then it is generally recommended to wait until your newborn is at least 6-8 weeks before going to crowded places with a lot of people. If you are wanting to sit outside your house you can for sure take your newborn with you.
I loved to sit outside and read a book while my newborn slept in her bouncer. There was something about being outside our house that really helped me to get over the baby blues and feel like myself again.
Are there certain places I should avoid?
YES! at least until your newborn immune system is a little more developed (typically wait 6-8 weeks). To keep your baby from catching any germs it will be best to avoid places such as these below:
- Shopping centers
- Any place that there is a lot of people
You also want to limit the number of people coming into your home especially in your baby’s first few weeks. It is hard to resist a newborn but people can carry and transfer germs.
Before someone holds your baby nicely remind them to wash their hands that way it can help limit the spread of germs.
Avoid busy times of the day
Rush hour or busy times of the day is generally not the best time to take your baby out in public. Try to do your grocery shopping, doctor visits or anything else that requires your newborn to be out in public around mid-morning hours.
You don’t want to be stuck in traffic with a hungry newborn. Yes, this happened to me once and it was horrible! I ended pulling off to the side of the road to nurse my daughter. Ever since that incident, I try to work my schedule around the non-busy times of the days.
Now my daughter and I will go run errands mid-morning since there are less traffic and people. I can get things done a lot faster and I am not stressing over a lot of people in one place.
If your newborn is under two months old LISTEN UP!
Babies who are less than two months old do not have a fully developed and functioning immune system. They are vulnerable to many serious infections. If your baby is sick at all call to make an appointment with the pediatrician or head the hospital of your baby has something more serious. Once your baby hits 2 months old they have reached a very important milestone!
PIN FOR LATER!
When you feel ready to take your newborn out here are some tips to help you prepare for your baby’s first outing:
- Start Small- You don’t need to plan a whole day of adventure for your newborn. You could start with 1 or 2-hour outing and work up to longer ones as your baby gets older. If you feel that is too long, do a shorter trip! You could start by walking around your neighborhood or park for 10-15 minutes.
I started sitting outside and reading a book for 20-30 minutes and also going on walks. This was perfect for us. It got us outside, I would sometimes get a little workout in and I wouldn’t feel so cooped up after.
Our daughter’s first winter she was only 4 months old and we mostly stayed inside. I didn’t want her getting sick and I don’t like the cold (we R..E..A..l..Y.. need to move to a warmer place). Use this list post and your judgment to determine when you want to take your newborn out.
- Tuck away your newborn- If you have to be in a place where a lot of people will be such as family gathering or holiday event keep your baby in their car seat, stroller or bassinet in the corner of the room and bring them out only when needed (such as feedings, diaper changes, or if they are getting fussy).
This way people will admire your teeny baby from a distant and avoid your baby being passed around from people to people.
- Use a cover- I absolutely LOVE these 360 nursing and car seat covers! I used mine all the time when we were going to be around people. People were only able to peek in through the top to see our baby, it came in hand when nursing, and it would keep some light out when she would be sleeping in her car seat.
If you don’t have a cover I defiantly recommend getting one because they are AMAZING! I love the one I have I loved the design, it was thin so I wouldn’t get too hot while nursing but no one could see in. I used our cover to cover her car seat, nursing, shopping carts and high chairs at restaurants.
They are a perfect way to protect your baby against germs.
- Keep teeny hands from touching your newborn- As I have said before it is hard for anyone to resist touching or holding a newborn. Children can be so fascinated with such a tiny human that they want to touch, poke and prod any chance they get.
If a child would like to hold your newborn, make sure they properly wash their hands before holding your baby. You could also suggest that they only touch your newborn’s feet. That is what we did whenever one of my nieces or nephews wanted to touch our newborn. They only touched her foot until our daughter was older.
- Make sure your newborn is only getting indirect sunlight– Tenny newborns don’t have much melatonin in their skin so they are more susceptible to getting sunburned. If you are going on a walk on a sunny day make sure your newborn has shade covering them.
Putting sunscreen on a newborn or an infant younger than 6 months old is a BIG NO-NO! It is dangerous to put sunscreen on children younger than 6 months old. If you are outside for a long period of time making sure your newborn has plenty of shade coverage.
I would often use my 360 canopy cover to cover my newborn in her car seat if we were outside or a swaddle blanket to cover her if she was strapped into the baby carrier. Shade is going to be your and your baby’s best friend if you are outside.
- Dress your baby for the appropriate weather– This kind of seems like a no-brainer but I have too often seen newborns and young infants in the winter with no socks or hats on. If it is winter time or a cold day PLEASE make sure your baby is dressed appropriately.
I had small warm booties for my infant during the winter to help keep her feet warm, warm coats, a hat and layered her clothes. If you are nervous about your newborn getting hot check out this article called “How To Know If You’re Overheating A Newborn” to know the signs and symptoms of your baby is overheating.
Our daughter was born in the summer so she often wore shorts, thin pants, and teeshirts. I would even keep a jacket on hand just in case there was a cool breeze or if we were going to be sitting in the shade for a long period of time.
Okay, I hope this gave you a general idea of when, where and how to get your newborn ready for their first outing. It is normal to be very cautious about taking your baby out for the first time. Going outside has big benefits for your baby such as…
- Getting Vitamin D- Your newborn not getting enough Vitamin D is a big concern. Sunlight is a great way to help your newborn get some Vitamin D (just make sure they are getting indirect sunlight). Not getting enough Vitamin D can have a long-lasting effect on bone structure and growth.
If you are planning to breastfeed your doctor may recommend taking Vitamin D supplements so that your baby will get some through the breastmilk. If you are not planning to breastfeed and use formula instead don’t worry mama! There are formulas with Vitamin D.
- One of the biggest benefits of going outside is that it has a big impact on mom in a positive way- It is so refreshing to get outside and breath in fresh air and feel the sunlight on your skin. Going on walks outside is a great way to help you get your body back, circulate your blood and just make you feel good!
Check on Facebook or in your area to see if there are any mommy walking groups. This way to get meet other moms, exercises and get outside!
After I fully recovered from birth I would go walking almost every morning. I felt so good after and I didn’t feel isolated, cooped up or stressed as much. I was a great way to kick my baby blues in the butt.
Getting outside for you and your newborn is a must! Just make sure to take precautions and follow the advice given in this post. It can be daunting to take your newborn out of your home for the first time. Follow your mama instincts and judgments and you will do just fine!