The first few weeks with your newborn can seem like a whirlwind of activity and if you have any free time at all, the only thing you probably want to do is sleep. Isn’t that correct? But once you start getting used to your new routine, you’ll soon want to start getting out of the house for a bit every day. Spending time outdoors can be really beneficial for both you and your new baby. Not only will it provide you with some much-needed recreation and fresh air, but it’ll also help you get some exercise and is a great mood-lifter. Even though going out with your newborn for the first time might be a little nerve-wracking, you’ll soon get the hang of it.
When is it okay to take your newborn baby out for the first time?
This might surprise you but you can take your newborn outdoors within a week of bringing her home, unless you have any strict instructions from your doctor not to (due to health issues). However, experts suggest that you wait at least 6-8 weeks before taking your baby to crowded places, as your little one’s immune system is still developing and they are susceptible to infections. But, as long as you take your little one to less-crowded areas, it can be perfectly safe to take your newborn out before 6 weeks are up.
Here are some important newborn care tips to keep in mind before taking your baby out for the first time.
- Don’t rush it
Often, getting your baby (and yourself) ready to go out will take longer than the actual time you spend outdoors. So, give yourself enough time and make sure you start prepping things an hour or two in advance. Even so, there might be a last-minute (poopy) emergency or two. Don’t stress. Simply relax and go with the flow.
- Keep outings short at first
Make simple plans at first. A leisurely walk around your neighborhood or a visit to a friend’s place is a great way to get your baby accustomed to new surroundings. Take it one step at a time and build up towards longer outings.
- Look, don’t touch
When you’re out walking with your little one, there’s a strong chance people will stop to admire your cute little bundle of joy. There’s no harm in this BUT your baby can pick up even the slightest infection very easily, so it’s important to politely ask people NOT to touch your baby at this stage. A light stroller cover can offer your newborn baby care & protection during your walk.
- Get the go-ahead from your baby’s pediatrician
On your first visit to the pediatrician (which is usually a few days after you bring baby home), ask any questions you may have, and check if it’s okay to take your baby outdoors.
- Stay away from crowded areas
The risk of your little one picking up any infection is much higher in places that are crowded, so avoid such areas for the first 6-8 weeks. Too much noise and activity can also over-stimulate baby and is generally not recommended.
- Pack a diaper bag for emergencies
Unless you’re going for a quick walk around the block, you should always carry a diaper bag along with extra diapers, wipes, burp cloth, a change of clothes, and a bottle (if baby is drinking formula). Even if you don’t end up using any of these essentials, knowing that you’re prepared for any emergency can give you ease of mind.
- Dress baby appropriately
To make sure your baby enjoys her time outdoors, make sure you dress her comfortably and according to the weather. Choose easy-to-change and practical clothing in case you need to quickly change your baby while you’re outside
- Decide how you’re going to carry your baby
Are you more comfortable wearing your baby in a sling/carrier for extended periods or would you rather take your baby out in a stroller? You can also switch between the two while you’re outside. Having your stroller also means that you have place to put baby’s diaper bag and your other essentials. Wearing your baby in a sling/carrier can be convenient at a grocery store when you want to go hands-free.
- Pick your location wisely
Think about where you’re going and whether you’ll have a place to feed/change your baby if the need arises? Plan accordingly.