Once you feel ready to venture out of the house with your newborn, your mind starts flooding with questions. When is it safe to take a newborn out? When can babies be around crowds? Should I let others hold my newborn?
Below we’ve answered some typical questions first-time moms have about leaving the house with a newborn, as well as provided five fun and easy outings you can go on with your new little sidekick and precautions to take.
No one expects you to stay home forever after having a baby, and there aren't any medical rules saying you can’t take your baby out until he is a certain age. But, some pediatricians may recommend waiting until your baby is 6-8 weeks old to take him out in public, especially to crowded and poorly ventilated places, since his immune system is still developing. Your pediatrician may also advise you to wait until your baby is at least a couple months old if he was premature or born during cold and flu season.
Do you feel too tired to leave your house? Are you overwhelmed thinking about everything that could go wrong if you do leave? That’s normal. Every mom has felt the same. But taking your newborn out will be good for you and her. Plus, newborns are pretty portable—even with all the stuff they require.
So after packing your diaper bag, here are some things you could do:
A walk around your neighborhood is the perfect first outing unless of course, it’s wintertime. You can make it as long or short as you want. You can test out your new stroller or baby carrier. Your body could also use some natural vitamin D, and the fresh air will do wonders for both of you.
If the weather permits, grab your stroller and visit a local farmer’s market. It may or may not be as crowded as your local grocery store, but it’s outside so at least the air quality is better. And a bonus for you, even if you don’t buy anything, you can sample lots of yummy fresh produce, cheeses, honey, salsas, etc.
Museums are quiet, making them pretty perfect spots for moms with newborns. You can enjoy all the beautiful artwork and culture while your baby peacefully snoozes.
You may not be ready to take your newborn to a restaurant, but you could take your little buddy on a date to get some much-needed caffeine. Coffee shops are warm and comfortable, the kind of place your newborn will like. If you’re not a coffee drinker, have a cup of hot chocolate or tasty breakfast pastry instead.
After having a baby, your body changes. Feel a little more confident in your new mom bod with a new outfit from Target. While the drive up option is very convenient, sometimes a car ride isn’t enough of an outing for mom (we feel you). To make your first shopping trip alone with your baby successful, make sure you:
Because newborns are delicate and so susceptible to germs, you should take every precaution to protect your baby. Here are some we suggest:
The more people you’re in close proximity to, the more likely it is for your baby to get sick. She can pick up someone’s airborne germs from them coughing, sneezing, or even breathing near her. Enclosed places with bad ventilation, like a mall, are the places to avoid most.
Babies are irresistible. Everyone you see will ooh and ahh over your little one. Some may also want to touch, hold, or kiss him. But should you let others hold your newborn? That’s up to you. If you’re fine with someone holding him, ask them to wash their hands first.
Also, don’t feel bad about setting restrictions with friends and family members. If you know someone has been sick or around sick people, it’s OK to ask them not to touch your newborn or wait to visit. If you don’t want anyone kissing your baby, tell them. You’re not being rude. You’re being a good mom and protecting your baby, and people will understand and respect that.
Babies aren’t able to regulate their body temperature like adults. Newborns also can’t fully sweat yet. So whether you’re going out in hot or cold temperatures, make sure your newborn is dressed for the weather.
A good rule of thumb is to dress your baby like you’re dressed, and then maybe add an extra layer. If you’re comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt, consider dressing your newborn in a lightweight long-sleeve bodysuit and lightweight pants. You should also keep a hat on your newborn’s head and socks or little booties on her feet.
After your outing, it’s a good idea to wash your hands and your newborn’s hands once you’re home, especially if someone has touched him. Some moms take it one safety step further and give their baby a bath and a new set of clothes to ensure he’s germ-free.
Whatever you decide to do, just remember to trust your mom instincts and have fun venturing out!