- Family and Parenting
Your Baby's First Outing
How Long Should You Wait?
A lot of first time parents aren’t sure about when they should take a newborn on their first outing.
There isn’t a set amount of time that is generally accepted as the right time to take your baby out in public after birth. Honestly, it all depends on how you are feeling—if you think you and the baby are ready to go out, then you probably are.
Some parents choose not to have anyone around the baby for the first couple of days after birth, allowing time for the family to bond. Other parents enjoy having a lot of visitors around to welcome the new baby. You need to do whatever feels most comfortable for you.
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Two Day or Two Months?
Most of the parents I know enjoy taking their babies out for fresh air, walks to the park, or maybe out to the local coffee shop. It is best to avoid places like malls, and don’t be afraid to ask people not to touch your baby. Personally, I would never even consider asking to touch someone else’s baby unless I knew the family well. But you might find that people—strangers—might not even ask. Don’t be shy about this: if you don’t want people spreading germs to your baby, politely ask them not to touch the baby.
Your baby won’t get sick from going outside, but she can from catching a virus from someone else who is sick.
A friend of mine took her daughter to a soccer game when she was only three days old, while another friend didn’t take her daughter anywhere but the doctor’s office for the first two months.
Risks of Taking Your Baby Out
There really aren’t many risks you need to be aware of when taking your baby out. Probably the thing you will have to worry about is what I mentioned above: germs from other people.
You should be aware of weather conditions. If you are in the middle of a blizzard, you should probably put the baby’s first walk off for another day. If it is dead hot outside, keeping the baby out of the sun is advisable. No matter the weather, make sure your baby is properly dressed. A warm hat is needed for cold weather, while a sun hat is a must for summer days. Babies feel temperature changes more than adults do, so be aware of this. If the weather is a bit cool, dress your baby in an extra layer. Avoid exposing your baby to too much sunlight—infants have thinner skin than we do, and they are too young for sunscreen, so it is important to keep them shielded from direct sun exposure
Make sure you have a fully equipped diaper bag before you head out, and everything should be fine.
What Other People Think
It doesn’t what other people think—this is your baby, so you get to make the decisions. If you are up and ready to take your baby within the first week, then go ahead. At the same time, if you don’t feel comfortable taking your baby out for the first few months, that is perfectly acceptable.
Definitely ask your pediatrician for any advice or concerns, but remember that the decisions about your baby’s health and well-being are yours to make.
The only wrong decision is the one that makes you and your baby feel uncomfortable. People love to offer advice when it comes to…well, just about anything, but especially about babies—particularly if you are a first time parent. It doesn’t mean you have to take it.
With that said, let me offer you one bit of advice: Don’t make your parenting decisions based on what other people think, do what is best for your situation.