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Your Baby's First Outing

Updated on February 27, 2008

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.

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.

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    • profile image

      Nadezda 

      5 years ago

      Oh my goodness! I hope I win! I just had my baby 5 weeks ago and would LOVE to get him some toys! I would prbolbay choose the cordy roy gator. That thing is so cute! I also like the Upper/Lowercase ABC blocks. For clothes I really like the organic whale and giraffe onsies. SO CUTE!!Loved your interview by the way!

    • profile image

      Bagitzhan 

      5 years ago

      choices you’ve made are good ones, you’ll avoid injury and strses. Mouse here for Related LinksCouch To 5K: My Fitness Goal For 2012 Faithfully Frugal & Free Share and

    • twoseven profile image

      twoseven 

      7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      I love the final piece of advice! Applies to everything. We ended up taking our son to a free concert in the park when he was only a week old - it was a little harrowing at times (pulling over after 5 minutes in the car to breastfeed!), but also worth it and made a great picture for our Christmas card :)

      I think for us it was a good way to get fresh air and feel like we could still be part of the larger world even with our baby. But that's just what felt right to us... might be totally the opposite for someone else.

    • Sarah Songing profile image

      Sarah Songing 

      9 years ago

      Very balanced, informative hub. So useful for new parents with so many questions about what to do with a new, little life in their hands. I love your advice to go with your gut and do what feels right to you, you can never go wrong that way.

      One piece of advice I would add is: relax. Millions of people have done this before you. Millions of infants survive being schlepped about in the world every day. You and your child will too. Take a deep breath and enjoy yourself!

    • MasonsMom profile image

      MasonsMom 

      10 years ago from U.S.A.

      A very valid Hub you've written! My son was almost two months old before our first real outing (excluding the few to the pediatrician and right back home) but that was because I was very ill after I had him and had to be rehospitalized--I probably would have taken him out a little sooner if things had been different.

      When I finally took him to the store and to see some friends, I must admit I bawled like a baby when we got home and secretly apologized to him for exposing him to the world.

      I now blame that on raging hormones! :)

    • vreccc profile image

      vreccc 

      10 years ago from Concord, NH

      Ain't no one touching my baby!!

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      10 years ago from Seattle

      vreccc, so sorry to hear about the difficulty. It will happen, and you guys will end up with a beautiful baby--just don't let strangers touch the baby!

    • vreccc profile image

      vreccc 

      10 years ago from Concord, NH

      Sweet!!!!

      My wife and I don't have our own children yet, so we parent vicariouly through our friends with children. We have become very close to a now one-year son of our best friends. Actually, my wife just had a D&C. We are very sad. This was our first attempt.

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