From the moment you bring your baby home, you start to create a new routine for everyday life. The first few days and weeks postpartum may very well be spent inside getting to know your little one’s cues and cries, establishing breastfeeding and gaining confidence in your ability as a new mom to care for her needs.
Eventually though, the idea of fresh air, catching some vitamin D and seeing someone other than your delivery driver may tempt you enough to take your new baby out for the first time.
According to most pediatricians, it’s safe to take a newborn baby outside from day one, as long as new parents follow a few extra precautions.
Avoid Direct Sunlight.
Your baby’s skin is too delicate for the sun ray’s (even in cold weather), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) discourages the use of sunscreen for children under 6 months of age. Ensure your stroller or car seat carrier has an adequate canopy or utilize an additional cover if needed to keep baby safe from getting a sunburn.
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Keep Germs From Hands and Faces Away.
Not only does that cover help with sun safety, but frankly, it keeps onlookers out of your sweet pea’s space. As a rule of thumb, avoid any interactions between baby and strangers while out and about. (We’re fresh off the heels of a global pandemic, after all!) Your newborn’s immune system is fragile, so do not feel pressure to allow passerby to have a peek—just keep on walking! And it’s probably a good idea to have some hand sanitizer or wipes with you at all times, too.
Dress Baby Appropriately.
You’ll want to mind the temperature when taking your newborn outside to ensure she’s not dressed too warmly and at risk of getting over-heated. For cooler weather, pack a blanket or two for keeping her warm as needed.
If you’re feeling confident and want to venture beyond a jaunt around the block, do it! Here are a few tips for making it through.
Pick a Simple Destination.
There’s nothing wrong with starting small by hitting the park or the bookstore around the corner and heading straight home again. A sole location is easier to anticipate and makes prepping the diaper bag more straightforward.
Pack Plenty of Supplies.
Bring along a few more diapers and wipes than you think you’ll need—just for your own peace of mind. After a while, you’ll have a better gauge of what you need—and in what amounts.
Know it Will Take Time.
Everything takes longer with a baby. Be prepared to stop frequently for feedings, changes or a comforting snuggle. Try to not be in a rush and enjoy the process of just having your newborn out and getting a grip on another aspect of this parenting thing. You’re doing it!
Nix Any and All Expectations.
Put zero pressure on this first trip out. Don’t commit to meeting someone at a certain time or picking up grocery store items for dinner that night. That way you can push it back if naptime runs late or your need more flexibility.