Having a baby is a huge burden for many new moms. Staying home all the time, running around, trying to figure out what your baby needs can be stressful. Not to mention those panic episodes during the night when the baby starts crying from out of nowhere.
Being nervous in such situations is normal for new moms. Taking your baby outside for the first time is an entirely different thing than going out when you were pregnant. Instead of taking only your bag, keys, and phone, you have to think about everything your baby needs. You always get those “what if I forgot something” thoughts that can stress you out in a second. So that brings us to the question when is it safe to take a newborn outside?
Your baby can’t sit up or do anything until it’s at least six months old. However, you can take it outside for a walk 6 or 8 weeks after giving birth. With that said, try steering clear of big crowds of people because your baby’s immune system is still developing. So, when you do decide on going for a walk, here are some useful tips that will help you be prepared for everything.
1. Give your baby the personal space it needs
You should expect strangers to stop by the stroller to take a look at your baby through the peekaboo window. Sure, that can be scary, but you should be worried because people only mean well. You will probably feel the urge to tell people to stay back or feel uneasy when they get closer for a look.
You shouldn’t fight those instincts, but don’t react impulsively either. Instead of yelling at people, tell them not to touch your baby and keep a safe distance politely.
The best thing you can do is to protect your baby with a see-through cover or a baby carrier when you leave the house. Choose the right stroller for your little one so that he/she can feel safe. If people insist on touching the baby, tell them that it’s still not developed enough and that it could catch some germs or viruses. Or just tell them that it’s tired and move on. You’re the one in charge, don’t forget that.
2. Talk to your pediatrician
Even if your baby isn’t scheduled for a doctor’s checkup, and there’s nothing wrong with it, make sure you consult your pediatrician before taking the baby outside for the first time. The doctor will tell you if it’s safe to take the baby outside and he will point out any potential issues you could experience. Your baby could have side effects from vaccines, and if that’s the case, you better stay inside.
3. Pack the diapers in advance
When your baby gets older, you won’t have to think about so many essentials like you do when it’s still a newborn. You will have to pack a bunch of stuff just in case, even if your baby doesn’t need it at the moment. The one thing you will need for sure is a bag of diapers. You should never leave the house without packing diapers, so it’s best you keep them in the under the basket of your stroller even if you’re not going anywhere.
That way, you will never find yourself in an unpleasant situation with a crying baby and no replacement diapers. Make sure you pack some extra diapers, wipes, burp clothes, a changing pad, diaper cream, and a couple of bottles filled with formula. Never leave the house without these things.
4. Make your first outdoor trip a quick one
Getting out of the house after a month of being cooped up will be an excellent experience for the baby, and the mommy too. It will, however, be very exhausting and challenging. That’s why you should plan a short excursion for the first time. Walks to the grocery store or a quick stroll around the neighborhood will work just fine..
Make sure you pack up all the essentials, so you don’t get that “what if I forgot something” voice in your head. You have to feel confident that you’ve got everything covered. When you’ve reached your planned destination, turn around and head home right away. Your baby is safest in a cozy environment of your home.
5. Avoid going to crowded places
When we said short walks outside – we meant it. Going for a stroll around the mall isn’t a good idea at all. First off, it’s crowded and full of people that carry all kinds of viruses and germs that could harm your baby. That’s a tip you’ll get from any pediatrician or doctor.
So, when you look at things from this perspective, the first walk for the baby isn’t that scary now, is it? You will have to think in advance and make sure you’re equipped with extra diapers, wet wipes, a couple of bottles of formula, extra burp clothes, and other essentials your baby could need.
Plan the trip and don’t let it take more than 30 minutes. As your baby gets used to the world around it, you will be able to plan longer trips, but don’t rush it. When the time for the first walk finally arrives, take the baby to a park or for a stroll around the block and try to avoid going to crowded places.
Nothing is more important than your child’s health and safety, even if you feel cooped up after spending a couple of months indoors. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.