Many new parents worry about venturing outside with their tiny, delicate newborn. While some experts recommend parents wait until their precious little ones are a few months old, others believe as long as the baby is healthy, taking a stroll outside and enjoying the fresh air can be beneficial. Being outdoors in nice weather and basking in the sunlight can naturally energize you and help you de-stress from being cooped up inside. Additionally, sunshine provides Vitamin D, important for growing bones and exposing your newborn to new environments early on can help decrease the chances of them developing allergies. However, the following are a few precautions to consider to keep your baby safe and healthy.
1. Talk to Your Pediatrician: To be on the safe side, visit your pediatrician before going out on your first outdoor adventure with your newborn to make sure he/she is healthy enough and there are no concerns.
2. Start Small and Avoid Large Crowds: Getting out of the house can be exciting for you both but it can also be quite exhausting. Start slowly with a stroll around your neighborhood or a short visit to the local park so you won’t overtire yourself. Infants do not have fully developed immune systems so it’s best to avoid crowded places with poor ventilation such as shopping malls and restaurants. Also, keep your baby in a stroller or carrier to prevent well-meaning strangers’ attempts to touch or play with your newborn since he/she is susceptible to easily pick up unwanted germs.
3. Dress for the Weather: Avoid taking your little one out in extreme weather and harsh conditions. Be mindful of the heat and the cold but don’t over or underdress your baby. Babies are not able to regulate their body temperature as efficiently. Dress him/her in as many layers as you are wearing and bring a blanket in case an extra layer is needed. During the summer, always keep your infant directly out of sunlight. Their skin is too sensitive to apply sunscreen so make sure your baby stays in the shade and wears a hat.
4. Pack Accordingly: Newborns require a lot of necessities and you don’t want to find yourself away from home reaching for an essential you forgot to pack. Do yourself a favor and pack ahead of time. There are helpful packing lists out there from seasoned moms who have been in your situation once upon a time.
At the end of the day, unless your baby has specific medical conditions that affect when he/she will be ready to leave the house, you can decide what feels right and comfortable for you and your newborn. Just remember to start small and take the necessary precautions with your precious little one. Most importantly, enjoy every minute indoor or outdoor with your new baby as they grow up too fast!