Tips for Taking Your Baby Out into Public
As a brand new parent, we understand that this is an exciting time for you. You’re experiencing a lot of firsts with your child. There’s the first time you feed your baby and your first time bringing your baby home and placing him or her in their crib. The first diaper change, which you may follow up with your first time bathing your child. While these are amazing times you’ll want to cherish, there are probably some firsts that you’re a little worried about. One of those experiences may involve taking your infant out to a public area for the very first time. It’s something that every family goes through. As long as you’ve prepared properly, everything should be fine. To help get you ready, the Breastfeeding Shop has put together some tips for taking your baby out into public.
When Is It Safe To Take My Baby Out?
You don’t want to be sitting at home alone with your infant going stir crazy, so it’s important that you do take your baby outside at some point. Besides, you’ll eventually need to go on some sort of errand, whether it’s grocery shopping or buying diapers. As long as you’re taking proper precautions, it’s totally safe to take your child outside for a walk as soon as you’re ready yourself. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, some doctors suggest waiting at least a few months before you head into public areas with your child.
It’s probably best to avoid crowded, poorly-ventilated spaces for up to six to eight weeks after your baby’s birth. There are no stringent rules that say this. But it will help you avoid any air-borne germs and diseases that could be harmful. Before you go into public with your child, you should talk to your pediatrician about it. Make sure that your baby is up to date on vaccines.
Create Some Personal Space for the Baby
If you have a stroller, this is the perfect place to set up some personal space. Just pull over the stroller’s canopy and make sure your newborn infant is in a reclined position. Many jogging strollers don’t recline, so you’ll want to hold off on that for a bit. Another option is wearing your baby in a wrap or carrier. This will bring your baby close to you, and your hands will be completely free. This set up will hopefully deter people from touching the child.
As you walk around, people may want to stop you to see the baby and maybe play some peekaboo. This can be an awkward situation, but you should stand your ground and politely ask any passersby to keep their distance from the baby. You don’t know where they’ve been or the last time they washed their hands. This is especially important to consider during cold and flu season. If someone has been sick recently, you should absolutely keep your child away from them. An infant’s immune system won’t mature for a few months.
Dress Your Baby Properly
You may have some cute onesies you’d like to show off. But you have to ensure you dress your baby appropriately for the weather before you go out with your baby. You can check your child’s temperature by placing your hand on the forehead. In the winter, you’ll need several layers, making sure to cover the infant’s hands, feet, and head. Think of what you’re going to wear and then add in an extra layer for the baby (that extra layer could be a blanket). Once you get back indoors, make sure that you remove a layer or two from your child’s body, so they’re not too hot. The child may look flushed or sweaty or start to cry if they’re uncomfortable.
If it’s summertime, you’ll want to fully cover the child with light, loosely-fitted cotton clothing and a floppy hat. Because of the baby’s sensitive skin, it’s also important to avoid the sun during its peak hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Infants are susceptible to UV rays, and you don’t want to use sunscreen for the first six months.
Make Sure You Have Everything You Need
No matter how long you plan to go out for, you’ll also want to pack a diaper bag ahead of time. An infant needs a lot of different gear, and you don’t want to get stranded out somewhere without something your child needs. If you prepare properly, you can make sure you’re not missing anything. The types of items you should bring include a couple of changes of clothes, an extra blanket, some small toys, wipes, hand sanitizer, diapers, diaper cream, a changing pad or sheet, a plastic bag for used diapers, burp cloths, a couple of pacifiers, formula, and a breastfeeding cover — if you’ve been feeding and breast pumping. Once you figure out everything you need, you can create a checklist, helping to shorten your prep time for subsequent adventures out of your home. This will make it easier once you start taking your baby out into public.
Start with Something Small
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into taking your baby out for the first time. Additionally, it can be tiring for a new mom who is still recovering from childbirth. If you had a C-section, you’ll probably have to wait a bit longer before you can go out for a walk or drive your car. Before you go out alone with your infant for the first time, make sure that you’re able to lift your baby in their car seat without any problem. On the other hand, you could always enlist a friend to come help you with the physical aspects of the trip. It’s best to have some shorter trial trips before you take your baby out for several hours or a whole day. Once you’re feeling more comfortable, you can expand your excursions.
Also, whenever possible, it can help make things easier if you feed the baby directly before you leave home. Once you return home, it’s best to wash your hands as well as your child’s hands — especially if someone touched him or her. We hope that this post helps and you now know what to do before you start taking your baby out into public.
We hope that these tips for taking your baby outside are helpful for you. If you have any further questions, you can consult our blog for more breastfeeding and baby care information.