When Can I Take My Newborn Out In Public?
Babies are miniature humans. Although it is important to take precautions, most pediatricians and mothers agree that newborns can go out in public shortly after birth. A baby’s immune system is new and developing, that doesn’t mean it won’t protect them. With proper diet, avoiding contact with people who may be ill and making sure items the baby uses are kept sterile, an infant’s risk of contracting an illness is minimal.
If an infant is breastfed, they receive an abundance of antibodies from their mother that help them fight off a variety of germs and viruses from the very minute they are born. Many people believe that a prolonged hospital stay can be more dangerous for a newborn than being in public, due to the increased risk of staph and strep infections that are often found there.
If a parent plans to take a newborn out in public, they must be adequately prepared for any type of situation. A list of items that will be needed include:
- Baby blankets – Always take three or four receiving blankets and at least one large baby blanket. Receiving blankets are small and lightweight and are excellent in case a baby spits up or has a diaper mishap.
- Extra formula and several small bottles of water – If a woman is breastfeeding they may only need to take one or two small bottles of water. It is always good to have formula as a backup, however, even if only as a last resort.
- Diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream– Newborns need to be changed often, especially boys who have been circumcised. Keeping a newborn clean and dry prevents the risk of diaper rash.
- Several changes of clothes – It’s always a good idea to take at least two extra outfits. Baby’s who have been started out on formula may spit up more often than those who are breastfeeding. Once again, keeping them clean and dry is extremely important.
- An approved, rear-facing car seat that can be easily adjusted
A newborn’s body is just beginning to learn to function on its own. If there is any type of breeze or chill to the air, keeping them warm and well bundled is important to keep them from getting chilled. Protecting them from the elements is just as important as keeping them away from people who are sick. Taking care to make sure they are not exposed to dangerous or unsafe conditions is a necessary precaution.
Newborn’s need fresh air much like everyone else. Fresh air and sunshine provide necessary elements a newborn must have to survive. Infants who are born during the winter, should have limited exposure to the cold air, but when temperatures are moderate taking them outside is much more beneficial than keeping them cooped up inside where air tends to be more stagnant and full of airborne contaminants. Sunshine, even if received through a window, in the home is absorbed by the infant and converted into much needed Vitamin D.
Exposing infants and newborns to the outdoors is beneficial as long as steps are taken to protect them from various dangers and risks.
About the Author
Becky Flanigan has lived near the beach since she was a kid. She gave up on surfing a while back, but enjoys walking the beach just as much as ever. Becky always enjoys the challenge of a new writing assignment.