Many moms wonder how long they have to wait before taking a newborn on her first official outing. Babies are born with immunities they've received in utero that protect them from infections during the first few months of life; yet most doctors agree that the safest place to take your newborn is outdoors, where she is least likely to be exposed to airborne germs or infections spread through contact.
The first time Jodi Dzury of Columbia, Maryland, took her daughter, Hadley, out was for a walk around the neighborhood. Several weeks later, she ventured to the mall. "The stroller was loaded down with so much stuff, I could barely push it," Jodi recalls. "I took my breastfeeding pillow, a diaper bag, extra burp cloths, a half dozen diapers, my purse—basically everything except the kitchen sink," she laughs. Now, she travels much lighter.
The first time you take your baby out, it may feel like a big deal. You are showing her off to the world. There are a few things you can do to make it a pleasurable experience for both of you.
What you can do:
- Pack only the essentials. Depending upon how long you'll be away from home, you'll need an appropriate supply of diapers, wipes, a blanket, a bottle (if you are not breastfeeding), and a change of clothes (in case of a severe diaper blow-out).
- Dress your baby for the weather. Refrain from dressing her too warmly because babies are not able to regulate their body temperatures the way adults can.
- Keep your baby out of the sun. The middle of the day is particularly dangerous. Infants burn easily due to their thin skin and underdeveloped melanin.
- Get comfortable with short outings before attempting a longer excursion.