Not long ago, tradition advised mothers and their newborns to remain indoors for months after childbirth. However, times have changed. Now, when it comes to newborn childcare, tradition defers to the pediatrician.
Aspects to Consider Regarding Infants and Public Spaces
It is advisable to take newborns out for the first outing as per the pediatrician’s opinion. Some people believe it is good to take the baby out only after two weeks post birth. Others consider taking the child out after four to six weeks.
Keep in mind newborn babies are highly sensitive to germs and extremely susceptible to illness.
During the very first months of life, the immune system isn’t fully developed. With age, the immune system develops and becomes stronger. Sometimes, children are born with the mother’s immunities. However, they cannot always fight germs and diseases caused by harmful bacteria.
Exposure to crowded areas—malls, parks, movie theaters, family gatherings, and public transport—with harmful germs can threaten the health of young babies. They may not be able to fight these germs. Thus, it is better to protect newborns from coming in contact with large groups of people in busy, public places.
What Doctors Say About Newborn Safety
Most pediatricians suggest parents take their newborn babies out for the first time after two months of age.
Doctors also remind parents that newborns are extremely delicate during the first six weeks after birth as their immune system is still in development.
One way to develop the immune system of babies to the optimum level is for mothers to breastfeed, doctors suggest.
Breast milk assists in strengthening babies’ immunity and helps children fight germs and diseases when in contact with the external world.
Tips to Remember During Baby’s First Outings
Make sure children are dressed appropriately. Parents should dress newborn babies in weather-appropriate clothing.
Doctors recommend covering newborns with a blanket when out and about as they are more sensitive to cold than grown-ups.
Keep young babies out of contact with friends and family who may be sick or suffering with diarrhea.
It’s important to clean your hands before handling newborns. Washing hands or using anti-bacterial sanitizer before they come in contact with newborn babies is advised. Keeping sanitizer or hand wipes with other essential items in the diaper bag is handy.
Finally, patience (and a quality camera) is the key to taking your newborn for his or her first outing.
Contributed by Nancy Shaw: Nancy is a nurse, mom, and the founder of HiFiveBaby, where she writes about everyday parenting, motherhood, babies, toddlers, and kids. She shares her personal perspective as a mom and backs it up with science and medicine. You can also find her on Twitter.