Put Elmo down, turn the baby monitor off and grab your sunglasses because the time has finally arrived – your newborn is ready for some fresh air. It’s completely normal to stay home for a few weeks after giving birth, but if it’s already been two months postpartum, then you’re probably ready to take on the outside world again.
In fact, it may even be harmful to keep your newborn tucked away at home. According to Parenting, being outdoors with your baby is better than being in a room with poor ventilation. As long as your child is healthy to begin with, it can be beneficial for both of you to enjoy the nice weather and sunshine outside.
So to get you started, here are five ways to deal with the struggles of taking a newborn outside the house.
It is valid to be afraid to take your newborn out in public. Public places such as malls, movie theaters and airplanes can expose your newborn to a series of infections and illnesses. Kids Health suggests taking several precautions before going out with your child: Make sure your baby’s vaccines are updated, don’t expose your children to sick people, ask those who want to hold baby to wash their hands and dress your child appropriately for the weather.
Heidi Murkoff, the author of the popular book series “What To Expect,” reminds parents on Today that you should also limit large indoor gatherings in the first six to eight weeks. This is especially important during flu season, as a newborn’s immune system needs some time to strengthen.
Nothing is worse than an uncomfortable and fussy baby. Women’s Health Care Topics suggests that, unless it’s warm outside (75 F or hotter), your newborn will need a couple of layers of clothes to keep warm. Typically, babies need an undershirt beneath their clothes or an infant bodysuit. It will take some practice knowing how to properly dress your child for an occasion, but Women’s Health Care Topics writes, “As a rule of thumb, your baby only requires an extra layer of clothing than you do at the same room temperature.”
Use your best judgement and listen to your baby. If daughter or son starts crying, simply adjust her clothes to meet her needs.
If the trip you’re taking involves a long car ride, Parents says that planning the ride is just as important as packing. A wailing baby is incredibly distracting for the driver. Additionally, if you’re making the trip alone, it is dangerous for you to tend to your baby while driving.
To help remedy these concerns, pediatrician Paul Horowitz suggests packing toys in your baby’s car seat to keep him or her occupied. In addition, pack extra clothes and diapers for emergencies. If possible, ask someone to ride in the backseat with the baby but if you’re alone, exercise your judgement to determine if you need to pull over to the side of the road.
There’s no doubt that your newborn is the cutest baby alive. Because of this, newborns are guaranteed to draw in outside admirers. These people often mean no harm, but it may also be a good idea to ask them to refrain from touching your baby or coming too close.
Britni de la Cretaz, a writer for Romper, tells mothers, “If you want your kid to know that their body is their own, this means setting boundaries and enforcing them.” To do this, you can respectfully tell people not to touch your child without asking, you can pull down the stroller cover when admirers approach and you could even create a physical barrier by stepping in between the person and your child.
It’s okay to advocate for your child in this way; you are simply trying to keep him or her safe and healthy. Just remember to be kind, respectful and clear about what you feel your child needs.
It’s better to be over-packed than under-packed when taking your baby out of the house. You should be prepared for any situation that may arise. According to KidSpot, you may initially feel like you’re packing for a week-long holiday. Always pack tons of diapers, clothes and blankets. Don’t forget to gather all items needed to feed your newborn and any baby products for safety and hygiene.
Leaving the house with a newborn baby may seem like a hassle now, but you’ll get the hang of it. It just takes some patience and practice. Remember that you and your baby will enjoy being outside more than staying cooped up indoors!
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