Taking A Newborn Out In Public

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Taking a newborn out in public for the first time is something that all new parents need to consider and it can be difficult to know what the right choice is. The fact is, there is no set rule. Some cultures dictate that babies stay in the family home for a certain amount of time before venturing out, others are more relaxed and it is at the discretion of the parents.

 

Is it safe to do so?

There is no real medical reason not to take your newborn out into public, as change of pace and fresh as are health benefits for anyone, babies included. The danger of taking a newborn out in public is the exposure to other people and diseases that may cause a newborn to become ill. If have not yet vaccinated your baby, or don’t plan to, they may be at higher risk of exposure to diseases and illnesses. Also there is a greater risk of infection for babies who are born premature, as their immune systems will be much lower than that of a newborn who is born around their expected due date.

 

When can I take my newborn out in public?

When a baby is born, they do not yet have a mature immune system, and need about six to eight weeks to reach this point. Doctor’s generally advise to minimize contact with others in this time to ensure that the baby has to best chance of developing their immune system. The baby’s immune system will be able to fight off germs from family members much easier than those of friends and strangers, which is why it is advised to limit outings and visits early on. If you choose to vaccinate your infant, this will also provide more protection for them when you are ready to venture out into public again.

Travelling with a newborn can be tricky. It is ideal to have another adult accompany you on a trip out, as travelling with a little one will result in a more ‘gear’ than one can handle – think stroller, diapers, feeding bottles and much more! If you choose to travel on public transport in a population dense country like Singapore, this article by Prudent Mummy offers a few great tips.

 

Safety Tips

When you do feel ready and decide to take your newborn out in public, there are some tips you can follow and precautions that you can take to give them the best chance of not getting sick.

– Consider what type of places you are going to go to. It may be wise to choose places that are not so crowded, like a park or a small café, rather than a large shopping center or a busy restaurant. This will minimise the level of exposure to many airborne illnesses.

– If you are meeting friends or family, and they want to hold and touch your baby, if may want to ask them if they can wash and sanitize their hands first.
If other children want to touch your baby, you may encourage them to hold their feet, rather than their hands or touching their face too much. This will limit the germs that your baby is exposed to, as germs on the hands and face are easier to cause illness.

– You will also want to stay clear of friends and family members who are sick until they have recovered to ensure that you baby doesn’t get ill too.

– Another thing to consider when taking your baby out is the weather. As babies are still learning to regulate their body temperature, you will want to avoid extreme temperatures. Dress your baby appropriately to protect them from the elements, and ensure that their have shelter from the sun as their skin is much more sensitive than ours at this age.