First of all, congratulations! Having a baby especially during this time, full of uncertainties mainly on the decision of when is it safe to take your newborn outside. The fact that you’re here means you’re a concerned mum and conscious of your little one’s health. However, this article will help ease your mind and guide you on the Do’s and Don’ts to ensure you’re set to take your baby outside for clinics or simple errands to the grocery store.
What age do we regard as a newborn baby?
It might be confusing to tell what age a baby should be considered a newborn as the words “baby”, “newborn”, and “infant” are often used synonymously. Baby can refer to a child from birth to 4 years old thus encompassing infants and newborns. Infants can be considered children anywhere from birth to one year old while a newborn refers to a baby from birth to about 2 months of age.
During this time a newborn’s immune system is immature and prone to harsh environmental conditions. Safety measures should be the number one priority starting with when to go out, what to carry when going out and how to look out for your newborn while out.
How long should a newborn be kept indoors before going outside?
History has it as a cardinal rule that moms and their newborns are supposed to hole up in their homes for weeks or even months before they can go out. Today, you can actually take your little bundle of joy for fresh air as early as the first week of birth while adhering to health safety precautions.
What should you look out for when choosing to take your newborn outside?
Don’t have a long-day plan with your first day out. You’ll want to start with a simple one hour to two hours walk to a quiet park with a cool conducive environment .Then proceed to have much longer adventures with your little one.
This will help you know more about your baby’s behavior outside and who knows, you might discover some aspects you can improve on for a better day out next time.
Be conscious of the location
Over populated places is a no-go-zone. Remember your little one is still delicate and prone to infections due to their less developed immune system.
Keep your baby close and safely covered in your arms, carrier or stroller to minimize your child’s exposure to dust or harsh winds. Again you want to avoid dusty places for your baby’s sake.
Consider the availability of water to constantly wash your hands regardless of the fact that hand sanitizers will do the work. You might pass on something that you picked from the surface to your baby’s clothes.
Ensure the place you visit with your newborn is clean and conducive. Avoid places near dump sites or mosquito-endowed.
Consider the temperatures
Mind the heat and cold state when deciding to take your baby outside. That little one is a human being just like you and can feel uneasy in the unappropriated dressing depending on the temperatures.
Parents have this notion that babies need to be bundled up regardless of the weather which I must say is senseless and a false belief. Dress your baby in as many layers as you have on yourself then bring a blanket and some additional clothes along just in case.
Mind sun exposure
The sun is great especially during morning hours for Vitamin D for you and your newborn. However, we must be mindful of the baby’s vulnerability to sunburns. Direct sun exposure for more than 15 minutes will irritate your newborn’s fragile skin.
Ensure you cover your baby with an umbrella when carrying him/ her under the sun. A baby sunscreen oil will also be essential at the end of the day.
Keep dirty hands and germy faces away.
You’ll probably be around people that will be so excited to meet and hold your cute baby. Children will want to play with the baby and shower love with lots of kisses on the baby’s cheeks or forehead. It is understandable and difficult to avoid but it’s crucial to be on the lookout.
Be selective on who holds your baby either among family members or friends around. Keep germy hands away from your baby’s face, mouth or even their eyes.
You can’t predict who might be sick and your baby will easily be at the receiving end. Find a way to keep your baby safe without letting your family and friends feel rejected or unworthy to be around your little one.
Be ready with supplies
What should you carry when taking a newborn outside?
Every mum must have an Essential Kit for their newborn. All the way from the child’s birth in the hospital, a diaper bag was a necessity. This is a security pack for mums, a home away from home.
A diaper bag essentials include
Find a diaper that’s going to get the job done when it comes to keeping your little one comfy and dry during the hours you’ll both be out. A newborn’s skin is extra-sensitive thus considering a soft, breathable, absorbent diaper that won’t rub up against the healing umbilical cord area might be just what you need.
A baby wipe is a disposable cloth treated with a cleansing agent, made and designed for cleaning babies. It’s obvious that your baby is going to poop and you’ll need the wipes to help clean up the mess on your little one’s bum and your hands too.
For your newborn’s sensitive skin you want hypoallergenic and unscented wipes to avoid irritation and infections.
Diapers are great in keeping your baby comfortable and your mind at peace but they come with their share of trouble. Your baby might have diaper rashes which will require you to have an oil to sooth the irritated skin. Radiations will also cause skin burns on your baby’s skin leading to dry, rough, scaly and itchy skin.
Small empty carrier bags
You might have a situation where your baby needs changing yet there isn’t any disposal bin around. These small sacks will save you a big deal so you can cover your used diapers and keep them for disposal later on.
This is basically a rubber, plastic nipple dummy given to an infant to give the illusion of breastfeeding. Trust me, your baby will never be in a bad mood for breast milk.
A pacifier will satisfy the baby’s urge to suck while you’re busy picking items in the grocery store.
You don’t know who will shake your hand at a family gathering, a clinic or simply a friend you meet in town.
Ensure your baby bag has a sanitizer to cleanse your hands before handling your baby or feeding him.
This is a must have essential.
It might be due to weather changes ro simply for the purposes of laying your baby during changing times.
There are some situations that are exceptional when it comes to taking your newborn baby outside. We can’t ignore the fact that your baby might have a special medical condition that might pose a huge threat to their health.
In this case ensure you do your research thoroughly combined with your doctor’s examinations to determine when fit to bring your baby out in public. Otherwise, if your child has no special medical needs it is completely safe for both of you to enjoy the fresh air and the rejuvenating experience of a change of scenery.