WHEN CAN I TAKE MY BABY OUT OF THE HOUSE, AND WHAT TO PACK?
Bringing a baby into the world is one of the most wonderfully, life-changing things that parents will go through. There is nothing that will quite compare to the day the little bundle of joy comes home from the hospital and enters the house that will become a home filled with cherished memories.
So, after that day, what happens next? When is it the right time for the little baby to leave the house and enter the big, wide world? After all, making an impression on the world ought to start as soon as possible. Understandably, many new parents feel confused and overwhelmed as to when it is safe and secure to bring the baby out of the house. A whole other matter after that question is settled is just what to bring for the baby’s security and comfort.
Parenting isn’t a walk in the park, now! Rest assured that just about every parent goes through the same dilemma as to when the baby is ready to leave the house. Therefore, there are plenty answers out there. Keep some of this handy information in mind when you are making the decision to bring the baby into the world.
Should my baby stay inside for several weeks?
Many people have the notion that the baby needs more time inside before outside exposure. This isn’t necessarily the case. Remember, babies are incredibly resilient and adaptable. After all, your baby did spend 9 months inside the womb, floating in the amniotic fluid, before blasting into fresh air and kicking the lungs into motion. If the baby can handle this, some fresh air in the first week or two won’t do much harm.
Is it safe to go outside in the first month?
In response to this, many paediatricians believe it is good for mum and baby to get outside and get some fresh air. Staying inside the home can increase anxiety levels and increase the risk of postnatal depression. Heading outside for a short walk around the block (it is ok if you don’t want to drive with the baby yet!) will help to gain some perspective and feel like you are still part of the world. Baby brain can intensify if you lock yourself in.
What are some things to be aware of outside?
The climate is the biggest risk factor for the baby in the first few weeks. It is important to check the temperature before heading outside. Obviously, you want to avoid when it is too hot or too cold.
Babies do have very delicate skin so they are extra sensitive to the sun or the wind. In warmer weather, make sure your baby is protected with a loose, long sleeve top and pants and a hat. In colder weather, rug up the baby in some warm layers and wrap a blanket around if necessary. Just be careful not to overdress or underdress the baby.
Also, think about where you are going to take the baby. The best types of places are parks or spaces with fresh air and less noise. Avoid places where there are potential germs floating around such as shopping malls. The bright lights in malls can also be overwhelming for the baby. Fresh air and natural light and a peaceful ambience will do wonders for the baby and for mum!
When is the best time of day for an outing?
Again, this one very much depends on your circumstances and schedule. However, early morning and evenings can be an ideal time in terms of quiet and climate. Ideally, you want to time an outing after the baby has been fed and changed. This can help to avoid problems along the way.
What do I need to bring?
The all important question for overthinking parents - what to pack. It might feel like you need a suitcase to handle the abundance of things that the baby needs. Actually, just a pram and a bag will do. It is all about packing wisely and using space efficiently.
So, here is a packing list to help you think about what you need when you bring your baby out of the house.
- A blanket or a hat (weather dependent)
- A bottle of pumped breast milk (or just your breasts if you are comfortable feeding in public)
- Some spare nappies (the more the merrier)
- A rattle or a toy
- A few towels in case of spills
Ultimately, bringing the baby out of the house is a step-by-step and slow process. It is totally fine to start with small doses of the outside world so that your baby can gradually adapt. There is no rush with this. If you feel uncomfortable, anxious, or nervous about bringing the baby out alone, make sure you have someone with you. There is nothing wrong with these nerves! The best answer to when the right time to bring the baby out of the house is when feels right for you and your circumstances.