health and care

When is it safe to take my baby out in public?

Your baby’s first trip outside is an exciting milestone, but when is it safe to first take your newborn out in public and are there places you should avoid? Read our top tips

How to know when to take my baby out in public

Taking your baby out for the first time can be daunting, these tips may help

newborn going out first time

When is it safe to take my baby out in public? 

Unless otherwise advised by medical professionals, you can take your baby out in public as soon as you feel ready to do so. The fragility and petiteness of your precious new baby may make this a daunting first experience but fresh air and a change of scenery will do you both good. 

In some circumstances, your doctor may advise you not to take your baby out, for example if your baby is premature or has a condition that affects the immune system. 

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Should I avoid certain places? 

To keep your baby from catching germs and falling ill, it’s best to avoid crowded places such as shopping centres and restaurants for the first 6 weeks after birth.
Similarly, you probably will want to avoid having too many home visitors in those first few weeks, no doubt everyone will want to embrace your newborn, however this can expose your baby to unwanted germs. There’s no harm asking visitors to wash their hands before holding your baby to be on the safe side.

Tips for taking your baby out

Start small
Don’t go planning a whole day’s adventure for your first trip with baby. You’ll want to start with a couple of one or two hour excursions and slowly build up the length of your trips out with your little one. A good way to begin is by taking your little baby girl or boy for a short walk round the local park. 
Be ready with supplies
You’ll quickly get used to the fact that you can’t go anywhere without a changing bag full of supplies - unfortunately this starts from your first trip and includes a short walk round the park! You’ll want a change of clothing, spare nappies (1 for every hour you’re out), and a breastfeeding cover. If you’re feeling nervous about the thought of breastfeeding in public you might want to start by taking your baby somewhere you feel more comfortable practising.  

Creating a checklist of essential items for future reference will help you to remember everything and speed up the packing process!

Dress your baby appropriately
Be wary of extreme weather and avoid taking your baby out in harsh conditions. In winter you’ll want to keep your baby warm with lots of layers, and make sure their hands, feet and head are all covered too. On a summer's day, babies under 6 months should be kept directly out of sunlight, especially around midday. Their skin is too sensitive for sunscreen so make sure hats and loose covering clothing are worn to protect your baby from the sun’s UV rays. 

Avoid exposing your baby to people who are unwell
It’s an obvious one, but if someone is unwell and it could be potentially contagious, keep your little one away. 

When is it safe to take my baby out in public?