When Can I Take My Newborn Outside and in Public [COVID Safe Tips]
Little Yawn Collective - Dec 20, 2021
Even before “coronavirus,” “COVID-19”, and “pandemic” were in our regular vocabulary, taking your newborn out in public was a decision that could induce stress in most parents.
You just brought your tiny, little one home from the hospital, and now they have to be subjected to the outside world? Not even to mention a pandemic layered on top of the stress you were already having.
However, introducing your newborn doesn’t have to be nerve-wracking. With a few simple steps, you can prepare your family and determine the best time to take your newborn outside.
Read on for tips to get through this stage where your little one is most vulnerable, during a vulnerable time for us all.
When Is It Safe To Take My Baby Out in Public?
Now that you are home with your little one, an important question you may have is, “when exactly can I take my baby out?” Thankfully, there is no set age you need to wait until you venture outside again.
Some doctors recommend waiting a few months until going into crowded public spaces. However, going on a stroll around the neighborhood is an excellent way to explore whenever you feel like it!
Taking some necessary safety precautions is highly recommended as your baby does not have a fully developed immune system.
Here are some tips if you do venture beyond your neighborhood:
- Be picky about your location! You may not want to make your baby’s first public outing to be at the supermarket or mall on a Saturday afternoon. Instead, pick a place like a local park where you have plenty of space away from others and some fresh air and sunshine to enjoy.
- Cover your baby’s carrier or stroller if you come across a more crowded area. Do not be afraid to be assertive if someone wants to see or touch your baby. You can be firm but polite!
- Make sure that your baby has the right clothing on. Some parents may want to overcompensate to ensure their baby is warm enough. The rule of thumb is to match your baby to whatever you are wearing. You can always pack an extra blanket if it gets a little chilly!
Before COVID (and baby!), it was easy to load up and run a few errands around town. Going to the grocery store didn’t take any planning or an extra set of hands.
Now, it may take a little more planning to get out the door with your little one. Not to mention, worrying about possible exposures and trying to keep all those yucky germs away from your baby.
Prep Before You Leave
If the area you live in doesn’t offer pick up or delivery options (or maybe all the time slots were booked), and you must take your newborn out, here are some helpful tips to make your shopping experience easier and safer:
- Wipe down shopping carts with sanitizing wipes. Thankfully, many stores already have wipes near their cart, but you may want to bring your own in case they are out.
- Consider wearing a mask when out in public. Not only do you have yourself to protect, but your baby as well. Even if your local mandates do not have mask rulings, you can always take extra precautions.
- Cover your baby’s carrier with a thin blanket. When home, immediately remove the blanket and wash it.
- Shop during less crowded times. Weekday mornings and midday are typically low-traffic times. Double-check and ask any grocery clerks about the best times to shop as well!
- Pay with a card instead of using cash.
- If able, stop by the restroom on your way out of the store and give your hands a good scrubbing. Or keep hand sanitizer with you so you can have clean hands before touching your baby.
Take Advantage of Online Shopping
Luckily, many places have stepped up when ordering and picking up takeout meals, groceries, and other materials you may need for your family.
Curbside delivery is a great perk that has expanded since the beginning of the pandemic. Pharmacies will also mail prescriptions, and you can also make virtual doctor’s appointments. Browse inventory and order your grocery list, select a timeslot, and pick up your groceries very easily when it comes to groceries.
You can also have your order delivered for a small fee. However, just getting out of the house for a little bit can be a welcome distraction and give you and your little one something different in your routine.
Plus, you won’t have to worry about finding a shopping cart! The only thing to think about is making sure that you put your order in before you run out of staple items. With everyone wanting to place curbside pickup or delivery, the time slots can go quickly.
As you may already know, the early days of parenting can be a lonely business. We usually have family, friends, and neighbors who would be there for our support system whenever we needed a helping hand or a break.
With COVID, people are more hesitant to be around others, especially if they are potentially immunocompromised or super cautious about being around your baby.
With a lack of social support, our mental well-being can start to decline. There are so many in the same position as you, and any support is helpful. Join groups on social media, where many will host virtual meetups to discuss different stages you and your newborn are experiencing.
Although seeing family isn’t taking your baby out in public, we also have to take into consideration about possible COVID exposures with everyone who has contact with your baby. Family will be getting closer to your baby than the general public would!
Whether you live close or far away from family, they are bound to be so excited about your new addition. It is such a special time when family can meet your little one for the first time. It is also an added bonus of having an extra set of hands around so that you can take a well-deserved break.
With COVID, some of the first-time meetups have sadly been postponed. Luckily, we have alternative ways for families to meet their newest member. Video chatting has skyrocketed since the beginning of the pandemic and allows for face-to-face contact. Being able to see each other instead of just listening has been a welcome addition to our communications.
If grandparents or other close family members do not want to wait, mini-meetups can also be through a window or socially distanced. Although we wish it weren’t the case, this may be better than having to wait!
If you’ve made the decision to have in-person meetings, experts do recommend the following tips:
- Limit visitors to immediate family.
- Visitors should wash their hands first and consider wearing masks when holding or feeding the baby.
- If any visitors start to experience symptoms before seeing your baby, ask them to hold off on their visit until they are symptom-free.
- Consider short visits to be held outdoors, with more fresh air than being stuck inside a house.
- If visitors come to your home and stay for a few days, consider asking them to quarantine for two weeks to ensure that they have not had any unknown exposures.
As we go through the ups and downs of this confusing time, you have a lot on your plate being a new parent too!
Here at Little Yawn Collective, we are here through the most challenging parts of parenting. From venturing out into public for the first time to offering products to help your little one fall and stay asleep, we want you to feel supported and confident in all of your decisions.
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