There is no denying that newborns are delicate and need extra special care. So most parents often ask, “When can I take my newborn outside?”
Taking them outside can be a nerve-racking experience for parents, but there are some things that you should keep in mind when taking your newborn out.
This blog post will provide tips and advice on when you can take your newborn outside, as well as some basic safety precautions to remember.
What Are the Benefits of Taking Your Newborn Outside?
There are many benefits to taking your newborn outside. It may seem daunting, but even short excursions can have positive effects on your little one. Spending time outdoors is recommended by most pediatric health experts. However, safety is very important because you must ensure that your baby’s life and overall safety won’t be compromised.
Doctors prefer that parents take extra precautions when taking newborns out in public. Some of the benefits include the following:
1. Improved Development and Growth
Taking your newborn outside has been proven to provide many important benefits. Improved development and growth is one major benefits of getting out and about with your infant.
Experiencing the array of sights, sounds, textures, and smells helps stimulate your baby’s brain. Exposure to daylight also helps encourage strong visual development as well as an immune system boost that will help support their health into early childhood.
Being outdoors exposes the baby to a different environment, enriching parents’ experience and helping create bonding experiences between families. Combined, these all provide a powerful resource for new parents to take advantage of. Just make sure you dress appropriately for the weather.
2. Strengthened Immune System
Taking your newborn baby out of the house is one of the best things you can do for their health. The fresh air and sunshine provide an abundance of health benefits, particularly when it comes to boosting their immune system.
Regular exposure to beneficial elements in nature, such as pollen, beneficial bacteria, and natural healing energy, can help strengthen your baby’s immunity.
Studies have shown that babies who were taken for walks outdoors had fewer colds than those kept indoors all the time. This is likely due to the increased oxygen and exposure to these other helpful elements found in nature.
With a strengthened immune system, your baby may experience fewer colds and illnesses, allowing them to get outside more frequently as they grow older.
3. Enhanced Happiness and Well-being
One of the best ways to enhance long-term happiness and well-being for both you and your newborn is by taking them out to nature as soon as possible.
Going outside can provide a wealth of mental, physical, and emotional benefits that ultimately contribute to a longer-lasting sense of joy. It reduces stress levels through exposure to natural elements like sunshine and fresh air and reinforces positive brain chemicals associated with happiness.
Plus, it can provide an enjoyable opportunity for parents to spend quality time engaging with their new baby in a safe and impactful way. For these reasons, we encourage all new parents to take their newborns to nature whenever safely possible.
4. Better Sleep
Getting adequate sleep can be a challenge for parents of newborns, but taking the baby outside can bring about some much-needed rest. The benefits of fresh air and sunshine on the body go beyond increasing vitamin D levels; natural light provides energy that helps people fight fatigue.
Spending time in nature also has calming effects, which can help ease anxiety, making it easier for both parents and newborns to get a good night’s sleep.
Additionally, studies have found that babies exposed to nature are more likely to develop healthy sleeping patterns and can fall asleep faster with fewer wake-ups throughout the night. When you take your baby outside, it is important that you maintain a safe environment by keeping the temperature comfortable and avoiding excessive sun exposure.
5. Improved Development
Taking your newborn outside for fresh air, sunlight, and new sounds can be a great opportunity for development. Outings to parks or a walk around the block encourage sensory stimulation from different environments. Research increasingly supports the notion that being outdoors is essential for stimulating physical and cognitive growth.
While time spent outdoors should not replace indoor activities like reading and playing, having regular outdoor experiences helps infants become accustomed to their environment and build good habits as they grow up.
Even going out in inclement weather can be beneficial if done safely with appropriate clothing and care. Taking your newborn outside provides a wide range of developmental benefits; consequently, it’s wise to make sure your little one enjoys plenty of outdoor time.
So, When Can I Take My Newborn Outside?
Taking a newborn outdoors for the first time can be a challenging experience for parents. While fresh air and sunshine are beneficial for infants, it is important to consider their health and safety when planning outings.
Generally speaking, newborns should wait until they’ve completed their two-week checkup before venturing outdoors to confirm that they are healthy enough to do so.
After this initial check-up, it’s best to plan outdoor excursions on days with mild temperatures, minimal wind, and overcast skies.
For weather conditions hotter than 80 degrees Fahrenheit or colder than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, bring your newborn back indoors, as extreme temperatures can lead to dehydration or other health issues.
Before heading out, apply non-toxic sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and ensure your baby is wearing light clothing suitable for the weather conditions. Above all else, remember that you know what is best for your baby and take precautions accordingly.
What Are the Risks of Taking Your Newborn Outdoors?
Even though there are many benefits to taking your newborn outside, there are also some risks you should be aware of, such as:
Sunburn can be a serious risk to consider when taking a newborn infant outdoors. Parents and caregivers need to take extra caution since a newborn’s skin is much thinner than an adult’s and not as resilient or reparable.
Applying broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF of 30 or more at least every two hours and immediately after swimming will ensure adequate protection against the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
As much as possible, parents and caregivers should limit the baby’s exposure to peak sunlight hours during the 11 am to 3 pm window. Additionally, any accessories that shield against sunlight—lawn umbrellas, brimmed hats, and light clothing—should be used regularly when taking a newborn infant outdoors.
2. Insect Bites and Stings
Taking an infant out of the house can have risks, including insect bites and stings. Adults can often recognize a bug before it has a chance to bite or sting; however, as newborns may not be able to move away from the bug and alert someone, they may be more prone to being bitten or stung.
Many insects can cause harm, including mosquitoes, shield bugs, wasps, bees, horseflies, and ticks. Allergies play a factor in the level of reaction an infant may have, which could range from mere irritation to life-threatening if the reaction is severe.
Therefore, if you plan on taking your newborn outdoors regularly or traveling with them to wooded or grassy areas (which newborns should not visit until after their first birthday), be sure to use an effective but non-toxic insect repellent.
Dress your baby in light-colored clothes that cover their arms and legs. Check them frequently for possible insect bites/stings. Lastly, take any necessary preventive action if you notice insects nearby.
For new parents, the thought of taking their newborn outdoors may sound exciting and healthy; however, there is an underlying risk to keep in mind.
Overheating can occur when a baby’s body temperature rises higher than normal, which can easily happen if the environment is too warm. When venturing outside with your infant, make sure that the sun isn’t too strong, and opt for a shady area or one with occasional shade shifts.
Also, dress your baby in light fabrics and avoid bundling them up too much. Infants regulate their temperature differently than adults do, so it is important to keep a close eye on what temperature you are exposing them to.
By being mindful of these factors and understanding how easily your precious little one can overheat, you’ll be better prepared for any trip outdoors with your newborn.
4. Exposure to Germs
It is natural for new parents to want to introduce their little one to the world; however, it is important to remember exposure to germs can be a serious risk for newborns.
A newborn’s immune system is not yet fully developed, so they are more vulnerable than adults to catching illnesses such as colds, flu, or other infections.
For this reason, parents must do their best to keep the baby safe while outdoors by avoiding large crowds where illnesses or infections can more easily spread.
Everyone outside the home who wants contact with the baby should take necessary precautions, such as washing their hands thoroughly and practicing good hygiene before handling the infant.
With proper precautionary steps in mind, taking your newborn outdoors can be a pleasant experience for both parent and child.
Things to Prepare Before Taking Your Newborn Outdoors
If you want to take your newborn outside, there are some important items you will need to prepare so that your baby is comfortable and safe, including:
1. Extra Clothes
Being prepared for outdoor activities with your newborn is essential. Packing a diaper bag for a trip out of the house should include extra clothes for both mom and baby. Having extra layers, such as onesies and sweaters, available helps protect from changing weather conditions or surprise messes.
Generally, it’s a good idea to bring extra clothes just in case you need them. Even if you think you won’t need them, having some spare clothes will be helpful when unexpected instances arise during your outing.
With a little planning ahead of time by ensuring that you have backup items like clothes on hand, parents can accessorize their little one comfortably while out and about without worrying they may find themselves without the necessary items.
2. Insect Repellent and Sunscreen
When taking a newborn outdoors, it’s essential to take certain precautions to ensure their health and comfort. Two important items to have around are insect repellent and sunscreen.
A mild yet effective insect repellant is a must because Insects can be a significant source of irritation for everyone, especially for sensitive baby skin yet to be exposed to the elements.
Sunscreen should also be applied generously when spending even a short time outside if you go out between 11 am and 3 pm. It’s also vital to keep an eye on the temperature and ensure you and your child are staying cool, hydrated, and comfortable during outdoor activities.
Without a doubt, one of the most important things to pack is milk; taking bottles of formula or breastmilk on outings is essential to ensure your infant receives the nutrition they need while traveling.
It’s always a good idea to bring along some extra bottles in case they either get spilled, or you stay out longer than expected. Be sure to keep your milk refrigerated to protect your child, as babies are much more susceptible than adults to food-borne illnesses.
Finally, packing a blanket for your little one is always a good idea. This will provide added comfort and warmth during outdoor activities, as well as protection from the ground or surface they may be resting on.
A lightweight baby blanket can easily fit into your diaper bag and ensure that you’re prepared for any outdoor adventure with your infant.
Taking your newborn outdoors can be a pleasant experience for both parent and child as long as you take the necessary safety precautions.
By packing extra clothes, insect repellent, sunscreen, milk, and a blanket whenever going out with their infant, parents can feel confident that their little one is prepared to explore the world.
With careful planning and preparation, parents can enjoy outdoor activities with their infant without worry.
Frequently Asked Questions
I’m a little uncertain about taking my newborn outside. How long should a newborn stay home after birth?
It is normal after birth for parents and baby to adjust to life with each other, so having more time at home rather than outside can help this transition. After these initial four to six weeks, babies should be welcome to venture out into the world, with appropriate precautions against illness, such as wearing masks and avoiding social contact as required. All these things said, it’s actually okay to take your newborn out.
I think it’s healthy to take my newborn out. Can I take my newborn outside in the first week?
Furthermore, when taking your baby out for a stroll, make sure they’re not out too long, and the temperature does not exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit. With the proper precautions, you can safely enjoy bonding with your little one outdoors, even in their first week.
Should newborn babies go outside?
Being outdoors provides fresh air and a new environment for a baby. It can also expose them to natural light, stimulating healthy melatonin production.
Furthermore, exposing babies to outdoor spaces in their first few months can help stimulate development and strengthen their connection with nature later in life. Of course, parents should exercise caution when taking a newborn outside. It's important to make sure that they are well-dressed for the climate and accompanied by an adult who can ensure their safety at all times.
So, when can I take my newborn outside? The answer is any time as long as you go prepared.