Out & About

When can I take my newborn out for a walk?

At Roaming Mommy we are full supporters of Moms getting out and about with their newborn babies.

“When can your baby go out for the first time?”This is a commonly asked question and the answer may be more varied than what you think!

Reality is that you are taking your baby out for the first time the day you bring him home from hospital.

On a general basis, doctors recommend fresh air for mom and a healthy baby right from the start, but always taking the necessary precautions.

If you gave birth or you are planning to give birth at a hospital, your paediatrician or midwife will check your baby regularly to ensure all is going well: number ones, two’s, weight loss and gain within normal parameters, etc.

Some of the things that can prevent your baby from going out may be the following:

  • Was your baby premature? Premature winter babies may be more likely to catch pulmonary diseases and may need extra care when they are out and about
  • Has your baby had the all clear to go home or are there any watch outs that would prevent him from going out in the first few weeks?
  • Are you taking your baby out for a short walk to get some fresh air? OR Are you planning to do your grocery shopping at peak hour and catching public transport?

Should you wait until my baby has been vaccinated to go out?

This is another very common question. Some moms are very conservative and prefer baby to stay in-doors until the 6 week vaccines. Even if doctors recommend a short walk every day.

Our advice? Even if you are conservative and prefer your newborn to stay indoors until he is 6 weeks old, try to take a break and go out yourself.

When you think about it, your life will give a huge turn after baby is born and missing the sunshine and fresh air can  impact on how you feel emotionally.

Remember you need all your energy to look after your new bundle of joy, so don’t underestimate the power of a bit of sunshine and fresh air.

Are you ready to go out?

Once you’ve spoken with your doctor and also decided when you are ready to take baby out, you will need to build up your confidence!

Some moms are apprehensive about going out with baby on their own for the first time. Others cannot wait to trial all the baby gear they have ready to go: stroller, trave system and baby carrier…

If you haven’t got your gear ready yet, check out our How-To’s and Best Gear guides, where review different brands and models and pick the one that is right for you.

It is normal to look like a backpacker the first time you go out with your newborn. There is too much to carry. After all, strollers have plenty of storage room nowadays and nappy bags have sections for things you didn’t even know you needed.

Over time, you will be taking with you more things of what you really need and leaving some other unnecessary things behind.

We’ve put together a list to help you get started.

Getting out & about with your new bundle of joy: Things to consider

Timing

newborn in pram going out

Photo by Nogwater (CC BY 2.0)

Timing is obviously not an item to carry, but definitely something to take into consideration with small babies.

Once you start to understand your baby’s sleeping / feeding patterns you will feel more at ease being able to predict the time of the next feed or nap.

If you have a baby that is only a few weeks old and you are planning to go out, it may be good to leave home after he’s had a feed. This is to prevent your baby getting anxious to have a feed when you are in the car or just out of the house with all your gear.

Some moms prefer to take their baby out when they are sleeping. This is also a good strategy at the beginning.

Remember that if your baby is crying and you still need to go out, you can use your baby carrier, sling or wrap to settle him.

Stroller

Are you taking out your stroller? This is helpful not only to carry your baby, but also baby carrier, nappy bag and other essentials.

It is always best to take with you the mosquito net and rain cover in the basket under the seat, just in case you need them.

Stroller rain covers are a great protection from wind (as well as rain). Hence, if it is very windy, don’t hesitate to try out to protect your baby.

mother wearing infantino swift classic baby carrierBaby Carrier

Your baby carrier, sling or wrap may be useful if your child is unsettled or needs to be carried. If you have enough room in the basket under the stroller seat, it is best to keep it there.

If your baby starts crying and you feel like carrying him / her you can use it to keep your hands free and push the stroller. The stroller will carry everything else.

Things for Mom

Breastfeeding moms
  • Breast shield: if you are using one, remember to include it in your bag (already sterilised and ready to use). It may also be a good idea to take a spare one just in case your breast shield falls to the floor.
  • Nipple Cream: if you have just started breastfeeding, you may also want to consider taking with you a small container.
  • Small towel: to clean after yourself and baby if need be
  • Breast pads: if you think you are going to need them
  • Water bottle
Bottle feeding moms
  • Bottles: how many bottles will you need for a feed? It may be a good idea to take them already sterilised and ready to use. Also take your formula or breast milk if you are expressing.
For moms expressing milk
  • Breast Pump: will you be out for more than 3 hours? In that case, consider bringing your breast pump with you. If you are already carrying too much weight, you may need to manually express for relief.
  • Breask Milk storage bags or some other container to store your expressed milk
  • Toiletries as required, including pads, small container with hand sanitiser and any other medicine or item you would take in your bag when you are by yourself. Don’t forget your home keys and wallet!

For Baby

  • Nappies: depending on how long you will be outside 2 to 3 nappies
  • Baby wipes: in a small bag
  • Changing mat
  • Nappy rash cream, if required
  • 1 full set of spare clothes for baby in case of any accidents
  • 1 additional jumper and/ or blanket just in case it gets cooler. Remember baby should be dressed with the same amount of layers of clothing you are wearing, and up to one more for very tiny babies.

Anything else to consider?…

It is probably a good idea to take baby out & about once he’s had a feed. The last thing we want is to take out a hungry baby that will not stop crying until it gets fed.

Remember, you will build up your confidence over time once you and your baby get to know each other a bit more! Take it like an experiment and learn from experience.