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Fresh air and sunshine are beneficial for everyone, including babies. However, babies have weak immune systems, so it's important to take a few precautions before leaving the house with your newborn. Watch this video to learn more.
Dr. Dawn Rosenberg, M.D., FAAP, is a board-certified general pediatrician in San Francisco. She is very committed to teaching and is actively involved in medical student and resident education as an associate clinical professor in the Department of Pediatrics at University of California, San Francisco.
Parents ask me all the time, when can they take their young baby outside? Here's what I say: "Didn't you take her outside to get here for our appointment?"
Babies can go outside as early as their first day of life. There's really no reason why a baby can't leave the house. In fact, fresh air, outdoors, and light are beneficial for everyone, including your baby and you.
The only concern with going outside is exposing your baby to circulating germs, which come from being around sick people. I recommend avoiding crowded indoor places during those first few months. Stay away from big parties, large crowds, and make sure to steer clear of anyone who's sick. Anyone who handles your baby should be healthy, and they should wash their hands first.
If you're planning an outing, you'll want to be prepared. I'd recommend stocking your diaper bag with extra diapers and feeding supplies, as well as a change of clothes. Make sure to dress your baby appropriately for the weather. Hats, mittens, and socks are great to keep her warm in cold weather. Layers are really helpful, as you can unbundle her as the weather changes. A good rule of thumb is that your baby should wear at least as many layers as you do. An extra blanket or sweater may come in handy if the weather cools down. Also, don't forget to protect her from the direct sun with shade, clothing, and sunscreen.
In those first few weeks, short neighborhood strolls with your baby in a stroller or safe infant carrier are the perfect activity for you and your baby. Many moms report improved sleep for both themselves and their infants after getting fresh air.
Video production by Paige Bierma.