There’s no hard and fast rule on when exactly you can take your newborn to a restaurant or a public place as long as your baby is growing healthily and the weather is nice. Before you take your newborn out in public, a few things to remember are – feed your baby before leaving your house, carry extra diapers, blankets, warm clothes, pacifiers, and feeding bottles. Dress your newborn according to the weather. Pick a place that’s closer to your house for the first few outings and a child-friendly place. Keep them away from strangers, and ideally don’t let anyone hold them. You can also talk to your child’s pediatrician about taking your baby out.
Hi, dear first-time parents,
Once a baby is born, we parents will think multiple times before taking any step, especially when it involves our children, right?
A pregnant woman will always want people around, go for outings, and have a jolly good time before the baby arrives, and once the baby comes, we even fear going outside our four walls as long as we think the baby is would be safe outside.
When is it safe to take my baby outside?
The short answer to this is – as long as your newborn was born healthy and full-term and the weather outside is nice and pleasant, you can always take your newborn out for a walk or even to a restaurant.
Earlier, there were times when doctors would suggest the baby and the mother stay indoors for at least 6 weeks to 2 months after the baby arrives to protect the baby from any germs and viruses.
In Indian culture, there are still families who believe that both the mother and the baby should stay confined at home for the first 40 days to keep both of them safe.
But, now, with changing times, there’s no hard and fast rule anymore. You can take your newborn baby out if the weather is nice.
Also, sometimes there are situations where we have no other choice than to travel. For instance, my sister-in-law had to travel with her 10-days old baby, via flight, for her uncle’s funeral.
But there are things to keep in mind before you take your newborn out to a restaurant-
Things to keep in mind before taking your baby out in public
Well, just because you had a baby doesn’t mean you need to be indoors all the time because you’re scared that something happens to your baby.
Sure, the baby’s immune system is still developing, and if she’s exposed to bacteria or germs, its effect on her will be way more than it would have been on an adult.
So, before you step outside, take care of the following things –
1. Choose a child-friendly place
If you want to have dinner outside, choose a child-friendly place, but that doesn’t mean that you go to the nearest Chuck E. Cheese, but choose a restaurant where they don’t mind if you bring your baby along, and where the service is quicker.
2. Avoided crowded areas
Don’t go to a restaurant or anywhere when it’s rush hour. Instead, if you’re going to a restaurant, then go at 5:00-5:30 pm when it is less crowded.
We don’t know who’s sick and who’s not. So, choose a place in the corner or where not so many people are coming and going, like don’t sit near the billing area or the kitchen or the entrance.
3. Limit sun exposure
We know that sun exposure is good for adults and babies, and it’s a great source of getting Vitamin D, but too much sun exposure makes babies more susceptible to sunburn.
Early sun rays are good for your baby, but sun exposure, especially in the afternoon, isn’t good. Talk to your child’s doctor and determine how much sun exposure is safe and if sunscreen is good to use.
4. Don’t stay out too late
If this is one of your first outings with your newborn, try to limit your time when outside because sometimes a newborn baby can be overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle around her, and she might not be comfortable, which can ruin your night.
So, don’t stay for a 9-course meal. Instead, have your regular dinner and don’t rush yourself. Enjoy, have a relaxed time, and tend to your baby in case she needs you.
5. Feed your little one
It’s better if you feed your newborn before leaving for the restaurant so that she’s satiated and sleeps through while you can enjoy your meal.
Also, if she gets fussy and wants to feed, don’t hesitate to breastfeed her. If it makes you comfortable, carry a small feeding cover and use it while you feed her.
6. Carry a diaper bag
You must have all the essentials for your baby in a diaper bag, in case she needs it. Keep 2 of everything like 2 pacifiers in case 1 falls on the ground. Bring extra diapers, warm clothes, diapers, blankets, feeding bottles, wipes, socks, hats, changing pads.
This baby bag will be essential, especially during the first few trips outside, to protect from any burps, poops, and dribbles, and as you and your baby get used to going outside, you’ll learn too what you need and what you don’t.
7. Shield your baby
If you’re taking your child to a restaurant or somewhere public, make sure that you cover your child with a canopy in the bassinet or the carrier, but make sure that she has enough airflow and is comfortable.
Don’t cover your baby’s face directly with a blanket to prevent the risk of SIDS.
8. Keep your baby away from strangers
Looking at a cute baby, everybody’s tempted to hold or to play with the baby.
I’ve experienced this a lot of times when I take my son out for a walk when strangers would approach along with their toddlers to play with my son.
Although the whole meet looks cute and nice in truth, it’s also risky as we don’t know what they’re exposed to or whether they’re carriers of any germs or bacteria.
Remember to relax and enjoy your time. Don’t stress too much about how your baby’s doing if she seems to sleep peacefully, but also don’t forget to check on her every once in a while.
Also, I’m pretty sure, if this is your first time going out with your baby, then you’ll definitely concentrate more on your baby than your food, and that’s okay too.
As you become more used to going out with your baby, you’ll stress less.
Also, keep in mind that your first few outings might be challenging, but that’s only because your newborn baby, who only knew the world in your womb, is still adjusting to her surroundings.
So, if she has a meltdown in the restaurant, ask your partner to take her outside or to the car. Sometimes, a change of scenery calms babies down.
How to dress your baby for outings?
You should always dress your baby according to the weather outside. Even if the little white dress is too cute, it doesn’t mean you’ll dress your baby in it if the weather outside is 7°.
Dressing your newborn for cold weather
It’s important that you dress your baby in layers, but don’t overdress her as it can lead to overheating and even lead to dehydration.
Dress her in long sleeves undershirt, pajamas or a onesie, a warm jacket, mittens, and a hat. Then, add just one more layer of what you’re wearing, and your baby is good to go.
Dressing your newborn for hot weather
If it’s too hot, then your baby will only need a single layer of clothing. If it’s too sunny, don’t forget to apply a baby-safe, broad-spectrum sunscreen on all exposed areas.
How often should you feed your newborn?
For the first few weeks and months, most newborns will feed every 2 to 4 hours. But, if your baby is 1-2 months old, then you start feeding her on demand and not on a schedule.
How can you tell if your baby is feeling too cold?
The best way to check if they’re cold is by touching their chest, back, and tummy. These regions should stay warm, but don’t worry if their hands and feet are cold – it’s absolutely normal.
So, take your baby out, and enjoy the good weather because, truth to be told, newborns are the easiest to handle while going outside.
You don’t have to entertain them or distract them with crayons or toys. If they’re fed, they’re good to go and will sleep peacefully. Wait until they’re toddlers, and it’s a completely different experience.
Meanwhile, comment below on where you take your newborn out and what safety measures you follow.