Oct 022014

take newborn outsideFew subjects cause so much controversy as the question when you are allowed to take your newborn outside. Not only do generations answer differently to this question, there are also huge cultural and religious differences.

Traveling through Vietnam, I hardly saw any newborn baby, while there were lots of 6 months old babies and toddlers on the streets. A conversation with my guide in Hanoi made me understand why I didn’t see them; the first 2 months of their life, babies and their mothers stay in, to avoid infection, a cold, or contact with bad energy.

In Spain or Australia on the other hand, you can see couples on a terrace with their 3 days old baby, enjoying a cup of coffee.

In the Netherlands, we use a rather medical approach to answer this question. You can stay in as long as you want of course, but we strongly advice young parents not to go outside with their little one until 3 milestones are reached.

To go outside safely, a baby must:

  1. Be gaining weight again, after his initial weight loss -gaining weight is a sign that breast feeding is succeeding; your baby gets the energy he needs to grow and thrive.
  2. Be able to keep a stable temperature. This is also a sign that your baby is drinking well and has enough energy left to keep herself warm.
  3. The umbilical cord is drying. In an ideal situation, it has already fallen off, but when there are no signs of inflammation or irritation on the skin of the belly, you can go out.

infoMost of the times, these 3 measuring points are met around the 7th or 8th day after birth. So, as a rule of thumb, babies can go outside when they are one week old. 

Please use your own better judgment in this; if you want to go out but there is a blizzard going on outside and your baby is still very fragile, wait a day or 2 until the weather is better. Go to a park at first, not to a crowded shopping center, with lots of people in a small area. Your baby is still building her immune system, so we better protect her from crowds and extreme weather conditions for another couple of weeks!

When it is cool outside, make sure to cover your little one’s head. Babies lose their body temperature quickly in the open air. When it is sunny, don’t forget a sun cream/ sun block to protect your sweetie from burning.

Now I am curious. Do you think the Dutch approach makes sense? When did you go out with your baby for the first time?

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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