As you become more confident as a parent of an infant, you’ll probably want to get out of the house, start doing some errands and visit friends. The first time you go out with your new baby, you may wonder if you’ll ever get out of the house at all:
- What will you need to bring with you, and how will you bring it?
- How will you carry the baby?
- Will you need to feed the baby while you’re out?
- Is it safe to expose your baby to public places and other people?
It can feel overwhelming the first time, but it will become easier with practice!
It’s important to get out of the house, and learning to do it with your baby will make outings easier and more spontaneous. New babies are actually quite portable, once you get the hang of it. A clean diaper, wipes, a change of clothes and a blanket, as well as a winter suit or sunhat depending on the season, are all you’ll need.
Feeding Baby Away From Home
• If your baby is formula-fed, pack an extra bottle if you plan to be out for more than an hour or two.
• If you’re nursing, bring along a bottle of water for yourself in case you want to nurse while you’re out. Learning to nurse comfortably away from home, whether in public or in your parked car or a shop’s dressing room, is a valuable skill to practice early on. (Blouses that lift from the waist and lightweight baby blankets or shawls that you can drape across your shoulder and breast as your baby nurses will make it easy to be discreet.)
Carrying Your Baby
• Many mothers find a front-pack carrier or sling keeps the baby happier on the go and avoids having to push a baby carriage through stores and crowds. If you do use a sling, position your baby’s face at or above the rim of the sling, so that you and your baby can see each other. This reduces the risk of suffocation, too.
• Use proper body mechanics for lifting and carrying. Avoid carrying your baby in a car seat; they are bulky and will throw off your posture and body alignment. As your baby grows, it will only make it harder on your back to continue to carry this way.
Out with Baby During COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all been advised to limit close contact with others to avoid spreading or contracting the virus. Keep this in mind when heading out with your baby.
Wear your face mask, stay at least 6 feet away from other people and regularly wash your hands (or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content).
Remember, your baby is too young to wear a face mask, which can pose a suffocation risk at this age, so be sure that you both keep socially distanced from others.
Leaving Baby at Home
If you want to go out for dinner or a movie and plan to leave your baby at home for a couple of hours, your sitter will need to know a few things:
• How to feed the baby a bottle of expressed breast milk or formula
• How to put the baby to sleep (on his or her back)
• Where the diapers and wipes are kept
• How to reach you, if necessary.
Alternatively, you can time your outing for when your infant is likely to be sleepy and bring him along; he may nap right through your dinner or movie!
This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.
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