View Full Version : when to take babies out in public?

05-11-2002, 04:38 PM
When is it ok to take babies (we're having twins!) out in public? I've heard some say after they have their first shots (2-3 mos?) and others say any time as long as it's not too overwhelming for them. Any opinions?

(My family is planning our baby shower for a few weeks after the birth since I'm on bedrest and my due date is up in the air at the moment... and we want to bring the babies to the shower.)

thanks for your help!

05-11-2002, 07:51 PM
As long as they're basically healthy, and, as you say, not too overwhelmed by people around them, they can come out any time. Yes, they'll be exposed to germs, but there's a lot of research now showing that babies' immune systems need to be challenged early (the most important period being the first year) to unfold properly. Without the appropriate external stimulus of germ exposure, they are at higher risk of developing allergies/asthma later in life. (If you're REALLY bored on your bedrest, I can direct you to some fascinating studies on the subject.)

I think that the traditional "lying-in" period is REALLY for the benefit of the mother (who, make no mistake, has earned and deserves a few weeks of quiet and pampering!!!)

Go with your own instincts. If your babies are healthy and seem up to a little commotion, go for it! If you're feeling more protective, you can always designate two trusted relatives to hold them and not give them over to/expose them to anyone else.



05-11-2002, 10:06 PM
I can't remember the first time we took our son out in public, but I know we took him to church with us when he was two weeks old. And then we took him to my "shower/meet the baby/baptism" party when he was three weeks old--which was also a 1.5 hour drive back to my hometown. He was fine, and he was also born 16 days early.

I remember seeing a woman at the McDonalds with her DH, older child, and newborn who was less than a week old! Guess it depends how you feel about it. Just make sure nobody that has a cold, or has been exposed to a cold, etc. recently, holds them. That would be my only concern, but most of my relatives are good about staying away from Evan in that situation--they don't want to get him sick, so I don't have to say anything.

05-13-2002, 11:09 PM
One thing my pediatrician suggested to us was to keep baby mittens on our daughter. She said (and I've noticed that it's true!) people always grab a baby's hand, which is actually one of the worst places to touch, since they put their hands in their mouths all the time.

05-22-2002, 10:21 PM
Growing up in Germany I was able to witness another culture's practices. Most Germans take their babies out very soon....within a couple of weeks after birth. They are in stroller and very well dressed. There is always a head covering too. In the cooler weather they have a big quilt/comforter over them...but they are definitely out on a daily basis to get fresh air.

05-23-2002, 02:46 AM
We had our son at the pediatrician's several times in the first two weeks (jaundice!) and he was fine. I think we took him to Target at about two weeks. It's good for mom's mental health to get out (with help). If you are breastfeeding, your baby's immune system will be stronger and more likely to fend off the germs.

My suggestions:
-Don't welcome/invite strangers touching the baby. Make all family and friends wash their hands first. This is a must.
-Don't play "pass the baby," they aren't toys. Think of how you would feel. If it's a party for them and they are "on display," maybe have Grandma/Auntie hold the baby and others come to see it/sit by it.
-If it's cold/flu season use a soft baby carrier, as it provides a slight barrier to people sneezing.
-That mittens idea seems great! Even in our carrier people touch my babies hands.


Mommy to Little Jonah

05-23-2002, 07:14 PM
Seems a healthy baby would be fine in public at 2 or 3 weeks. As others have said, avoid having people handle him and keep him dressed appropriately for the weather.

For preemies, it's a different story because they are much more susceptible to illness than full-term babies. A friend of mine had twins at 32 weeks -- they were in NICU for 2-3 weeks prior to coming home and she was told under no circumstances to take them out in public for at least 3 weeks, and no one but the parents was to touch them for another 2 weeks after that! (basically, until they were "full term"). The biggest worry was RSV.

06-21-2002, 08:50 PM
If babies get a fever before they are 2 months old they have to be hospitalized and get a spinal tap. This happened to my nephew and it was so traumatic for everyone.
So... be careful about people touching your babies! A sling or bjorn works well because you can fend people off.
Walking down the street or going to Target probably isn't as bad as letting 20 people hold them.
Baby mittens are a great idea!

06-23-2002, 08:45 PM
This is what my pediatrician told us as well. If they get a fever, it's evidently a disaster. And my son got RSV at 3 months old, and that earned us a trip to the hospital with pnuemonia. That said, we took him to church at 2 weeks old, and we went to the store with him shortly thereafter. I highly recommmend using something like a Baby Bjorn. For some reason, total strangers always want to touch your baby's face and hands. In the BB, all they can reach is the top of his head! If you have visitors, I would insist that they wash their hands before they handle the baby.

06-23-2002, 10:01 PM
How curious that my ped never said anything like this. And to be honest, I have never heard this before. Maybe only fevers above a certain point?

As for taking babies out, I must admit that I was so stir crazy after being in the hospital for 3 days and 4 nights (C-section) we went to Target and BRU the day after we came home. So I guess that was day 4 or 5 depending on if you count the day she was born. I specifically asked my ped about this. He said taking her out was no big deal and encouraged me to get out as soon as I could. He also gave the standard warnings about not letting strangers touch her, etc.