How Soon Is Too Soon To Take a Newborn Out In Public?

How Soon Is Too Soon To Take a Newborn Out In Public?

Six weeks ago, I gave birth to a baby girl. The first week we mainly stayed at home, chained to the sofa trying to figure out the whole breastfeeding thing (still struggling, by the way). After the first week, she joined me on errand runs. At two weeks, we brought her to family functions. At three weeks, she had her first restaurant experience. By four weeks, we were taking her to an array of events. That’s when the comments started rolling in about how she was too young to be out in public. This has happened several times in the past few weeks, but two times in particular got me frustrated.

NewbornThe first was when my little family of four was at a function at a relative’s work. It was one of the chillier days in November, but my daughter was dressed in a long, thick gown with a lightweight blanket, and we were indoors. She was in her stroller; her gown had crept up to her knees and her blanket had fallen. We were waiting in a line and the woman in front of us looked back at my daughter and commented that her feet looked cold. Then she proceeded to feel her feet to see if they were cold. It was probably just a grandmotherly instinct, which I can understand. But she then commented about her being out at such a young age. I told her that it was fine for her to be out – after all, she was probably exposed to more germs from the woman’s touch than from being out in the open.

The following day, we went to a school fair. I was holding my daughter and a woman asked me how old she was. When I told her four weeks, the woman gasped and said, “I can’t believe you have her out here in this weather! She’s too little. It’s so nasty!” It was a beautiful, clear night with temperatures in the high sixties. It was actually a warmer temperature outside than what I keep the thermostat set on in our house, and my daughter was in a long sleeve gown and swaddled in a blanket.

I try not to be too sensitive about strangers’ comments. Sometimes I am successful at not being offended. Sometimes I am not. I’ve just received so many comments lately that I’ve started to wonder if I’m in the minority for venturing out with my newborn so often. I genuinely feel like it is okay to take her out in public, especially considering that at one week old babies are taken to the doctor’s office for checkups. There’s no place where they are exposed more to germs than at the doctor’s office, so my thinking is that if it’s okay to take them there as a newborn, it’s okay to take them anywhere. Well, maybe not anywhere, but certainly okay to take them in public as long as parents aren’t letting everyone touch their faces and hands or doing something absurd like giving them a bath in a public toilet.

How soon did you take your newborn out in public?

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Marie is the owner of Little Hometown, a company specializing in locally themed baby swaddles and apparel. Prior to opening her business, Marie was a professional event planner turned stay-at-home mom. She spent nearly a decade living in New York City, where she met her husband, Jeff (a New England native). Early in their relationship, Marie told Jeff that New Orleans is the only place where she would want to raise her children. As soon as she got pregnant, they started shopping for houses. They moved back in December of 2012, welcomed their son in 2013 and their daughter in 2015. Marie now spends her days entertaining her kids with silly songs, desperately attempting to stay organized, and balance her life as a work-at-home mom.

7 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with you! I did the same thing. If you can bring the baby to the doctor, why not anywhere else? That’s the old thinking. When you have other kids, life goes on and baby is on the ride.

  2. I’m with you! We started out small with doc visits and target runs. But you have to get out of the house and in the south, it’s not a super cold winter. Who gives a YOU KNOW WHAT about their opinions. But I know it’s hard not to get frustrated 😉

  3. I have an 11 week old that we still do not bring out all that much. We really didn’t bring her anywhere until she had her first round of real shots at 2 mos. I’ll feel better when she gets her next set of shots at 4mos. Our pediatrician said to just not bring her in a lot of crowds or around other sick kids. I do feel that being so young, her immune system is not well enough formed yet. If she were to catch something, she may not be able to fight it off. I make sure that I get out a few times a week (I’m a SAHM), but she stays in most of the time! In the end, you have to do what’s right for your baby & family, & not worry with what others say.

  4. I had a similar experience. When I had my son, my mother-in-law instructed me that he was not to go out in public until 6 weeks old. I basically followed along because I didn’t know any better. As a result, I suffered with the baby blues. When my daughter came along five years later, I had her out at 2 weeks. She had to come along with me. My son’s life didn’t stop because she was born. I had her at a local boutique (literally 5 people in the store, maybe) and was scolded by an older woman for having her out. I politely told her that for my mental health, I needed to get out of the house. Do what makes you and your family happy. Your baby will be fine. My daughter is much more of a roll with the situation kid than my son is. I chalk it up to not having the world revolve around their schedule. Congratulations on the birth of your daughter!

  5. Marie- don’t sweat it. It is good for kids to be out. I went on a walk in city park the day I got home from the hospital (February) and I went to eat at Mondo with family when she was 5 days old. I regretted the restaurant because trying to breastfeed with a newborn as a first time mom in public is difficult. Man am I tired of “friendly” advice 🙂

  6. Our current baby went to trick or trunk at our oldest school at 3 days old. We only stayed a few minutes and I wasn’t quite ready to have him out yet. But my older two needed mama, too, after having a new baby. I’ve definitely gone out sooner with each kid.

  7. We were always out and about. With my first we were chastised for bringing him to the beach (our apartment in Cali was on the beach.. so front yard?) and to the mall at about a week or two old.
    Our second went to the aquarium at 5 days old bc his birthday was March 1 and my eldest was March 6 and turning 2.
    My third, who’s almost 1 now was out and about from the hospital. We visited my mother and went to church from the hospital, 2 days old.

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