Your newborn seems so tiny and fragile! You’re extremely careful with them that even taking them outside seems like a risk. But, did you know that going outdoors, fresh air, and experiencing a change of scenery with your newborn baby is good for both you and them?
The vitamin D we get from sunshine can have a positive impact on baby blues. During the first couple of weeks postpartum, many women experience low mood due to hormonal changes. March of Dimes lists going outdoors in the sunlight, eating healthy food, and getting some exercise as ways to feel better and get through the baby blues period.
Being outdoors can also help your baby’s circadian rhythm develop. Cleveland Clinic explains that this will have a positive effect on your little one’s sleep, “You can do this by keeping them in bright or sunny spaces during the day and removing bright lights at night.”
How Soon Can A Newborn Go Outside?
It is a myth that moms and new babies need to be kept indoors for the first weeks or months postpartum.
As long as your newborn is healthy, it is perfectly safe to start taking them outdoors as soon as you come home from the hospital. If your little one does have any health concerns, check with your doctor.
It’s important that you feel up for outdoor excursions, too. Pregnancy and labor can take an immense toll on your body. You need time to recover, and this healing process can look different for every women.
While the mood-boosting benefits of vitamin D and fresh air can have a positive effect on your emotional and mental state, you’ve got to honor your needs. If you had a traumatic labor experience or a c-section, you may need to be on bed rest for a while.
If you’re currently pregnant and worried about delivery, the Birth Made Simple prenatal course is for you. Get the information you need about labor, birth, and the immediate postpartum period to help ease your anxiety.
What To Do With A Newborn To Get Out Of The House?
When beginning to go out for the first time, start small with short walks and short periods sitting outside for tummy time.
Go For A Walk
There are many benefits to postpartum exercise, including:
- Better sleep
- Lower stress levels
- Improved mood and energy
- It helps strengthen muscles that took a knock during pregnancy and labor
Walking is a great way to ease back into exercising and get outdoors with your baby.
“After having a baby, you should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week,” advises the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Outdoor Tummy Time
Tummy time can begin in the newborn phase. Time spent on their belly can help them develop the muscles they need to roll over and lift themselves up, as well as help their motor skills flourish.
Join A Moms Group
Joining a new parents group that goes for group walks can motivate you to get outdoors. Plus, it’s a great way to gain support from other women going through similar situations.
Do Babies Need To Get Out Of The House Every Day?
No, going outdoors does not have to be part of your everyday routine. It’s important to take the weather into consideration. If there is a threat of severe weather conditions, leave the outdoor activities for another day.
Newborn babies’ immune systems are underdeveloped, so they are more at risk of contracting illnesses. So, try to keep your little one out of overly cramped and crowded areas. “…most pediatricians recommend waiting six to eight weeks before taking baby into crowded areas, like stores, restaurants and on public transit…If you’re out in public, maintain social distance and try not to let people get too close or touch baby,” explains The Bump.
Can Newborns Go Outside In The Sun?
While newborns can go out when the sun is shining, it’s important to keep them out of direct sunlight. Web MD explains that newborn’s skin is extremely delicate and therefore extra sensitive to the sun’s rays, making them prone to burning. “…that kind of early skin damage can increase their lifelong risk of skin cancer.”
If you’re taking a walk, keep the stroller shade up, and if you’re sitting on the ground, put up an umbrella or set up under the shade of a tree. Also, dress your little one in lightweight clothing and put on a hat for sun protection.
You can’t rely on sunscreen just yet. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends waiting until your baby is at least six months old before applying sunscreen.
As long as your baby is healthy and you’re physically up for it, going outdoors for fresh air and sunshine is healthy for both of you!