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Newborns & the Great Outdoors

Aug11

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Bounce Back ArchivesYou know what? This writing-columns-on-the-train-thing is getting old. I am ready to get back home, so I can get back to being a REAL PROFESSIONAL. Who writes columns in bed, before showering. IT IS MY WAY.

That said, I really only have a convo-jumping-off point this week, instead of anything super-fleshed out and bossy. I’m wondering: When did you first take your newborn *someplace* (besides like, the doctor or lactation consultant or baby-supply store), and did you ever get hassled for having her/him out “so early”?

I thought about this topic a few times this weekend, at the BlogHer ’10 conference, where many women routinely pack up their babies in strollers and slings and bring them along. Last year I hauled my nine-month-old everywhere in my trusty Ergo. And several times I bumped into another mother in the Lactation Lounge — she was there with a tiny, TINY little newborn. Forget months or weeks, we’re talking DAYS, here. So adorable! So…admirable, Her dedication! And yet OH GOOD HEAVENS THE GERMS! I kept thinking, clutching my conference badge lanyard like a string of pearls.

This wasn’t my usual reaction: I was lucky to have a pediatrician who told new patients straight-up that he didn’t subscribe to the view that newborns need to stay home or avoid public places for any set amount of time. (Healthy, full-term newborns, that is. Preemies or other little compromised systems that need to be quarantined for respiratory syncytial virus [RSV] season, for example, are obviously an exception.) So we never hesitated to bundle our babies up and take them wherever we needed to go: the mall, the store, out for pizza, etc.

Many, many people disagreed with us, and quite a few of them did not hesitate to tell us so. I remember an elderly Asian woman scolding me repeatedly for having Ezra out within his first month…and for being out myself, I guess, given her gesturing that seemed to fixate on the fact that my tummy was still pooching out and I should be…lying down? In some kind of hyperbolic chamber? I don’t know what she was saying, but she probably sat there tsk-tsking me for a good 20 minutes while I attempted to get my toddler to pick out a new pair of winter boots already.

Last year, 9-month-old Ezra did indeed get a cold at BlogHer. But he also got a cold at two weeks old, thanks to an older brother who brought stuff home from preschool. Or maybe because we DID drag him along for back-to-school shopping and birthday parties and all those things that don’t pause and cease to go on just because you’ve had a baby. Noah never got sick until he went to daycare at 12 weeks old, Then was fine once we pulled him out…only to get whalloped by EVERY. LITTLE. GERM. ALIVE. once he started preschool at three. Today, both boys have good immune systems — not bullet-proof, but pretty damn solid. I like to think our laissez-faire approach to newborn-meets-real-world questions had something to do with it, but then again, maybe the old-fashioned ladies who yell at us at the grocery store aren’t entirely in the wrong either.

What do you think? When did you first take your baby OUT PLACES? Did you have your doctor’s blessing or just your common sense? Did anyone ever scold you for daring to bring your newborn and your still-deflating uterus out into the cold, germy, hostile world of the Target diaper aisle?

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About the author

Amalah

http://www.amalah.com
Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy's daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it's pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to amyadvice@gmail.com.

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.


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49 Responses to “Newborns & the Great Outdoors”

  1. Hallie Smith Aug 11 at 2:12 am Reply Reply

    You know, that Asian lady might have been upset because for the first month of a baby’s life in her culture, the mother is basically on bed rest while all of her (and the new baby’s) needs are cared for by the grandmother and other female relatives.

    Clearly, you should have been home resting while your mom did all the laundry and baby care. :)

  2. Ginger Aug 11 at 2:45 am Reply Reply

    Well, let’s see. I think we took our son out to Target when he was….5 days old? So no, we didn’t subscribe to the “keep the baby home for a period of time” philosophy. We took him a lot of places very early, because…well I needed to get out of the house. That said, I didn’t really go for people touching the kid out in public.
    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with either point of view though, to each their own.

  3. Ashlea Aug 11 at 5:19 am Reply Reply

    I took my son out with me whenever we needed to go out, or whenever I was feeling bored at home. I want to the mall – grocery shopping – when he was 2 days old. I took him out to lunch with a friend and into work to show my co-workers when he was 6 days old. That ended up being a 6 1/2hr day out as I live an hour and a half from work. I remember people asking how old he was and me telling them he was 3 days old.

    People seemed shocked that he was out so young, but nobody ever said anything to me about it. Could be becuase most of the time he was in his moby wrap and snuggled into me.

  4. Em Aug 11 at 6:31 am Reply Reply

    On our way home from hospital we took our 3 day old to the supermarket so I could be around ‘regular’ people and not nurses or brand new Mums – what a classy first outing eh?!

    I don’t think it’s much of an issue in the UK, you quite often see teeny new babes out with their frazzled parents. There was some shock that we took a road trip to my folks house with the Niblet when she was only 11 days old, but I think that was because people thought we were brave travelling with a little one, not because they were concerned about her (or our) health.

  5. jodifur Aug 11 at 7:52 am Reply Reply

    I was at Target on the way home from the hospital. I think we needed something? It was March, it was nice out, and well, I was never overly neurotic. A girlfriend, who had a preemie, wasn’t allowed to leave the house until the baby was like 4 months old. I think I would have lost my mind.

  6. Ally Aug 11 at 8:35 am Reply Reply

    I had two summer babies and we took them out right away. And by right away I mean the day we got home from the hospital. It was mostly walks, parks, and outdoor venues. We did eat out when both kids we only a few weeks old. They stayed strapped in the car seat and weren’t even aware that we left the house. The are both toddlers now and have great immune systems. My husband and I are not the stay at home kind, and our kids have adapted well to our lifestyle. We did get our share of other peoples’ negative opinions. 

  7. Ally Aug 11 at 8:35 am Reply Reply

    I had two summer babies and we took them out right away. And by right away I mean the day we got home from the hospital. It was mostly walks, parks, and outdoor venues. We did eat out when both kids we only a few weeks old. They stayed strapped in the car seat and weren’t even aware that we left the house. The are both toddlers now and have great immune systems. My husband and I are not the stay at home kind, and our kids have adapted well to our lifestyle. We did get our share of other peoples’ negative opinions. 

  8. Wallydraigle Aug 11 at 8:45 am Reply Reply

    I don’t rub my kids’ heads in the toilet or anything, but my feeling is, the more exposure, the better. I read a while ago that babies’ habit of picking stuff up off the floor and shoving it in their mouths is one way the body builds immunity. I’ve stopping worrying about the state of my floors. Not that I never clean them, but if there are a few crumbs here and there, maybe some cat hair, I don’t stay awake at night worrying that the baby will die of ebola.

    We took our first baby out the very day we went home from the hospital. I don’t remember with the second one, but it was probably pretty early. With my first, I had raging baby blues. Not going out was not an option. I would have thrown myself out a window.

    It never even occurred to me that I shouldn’t bring the baby out with me. Extreme weather and VERY crowded places being the exception, but that’s partly for my own convenience, too.

    If the kid’s been at the hospital, he’s been exposed to just about as many awful germs as can be. Target’s got nothing on the hospital.

  9. Amy Corinne Aug 11 at 9:03 am Reply Reply

    My grandmother passed away when my daughter was 11 days old and I flew with her when she was 13 days old. After going on an airplane with her, i wasn’t hesitant about taking her anywhere.

    During the week before that, I took her for plenty of walks around the neighborhood, but I couldn’t drive so I didn’t go anywhere else.

  10. cagey Aug 11 at 9:26 am Reply Reply

    I took my kid out as soon as I was physically able. And yes, I would get comments from random asshats. Furthermore, it is a wonder that my grandma did not report me to the police.

    Dude, wind in the ears is dangerous. DANGEROUS.

  11. Jenifer Aug 11 at 9:27 am Reply Reply

    Our midwives were insistent that the mother needs two weeks resting at home. I think I snuck out for some walks, but honestly I was grateful for the “required” time to relax and be with baby. After those two weeks, though, the boy and I went everywhere. I had him in his wrap so he was happy. It helped pass the time too! On the other hand I got A LOT of comments when I had him out when it was hot. Even though we were just walking from, you know, the car to the grocery store’s entrance.

    Glad to know that the sick every two weeks from other kids at daycare may taper off now that the boy has had every cold that went around in 2009/2010.

  12. Elizabeth Aug 11 at 9:28 am Reply Reply

    We stopped by the doggie training center on the way home from the hospital when our son was four days old to visit a friend and interact with our dog and our son’s smell there first before the dog came home later that afternoon. We were making this stop while we were waiting for the biliblanket to be delivered…

    Then, when he was eleven days old we took him to a BBQ for a wedding (this was the day he got off the biliblanket) and then to the wedding the next day. He was basically in a pocket sling throughout both events. We definitely got comments, but they were all pretty positive.

  13. Elizabeth Aug 11 at 9:29 am Reply Reply

    Oh… And I was having some issue with breastfeeding and so I loaded him up in the car and drove myself over to the breastfeeding and maternity store when he was right at a week old. The ladies in the store seemed fine with him but were a little bothered by the fact that I was out.. Go figure.

  14. Jessica Aug 11 at 9:57 am Reply Reply

    I definitely remember taking my son out for walks and to Walmart (baby bassinet emergency!) around 3-5 days.

    That being said, as a doctor, I want to emphasize one thing — since newborns don’t have a good way of showing you if they are seriously ill, any fever under 1 month or so of age is going to be taken very very seriously. Like go to the emergency room and get a spinal tap seriously. So, I think that is a realy good reason to avoid those random cold viruses (otherwise I’d agree in general with “the more exposure, the better” theory mentioned above).

  15. Elke Aug 11 at 10:20 am Reply Reply

    I took my little man out when he was 6 days old on a family visit. He was pretty much back at birth weight (if I recall correctly) which is the way they do things in Holland. Plus his great granny (96 years old) had some serious ants in her pants and couldn’t wait to meet him. No one gave me dirty looks…or maybe I was just so in love with my baby that I didn’t care to notice. He’s still alive. Very much alive…and teething.

  16. Molly Aug 11 at 10:24 am Reply Reply

    We took our baby around to the offices of me, my husband and my mom when he was 9 days old. We mentioned the plan to the doctor at our 1-week checkup, and she said as long as we got people to wash their hands first, she was OK with it. I felt like a total schmo asking people to do that, but they all totally understood and were happy to do it. No one really commented in a negative way about having him out so soon. It was a long day for us, but all in all there were no major problems. And the kid (10 months now) still hasn’t been sick! 

  17. Natalie Aug 11 at 10:33 am Reply Reply

    We took our daughter out just a few days after she was born, and she was born december 8. We had to wrap her up but we mostly went for rides in the car and trips to the store for essentials. We believe in building immunity by actually getting sick.

    No one has ever said any thing negative to me while I had my daughter. My husband and mother both insist that it is because people can tell I am a witch and would have no issue telling them to take a flying leap off a building with much more colorful language… essentially I have crazy mommy eyes

  18. Michelle Aug 11 at 10:36 am Reply Reply

    I adopted my two sons (both born in Texas and we live in CA). So I took my older son on an airplane at 2 weeks old and my younger son on an airplane at 4 weeks old!

  19. Auntie G Aug 11 at 10:37 am Reply Reply

    We took our son on a family jaunt to the bagel shop when he was 3 days old. He was a 36-weeker but ironically our ped said that sunshine was good for his mild jaundice, and as along as we weren’t letting strangers touch our baby w/o washing up, that was fine. He was a late August babe, so I know that influenced my decision. I took him EVERYWHERE in a stroller or a sling. I needed the fresh air, too, and he seemed to like it. He did get a bad respiratory infection his first winter, sadly, but who knows why — by then we weren’t going out much because of the cold, but I had gone back to work and we had a nanny so I guess real world germs found their way to us. That said, he’s been a remarkably resilient boy (knock wood).

  20. Cass Aug 11 at 10:41 am Reply Reply

    We had a December baby and live in New England and I still smile remembering our pede’s advice on going out in extreme temps – “Even Eskimos have babies.” Short walks started at a few days old. Then we took the baby out on small errands starting at around 3 weeks (Christmas got in the way and we didn’t want to deal with strollers and carriers in over-crowded stores) and even dared lunch at Applebee’s at 4 weeks. He slept, the servers oohed & aahed, fellow patrons marveled – in a nice way – at us taking him out so young and at his relative quietness. He’s been out and about pretty much everywhere since. (Though at 8 months, we now have to schedule longer car trips around naptimes. :))

  21. Maria Aug 11 at 10:45 am Reply Reply

    We took Jakob out for his first day trip (to Whistler, BC – about 2 1/2 hours drive) when he was about 8 or 9 days old, and we took him on a family camping trip at about 5 or 6 weeks, about a day and a half drive away. I personally was pretty nervous because we were basically camping on a lakefront beach in the middle of NOWHERE (it’s family owned property). Thankfully we had some great cousins who borrowed a 1969 Travelaire camper for us and drove it down to the beach so I’d at least have a decent place to nurse and use a bathroom! Plus I had the added luxury of everyone wanting to spend as much time as possible with the new baby so I got lots of sleep!~

  22. Lisa M Aug 11 at 10:56 am Reply Reply

    Just wanted to mention that my newborn son (now 2.5 …eeek) contracted RSV at 4 weeks. In January. Very scary. Like really scary. What dreadful place did we have him that he got this virus…yep, you guessed it…the doctor’s office for a new baby check-up.
    So don’t bubble-wrap the baby…save yourself the worry, because they’re going to get sick. They just are.

  23. Wallydraigle Aug 11 at 11:23 am Reply Reply

    @Jenifer TWO WEEKS? I would have killed myself. That’s not entirely an exaggeration. First time I’ve ever been depressed in my life was after the birth of my first daughter. Resting at home for two weeks would have been a recipe for disaster. A nice stay in an institution, at the very least. Thank goodness it went away on its own starting around two weeks, and finally tapering off around, oh, a month. For those first two weeks postpartum the only thing that made me feel like I might ever be happy again was getting out of the house, having people over, and doing things.

  24. LK Aug 11 at 12:32 pm Reply Reply

    The on-call pediatrician from our ped’s office who came by the hospital when we had our first baby told us not to leave the house for 2 weeks. He literally said, “hold her up in front of the window when visitors come.” My hubby and I were newbies, but even so, we looked at each other like, “yeah, right!” When we took her to her regular pediatrician a couple days later he politely said to disregard anything the other doc had said!

  25. andrea Aug 11 at 12:33 pm Reply Reply

    at 2months old I took her on a long stroller ride on the trail that runs near our house. I was chided by a construction worker for taking her out on a sunny day. yep 70s and a sunny spring day.
    and then I called the pediatrician that night because we had gone over some “bumps” on our return trip and OMG wouldn’t that cause brain damage?! Okay i was sleep deprived and the dr didn’t laugh at me which wow..

  26. Liz Aug 11 at 12:43 pm Reply Reply

    I wasn’t up to doing out much at all the first week thanks to an epidural headache, but when my baby was almost 2 weeks old my husband & I went to an appliance store to FINALLY upgrade our washer/dryer (husband did laundry while I was sick and discovered how awful our current ones were).

    It was too early for me. I wasn’t feeling too well yet, and I felt really crampy after a bit from standing for too long. The baby was fine, but I was definitely not ready yet! I didn’t go out much again until baby was 3-4 weeks old.

  27. Leslie Aug 11 at 12:59 pm Reply Reply

    I was out of the hospital when my babe was 3 days old, and we went to costco when he was 4 days old. Life doesn’t stop because you have a baby. I figure as long as i don’t let strangers touch him he will be fine.

  28. Heather Aug 11 at 1:05 pm Reply Reply

    Farmer’s Market, he was 4 days old.
    Oh wait, that isn’t right, hotel lobby at 3 days old (mom is too allergic for the house but it was MY birthday so we had a party in the hotel lobby on our way home from the hospital).
    Thank goodness for an easy c-section.

  29. Petroni Aug 11 at 2:30 pm Reply Reply

    My little guy was born on a Tuesday. We were discharged from the hospital on Friday. I took him to Target on Saturday, Mass on Sunday morning, and a women’s Bible study the following Wednesday. So no, we didn’t keep him at home for any prescribed period of time.

  30. Kathleen Aug 11 at 3:30 pm Reply Reply

    We got home from the hospital at two days old and walked right back out the door to Babies R Us – where my son christened the entire bathroom while my husband tried to change him (first public diaper change, first “oh, boys are fun” moment…). 

    The only  place I got any comments for the early public outings was, ironically, at the state-required trip back to the hospital for the one-week old blood test. He sort of had to be out in public for that, so I thought it was funny that people commented.

  31. Mama Bub Aug 11 at 6:03 pm Reply Reply

    First of all, let me say that I just discovered this column (evidently I’ve been living under a ROCK) and I’m in love. Like, neglect my children because I just have to keep clicking one more link, love.

    Anyway, with my first we mostly stayed home for the first couple of months. We took him to the grandparents house and our for walks and that was about it. My husband was off of work for the summer, so if someone needed to run an errand, the other one went.

    The second baby? Well, as you know it’s not really possible to stay home for three months when you’ve got a three year old who needs to get out of the house NOW. She’s gone everywhere since she was about two weeks old. Again, my husband is home all summer, but sometimes it’s easier to divide and conquer with the two kids, so she comes with me while he manages the three year old. So far, no one has said anything, but I think it helps that it’s not smack dab in the middle of cold and flu season.

  32. Kim Aug 11 at 8:06 pm Reply Reply

    Was at a preschool amusement park today, and saw a baby so little I don’t think she was even a month. Didn’t care so much that she was there, but I did have an incredibly strong urge to cover her up with a blanket or hat. “Get that baby out of the direct sun!” I was screaming. On the inside, thankfully. One tries not to judge, but if one is me, often fails.

  33. Lizzie Aug 11 at 10:32 pm Reply Reply

    My baby was born toward the end of winter, and my pediatrician recommended no crowded/very public places for 6 weeks because they were still seeing lots of colds and RSV. And we did, because like the doctor above mentioned, fever equals scary ER visit and scary tests, which actually happened to one of my best friends and it was awful. I also wasn’t really up for much physically for the first month (thanks to LONG labor followed a couple of weeks later by my own ER visit and treatment for endometritis, yay. But I digress…) but we did go out for strolls when the weather was nice.

    Anywho, you know how i know having to go to the ER with your tiny newborn is so super not fun? We went, 2 days after we brought her home, after my husband dropped her from our (thankfully low) bed onto the floor. She was fine incidentally, and I cried waaaay more than she did about it.

  34. Susan Aug 11 at 10:46 pm Reply Reply

    I just had my baby 9 days ago and she’s only been to the doctor. But I was advised not to take her out “in the community” for 6-8 weeks.  I think that might be because she was in the NICU for 3 days after birth due to having fluid in her lungs. Honestly, I’m happy to have the excuse to explain why I’m not out introducing her to everyone. It’s kind of daunting being this is my first child. But I don’t know if 6-8 weeks will be practical either. 

  35. BKC Aug 11 at 11:41 pm Reply Reply

    Hallie’s got it on the nose.  I was living with my (oh so very) Chinese grandmother when my daughter was born, and the one month rule was SOLID.  I got chided when I tried to take my baby out onto the back patio.  

    On the plus side, I was practically 100% pre-baby feeling by the end of that month.  And on that first day of freedom, you better believe I wrapped her in a sling, and we were out the front door.  I walked and walked and walked and walked…

  36. KimC Aug 12 at 11:55 am Reply Reply

    I took my daughter to walmart at three days or so old- I was fussed at by a couple of women… but I had to go to walmart to get postpartum pads- I knew nothing about pads, I had only used pads for ONE period (my first one) and then swapped to tampons. I didnt even know what to tell my husband to get for me if I could send him. So I told the busybodies that and they shut up pretty fast. ha.

  37. SaltwaterMom Aug 12 at 12:41 pm Reply Reply

    My daughter was 3 days old when she went to her first Poker game… Her paternal grandparents own a restaurant/bar so we took her to meet the regulars. Nobody gave me so much as a dirty look, they were way too interested in Baby! The next day we went to a banquet and dance – Stayed for supper and the first song and were home by 9:30. Again, no dirty looks.

    Looking back, I’m more impressed that I got MYSELF out of the house at 3 days postpartum.

    Since then, she’s been shopping, hiking, swimming, berry-picking and fishing (in the pouring rain). Also, out to eat a dozen times, to a folk festival,a wedding, a triathlon, and the beach. She’s three and a half months old.

  38. Leigh Aug 13 at 12:40 pm Reply Reply

    My first pediatrician said I shouldn’t take my older daughter out AT ALL (no church, no grocery store, NO NOTHING) until she was a year old. I did not follow his advice, because I had a life, and she was fine.

    My younger daughter went to a Halloween party at ten days old, and has been a social butterfly ever since.

  39. Cara Aug 13 at 5:18 pm Reply Reply

    We settled on four weeks before we took her out to stores, etc., though I did take one or two trips to places I needed to go during that time. And even now (5 1/2 weeks) we’re choosing less populated places for the most part.  We also kept the visitors to family and our most intimate friends for the first month.  I needed the time, and we felt better giving her that time to grow.  If they get a fever in the first 28 days, its automatic hospitalization and I wasn’t up for that.  Our pediatrician encouraged us to ‘limit’ her exposure and me to rest, but no strict bans or rules.  We were just going with our gut and common sense.

  40. Cara Aug 13 at 5:21 pm Reply Reply

    Oh – I should add that we didn’t apply any of our restrictions to being outdoors.  We took her on a night walk our first day home (5 days) and I took her for long walks through the neighborhood and to the botanical garden beside our house daily from the first day I felt up for it.  So, I wasn’t stuck in the house, exactly. 

  41. JenVegas Aug 13 at 6:46 pm Reply Reply

    In my family, the standard rule has always been that the baby doesn’t get taken out in public until after it’s been baptized. Well, I’m expecting my first at the end of November and not planning on a baptism so I guess I’ll just use my best judgment to figure out where I NEED to take him in Chicago, in the middle of winter. My mom is flying in from NY to stay with us for most of the month and I’m not sure if that’s going to help or hinder the situation…

  42. Elizabeth Aug 17 at 9:31 am Reply Reply

    We took our summer baby to a college reunion BBQ 4 days after she was born. I was happy to give her some fresh air and meet the friends who were visiting from out of town. I was less concerned about the potential germs and more concerned about the intense DC summer heat. We didn’t stay outside too long.

    Since then, I take her everywhere without much thought… restaurants, the grocery store, weddings. If she was born during swine flu season, I may behave differently but at 9 weeks she’s doing well and not a sniffle in sight (knock on wood).

    I’ve read some reports that suggest the increase in allergies may be correlated to the uberclean, sanitized homes many American children grow up in. I don’t know if it’s true but it makes me much less stressed about our dirty old dog in the house with her.

  43. Trilby Aug 17 at 12:57 pm Reply Reply

    I took my first son to my nephew’s outdoor birthday party when he was 5 DAYS old. We were in Wal-Mart that morning too. With my second son, we stopped by my office and my husband’s offices to show him off, on the way home from the hospital.

    Clearly I don’t subscribe to the “must stay in the house until the baby is 6 weeks old” philosophy. As for the passers-by that had a comment about what I was doing, my reply has always been, “When it’s YOUR child it’ll be YOUR business!” and I leave it at that! :)

  44. Kate Aug 19 at 10:41 am Reply Reply

    I guess I don’t really get the new baby/germs thing. Isn’t it true that the baby is protected by the mother’s antibodies for, like, 6 weeks after birth? So what’s the concern? Is it that, if the baby does get sick, then it’s *really* scary. I’m honestly asking, not judging.

    Now, though, on to the judging. Does anyone else get SO LIVID at seeing those “Stop, please wash your hands before you touch me” signs on carseats? (I’ve seen them on 9 and 10 month olds’ car seats!) What, exactly, does that accomplish? IMO, it gets you a solid year or so of a sick baby/kid once they start day care/preschool/kindergarten. Plus it’s just RUDE. The sign may as well say “you’re dirty.” /rant.

  45. Kristine Aug 19 at 5:38 pm Reply Reply

    i can probably beat you all! lol…i actually took my youngest to target to get some necessary odds and ends on the way home from the hospital! He was barely 2 days old! one couple in the baby isle asked how old he was, and audibly gasped. Thankfully they kept the ranting to themselves, though.
    I had a 2 year old and a three year old waiting at home, and a husband who had to go back to work. So stopping on the way home was far easier on everyone than dragging all three of my kids out the next day, or even a few days later.
    Ive never been one to live in fear of germs. And don’t think babies should either. Germs are a part of the world we live in, we should all get used to that (even babies).

  46. Genevieve Aug 20 at 12:34 am Reply Reply

    @Kate – As I understand it the Stop Signs on carseats are actually given by the doctor/hospital to babies who may be especially prone to infection, i.e. babies who were significantly premature. An acquaintance had one for her son who was born extremely early (at 24 weeks gestation if I remember correctly). It’s nothing for you to take personally – perhaps rather than take it as, “You’re dirty,” take it as, “Even though I may not look it, I’m extremely delicate and need you to be extra squeaky clean before you touch me.”

  47. JCF Aug 25 at 3:31 pm Reply Reply

    I took my babies out pretty much right away–stores, the beach, grandparents’ houses, library, etc. However, I did prefer for random strangers not to touch them, so i kept them in a sling or wrap (which I would do anyway, even if not for germs, but the germ thing is an added benefit). @Kate–i don’t think “you’re dirty” is the thought conveyed by those signs, just that it isn’t necessary for a stranger to touch someone else’s baby, so why do it? And they always touch their hands and faces too, which is so yucky when they’re constantly putting their hands in their mouths!

  48. Tree Aug 28 at 5:29 pm Reply Reply

    We did short little jaunts at 3-4 weeks old, but that has as much to do with my physical recovery from the c-section and my mental exhaustion as with germ exposure.

    I was a little worried about germs, but the reasonable part of my brain pointed out that since he was in his carrier, he wouldn’t touch a single surface in the store, nor would he be touched and since it was June, he wasn’t facing too many cold/flu germs.

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