We just had our first baby. How old does she need to be to go out of the house?
When addressing this question with parents, I like to take it as an opportunity for discussion and education because the ultimate decision belongs to them. There is no magical age when parents are given the “green light” to take their baby to the grocery store, but there are some important facts to know. A newborn baby’s immune system is not as strong as an older child. For this reason, infants are more prone to serious infections; therefore, large crowds in small spaces should be avoided for as long as possible. When you take your baby out, make sure that you wash your hands before holding her and that others do the same. It is also important that you do not allow people who are ill to hold her because the same viruses that cause cold symptoms in adults could lead to more serious breathing problems for newborns. On the other hand, getting outside for fresh air is a great idea. You just need to be sure to dress your baby appropriately and plan to limit your time outside to an hour or less.
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