In our series of ‘New Dads’ post we delve into some of the most popular things men think about, or want to know more about when becoming a dad. From changing nappies to feeding we have tried to provide some support for men to feel more comfortable navigating parenthood. This post is about why getting outside with your baby is good.
Getting outside with your baby is not only good for them, but it is also good for you. In this post we will find out why getting outside is good for you both, and give you some great hints at how to get out with baby.
When Should We Start Getting Outside?
Years ago parents were told to keep a new baby at home for up to six weeks. Now, we know there is no need to stay inside so long! Unless told otherwise by a doctor or midwife, you can start taking your baby out as soon as you’re ready.
There is no right or wrong time to start getting outside, but we do suggest tackling this hurdle sooner rather than later! Even if you take your baby for a 10 minute walk in their pushchair, that fresh air is going to do you all the world of good. It is suggested that you avoid overly crowded areas for the first 6 weeks of baby’s life – this is because newborn baby’s have weak immune systems and exposing them to so many germs too soon isn’t great for them. However, getting out soon after the birth will be good for you both.
Getting Ready to Get Out
Getting out with a newborn is daunting. Suddenly you’ve gone from just checking you have your wallet, phone and keys, to being responsible for everything a tiny human might need while you’re out! Here is a handy checklist of things you might need:
- Changing Bag – this is essential kit for getting out with a baby! You need provisions for changing a nappy, and clothes, at any point. This helpful post from the NCT has a list of things you might need in your changing bag. The basics are nappy’s, fragrance and alcohol free baby wipes, and a change of clothes. As long as you have those, you’ll be fine!
- Milk – If mum is solely breastfeeding and coming with you, that is all good – bring some extra breast pads for mum and any creams she may need. If mum is staying home, and baby won’t take a bottle, keep your venture outside short, and try to time it when baby has just been fed. If baby is bottle fed, make sure you have everything you need to make a bottle on the go!
- Pram or Harness/Sling – Carrying your baby is great, but when you’re going outside it is a good idea to take a Harness/Sling or use the pram. It is safer for your child to be in the pram or carrier. If someone accidentally bumps into you, there is a risk that you could drop baby if they aren’t secured in a harness/sling, or safely in their pram. We also recommend getting to know your pram before baby comes! Practice putting it up and down, and securing the buckles. Prams can be fiddly – so practice makes perfect!
- Appropriate Clothing – In winter you’ll want to keep your baby warm with lots of layers, and make sure their hands, feet and head are all covered too. On a summer’s day, babies under 6 months should be kept out of direct sunlight, especially around midday. A good rule of thumb for what baby should wear is one more layer than you need. So, if you’re in a t-shirt and jeans, they will need a vest underneath. It is also a good idea to bring a blanket just in case they start to get cold.
When and Where Should We Go?
Ok Dad, you’ve decided to take your newborn out of the house, and you’ve got everything you need – great! But, where will you go and when is best to leave!?
Getting out with a newborn requires a bit of planning. Try planning your trips around when baby will have just been fed, or will be due a nap. The soothing movement in the car or pushchair will help them sleep, and if they have a full tummy they’re likely to be content while you’re out. We suggest keeping outings short and simple at first. Try going for a short walk around the block, or to a local park and back. It doesn’t need to be complicated, you don’t need to plan a whole day out. Just take baby for a stroll somewhere local and work up to the bigger trips. Try going somewhere you’re familiar with, and know you can access with a pram!
If you’re heading anywhere on public transport, remember to check if stations you use have step free access. Especially if you have your baby in the pram.
Listen To Lloyd Talk About Getting Outside With His Twins
Lloyd is a member of the Dadvengers Community and father of twins. Listen as he talks about his bath time routine and how much enjoyment he gets out of it. It’s great to see that his kids enjoy it so much, and with twins it’s interesting to see how well organised he has to be to make everything work.
This video is part of a series that Dadvengers produced in collaboration with Best Beginnings to sit on the Baby Buddy app
More Help for New Dads
If you enjoyed reading this ‘Advice For Bath Time’ blog post or if would like more support as a new father we have a couple of suggestions.
- Firstly You might want to check out the other posts in our New Dads Support series. The series is still very new but it’s growing all the time and will become a useful and informative hub for New dads.
- Secondly you should try the Baby Buddy App. Designed for new parents, it gives dad specific prompts on a daily basis up until your child 1st birthday. For more detailed information read ‘What is Baby Buddy 2.0‘. Or download the app now and start using it. It should help alleviate some of those new dad worries.
- Finally, Have a Listen to the Dadvengers Podcast . Currently in Season 3 the Dadvengers Podcast is a great way to be inspired by the experiences of other dads. Hosted by Dadvengers founder Nigel Clarke each episode hears a well known dad talk about his journey. The ups and downs, the highs and the lows. Showing us that we all go through the same things, and all we can do as fathers is be the best we can be. We hope you enjoy listening.