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When Can I Take My Newborn Out in Public?

When is it OK to take a newborn to public places? What about letting other people near my baby? I'm worried about infections.
Nancy

Some doctors prefer for parents to wait until their baby is a few months old before going to crowded public places (like malls, movie theaters, and airplanes). But there are no set rules about how long to wait before taking a newborn out into the world or when to let people near the baby.

In fact, if the weather is nice, you should feel free to take your baby outside whenever you feel up to it — you both would both probably enjoy a stroll outside and some fresh air!

When you're out and about, though, do avoid exposing your newborn to anyone who is clearly sick. A newborn's immune system is still developing and may not be able to fight off infections. And ask anyone who holds, touches, or feeds your newborn to wash their hands first.

It's also important to make sure your baby's vaccines are up to date.

Your doctor may advise you to take extra precautions if your child was premature or has a condition that affects the immune system, like HIV.

If you have any questions, talk with your doctor.

Date reviewed: April 2015

Note: All information on KidsHealth® is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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