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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

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. Some doctors recommend that parents wait until their baby is a few months old before going to crowded public places (like malls, movie theaters, and airplanes).

If the weather is nice, you should feel free to take your baby outside whenever you feel up to it β€” you both would both probably enjoy a stroll outside and some fresh air! Just be sure your baby is dressed for the weather.

Note: During the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • It’s best to limit visitors, indoors and outside. A newborn's immune system is still developing and might not be able to fight off infections, including the coronavirus (COVID-19). At home, limit visitors to immediate family.
  • To help protect your baby, everyone in your household who can get a COVID-19 vaccine should do so.
  • Ask anyone who holds, touches, or feeds your baby to wash their hands first. You may also want them to wear a mask, especially if they are not vaccinated. Do not put a mask on your baby or other children younger than 2 years old.
  • When you are out and about, avoid crowds and keep at least 6 feet from other people.

Also, make sure your baby's vaccines are up to date. Your doctor may advise you to take extra precautions if your child was born early or has a condition that affects the immune system, like HIV.

If you have any questions, talk to your doctor.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: September 2021