Skip to main content

Wellness Topics for Infants 0-2 Years

When Can I Take My Newborn Out in Public?


My due date is near and I'm wondering when, after my baby is born, I’ll be able to get out and about with her. I think I will go stir crazy if I’m cooped up in the house too long! How long do doctors recommend that you wait until you take your newborn outside? What about public places? What about letting other people near my baby? And what are the risks you run if you don’t follow these precautions?
- Nancy

There are no hard and fast medical rules about how long to wait before taking a newborn out into the world or letting outsiders near the baby. In fact, if it’s not too hot or cold out, 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!

But in public places (like malls, movie theaters, and airplanes), be careful to avoid exposing your newborn to infections that others can carry. A newborn's immune system is still developing and may not be able to fight off infections. Some doctors prefer for parents to wait until their baby is a few months old before going to crowded public places.

If you go out with your baby, it's wise to take these precautions:

  • Make sure your baby's vaccines are up to date.
  • Avoid exposing your child to people who are sick, with things like diarrhea or runny noses.
  • Ask anyone who holds, touches, or feeds your newborn to wash his or her hands first.
  • Make sure that your baby is appropriately dressed when you go outdoors.

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.

Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date reviewed: October 2012


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

© 1995–2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.

Should your child see a doctor?

Find out by selecting your child’s symptom or health condition in the list below:

Summer 2014: Good Growing Newsletter

In This Issue

  • Understanding the Power and Influence of Role Models
  • Legal Marijuana Means Greater Poisoning Risks for Children
  • Why Choose Pediatric Emergency Care?

Download Summer 2014 (PDF)


Miracle Makers 2014 3:07:00Expand

The 30th annual Miracle Makers fundraising special aired on KOMO 4 TV on June 6, 2014. The special takes us on a journey through the hopes, fears, victories and challenges facing patients at Seattle Children's. Cosponsored by Costco Wholesale and KOMO 4. 

Play Video
Overcoming the Odds: A KING 5 TV Children's HealthLink Special 0:44:45Expand

In the spirit of the holidays, patients, parents and doctors share inspirational stories of healing and hope. From surviving heart failure and a near-death drowning to battling a flesh-eating disease, witness how the impossible became possible thanks to the care patients received at Seattle Children's Hospital.

Play Video
Miracle Season 2013 0:57:06Expand

Miracle Season, hosted by Steve Pool and Molly Shen, aired Dec. 8, 2013, on KOMO 4 TV. The annual holiday special celebrates the remarkable lives of Seattle Children's patients.

Play Video