Going outside into the fresh air and having a change of scene is good for both you and your baby. With a little planning, you can enjoy getting out with your newborn as soon as you like.
When is it safe to leave home with a new baby?
There is no rush to go on an outing with your new baby. In some cultures, women stay in the home with their new baby for a month or more.
It's okay to take your baby outside as soon as you feel ready.
It's a good idea to go out when your baby is calm and happy. After a feed and a nappy change is often a good time.
If your baby was premature or has a health condition, speak with your doctor or child health nurse first.
How should I dress my baby?
It's important to keep your baby at the right temperature. You can check whether your baby is too warm or cold by feeling their forehead.
Babies' hands and feet often feel cold when you touch them. So, don't judge their temperature by feeling their hands and feet.
It's a good idea to dress your baby in layers that you can take off and put back on.
Dressing your baby for cold weather
If there's cold weather, keep your baby warm with a blanket and hat. When you come inside into the warm, take off 1 or 2 layers.
Dressing your baby for hot weather
If there's hot weather, you need to take special care to keep your baby cool and protect them from the sun.
Babies can't cool themselves as well as adults and are more at risk of overheating. Dress your baby in minimal clothing on a hot day. But make sure their arms and legs are covered to prevent sunburn.
A hat is essential to protect your baby's head and face from the sun.
What should I take when I go out?
Consider going on a short trip to start off with. Even for a short trip it's a good idea to be prepared. So, pack a bag in case your baby is hungry or needs a nappy change.
Pack a bag with the following:
- nappies (6 to 10, depending on the length of your outing)
- wipes (you can put these in a travel case)
- change pad
- 2 to 3 changes of clothes
- accessories, depending on the weather (hat, blankets, sun shade)
- plastic bags for soiled clothes or nappies
- hand sanitiser
- formula and bottles if you are bottle feeding
How can I transport my baby?
Pushing your baby in a pram or stroller is a good way for you to get out and about.
Make sure your pram or stroller meets the mandatory Australian New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 2088:2000. And always secure your baby in your stroller with a 5-point harness.
Make sure you always put on the brakes when you stop. You can prevent the pram from tipping by putting bags in the harness underneath, not over the handles.
If you are driving somewhere, babies under 6 months must by law be restrained in an approved rear-facing car seat or capsule. All car seats in Australia must comply with Australian and New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1754.
How can I protect my baby from sun damage?
It's important to protect your baby from the sun and high levels of UV radiation in Australia.
Try to keep your baby in the shade at all times. Cover the pram with a cloth, but make sure air can still get through. Alternatively, you could use the pram's canopy top or an umbrella to create shade.
Minimise use of sunscreen in babies younger than 6 months. If your baby will be exposed to the sun, apply sunscreen to the small areas of skin not covered by wraps, clothing and a hat.
How can I protect my baby from infectious diseases?
There are always infections in the community. These include gastroenteritis, colds and flu and COVID-19. As much as possible, try to avoid seeing people who may be infectious while your baby is very young.
Immunisation will help protect your baby from some infections. Routine childhood vaccinations can be started from the age of 6 weeks.
Resources and support
Speak to a maternal child health nurse
Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby to speak to a maternal child health nurse on 1800 882 436 or video call. Available 7am to midnight (AET), 7 days a week.
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Last reviewed: July 2023