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First walk – how to dress a newborn?

Taking a newborn for their first walk is a big deal both for the parents and the baby. There are so many questions coming to your head – when can I take my newborn outside? For how long? How to dress my little one? We know it’s a lot to think about but don’t worry – we’re there to help you out!

You can take your baby out for a walk from the very first days after the birth. Remember that you can do so as long as the temperature is not lower that -10 degrees Celsius (even though it is definitely worth to let your newborn breathe in some fresh air by an open window or a balcony then) and there are no strong winds, heavy precipitation, high levels of smog and the baby doesn’t have a fever exceeding 38.5 degrees. When you plan to go out in the summer months, it’s better to do it early in the morning or in the afternoon. Regular walks are crucial for your baby’s development. Daily walks of up to several minutes support the respiratory system’s growth, moisturize the mucosa and provide oxygen, boosting an intensive brain development from the very first weeks of your baby’s life.

How and when do I start?

The decision to take a baby for their first walk should be made by the parents as they know best the right time for it. According to the latest guidelines, there is no need to wait for it until the winter period is over (you can actually start out by letting your baby nap in a prom by an open window or on the balcony with the baby dressed as if you were going outside). Regardless of the above, your baby has already spent some time outside when being taken home from hospital. First walks with your newborn do not have to take long – 15 to 20 minutes is enough, although you can spend more time outside if you wish. Dressing your baby just right is key to your child’s comfort then.

How to dress a baby for their first walk?

The rule to make sure your baby wears one additional layer than what you’re comfortable wearing is simple and correct. It stems from the fact that a baby is not yet able to maintain their body temperature because of an undeveloped thermoregulatory system. A blanket or a sleeping bag in a pram allows your baby to nap peacefully while being outside. When using a pram, remember that your baby is also protected by a carrycot and its cover or, if you’re carrying your child in a baby sling, by an extra layer of cloth. 

Examples of baby clothing sets for different seasons:

summer: a short-sleeve bodysuit and shorts or a romper suit. You should also have an additional sweatshirt or a jumper with you in case it gets chilly and a thin swaddle. When the temperature outside is higher than 25 degrees Celsius, you can dress your baby in a bodysuit only; 

autumn/spring:  depending on the temperature, you can choose a short- or a long-sleeve body and a sweatshirt jumpsuit or a comfortable sweatshirt and long pants. Remember to cover your child’s feet, you may also put on a thin hat on their head. A baby dressed like this should be wrapped in a sleeping bag for carrycots.

  • winter: a long-sleeve bodysuit and,  as advised for the autumn, a sweatshirt jumpsuit or a sweatshirt/jumper together with pants. The last layer is crucial for keeping your baby warm –  a winter jumpsuit with rolled-up sleeves and feet (works perfectly when you want to take your baby out of the pram or when you want to place your little one in a car seat). Using a winter sleeping bag for carrycots is another, much more comfortable solution when your baby is staying in the pram throughout the entire walk. Obviously, do not forget to put on a warm hat and socks as well.

We have proposed above some examples of how to dress your baby depending on the weather, however, you need to remember that the final decision regarding this is always yours as you know your child best. It is important that your baby’s clothes can be quickly unzipped for an easy diaper change and that they do not have any snaps, buttons or ornaments on their back. Moreover, you should always have a swaddle or a blanket with you; additional clothes for change will be very useful as well. 

The best way to check if your baby is dressed comfortably is to touch their neck –  if it’s cool, it might mean that your baby is cold, if it’s hot, there is a chance that your baby is overheated. If your baby’s nose, hands or feet  are cool, it doesn’t mean that they’re cold. Due to changing temperatures and varying weather conditions, many parents may have doubts if they have dressed their baby properly. Thanks to their thermoregulatory properties, bamboo clothes are an easy solution to this problem – they are very comfortable and gentle for baby’s skin. 

Bamboo fabric is perfect for your baby’s skin 

Bamboo clothes are a perfect choice in the first months of your baby’s life as they protect their body from overheating or getting cold. They maintain the right temperature when it’s cold outside and keep your baby cool when it’s hot. Bamboo clothes are also breathable, providing comfort to your baby’s skin and allowing for moisture transmission.  It’s particularly important for a newborn’s gentle skin, which is still adapting to the new environment. Your baby’s skin is very thin, tends to peel and is susceptible to nappy rash, abrasion and irritation. Dressing your child in artificial, polyester and unbreathable fabrics may cause overheating, which may have a negative impact on your baby’s immune system and increase the risk of infection. This is why it is crucial that the first clothes and textiles (blankets, swaddles) worn by your baby are made from natural and breathable fabrics such as bamboo, which is safe for your baby’s skin. Moreover, bamboo clothes provide UV protection, so they are an indispensable item for your baby in the summer.

Preparing for the first walk with a baby may seem like a complicated and stressful thing for new parents. Proper clothing and accessories are actually all you need to have a great time with your little one outside, no matter the season. Start with short trips and gradually increase the time spent outside and the distance. Ready, steady, go!

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