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Outside with a Baby

When can you take your new baby outside? At one month? At two months? At eight pounds? After the vaccines? The answer is simple: as soon as you’d like. People propagate many myths or superstitions concerning the dangers of taking a newborn outside. Although there hasn’t been a conclusive study on the topic, you can resolve the issue with a bit of common sense.

Unless you install a hospital-grade air-filtering system in your home and outfit everybody in sterile space suits, the germs Lucy encounters at home are more or less the same as those she’ll face in the outside world. In addition, if you ever leave the house or if you have visitors at home, plenty of germs will contaminate Lucy’s surroundings. Small babies don’t require a germ-free environment. Lucy may be little, but she has a strong immune system—far hardier than some people imagine. She also doesn’t have to receive all her shots before being taken out, since most of the diseases against which we immunize are kept at bay in the general population by these same vaccines. So don’t sacrifice your own desire for the outside world because of fear of contamination. Restaurants, malls, airplanes, parks—they’re all fine places to take your new baby.