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Taking your baby out

Your baby is ready to go out as soon as you feel fit enough to go yourself.

Walking

Walking is good for both of you. It may be easiest to take a tiny baby in a sling. If you use a buggy make sure your baby can lie down with his or her back flat.

In a car

It’s illegal for anyone to hold a baby while sitting in the front seat of a car. The only safe way for your baby to travel in a car is in a properly secured, backward-facing, baby seat, or in a carrycot (not a Moses basket) with the cover on and secured with special straps.

If you have a car with air bags in the front your baby should not travel in the front seat (even facing backwards) because of the danger of suffocation if the bag inflates.  

Some areas have special loan schemes to enable you to borrow a suitable baby seat when you and your baby first return from hospital. Ask your midwife or health visitor.

In cold weather

Make sure your baby is wrapped up warm in cold weather because babies chill very easily. Take the extra clothing off when you get into a warm place so that your baby doesn’t then overheat, even if he or she is asleep.

In hot weather

Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of the sun, as their skin is thinner and they may not be able to produce enough pigment called melanin to protect them from sunburn. Children with fair or red hair, blue eyes and freckles are especially at risk, as the paler the skin, the less melanin is produced, and the more likely the child is to get burnt in the sun.

Keep babies under six months out of the sun altogether. Older children should always be protected, either by covering them up or with a high protection sunscreen (sun protection factor 15+). Babies’ and children’s skin burns easily, even in sun which wouldn’t affect your own skin.


We are indebted to Health Promotion England for their help in compiling this section.