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bobcat 12-05-2012 05:54 PM

Hi all.


Need some help on deciding what kind of place to rent for the first year of our first baby's life, and I have a question really about outdoor time with babies. My husband and I live in what is basically a large metro area that is not the burbs. LA area. We will be moving from a 1 bedroom apartment to a 2 or 3 bedroom apartment in preparation for the baby.


I am a stay at home wife with health issues so I don't leave the house or drive much, but I like to go outside a lot during the day to get fresh air. Wondering if I can do this with a very small infant?


Anyways.....moving into a 2 bedroom, outdoor space will be even harder to come by, because we'll be living in an even denser area, closer to hubby's work. But I keep still looking for units with either a small shared yard or a shared patio, and my logic is that if I'm too tired to take off my PJ's, at least I can take the baby outside with me for fresh air.


But.....I was wondering how often a baby can go outside? People keep telling me "you won't be going outside much" but I don't really know what that means. I realize the baby will basically feed, poop, sleep, repeat......but even when the baby is 2-3 months old, could I do 2 stroller walks a day? Or (even better) can I put the baby in a small carrier or sling and stand in the sun or sit in a lawn chair? Do you have to shield babies from sun? I feel like you do.......because strollers are always shielded.


I would like to get outside at least twice a day for fresh air, or I will feel closed in. Is that strange? So maybe one walk and one "sit in PJs outside (in shade?) with baby in sling." If the latter is possible, I'll need to keep that in mind when apartment hunting.


I never really see teeny tiny babies out like that though. So I dunno if I"m just wishful thinking.

dovey 12-05-2012 06:52 PM

Nope, not wishful thinking.  Babies can be outside as much as you like, especially in a place like LA where it's not really that cold.  Just bundle your tiny one up, and go out whenever you want.  Even from the very beginning.  The sun can be an issue if the baby is directly exposed for a long period of time.  But generally, little tiny babies are bundled so much it's not a concern. 


You might want to be indoors for a day or two or even a week when you're recovering from the birth, but I don't think you need to worry at all about the baby being out. 

loveandgarbage 12-05-2012 06:57 PM

I would've gone crazy if I didn't take my babies out! We lived in Chicago at the time, without outdoor space of our own, so I took full advantage of walks. When it was really sunny I did use sunblock obsessively, and when it was cold, I made sure they were really bundled. During the winter I preferred to wear them in a carrier and then had my winter jacket on over the both of us. When I had my first it took some trial and error to time the outings just right. Diaper changers in public can be sort of annoying. But once I got the hang of nursing in public I felt much more confident to leave the house. Good luck mama!

skycheattraffic 12-05-2012 08:33 PM

The only thing to watch for is the sun. Babies under 6 months can't use sunscreen so invest in a wide brim sunhat and keep baby In long sleeves and long pants until then (but lightweight clothing is fine if the weather is nice). That's all. A hat and long sleeves and baby is great outdoors in a carrier or stroller. My last thing is to watch for heat advisory and poor air quality in the summer since young babies are more susceptible to being sensitive to that. I would scope out nearby indoor places you can walk to so while you limit outside time when the weather is bad, you won't necessarily feel stuck at home either.

bobcat 12-06-2012 01:24 AM

Thank you! :) Good to know it's okay. My mom keeps saying, "oh, with a young baby, you really don't leave the house much" which terrifies me! Ha. She keeps saying "you'll be tired and little babies don't really need to be outside." The thing is, I feel being indoors allllll the time can't be too healthy for the baby, and also, it drives "me" crazy, so I need to think of my own sanity! Often hubby with do the grocery shopping, because of my health issues, so I don't always have errands I'm running that get me out.


I hope I am not "overthinking" this. I'll try to figure out if I have any more questions......


One concern, now that it was mentioned, is air quality. We want hubby to be able to come home for lunch daily, but his work is right where two huge highways intersect. I am trying to eliminate any apartments where you can hear road noise when outside, but I am still a little worried about being too close to those freeways, even when out of earshot. There is pollution in LA! ;) I wonder if I should just scratch the idea of him coming home for lunch, so we can live further out, in a place with better air quality? Thoughts? I initially thought having him home for lunch was worth living in greater density, even with the drawbacks, but the air quality is now making me think. I guess I'll just have to read some studies and gauge how close each place "feels" to the freeways. All the apartments in this area will be close-ish to a freeway. Other people live there with their kids.......not saying it's healthy.


Initially we WERE looking at apartments in the burbs, then decided not to so DH could come home for lunch, and then also, so I/we could see him 45 min to an hour earlier each night, etc. That will be valuable time he could be with the baby, or helping me. :) I don't like when he gets home at 7 or 7:30!


Still welcoming any thoughts. Though this topic is taking some twists. It has been tough trying to find a place to live, because I can't imagine what I am going to want/need when the baby arrives, and in an expensive place like this, you can't have it all. Well, we can't!

skycheattraffic 12-06-2012 05:16 AM

I didn't mean to make you worry. The local weather/news sites track air quality through the summer and my thought was just that on really bad days I'd stay indoors with baby. Moving to the burbs won't be a magical solution if DH will spend an extra 1.5 to 2 hours commuting. If its important for you to be away from the freeways, maybe you could find a good compromise neighbourhood. Something say an extra 15 or 20 mins from DH's work but away from the worst of the traffic; maybe with more green space. It would mean no home lunch but a short commute. Again, sorry to make you worry; that's the last thing you need!

LilyTiger 12-06-2012 06:30 AM

We loved the sling and had baby outside all the time a week after birth (she spent the first week in the special care nursery, so I was obsessed with getting her outside after all that recycled air).  She loved it.  During her evening fussiness stage all we had to do was take her outside in the evening and wander up and down the driveway and she would calm down immediately.  Babies love being outdoors.  As PP said, you can keep an eye on air quality, but don't stress over it.  Numerous studies have demonstrated that indoor air pollution is significantly worse than outdoor air pollution (with the exception of really high ozone days, etc). 

rinap 12-06-2012 10:20 AM

We walked and walked and walked as soon as I was up to it, and before that we spent time lying in the garden. Get a good lie-flat stroller and a carrier that works for you (maybe try a couple different ones out?). In Scandinavia the babies nap outside in all forms of weather. Keep the baby warm and out of too much direct sunlight and they will thrive.


(and a lot of the things about not going out are about not going in the car to crowded places you have to load in and out and deal with diaper bags and supplies. Walks can be much more casual, especially in LA where you're not dealing with snow and freezing rain)

sageowl 12-07-2012 02:57 PM

I like to go outside a lot during the day to get fresh air. Wondering if I can do this with a very small infant?


Sure!  I always often as the weather permitted.  It was a sanity-saver, being outdoors seemed to relax my son a lot when he was fussy and irritable, and I for one can't stand being cooped up indoors, so we were outdoors a lot (and our weather in Oregon is MUCH more hideous than anything you'll ever have in LA).


Definitely try to get a yard or patio if you can (it's nice to have your own space), but if not, there's still just regular old walking up and down the street.  If you can't find anything with your own green space, shoot for a location near a walkable park, it's always nice to go to parks with babies.


Babies can go outside pretty much whenever, you just gotta plan your trips around the timing of their basic needs, and usually short and sweet is best.  Depending on your comfort level with feeding in public, you can pretty much do anything you would do in the house outside.  Change diapers.  Feed.  Nap.  Whatever...(although in order to do all that stuff you have to lug around a ton of stuff, but sometimes it's worth it).   


Around here, you see babies outside a lot.  It's just normal.  If we had weather like you do in LA, I don't think I'd EVER go inside (except to go to sleep).  You actually have sunshine there, so you'll need to cover the baby somewhat.  Otherwise, yeah, you can do whatever works for you and your baby. 


tangledblue 12-07-2012 07:48 PM

Maybe somebody said this...choose a walkable neighborhood with a playground, grocery store, coffeeshop, library, etc. It will make life so much easier! 

We always took babies out even at a few days/weeks old. As pps said, just have  good lie-flat stroller with sunshade. 

loveandgarbage 12-07-2012 08:06 PM

I definitely understand the need and desire to have your partner's workplace close by! When DS1 was first born we actually lived in an apartment above his job (his boss owned the building) and it was SO NICE to have DH come up on his lunch break and have zero commute time. But we also lived on a busy street, and when he was about a year made the decision to move to a quieter area. It was only a 45 minute commute, so still not too bad. If I were you I wouldn't be too concerned with air quality. It's probably not *that* much worse near freeways.

RoseLemon 12-07-2012 09:50 PM

I live in Denmark right now with my little guy, and everyone is constantly outside with their babies here. No matter how cold. They just bundle up those little people and go. In fact, my mother-in-law (a Dane) gets on my case about making sure my little one has enough outside time. I think it's really really good for them to get outside.


Probably when people say you won't get out much, they mean going out and about in town because it's so much trouble to get everything packed up to run errands and the baby eats ALL the time at first. Although in my experience, people were exaggerating and scaring me unnecessarily. Going out for walks is different, I think. You'll be fine and your little one will benefit from the fresh air!

Okapi 12-10-2012 03:09 PM

Yes, I agree with everyone else - get your little one outside as much as you can/want to! I know with DD1, and even DD2, to a lesser degree, if she was fussy & unable to settle down, she often would if I just took her out on the back deck. She has always liked being outside! But getting packed up to go to a store or something? I avoided that as much as possible!

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