Showing off your new baby at church can be exciting -- especially when friends are waiting to meet the new one. No set guidelines govern when it is OK to take your new baby to public places. Some pediatricians recommend waiting a few weeks before taking your baby to public places while other pediatricians recommend waiting a few months. After talking to your pediatrician, take precautions and prepare for your new baby's first outing to church.
Consider your newborn's ability to ward off illnesses before taking him to church. Newborns’ immune systems are not fully developed at birth, so they are at a higher risk of contracting illnesses. Newborns are also less able to fight infections, so always contact a doctor in case of fever in babies 3 months of age or less, according to MayoClinic.com. Take extra precautions if you have a premature newborn or a baby with a condition that impairs his immune function.
Church Day Care
If you don’t want to take your child to the main church service, find out whether your church provides day care or babysitting services. Church day cares might have restrictions, such as age or being out of diapers. Talk to the day care ahead of time to clear up any questions. Because newborns are more susceptible to germs, find out how often shared toys and cribs are cleaned. They should be cleaned and disinfected between each child's use to reduce the risk of spreading germs. Also inquire about possible interactions between other children and your newborn. Confirm with the day care providers that sick children will be kept away from your baby.
Before taking your newborn to church, ensure that his vaccines are up-to-date. If you do decide to take your newborn to church, limit the number of people who handle the baby. Keep your baby away from anyone who is showing signs of illness, such as coughing, sneezing or having a runny nose. Ask people to wash their hands before touching or holding your baby to limit her exposure to germs.
To avoid cries of hunger during the service, feed your newborn just before you leave the house. Arrive at church on time, rather than arriving early, so you’ll have less time to worry about what could go wrong. Sit in the back of the church in an aisle seat. If your baby starts to fuss, you can make a quick escape. If possible, sit by other families with babies or slightly older children. Other parents are more likely to be sympathetic.