Tips for your first stroller walk with a newborn

Tips for your first walk with your newborn in a stroller

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As a new parent, some milestones take you by surprise. Your first stroller ride with a newborn is one of them. Suddenly, that stroller that’s sat empty since your baby shower is ready to have a tiny person in it! So, how can you prepare for your first stroller walk with a newborn? Read on for our top tips for walking outside with your baby. 

Plan your first stroller walk

Plan to talk slowly for no more that 10-15 minutes on this first stroller walk. The days for longer exercise will come, but for now it’s important to take it easy. If you live in a neighborhood with sidewalks, heading right out your front door is a great option for your first stroller walk. If not, a drive to a local park is an added step, but a great choice for a relaxed stroller walk with your baby. 

Time of day isn’t super important, but in general it can be more enjoyable to walk in the mornings or late afternoons when the sun isn’t at its strongest. Either way, make sure to be prepared to protect your newborn from the sun. 

Get yourself ready first

This habit is essential for years to come as a parent, so you might as well start now! Make sure to get yourself ready first – put on your own oxygen mask and all that 😉 Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, pack a water bottle and snacks, and any weather-appropriate extras like sunglasses or mittens. Don’t forget to use the restroom before you head out! 

Get your stroller ready for the ride

Once you’re dressed and ready, it’s time to set up the stroller. Make sure it’s unfolded and ready to go. Lock the brakes so it’s ready for your baby. Loosen the straps a bit so that you can tighten them snugly around your baby. It’s much easier to practice this with an empty stroller than when it’s occupied by a wiggly infant. 

Pack a light blanket in case your baby gets chilly. A muslin swaddle is a great tool to have on hand – it can serve so many purposes: impromptu changing pad, blanket, sun shade, nursing cover. In the summer, a cooling towel and clip-on stroller fan are great ideas. In cold weather, it’s never a bad idea to have an extra blanket packed as well as an extra hat and gloves for yourself and your baby. 

Finally, make sure you have all of your baby care essentials: diapers, wipes, pacifiers/pacifier clip. For your first stroller walk with a newborn, don’t worry about packing bottles or anything you need to breastfeed comfortably. You’ll get there, but for now a short walk in between feedings is your best bet. 

Get your baby ready

Next up, it’s time to get your baby ready. It’s easiest to try your first stroller walk after your baby finishes a feeding. Make sure their belly is full, diaper is dry, and they’re generally content. While a stroller walk might work in the future to settle a fussy baby, your first stroller walk with a newborn is not the time to attempt it! 

Dress your baby appropriately for the weather. In winter, you’ll need 1-2 layers followed by outerwear like a snowsuit. In summer, you may only need a onesie. Use your best judgement and pack layers so you have options in case your baby gets too warm or cold. A good indicator is to feel the back of their neck – it should feel slightly warm to the touch. Not hot and flushed, and not cool.

Take it slow

It’s time to head out the door! Are you newly postpartum? Make sure to take it slow. If you had an uncomplicated delivery, it’s okay to go for a short, slow stroll soon after you get home from the hospital. Just make sure to listen to your body. A good indicator of whether you’re pushing it is to notice your bleeding. If it gets heavier, it’s a sure sign to scale back. 

Safety tips for stroller walk with a baby

Some important safety tips to keep in mind when walking with your baby in a stroller:

  • Always keep your baby secured with fastened buckles in the stroller. Even tiny newborns can wiggle and get into unsafe positions. 
  • Make sure you’re using an age-appropriate stroller. For a newborn, this would be a travel system with an infant car seat or stroller with a bassinet attached.
  • Always use the brake when pausing, even for a moment on flat ground! Baby’s movements can cause the stroller to roll.
  • Avoid hanging things from the stroller handles (like your diaper bag). This can cause the stroller to become unbalanced and prone to tipping. 
  • Be extra careful if bringing along a hot beverage. Make sure your cup is spill proof and secure in the parent’s cup holder. 
  • Register your new stroller so you can be informed of any recalls. 

Enjoy your first stroller walk with your baby

Your first stroller walk with a newborn is a big deal! Plan ahead, take your time, and go slowly. There are many benefits to walking outside with your baby, like improved circulation for you and better sleep for your baby after getting some fresh air. But this first stroller walk is a preview for your longer, more intense workouts to come. For now, a leisurely stroll in between feedings is a great start. Before you know it, you’ll be digging goldfish crumbs out of every crevice in your stroller! Enjoy this first walk and be proud of yourself for getting outside with your newborn!