Bringing a baby home from the hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic is still joyous, but it comes with extra things to think about.

It’s natural to worry about parenting a new baby during a pandemic, but that doesn’t have to spoil this special time, especially if you take a few simple precautions. One of the most important is to limit visitors.

“Many new or expectant parents want to know who can visit and when,” says Andrea Orr, MD, FAAP, Washington University clinical pediatrician at Northwest Pediatrics. “Pandemic or not, it’s best to limit newborns’ exposure to others. Right now, it’s OK for grandparents to visit if they restrict their outings two weeks before the visit and wear a face mask when they have to go out.”

To keep your baby safe, Dr. Orr recommends you:

  • Clean frequently used surfaces often.
  • Designate one (mask-wearing) parent to make trips to the grocery store and run other errands outside the home, limiting trips as much as possible.
  • Keep well-baby appointments with your pediatrician.
  • Limit outings with your baby before age 6–8 weeks to socially distanced walks around your neighborhood with your family.
  • Wear a mask and practice social distancing if you have to leave the home and, when you return, change clothes before entering.

Need help finding a pediatrician? Call St. Louis Children’s Hospital referral specialists at 314.454.KIDS (5437) or toll-free at 800.678.KIDS.