Dear Movie Mommy,
The main reason people suggest keeping brand-new newborns sequestered is to avoid the transmitting of germs. New babies are more vulnerable than older ones, and if they do get sick, they may have to undergo unpleasant procedures to be sure the sickness isn’t serious. (Very young babies who come down with high fevers may need a spinal tap to check for meningitis.) It is for this reason that some parents feel better about avoiding public places for the first few months.
But from where we sit, getting out in the early months is a crucial part of maintaining (or regaining) your sanity. And most germs are passed on by touchy-feely socializing, not just breathing in the common air. So as long as you’re not planning on passing your little bundle down a row of sniffling strangers, there’s little chance your baby will be exposed to anything other than perhaps some mediocre Hollywood dialogue. Chances of germ exposure are further minimized if you don’t go to a kids’ matinee where desperate parents or caregivers may be dragging germ-infested kids to try to keep them busy on a sick day. Of course, your baby will inevitably come into contact with germs, whether it’s at the theater, the supermarket or the pediatrician. And once the baby is a bit older, you can begin to embrace (or at least tolerate) the immune-system building properties of germs. For now, diligent hand washing (yours) is your best bet. So, go ahead, see a movie. It’s nice and dark. It’s you-time. It’s civilized. It’s also easier with a tiny baby than a crawling one!
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