Beyonce’s First Time Out With Blue Ivy Carter: Remembering the Newborn In Public Jitters

I can’t explain why, but pictures of Beyonce and Jay-Z taking their seven-week-old, Blue Ivy Carter, out on a lunchtime stroll in New York City  for the first time this past weekend dug up all kinds of crazy memories of me hoarding my then-newborn, Mari, in our apartment—too afraid to let anyone so much as breathe anywhere near her, let alone take her out in public.

I promise you: Save for her visits to the pediatrician, my Mari didn’t take in fresh air until well into July—more than six weeks after she came onto this Earth on a cool early June morning, tiny, precious—vulnerable. Every book I’d read and our pediatrician, too, said we didn’t need to sequester our daughter in the house—that there was no medical reason to avoid taking her outside. But that didn’t stop my worst-case-scenarios from taking over whenever I considered putting my baby in her stroller and crossing our apartment door threshold. What if the chill gives her a horrible cold and she dies? What if one of the ducks or dogs at the local park has fleas and it gets on the baby and she dies? What if a grubby little toddler sneezes on her or, worse, Dave the Dopefiend Shooting Dope Who Don’t Know the Meaning Of Water Nor Soap is lingering in the parking lot and he goes “blah!” in my baby’s face and she dies?

Nope—I wasn’t taking any chances.

Nobody was allowed in the house, save for my parents, Nick’s parents, and our siblings—and every last one of them had to practically strip at the door, do the surgical scrub in the bathroom, and wear a layer of freshly washed cloth diapers on their shoulders and over their arms before they were allowed to pick up my baby.

Yup. I was that mom.

And if you think that was bad, you should have been there the first day I actually did take my baby for her first walk. It was at the park right next door to where we lived—no more than 15 paces from the back door of our apartment building. It was 80-something degrees outside. I wrapped that baby in a onesie, pants, a sweater and a blanket, and stuffed a second blanket in a diaper bag filled with a half a box of diapers, a new packet of wipes, a bunch of diaper cloths, a change of clothes, a chest-full of baby toys and three pacifiers. Just in case.

My God, I crack up now thinking about just how maniacal I must have seemed—like I was the first woman on the planet to ever have a baby. But isn’t that how we do with the first child? Exhausted, strung out and clueless, we stumble through our first weeks with our babies, damn-near memorizing every line in our stacks of baby books, Googling every little doggone burp/squeak/spit-up/poop/pee/cry, and tearily demanding the pediatrician call us right now, right now, right now! or else she can just meet us at the emergency room. Basically, driving ourselves insane over our little miracles.

Of course, my poor Lila, who came three years later, didn’t get the “benefit” of clueless mommy. By then, I was a know-it-all. She was lucky if I bothered to wipe off her pacifier when it  hit the floor. She’d live. And be just fine. Come to think of it, this is probably why the little one is so doggone tough. Strong. There was no babying that kid. It was what it was. Is what it is.

Anyway, more power to Beyonce and Jay-Z for getting little Blue Ivy Carter out of their apartment and out into the beautiful streets of New York City for her first stroll around town. I can only imagine the anxiety the singer faces wrapping her baby up in a bundle of leopard print cloth and all manner of blankets to shield her baby not just from the winter chill but the prying eyes of paparazzi, fans and haters who continue to question this new mother, her husband and their beautiful, young family. Probably helps to have a 7 ft., 300 lb. bodyguard moving lockstep with you, but still, good for them.


1. First Pictures Of Blue Ivy Carter: Check Out Beyonce & Jay-Z’s Beautiful Baby!
2. Beyonce Won’t Be Getting Blue Ivy Carter Baby Advice From Solange
3. That Mommy Smell: Just As Intoxicating As Baby Love
4. Cry It Out: The Method That Kills Baby Brain Cells

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.


  1. Last week a neighbor brought her two-day-old baby in the stroller to the bus stop. I was in shock. As the school-aged kids gathered around the stroller, I found myself telling them to step back. I know. It wasn’t my baby, but I kept thinking: KIDDIE GERMS!

    Thankfully, no one reached out to touch the newborn. I probably would’ve drop kicked them!

    I was definitely “that mom” – to a varying degree – with each of my three kids.

  2. I was certainly “that mom” and unfortunately can still be “that mom” at times. My daughter is an only child and I still think I can protect her from everything and everyone even at the ripe old age of 13. I can’t let go, that is MY baby.

    But I can see the “new mommy” and daddy fear in the Beyonce and Jay pics. I love it because we’ve all been there.

  3. They look cute in all of the pics I’ve seen:)

  4. I totally plan on being “that mom”.

  5. Five months later…I’m still that mom.

  6. I was never “that mom” but it has a lot more to do with my cabin fever than not having fear for my baby. With my son, the first born, we were out and about probably 3-4 days after getting out of the hospital. The grocery store, a walk around the block – I just had to get out of my house. They were short trips, but still…it was February in Philadelphia – I was trippin’ a little bit. Now that I live in California, I’m a lot less afraid of the death by cold air or other issues. And I have two older kids too, who still need to get to school, etc., and we won’t have family around when this new one is born.

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