Staying home and snuggling down with your newborn is bliss. But, what happens when it's time to head out with your baby and explore the big world out there?
The first outing with your newborn is always the scariest, so if you’re more shackled than delighted by the notion, it’s totally understandable.
What if she has a diaper explosion? or what if she's screaming at the top of her lungs in public? She in all likelihood will. However, if you’ve got these tips in mind and can keep it perky, you’ll handle these debacles on your ear.
Don’t despair you will leave the house eventually. Take a look at some of these tips to help you get out (and have fun!) with baby.
Tip 1. Pack the essentials and do it the night BEFORE
Gone are the days of heading out with little more than your lippy, keys and cell phone. This baby’s going to need a boatload of business in your bag. I call it your bag, but really it’s hers now.
- Nappies (2 more than you think you’ll need) and disposable bags.
- Wet wipes
- Change mat/cloth
- Spew cloth
- Sterilised dummies x 2 (if you use these, she WILL drop one)
- Spare onesie (or two)
- Bottles with sterilized water and enough formula for the day (if bottle feeding)
- Breast pads
- Spare top, so you can find your sexy again after she’s sicked-up on you.
- Sanitary pads
- Bottle of water
Re-pack the nappy bag after each outing.
Tip 2. Have a blow-out kit
Basically the above repeated, but kept in your car for those more apocalyptic-poo moments.
Tip 3. Be organized but don’t over think it
You want to be smart, but don’t bother with too much prep. Besides, it keeps it exciting.
Once upon a time, I was a sharp-dressed woman who might postpone turning up at an event until the bag, the outfit, the shoes the hair the make up… the whole bit was nailed. However, a baby lowered that bar for me. I would find myself happily declaring that that white splotch accompanying my shoulder to that party, was in fact just baby vomit. Nothing to see here, folks.
A simple tip would be to feed baby before you plan to step out. This gives you potentially two hours of wandering or pram pushing before she gets unsettled - good if you need to get to the shops, but not such a big deal if you’re planning to head to the park or a friend’s house.
Tip 4. Take a friend for back-up
A mate or family member who thinks you’re great and loves your kid. The second pair of hands never goes astray and their presence (should!) keep you fun.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help whilst you’re out. Most strangers will delight in the prospect of helping you and your little cutie.
Tip 5. Automatically tack on an extra half hour
Let’s face it, no matter how organized you are with time, you are always left wishing you had more. Automatically add this one on and you’ll applaud your smart self.
Tip 6. Keep it snappy
Short and sweet at first. Keep your expedition to IKEA for next time.
Leaving expectation LOW is best too. If you have a list of essentials, keep to the first few absolutely need-to-dos first. This way, if baby loses the plot (or you do), you can make a quick get-away.
If you leave with nothing checked off that To Do list, give yourself a high five! Getting a top on and getting out of that freakin’ house is an accomplishment enough.
Tip 7. Know how to put down the pram!
I distinctly remember one day having had a happy and productive time at the shops. Everything was done that I’d hoped for, baby was content, and I even managed a take-out coffee and a feed on-the-go. Pure triumph!
Then I got back to the car and went to pack up the pram.
After a dead-set 15 minute wrangling of that wretched thing, I was at melt-down. Baby once settled, was now hysterical. My last stitch effort was to shove that bless-ed baby mobile (entirely erect) into the boot. Crunnch!
KNOW YOUR PRAM WELL.
Tip 8. Have a vague idea of where you’re going
Time is truly the essence and if you can’t find accessible ramps and lifts, if you’re pram-ing it, you are putting yourself in a perilous state.
If you’re the more vague type (probably typing to myself right now), get good at thinking ahead and have a vague clue where you’re going and what you need to do. You’ll thank yourself.
Tip 9. Multiple carriers on-hand
Taking a pram and a soft carrier in the car is a good idea. If you’re out for any length of time, or you’ve very recently given birth, you’ll be thankful to change positions and ease your body a bit. Plus, it gives baby a stretch and a change of scenery too.
Tip 10. Keep it fun
Don't’ forget to keep it fun and to see the funny in things, otherwise, you’ll never leave the house.
Meet up with another mom-friend, grab a one-handed meal and a good coffee. You’ll have fun sharing your excursion trivialities and general mayhem with each other.
Mom of six fabulous kids and foster-mom to numerous others. Event manager, doula, childbirth educator, lactation counselor, owner of Sydney Birth Support, Mamaway Advocate and an encourager of all moms out there giving it their best crack!