Whether you are a new mother dreading your first outing alone with your newborn baby or you have an older baby, there are always ways to make trips out with baby easier.
I don’t know about you, but I found being out with my baby the first time very distressing. I was worried that I would forget something important and I was worried about coping while out alone. That first trip out alone with my new baby was nothing short of terrifying.
Practice Going Out
Going out with your newborn baby is a whole new ball game and it will take some practice getting it right. Instead of waiting until you need to go out shopping or run an errand, do some practice runs.
It will be a lot less distressing for example to visit your mother for a cup of coffee for your first outing with your baby than it will be going grocery shopping.
Before you attempt a shopping trip with your baby rather plan a trip to the shopping centre for a little walk about with your baby without the pressure of having to do any shopping. You will feel a lot more relaxed if you know that you can just go home if anything goes wrong.
Time Your Trip Well
You don’t want to go out with a tired, screaming baby and part of ensuring this does not happen is making sure that you time your trip well. Not time it as per the clock, but time it as per your baby’s routine.
The best time to leave for an outing is after your baby has woken up from a good morning sleep. Then you can feed and change your baby before leaving. This will ensure that your baby is well rested, well fed and clean.
Keep in mind that babies are more likely to be fussy in the afternoons and evenings, so avoid any afternoon trips for a while. This is especially relevant if your baby has colic.
Pram vs Baby Carrier
Choosing whether you will use your baby carrier or your pram is an important decision. You don’t want to be stuck in a shopping mall carrying your baby while pushing a pram and trying to carry some shopping all at the same time.
While pushing a pram is a great option it also comes with some complications such as limited boot space and possibly ending up carrying your baby because he is fussing in the pram.
It is a good idea to make some practice runs with a pram because it is not always easy to maneuver a pram in and out of the car.
There can also be unexpected failures such as your pram tipping over when you take your baby out due to the uneven weight if your baby bag is hanging from the handle. Buying a Buggy Balance can solve this problem by weighting down the front of the pram – it is available on Amazon.
Multi Use Breastfeeding Cover
One of the most useful products you can buy is a multi-use stretchy breastfeeding cover. It can be used as a cover for when you are breastfeeding, for your baby’s car seat and for your pram.
If you are a breastfeeding mother and away from home for the first time with your baby chances are good you won’t want to breastfeed in public without a cover. It’s great if you are that confident but many moms aren’t.
Make sure to practice using the cover at home since it can be tricky getting it right and if you baby is not used to a cover he could pull at it.
It is also a fantastic cover to put over your baby’s car seat to protect him against the sun while driving and also to give your baby protection from the sun while in the pram.
Be Prepared For Feeding and Changing
While you will want to time your outings well so that your baby is fed and clean when you leave home chances are that you will need to feed and change your baby while out.
Make sure that you have your baby bag with your changing mat, diapers, wet wipes, spare clothing for baby in case of accidents, nappy bags for dirty diapers, a burp cloth, baby bum cream and a spare baby blanket.
If your baby is formula fed make sure you have a bottle of milk and some spare formula powder to make up some more milk just in case, If your baby is breastfed then make sure you bring some nipple cream and some breast pads.
If your baby uses a pacifier make sure to bring one to use and a spare in case one lands up on the floor. It is a great idea to use a dummy clip to prevent this happening.
The best baby diaper bag to use is a backpack style. You want to ensure that you are as hands free as possible, especially while you are navigating being a new mom and out with your newborn baby.
While you want to ensure you have everything you need with you, you also don’t want to be dragging unnecessary things around with you all the time. If you have the above necessities you will be fine.
Be Kind To Yourself
The facts are that at some stage an outing will go pear-shaped. It is bound to happen. It may be your first outing or a following one. When it happens just be kind to yourself and don’t beat yourself up.
I once went to the shop with my toddler and newborn. We did not even make it into the grocery store and two security officers had to help me get my two babies, my pram and myself back to my car safely. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. We got home with all three of us in tears and my husband wondering why we had been out for three hours and came home with no shopping and in such a state.