Before having a baby I had heard parents complain about how difficult it was and how long it took to leave the house with a baby. And yes, now I know what they were talking about.
Before baby, husband and I could be out the door within a few minutes of making the decision.
“Want to go out for lunch?”
Freshen up, grab keys, wallet and phone and out the door we go.
Now it is a juggling act. I feed the baby while he gets ready then he changes the nappy and preps the gear while I get ready. By then it is time to feed again and after all that we might actually manage to throw everything in the car, buckle baby in his car seat and leave the house.
Phew… nap anyone??
In all seriousness though, I still firmly believe that, with a bit of patience and flexibility, it is possible (and important) to still be outgoing and enjoy a life outside the four walls of home.
So here are some of the things I’ve learned about venturing out of the house with a new baby.
- Preparation is key. Always take more stuff than you think you will need including clothing, blankets, bottles and nappies.
- Time your outings so that you leave straight after a feed. This way you can maximise time before the next feed is due, in theory anyway.
- Try and avoid taking baby in and out of the car more than twice in one outing.
- Breastfeed in public. It will feel really awkward at first. Much harder than simply whipping off your shirt and unashamedly popping your boob out when at home. It takes some practice to be able to juggle baby whilst trying to modestly unhook your bra and subtly hide your breast pad somewhere whilst getting bub to latch. And hey, if you happen to flash a bit of boob, try not to worry. It is natural, your baby is hungry and people should just get over it.
- Even when using the pram always have a wrap or carrier handy just in case bub gets cranky and wants out.
- When baby starts to get grizzly, it is time to go. Avoid being tempted by one more shop or one more errand as this will often lead to a screaming baby and stressed out mum on the ride home.
- Enjoy being out. Having a baby doesn’t mean your social life has to end or that you need to be housebound. Getting out every so often will help you to appreciate those days at home endlessly feeding on the couch whilst watching Netflix.
- If it all seems too hard, just try grabbing the pram or your favourite carrier and going for a walk around the block. The fresh air will do you both a world of good. Not to mention a little bit of exercise too.
So my question to you is, what are your tips and tricks for getting out of the house with your little ones?