Top Tips For Leaving The House With A Baby

So, how can I make it easier getting out and about with a newborn?

Firstly, a huge congratulations! I’m guessing if you are reading this you’re either pregnant or a soon to be new parent.

As a new Mum I understand how daunting it can be to venture out with your newborn. My husband has a very demanding job and I attended most of the early appointments and then other bits and bobs on my own. Here are some of my top tips to help you navigate this new chapter with ease and confidence.

Plan Ahead

  • Pack Essentials Early - Prepare your nappy bag with essentials like nappies, wipes, blankets, and spare outfits the night before or in the morning. Keeping the nappy bag fully stocked ensures you’re always ready to go.
  • Practice Makes Perfect - If you’re feeling unsure, do a practice run. Familiarise yourself with the baby carrier, pram, and car seat before you need to use them. This can prevent stressful moments, like trying to figure out how to fold down the pram with a tired baby.

HINT- Perhaps learn how to use the baby capsule before the baby is born so that you’re not standing in the hospital car park with your fresh baby watching YouTube videos haha! This may or may not have happened to us. I think this was the only piece of equipment that we didn’t practice using!

  • Know Your Destinations - Identify nearby bathrooms for both yourself and potential nappy changes. Check if cafes can accommodate your pram by calling ahead. Planning your stops can make outings smoother.
  • Give Yourself Extra Time - Allow more time than you think you’ll need. People are generally understanding if you’re a bit late. Don’t be too hard on yourself if things don’t go as planned.

Building Confidence

  • Start Small - Your first walk with the pram might only be half a block, and that’s perfectly fine!
  • Build your confidence with short, manageable trips.
  • Practice at Home - Get comfortable using the baby carrier, pram and other new baby essentials at home. I used to practice taking the baby carrier on and off at home and wear the carrier around the house with Ollie in it. Practice makes perfect, not that I’ve ever striving for perfectionism as a mother.
  • Feeding in Different Locations - Once you’re confident feeding in your usual spot, ie your breastfeeding chair, try feeding in different rooms and eventually outside. This can help you feel more comfortable in various settings. Sounds really silly, but these small suggestions each day can really build your confidence.

Practical Tips

  • Snacks and Drinks - Always carry a drink and a snack for yourself, either in the car or pram (or both). It’s good to have these on hand in case you get caught up.
  • Dress in Layers: Both you and your baby should dress in layers. This makes it easy to adjust to changing weather conditions or if you need to change outfits quickly because a ‘code brown’ never seems to happen at home. Double zippies are fantastic for quick changes. Fancy complicated outfits with lots of buttons and ties are not your ideal outfit when out and about in the early days.
  • Comfortable Feeding Outfits - My go-to feeding outfit is a singlet with an oversized button-up shirt. It’s practical and easy to manage.

Flexibility and Support

  • Manage Expectations - Be flexible and ready to change plans if needed. It’s easier said than done, but try to stay calm if your little one becomes upset. Babies can sense stress, so staying relaxed can help them feel secure.
  • Accept Help - Don’t hesitate to accept help if it’s offered and you need it. It’s okay to lean on others during this time. I noticed that people tend to be more friendly and helpful when you have a small baby.

Remember, every baby is unique. What works for one might not work for another. You’ll develop your own strategies as you get to know your baby’s needs and preferences. Be kind to yourself and if you fail don’t be afraid to try again. I’ve failed many times.

Written by Nicole Gleeson, a Paediatric Nurse with a decades experience, a first aid expert and a new Mum.

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