For starters, going out helps tremendously with not feeling like you’re going crazy. Plus, who likes to be stuck inside all day by yourself? You start getting a little loopy talking to a baby 24/7! Getting out with your baby is so healthy for your mental state. We don’t have family near us, so getting out helps me so much. I started to take Corbin out when he was 3 weeks old. I started small and went to Target with a friend. Fun fact: Target is the perfect place to start. If it’s a nicer Target, they have nursing rooms and the dressing rooms are friendly for a stroller or cart.
Honestly, it wasn’t easy at first. I had a TON of anxiety and would think about it nonstop before actually doing it. All the fear rushed through me. I had all the thoughts… “What is too soon? Will he get sick? What happens if something bad happens? Where do I change him? Where do I feed him? I can’t go out, the internet says to wait until 6 weeks!”
Mom tip number: go with a friend the first time. Don’t go with your husband because that’s too “comfortable.” When you go with a friend your forced to do it yourself. Plus, it distracts you for backing out! Trying something new with a baby is scary. I promise I have been there! One thing is for sure, you just have to do it! It gets easier every time and soon becomes a second nature.
Here’s a few tips that I learned along the way when going on an outing with your baby.
- Get organized: I always have my diaper bag packed and stocked. Make sure you have enough diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, binkie, burp cloth, hand sanitizer, boogie wipes, disinfecting wipes, diaper cream, changing pad, formula and formula holder (if your bottle feeding) or a cover if your breastfeeding, any type of toy your baby might need, your wallet and anything else you personally need. I have extra hand sanitizer and a first aid kit just because I’m OCD like that! Never know when time flies your little one will be walking and need a bandaid. It will come faster than you think!
- Formula prep: I bring formula with me when I go out. Since I’m not breastfeeding (read Fed is Best post about this) I love the formula container that we have because it allows you to pack as much as you need with the specific serving size. So bring that and water prepped in a bottle all ready measured. I also carry two liquid formula bottles just in case.
- Pack it up: Make sure you have your bag in the car, your phone and a water bottle. If you need the stroller, bring that! I always have the stroller and bassinet attachment in my trunk. You never know when you need it. I also have an extra changing pad, diapers, wipes, and a fuzzy thick cover for babe. You can’t be too prepared.
- Parking the car: Weird I know, seems easy but there’s strategy to it! If at a place where there’s shopping carts, park next to the cart rack. It will be easier to put the carseat inside the cart when going into Target or something. Then when you go to put your baby in the car the cart rack is right there. If going to a mall or just a parking lot in general I park where it’s safest and I have a lot of room. For example, I park where there’s less cars so I have space to get the stroller out and I’m not fighting other cars or traffic.
- Feeding and Changing on the go: This was pretty scary for me at first since I’m such a planner. I was worried I wouldn’t have a place safe to change and feed him when I needed to. Newborns feed every 2-3 hours so your bound to have to feed and change on the go. Don’t let this scare you. It’s not bad. If your at a clothing place, find a dressing room. If your uncomfortable that you will take too long, just tell the people working there that you might need to feed your baby. They will understand. Some places like Target, Nordstrom, and big malls have a nursing room, something to consider. When I’m not at a place with a dressing room, I might either feed/change in the car depending on the weather. Honestly, car feedings nad changes are what I prefer because I have privacy and space. Tip for diaper changings, I bring sanitary wipes to wipe down my area. It makes me feel like the environment for him is safer.
- Baby Wearing: I don’t do this often because I feel like it’s more complicated, but it could work for you. I think it depends on where you are, I know it can really free up your hands and calm your fussy baby down. If you have multiples, baby wearing allows you to chase your toddler around or even help with nursing your newborn. I have two, Boppy carrier and Solly Baby wrap.
- Dress for the weather: Seems like an obvious tip, but it’s just good to know. Babies can struggle with regulating their own body temp. Just a friendly reminder to dress for the weather ALWAYS! I’m more sensitive to this because Corbin wasn’t dressed for the weather (while in the house that is) and his body temp went way down… aka a two night stay at Children’s. New mom mistake number one! We are all learning!! Just good to keep in mind and take my advice.
- Just breath: You’ve got this. So what if there are meltdowns and diaper blowouts? Nothing in motherhood ever goes as planned. Take a deep breath and enjoy this time with your little ones. They will never be as small as they are today, so you might as well take the time to explore fun activities with them at this age. I’ve actually learned to love taking Corbin out!
You got this mama! I believe in you. I hope these tips help and I’m sure there’s others, but this is what works for me! If you have a good tip for going out with your babe, comment below…
Love from Texas,