When you finally get to take your precious newborn baby home from the hospital it’s the greatest feeling in the world. The little person you had imagined for 9 months is finally here and all you want to do is stare at them and nest in the safety of your own home.
But at some point, you’re going to want (or need) to leave the house. And it can be a really scary thought. You get into your little rhythm in the house and then suddenly just having to shower, let alone leave, seems overwhelming.
However, if we’ve learnt anything in this parenting game, it’s that being prepared can help give you the confidence you need to take on any challenge. So we’re here to help you get ready to reenter the outside world with your adorable little sidekick in tow.
Because, even though the thought of leaving the house might seem scary at first, the benefits of getting out, for both you and your baby, are huge. From the fresh air and a little sunshine to the social interaction and the sense of achievement, you’ll feel once you’ve done it.
What essentials do you need?
1. The wheels
You’re going to need something to get you and your baby around in those early weeks and months, and a pram is your go-to.
A baby wrap or carrier is a great option for short outings (or to bring with you) but when your baby is so little you need quite a lot of “stuff” (we’ll get to all the stuff in a minute). Remember, your body is also recovering, so trying to carry too much yourself can be harmful and exhausting. So, a pram is the best way to store everything you need.
Not to mention, the novelty of pushing your tiny baby in their new pram just can’t be beaten!
2. The nappy bag
Your nappy bag is your best friend (and will be for the foreseeable future). Ideally, it can hang off your pram or fit easily in the storage underneath.
Here’s a list of the nappy bag essentials you’ll need:
• Nappies (and bags): This depends on how long you will be out but we recommend a minimum of 3 at all times for short trips.
• Wipes: you cannot have too many wipes. Always check the pack is well stocked.
• Portable change mat: Trust us, you will use this A LOT.
• Nappy cream: Always good to have on hand to avoid a cranky baby wherever possible.
• Hand sanitiser
• Change of clothes x 2
• A swaddles or muslin wrap
• Bottles (if bottle feeding)
• Comforter or soft toy
• Dummies (and a dummy case to keep them clean!)
• Toys: A rattle or interactive toy
• Hat or beanie
3. Don’t forget about you
It’s so easy to get so caught up thinking about what the baby needs when you’re heading out but don’t forget about yourself too.
Things like spare nipple pads to avoid leaking, maternity pads if you are still bleeding and a spare top can be the difference between a successful outing and an emotional breakdown.
• Lip balm
• Water bottle
• Maternity pads
• Nipple pads
• Spare t-shirt
Tips to make that first outing a success
1. Have your essentials at the ready
There’s no denying there’s a lot of stuff that you need just to get out the door with a baby. And it might seem like a lot, but being prepared is your best defence.
Make life easier by having the essentials at your fingertips with a pram caddy or stroller organiser where you can store a dummy, a bottle (yours and bubs’), your keys and phone easily. This way you can have easy access to grab it on the go and not have to stop the pram constantly.
2. Start small
Do a few practice outings and build yourself up. Don’t go out for a full day right off the bat, schedule a few smaller outings (even just a walk around the block) to get yourself used to packing the pram and getting out without the pressure of having anywhere to be. You’ll quickly learn what you do and don’t need.
3. Work around your baby’s schedule
In the early days they don’t have much of a schedule but try and time outings around their feeds and sleeps – and even poops if you know when they tend to be! Choose windows where you know they are more content, e.g. just after a feed or if they like to sleep in the pram make the most of that!
4. Moral support
If your partner can’t be with you for that first outing, see if you have a friend that can help you or meet up with a mum from your local mother’s group and be each other’s support.
5. Remember to stay positive!
Babies smell fear! Or at least, it seems that way anyway. If you are anxious, your baby is more likely to be too. So try and remember to stay positive and laugh off anything that doesn’t go according to plan. Your hormones are still raging in those early days so it’s easy to feel upset but try and remember you’re not alone. Everyone goes through this same panic too.
You might think people are judging you if your baby is crying, but chances are they’re not at all (and if they are then that says more about them than it does you!) Most parents will just want to give you a big hug and tell you that it gets easier!
6. Restock your bag once you get home
Once you get home, get into the habit of restocking the bag with what you have used. This way your bag will be ready to grab and go for next time.
Sure, sometimes going out with a baby isn’t easy – but it does get easier! They might cry and need to feed, or they might poop and these things are out of your control. Don’t let it stop you from getting out and enjoying doing things that make you happy.
Because the more you do it, the better you will get at it, learning as you go.
This is a paid partnership between Kiindred x Skip Hop.