With your baby’s half-birthday well behind you, you might feel ready to get out more often or take longer trips with your baby. And if there is one thing motherhood taught you, doing anything with a baby takes infinitely longer and requires more gear than an explorer!
But getting out of the house is not only good for your baby (think of all the new things he will see, the sounds he will hear, and things he will smell), but it’s great for new moms too.
Here are our top 10 tried and trusted tips to leave the house with a baby in tow:
Considering that you will be the one who drives your baby from one place to another, why not stock it like a mini-version of your baby’s room? Keep your baby carrier and diaper bag in the car and refill them each time you drive somewhere. Also, keep an extra set of clothes, some non-perishable snacks, toys, and of course, diapers and wipes in there.
2. Narrow it down
It’s great that your car is prepped, but do you need ALL THE GEAR for a quick run to the grocery store? Probably not. Keep an extra diaper and small packet of wipes in your purse for those short trips.
3. Feed before you leave
Whether your baby is breastfed or bottle-fed, feeding a baby on the go can be stressful but also adds to the amount of equipment you have to take along - like bottles, formula, and nursing covers. So to eliminate the hassle, feed your baby just before you leave the house, whenever possible. It might just buy you an extra couple of stress-free shopping.
4. Keep a routine
Now that your baby is older, he is probably settled into some sleep/wake schedule. Getting your baby into a predictable routine makes it so much easier to know when to leave the house and how much time you will have before they start getting fussy.
5. A place for everything
And everything in its place. Designate a spot for all your baby items and become methodical about where you put certain things. Know that you can always grab a pack of wipes for a particular drawer to eliminate forgetting something or running around looking for it.
Unpredictability is the name of the game when it comes to babies, but fortunately, you can find some pieces of information in advance. When you are planning to visit a new place, give them a quick call to see if there is a place where you can feed your baby or if they have a changing station. This will help you decide what you need to prepare for but also help you mentally prepare for any less-than-ideal situations.
7. Repack when you get home
When you get home after an outing with your baby, the last thing you are thinking about is taking another trip. But replenishing your essentials will save major headaches the next time you go out.
8. Keep it short
One piece of baby advice every parent needs to hear is to try not to run more than one errand at a time or even do more than one outing per day. Keeping your excursions short means, you get to keep your baby gear to a minimum.
9. Pad your time
Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t jump up and go like you used to. It’s one of the many hard lessons we learn in parenthood. Instead, build in some extra time whenever you can. Need to leave by noon? Pretend you need to go by 11:40 am! Give yourself at least 20 minutes to calmly leave the house and load your baby and gear for your outing.
10. Just go! Even if it’s not perfect.
Even when you feel you are always either under or over-prepared, you’ll get the hang of it soon enough. Make peace with the fact that you probably forgot something, but make a mental note to pack it next time. Getting out is good for you, mama, so hit the road, put on some baby-friendly music, and enjoy your trip to the grocery store.
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