Getting some fresh air can do wonders for you and baby!
What if you forget the wet wipes at home? Or the wind begins to gust out of nowhere?
What if baby starts to scream, and you can’t soothe her? Wait, what about all.the.germs?
It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed at the thought of heading out with baby, for the first time. There’s a lot to prepare for and fear, but take heart, it will probably be easier than you foresee…
… and, getting some fresh air can do wonders, for you and baby!
Ubuntu Baba Founder, Shannon McLaughlin headed to the beach with her son when he was three weeks old. She shares five handy tips for venturing out with your newborn baby for the first time below:
1. Decide on where to go and take it slowly
For your first time out with baby, keep close to home. You may need to turn around sooner than you think, especially if your baby is simply not thrilled to be out and about.
Don’t put pressure on yourself to have the ‘perfect’ first outing. Start slowly, especially if you are healing from a C-section or breastfeeding for the first time. No doubt, you have been cooped up for a couple of weeks – so try to choose a quiet place, with a beautiful view, where you’ll feel comfortable breastfeeding and changing nappies!
Steer clear of malls and coffee shops, as the last thing you want, is to be caught in a super-busy, loud location, with a baby screaming his or her lungs out – as that’s just going to make you feel utterly overwhelmed.
Bear in mind that you might want accessible parking, changing rooms and privacy should you need to breastfeed.
2. Take someone with you
It’s understandable to want to spend quality time with your baby on your first outing – but the extra set of hands will be much appreciated when you need to run to the loo or need help putting the pram back into the boot.
Sharing your first outing with dad or granny will also ease some of the stress and pressure you may be feeling about venturing out of your home for the first time. Don’t worry, you will eventually outgrow the anxiety and be able to go on many happy outings alone with your baby!
Remember, there are no expectations for your first time out and there should be no pressure to ‘get it right’
3. Never leave the house without your essentials – and travel light
Use a backpack as a nappy bag and put your phone, purse and car keys in there. The last thing you want, is to lug a heavy nappy bag and an equally heavy handbag – all while wearing your baby or pushing a pram!
Only pack the essentials…
…think: nappies, wet wipes, bum cream, bottle, dummy, feeding cover and of course your baby carrier – which can be a lifesaver if baby suddenly becomes fussy or doesn’t want to lie in the pram.
Oh, and don’t forget your cell phone – for that emergency call or priceless moment you want to capture!
4. Layer yourself and baby
South Africa has unpredictable weather and a cold morning can quickly turn into a hot day. Small babies don’t perspire effectively and can become overheated really quickly – especially if you’re baby wearing. Always keep an eye on their temperature and if they’re fussing, they’re probably hot.
Make sure that the swaddle and baby carrier you’re using is breathable!
5. Go easy on the expectations
Do what feels right for you. If you are physically or mentally uncomfortable, your baby can feel it. They are super intuitive to your emotions as well as your physical state. Remember, there are no expectations on your first time out and there should be no pressure to ‘get it right’.
Enjoy your first outing together. You’re more than likely doing better than you think!
Author: LARA BESTBIER
Writer. Creative. Word-nerd. Aspiring photographer. Oh, and mom to the only little girl more demanding than me. Parenting editor at All4Women (e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org).