Whether it’s your first, second or third newborn, it can be tempting to stay in your house all day, coddling your new bundle of joy. Because really, who wants to tote a diaper bag, set up a stroller, and bring a change of clothes for just a quick trip to the grocery store down the block? But getting out of the house is a good change of pace for you and your newborn. Here are some fun ways to explore the big, bustling world with your baby!
The Pediatrician – This is one of the first outside ventures you’ll take with your baby after their birth, and it can be pretty intimidating! I would recommend not scheduling the appointment too early. Though your baby might be up early, it’ll take you a lot longer than expected to actually get out the door! Give yourself extra time for unexpected accidents and dress your baby in comfy and easy-access clothes. Bring an extra blanket to keep your baby warm in the chilly doctor’s office. Remember to jot down any questions you would like to ask your doctor before the appointment and call ahead to make sure your paperwork is all in!
Casual Lunch Date – Dining in public with your best friend and her new baby can be a race against the clock. You’ll never know when your baby will start fussing, putting all eyes on you! Pick a more casual spot with a boisterous atmosphere and choose a less busy time, either before noon or after 2pm. Getting a booth, if possible, really helps with public breastfeeding. Finally, order a lunch you can eat one-handed, in case you’re busy with baby!
The Grocery Store – Start with baby steps, literally. Your first grocery store excursion with baby shouldn’t be for the whole Thanksgiving Dinner! Begin with small lists…milk, eggs, and bread, for instance. As your baby and confidence grow, you’ll be ready to tackle longer trips! I love using a baby carrier or sling at the stores to shop hands-free! Grab the essential groceries first in case you need to make a quick getaway due to a full diaper!
Long Car Ride – You’ll definitely need a plan when it comes to long road trips with baby. Note the rest areas and pit stops along the way and start off with a full tank of gas. If you’re traveling with another adult or older child, have them sit in the back with the baby to keep them getting too fussy. Add fun toys to your baby’s car seat bar to keep them entertained, too! And whatever you do, never take your baby out of their seat while the car is moving and never leave the baby alone in the car, even for a second!
Some general tips
Stay Safe – Before venturing out into the real world with your newborn, you’ll want to ensure he or she is warm enough. Babies lose a lot of heat from their heads so hats are a must. And when it comes to layers, a rule I’ve always gone by is add one extra layer than you yourself will need. Of course, you can add or take the layers off as needed. When in the sun, keep your baby in the shade with the umbrella or hood of the stroller, or if you’re using a baby carrier, find a shady spot. When it comes to germs, avoid large crowds with your infant and have friends or family wash their hands before handling your child.
Watch the Time – Take your baby out right after they’ve been fed, burped, and gotten a clean diaper. That way they will be content to take a nap or enjoy the amazing views, sounds, and smells of the world. Make sure to pack the extra clothes, diapers, or breastfeeding tools you’ll need if it’s a longer outing!