It can be hard to wrap your head around leaving home when you have a brand newborn baby. Feeding, naps, diaper changes, packing a diaper bag – it’s certainly more complicated than before! Here are 10 ways to make getting out of the house easier with a newborn!
- NO PRESSURE – leaving home is going to take more preparation, effort, and planning than before baby. Lower your expectations, go with the flow, and remember you can always come home!
- Give yourself PLENTY of time – everything takes longer with a newborn baby. It’s stressful to be racing the clock. Have no set meeting time the first few outings you take –do something that isn’t time-sensitive or give yourself a window start time.
- Start small – meet a friend for lunch, do one errand, go for a walk. Squeezing in too much can leave you with an unexpected feeding location or an over-stimulated and over-tired baby.
- Simplify – you don’t need to bring the whole nursery! If you are trying to load your diaper bag with too much stuff, it will be hard to grab what you do need. Diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, and a bottle if you’re bottle-feeding is plenty! A car stash of back up items can help if the idea of an outing without your whole arsenal is stressful.
- Meet a friend who has a kid (or multiple kids) even if theirs isn’t with them – they’ll be able to help with little things and lend a hand where needed.
- Plan ahead – decide ahead when you are aiming to leave. Get all packed and ready to go, feed your newborn baby and GO.
- Schedule outings into your daily routine – as you get better at getting out, pick one nap a day that makes for the best on-the-go nap. This might be a nap your baby typically struggles with anyway, a mid-day or late afternoon nap that is often short. This will also allow you an idea of what time you can make plans out of the house. Once you have decided that nap is going to be taken in the car/carrier/stroller, don’t stress about when and for how long your baby sleeps. Enjoy your time out and get back on track when you get home.
- Take mental note of places that are easy to park and get the baby out, set up the stroller, etc. and frequent those places! Target with a Starbucks inside, an air-conditioned shopping mall, or a beach path with shops and restaurants all make fun and easy outings.
- Practice! The more you go out, the easier it will become. You’ll know what you need (and don’t need) to pack, how long it takes you to get out the door, and what time of day works for you and your baby.
- Join a mommy and me class – a great place to start is a weekly mommy & me program! These classes provide a safe space that is appropriate to feed, change, or comfort your baby, introduce you to other moms with babies similar in age, and can be a great educational resource for you.
Rachel is the owner of The Parenting Village, a parent education program that offers mommy & me and parenting classes that provide support, education, and connection to moms all over the South Bay. She is passionate about helping moms expand their network and find their Village! Learn more here.