What do you need to take baby on the road? Here are our top tips for how to leave the house with ease.
The first time you leave the house with baby can be seriously daunting. You ask yourself a hundred questions: “What do I need to take for baby?” “Will they be too hot? Too cold?” “Should I take the carrier or the stroller?” “How many nappies should I take?” “What if they need to feed while I’m gone?” and so on! There are so many things to think about and the list of contingencies just gets longer and longer.
Don’t worry, we’ve put together a few useful tips to make the first few times of leaving home easier.
Prepare your bag
The first step is to prepare your change bag. Wipes, nappies, a change of clothes (or two!), nappy cream, a dummy (if you use one), maybe a toy and of course your baby carrier are all a good idea to take with you when you go out. And don’t forget yourself: a bottle of water and a snack are priority number one for when you’re out and about – especially if you’re breast/chest feeding. And don’t forget spare maternity pads or breast pads etc., anything you might need to keep you comfortable.
Pro tip – keep your bag packed and refill used, unperishable items as soon as you return home. Then you don’t have to repack every time and wonder if you really have everything when you leave the house.
Plan milk on the go
If you are breast/chest feeding, then planning potential places to sit and nurse can help you feel less anxious. You can practice feeding in your carrier so you’ve always got somewhere to keep baby safe during feeds. If you are using formula, then be sure to pack enough bottles and formula for your trip plus spare. Two small (0.5 L) thermos jugs for on-the-go – one with hot water, one with cold – can help you mix the milk meal at the right temperature. There are special containers in which you can fill the milk in portions so that you have as little luggage as possible.
Change nappies beforehand
A poonami just as you need to leave the house or just as you arrive at your destination is a parenting rite of passage but the probability that you will have to look for a place to change a nappy outside is lower if you do it at home beforehand. That way you don’t have to stop during your journey and your little one will be more comfortable.
Plan the journey to your destination
Planning your journey beforehand can help relieve some of the stress or anxiety surrounding your trip: How are you planning to travel? Babywearing on the tube? On foot with a stroller? By car? And how much space will you need at your destination? Is there a destination at all or are you just going for a walk in your neighbourhood? If you are going to a café alone or with a pram, consider things like whether they have a toilet you can take a pram into, whether they have baby change facilities etc. to avoid the stress of using a public toilet with your baby in your arms. When in doubt, a carrier is always an enormously practical solution. And you can take both – when compactly stowed, our carriers fit in backpacks or in the basket of your pram.
Choose the right time
If you don’t have a special appointment or event, it can be a good idea to leave the house around nap time the first few times so baby sleeps while you’re out or travelling. Grab your baby carrier or your Metro+ Deluxe and off you go.
Allow a little more time
There is one golden rule for getting ready to go out with a baby or child. It will always take longer than it did before and probably longer than you think. If it used to take you 15 minutes to get ready to leave your home before your baby arrived, double it. And then maybe double it again! After all, your little one may spit up on you or themself just as your about to close your front door. Or you could have a poonami on your hands… literally. If you have planned a little more time before you leave, you can stay relaxed in these situations whilst having enough time to go back into your home and take care of your little one.
And don’t forget, try not to worry too much, it’s like everything with a baby, it will probably be better than you think. It gets easier with practice, soon you’ll be a pro and getting out and about will be an automatic routine (well, as much as possible…).