The New Mom Guide
Getting out with Baby
By Katherine Waters-Clark
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In this article:
- Welcome to Parenthood (Now What?)
- Six Sanity Saving ideas for Parents
- Baby Care 101
- Baby Care 101: Part Two
- Baby Sleep 101
- Baby Sleep 101: Part Two
- Baby Food 101
- Baby Food 101: Part 2
- Reality 101
- Reality 101: Part Two
- Baby Games 101
- Getting out with Baby
- Mom-to-Mom Baby Tips
- Mom-to-Mom Baby Tips: Part Two
A new mom’s guide to getting outside with baby, in 15 hours or less. Plus! Diaper-bag and stroller essentials.
It's a beautiful day and you're in need of fresh air and a change of scenery. It's time for a stroll with your new baby. You eagerly don your summer shorts but they don't quite fit yet. Settle on sweat pants—filthy, but they fit. Any unstained T-shirts? Hmmmm. Try on sneakers—your feet grew! Has anyone seen those sunglasses? Keys? Purse? You're starting to sweat, but you're almost ready.
Let's see . . . the diaper bag. Two—better make it four extra diapers, Desitin, wipes, powder, a changing pad. Baby's starting to fuss. Quick, set up the new umbrella stroller (can't find the directions)! Switch to the Baby Bjorn (can't fasten the back strap—throw into half-assembled stroller)! Pack extra change of clothes, sun hat, and sweater. Losing steam but still determined. Bring a pacifier in case he cries. Wow, he's really crying now! Your strolling prep has just taken two hours, and your newborn needs nursing and changing . . . again.
Maybe a nap is a better idea for today.
Is it possible that you, who used to manage an entire office of adults with one hand tied behind your back, cannot manage a simple outing with your offspring? Take a deep breath, new mommy. You can do this. While you won't be traveling quite as lightly as before, these tried-and-true travel tips will get you on the road in no time. And remember: things take time. You didn't become a manager overnight.
- Make a list of your baby's outing needs: two diapers, small travel wipes and ointment, light blanket (doubles as changing pad), light sweater. Pack some favorites: a pacifier, stuffed animal, and toy. Don't forget a sun hat. Trade in your purse for a hands-free, sturdy backpack (doubles as a diaper bag). Stock it with the above essentials. Don't forget to tuck in a few energy snacks for you: protein bar, box of raisins, an apple, a bottle of water. Leave your pack by the door.
- Stash a "to go" purse in your backpack filled with small essentials for you: lip balm or lipstick, sunscreen, breath mints, tissues, money, Band-Aids, cell phone, spare key, watch, or whatever else you might need.
- Have your outfit ready to go: comfortable shoes (check fit the night before), clean clothes (buy larger if necessary), and a lightweight sweater. A baseball cap or bandana works wonders for "bad hair." Sunglasses go far in covering up sleep-deprived eyes!
- Bring your stroller inside and practice setting it up the night before. Take a "stroll" with your baby around the living room. Rehearse attaching the detachable sun umbrella and/or stroller awning.
- Do a test run on your own. Be on the lookout for safe sidewalks. Check out the local coffee shop and park. Could you comfortably nurse there? Who has room for your stroller? Where are the other moms meeting?
- The day of your outing, check the weather report. Blustery winds, sudden drops in temperature, and chilly rain can ruin even a short walk.
- In the beginning, set your sights low. Forget about spending the day at the mall, stopping at the post office, picking up a coffee, or making a quick deposit at the bank. Congratulate yourself with each new step you take, whether it's up and down the driveway or around the block.
- As you get to know your baby's temperament, preferences and schedule, the best routine will emerge. A 20-minute after-breakfast stroll, an hour-long afternoon excursion, or a quick jog at dusk might make your day. Be smart: even if you want to go the park, if your baby's screaming, it's time to go home and try again another time.
- If you prefer exercise walks or jogs, consider investing in a jogging stroller. They ride smoothly over even the bumpiest terrain, allowing you to workout while moving with your baby. Even a tiny infant can ride in one. Remember to secure your baby's head, and always buckle up.
Oh, the places you'll go! Start to pack a book, the newspaper, stationery, stamps, address book and pen for when your little one dozes off. Check out your local library, coffee shop, pediatrician's office, park, the toy store—that's where the other moms are hanging out. (They're looking for new friends, too!) Soon, you'll be managing outings like a pro.
See? That didn't take so long.
More! Get newborn care tips and advice from other Kaboose Moms