Have you ever wondered how to get out of the house with a newborn?
Before my daughter was born, I had no idea how hard it was to get out of the house with kids, particularly with a new baby. Then I had her, and my mind raced with a ton of questions…
What to bring? Where do I put her when I’m at ____? How do I go to the bathroom with her? What if she has a poop-splosion while we’re out? Where can I feed her? What if she cries and people are looking at me? Do I bring sunscreen?
Anyone else think about all these things?
To me it often felt like a mountain every time I thought about going somewhere- how do I get out of the house with a new baby???
Maybe you’re there now: You know you need to get out of the house, but you feel overwhelmed by all that it would involve- so you stay at home more often than not.
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How to Get Out of the House with a New Baby: Climbing the Mountain
Figuring out how and when and where to go can be really stressful, especially as an exhausted new mom- and more so if you have any extra anxiety on top of it. So here are some things I’ve learned- I hope this makes your climb easier!
Getting Out of the House with a New Baby: Where to go?
First off, where can you go with a newborn? If you’re like me, I was nervous about being in public when the baby nursed, cried, pooped, or basically did anything that babies do. The truth is, you can take a newborn just about anywhere- but finding the places that you feel *comfortable* may be another story.
Start Small and Easy
The first places I ended up choosing were places that I felt like I could go and safely “mess up” as I learned to mom. For me, that was local breastfeeding cafes, Le Leche League meetings, babywearing meetings, and meet ups with other new parents.
I highly recommend picking somewhere nearby (a friend’s house works!) where you don’t have to arrive or leave at an exact time, and can basically just focus on getting there and existing together outside the house. Pick somewhere where you won’t feel like everyone is looking at you if the baby cries or just needs to nurse for a long time or needs 8 diaper changes in a row. Ask other moms where they go to hang out and join them!
Celebrate the victories!
I didn’t do this the first time around, but the second time around I knew to give myself a pat on the back for each little accomplishment. First time changing a diaper in public? Go you! Figured out a way to sit and nurse more comfortably? You go girl! Got out only to have to turn back around? That’s okay- you practiced getting out!
Every little piece is a big deal, and before you know it, it will all come together into bigger trips and bigger victories- and you probably won’t even notice how easily you’re tackling things that once felt so big.
Leaving the House with a Newborn: When to go?
I spent so much time stressing about this as a new mom. My first was a challenging baby, and if she didn’t get her nap when she needed it, the rest of the day was…poopy.
I did a lot of rushing out and rushing back in attempt to not miss a nap/to have her out for a nap and back by the next one, etc. So if that’s you and your baby- you’re not alone! And it’s a season- it’ll get better!
My second baby is much more chill and if his nap gets interrupted he’ll just take another one later- no big deal. So maybe you got lucky and got one more like him- if so, go and do while it’s relatively easy!
The bottom line is this: they’ll be okay. You won’t ruin them if the timing doesn’t work out just right. Try going out at different times and see how it goes- they may surprise you with their flexibility out and about!
Getting Out of the House with a New Baby: What to do?
Even a simple trip to the grocery store isn’t so simple when you’ve got baby and all his gear! You’ve only got so many arms! Enter BABYWEARING.
There are a ton of benefits to wearing your baby, but one of the biggest is definitely the flexibility it gives you as a mom. There is a learning curve, but learning to use a stretchy wrap, ring sling, wrap, mei dai, or soft structured carrier (with proper infant insert if needed) frees up your hands to visit, shop, or go for a walk!
Also- THIS IS HOW YOU GO TO THE BATHROOM WITH A BABY! Strap them on and problem solved. No having to squeeze a stroller in or figure out where to lay them down in a nasty bathroom or having to hold it until you get home.
Nothing beats in person babywearing education (ask your local Facebook group if there are ones near you!), but I also love Wrap You In Love‘s youtube channel for watching over and over as I learn new ways to wear baby.
How to Get Out of the House with a New Baby: What to bring?
For me, I like to be prepared….probably more on the side of over-prepared. So when it came to packing a diaper bag for the first time (first 100 times…) I was intimidated, because I didn’t know what to pack- what if I missed something???
Just in case you’re like me, I have cultivated a checklist of things you may want in your diaper bag (thanks Mama Shark Facebook mamas Karen, Ginger, Sarah, Olivia, Bethany, Ashley, Debbie, Rachael, Ashley at The Irish Twins Momma, and Samantha at Sarcasm Wine Repeat for contributing!) and made it into a printable list- you can enter your email at the bottom of this post and I’ll send it to you!
Bonus: I polled my mom friends on what kind of diaper bag they liked, and while the brands varied, most of them agreed that a backpack diaper bag is the way to go! Also, one of my favorite extras to bring with me are these silicone teethers!
Make an “Oh Crap” Bag!
One of the best gifts I ever got at a baby shower was what the giver called an “oh crap!” bag. This was basically a diaper bag filled with the basics- diapers, wipes, clothes for each stage of the next year, a toy, a paci, some formula and a bottle, small blanket, etc.
This bag gets filled up and just lives in the back of the car in case of emergency. You can also add a first aid kit with bandaids, creams, a instant cold pack, hand sanitizer, and tweezers in it.
I’ve used my “Oh Crap” bag on multiple occasions when I realized I had forgotten or run out of some essential (or a friend had!). And more than that, it gave me peace of mind to know I had a back up of the basics (without having to carry it all around all the time). I highly recommend sticking one of these in your car!
How to Get Out of the House with a Newborn: Who to be with?
Hanging out with other moms is a great place to start. Moms who are or who have “been there” generally have built-in compassion for a new mom- and they’ll hold your baby while you wipe the spit up out of your hair!
Also, I’d encourage you to be bold in asking for help when you try any new outing. I’m always surprised how many people are happy to lend a hand- especially when you’ve obviously got a little baby!
And ask for help from people you know, too- no one says you need to do it alone! Consider arranging for family, friends, or a mother’s helper to come with you until you feel comfortable doing it on your own.
This past summer I was nervous about going to the pool alone with 2 kids (one being a baby), so I hired a mother’s helper to come with me once a week until I feel able to do it on my own- it was a very worthwhile investment!
The most important thing…
Give yourself GRACE and KINDNESS- and lots of it! Cheer yourself on and surround yourself with people who will fill you with encouragement. You’ll likely be surprised by the community you find simply by being a mom around other moms. As bad a rap as moms get for judging each other, most of us are here to help and only want to offer help and encouragement!
Remember, you’re *learning*. L.E.A.R.N.I.N.G. If it doesn’t work, try it again or try it a different way. You WILL figure it out! You got this, Mama!
Do you have any tips for other Mamas on this? Drop a comment below and share your wisdom!
Other things to help you in the newborn stage:
- I’ve also compiled a list of my top 10 things every mom needs after having a baby. These items were game-changers for me postpartum!
- If part of the difficulty of getting out of the house is due to anxiety, be sure and read my article on practical coping strategies for moms with anxiety!
- Here’s some great tips if you are breastfeeding a newborn (or any age baby)- having that down can help you get out of the house, too!