I’ve had this post in my drafts FOR-EVER! Like literally, since my son was two weeks old…now he’s 18 weeks old. Yep, its taken me just that long to get around to writing it. At the time, I was having so much trouble getting out of the house with my son, and sometimes I do now. However, through trial and error I devised a plan and a few
tips suggestions for how to get out of the house with a baby.
So here goes:
- Have your diaper bag, purse, and anything else you’re carrying with you prepared the night before and by the door. – This leaves you with one less thing to do in getting out the door. By having these things prepared in advance you don’t have to worry about something getting forgotten once you get on the road.
- Get yourself ready! – This one should almost be number one, but as you can see its still high on the list. I can’t stress enough, that getting yourself ready first is so important. It might not seem like the selfless, mother act you’re supposed to do, but if you have yourself ready first, you are more prepared to get your baby ready. When you put getting yourself ready last, the impending feeling of having to get ready can add to your stress. Again, avoid it by getting yourself ready first!
- Make sure your child is dressed early. – Get yourself ready, then get your child ready immediately after. Once you and your child are ready, everything else usually follows suit and falls into play.
- Leave diaper changes and feedings till the end. – Now you might be thinking this contradicts #3, but it doesn’t. Feed your child right before you leave, to ensure they have a full tummy leaving the house. This way you will have to stop less while your out to feed your little one, and you won’t run into getting out and about and having to stop 15 minutes into your errand running to feed little one. Give your child some time while you pack the car and do final checks, and then do a diaper check/change. Most babies have a wet, and sometimes dirty diaper soon after eating. By the time the car is packed and your ready to go, odds will be that your child will need a diaper change.
- Ask for help. – If your have your spouse around or grandma, ask them to help you! There’s no shame in utilizing your resources while they’re available. It frees you up to make sure you are as prepared as possible for your trip.
- Make a list. – As moms a lot of the time we think we have it all down to a science, but all too often we manage to miss something. I’ve left the house many times, just being so eager to get going and left the diaper bag right by the door or my son’s hat on a chilly day. By making a list, you can check off and make sure you have everything you need. Last thing you want is to get out and about, and diaper be missing from your bag or your baby’s favorite toy be left at the house. Plus, when you take the time to make a list, you are taking the time to think out everything and not rushing, thinking of things off the top of your head.
- Double check everything. – This goes right along with both #1 and #6. Make sure you do final checks before you leave the house. Using your list and preparing the night before is great, but a final check is essential.
- Pack your vehicle in trips. – Don’t try to take everything to the car at once. I’ve been guilty all too often of doing this. Its the old unpacking the grocery bags from the car syndrome. Its basically when you try to bring all the bags into your house at once, to avoid making several trips back and forth from your car to the house. Although this may work with groceries, its not a best practice for packing the car to get on the go with your child. When you do this, you can easily forget something, and things end up not being as organized in your car for reachable access if need-be.
- Make sure your child is comfortable and buckled in safely once in the car. – Check your carseat with every trip. DO NOT rush buckling your child in it. Its vital that your child be both safely and properly buckled in and comfortable. If they aren’t this can have horrible consequences if an accident were to occur. If your child is in any type of general discomfort, they will for sure let you know. This can result in your having to stop once getting on the go to simply check on your child if they begin to cry or act out in discomfort. You want to make sure that your child is feed, dry, and burped. These are the main causes of discomfort in babies oftentimes.
- Know when to call it. – Sometimes your child just isn’t up to going out. They, like us, have bad days. You know your child best, so pay close attention if they begin to act out excessively or appear not to feel good. Of course, sometimes, its not an option if you’re on your way to an appointment or if you really have to go somewhere. Weigh your options, and know that its okay if you have to wait until Dad or someone else comes home to watch baby for you to go out and run your errands. Sometimes we can use the break, get things done faster, and just take time to ourselves and to think by getting out by ourselves. Plus, this leaves Dad or the grandparents with some one-on-one quality with little one. Everyone wins!
Again, with all my posts like this, the aforementioned is not the end all be all. I’m always looking for better ways to be more efficient and effective in getting out the door with my son. These are what work for me right now, however, I keep and open mind and know that my routine may require some changes as my son gets older. It may also change as I gain more experience being a mother, and as my lifestyle changes. Remember that you have to do what works for your lifestyle, and what best suits both your and your child[ren]’s needs.
What are your tried and true practices for getting out of the house with your baby? I’d love to hear both what did or didn’t work of you!