Early motherhood is a daunting time, especially if it is your first child. Managing the demands of a new-born can feel overwhelming even within the confines, and comparative safety, of the home and it often takes weeks before venturing out with baby in tow feels like a possibility. Take the trauma out of mother and baby outings with these top tips.
Preparation and Planning – Know where you are going to go. Visiting a new place on baby’s first outing is a recipe for stress and anxiety. Instead, choose a place you know well. By picking a place you are familiar with you can answer most of your questions, and alleviate the majority of concerns before you ever leave the house. Get it clear in your mind what the facilities are, whether there is somewhere to change your baby, whether there are stairs or narrow walkways you are going to have to navigate. Plan your visit and contend with any potential hazards or problems before you even walk out of the door.
Dress for the Occasion – Comfort is key. There is no sense in adding concerns about your appearance to the list of anxieties. If you are a nursing mother, invest in some clothes from a company like Mama Latte; comfort, fashion and accessibility for feeding combined. If accessibility for breast feeding is not a concern, then opt for something comfortable but good for your self-esteem. Looking your best may not seem like a priority on the list of ‘first outing’ needs, but do not under estimate the effect it will have on your mood.
Packing the ‘Baby Bag’ – Tempting as it might be to avoid the inconvenience of a buggy and put your baby in a sling or papoose, for a first outing your pram is your best friend. Forget advice about list making and paring down your ‘baby bag’ – contend with anxiety and all eventualities by packing everything you can imagine you might need. Use your buggy as a command centre and rest safe in the knowledge that you are prepared for any problem that might arise, however unlikely. If you think you might forget things, use a guide.
Support and Company – There isn’t any reason you have to do this alone. If you need or want support the first few times you take baby out into the world, there is no shame in it. Get support from friends and family; two hands are better than one and someone to talk you down when you get flustered is no bad thing. If there isn’t anyone you can take with you, check out local “mother and baby” groups where people are in the same boat as you are and ‘buddy up’.
Above all, breathe, relax and enjoy!