A friend of mine suggested I write a blog about prepping for outings with the baby. I hope this doesn’t read obnoxious, especially because I am by no means an expert on anything much less motherhood and/or babies. This is just merely what works for me now. It will change and grow right along with Henry. But maybe it well help some anxious new mothers like I was/am/always will be. All you more veteran mothers, please leave any other tips for traveling with baby, especially flying, which I have to do later this year. Across the country. NERVOUS.
When I first had Henry, the thought of even taking him to the grocery store by myself gave me dry heaves. But over time, and with experience, I’m not afraid to take him anywhere anymore. Not even quiet museums. Been there, done that. Plus, I have to leave the house for my own sanity. I’ve decided that in order to combat this postpartum anxiety I’ve been suffering, I have to live life. I have to keep doing things I like to do and just incorporating baby into that. Otherwise, I’ll probably descend into depression and no one wants that. Or maybe someone wants that, but I do not. It’s easy taking Henry places anyway. It’s all a matter of preparation.
Tip number one: Get a huge diaper bag (or in my case, a very oversized purse). I do not believe you can over pack when you have a baby. I’d also suggest keeping a stash of diapers/wipes/change of clothes in your car, just in case. When we went to Santa Fe, I packed everything but his crib. Sound machines, several blankets, medications (just in case), and even a rectal thermometer. Don’t judge me! If he had a fever, I doubt concierge at the hotel would have a rectal therm handy, ok?
A lot of things stay in the diaper bag permanently: baby wipes, boogies wipes, sunscreen, socks, a onesie (I switch them out occasionally), a hand sanitizer (or two – yes, I’m a little compulsive), extra pacifiers, and baby sunglasses. I just replenish the diaper supply and add a bib, burp cloth, toys, extra set of clothes, and food. When my mom is babysitting, I put his entire tub of formula and a bottle in the bag (along with some baby food – peas are pictured below). When we’re going out somewhere, I’ll put together a couple bottles (powder only) and bring a couple bottles of water. I’ve yet to have to feed him in public. We try to feed him before we leave, which gives us a good 3-4 solid hours before he’s hungry again.
Honestly, getting myself ready before we leave the house is more challenging. This morning, I laid him on the floor so I could rinse off very quickly in the shower. I can’t lay him on any sort of elevated surface anymore because he flips onto his tummy and heads for the edge quickly. Because I stopped and decided to fold and put away a mountain of laundry, I also didn’t have time to put on makeup. Oh well. My boss doesn’t care and I don’t have any other co-workers so screw it.
Putting Henry in the car seat takes about 32 seconds and then we’re out the door! Don’t forget his toys or he’ll let you know about it. Loudly.
And look, all babies are different and have varying temperaments. I realize I have a kid who doesn’t fuss too much, which makes it easier. He likes to just take in the sites and is content to just sit back and look around for long periods of time. If he wasn’t this way, who knows. I’d probably stay home a lot more. But either way, it’s good to try it out. See how they act at restaurants (pick a noisy family restaurant for your first trip). You’ll probably be surprised.
I’m going to enjoy it now before he’s a toddler and throwing grade-A tantrums in public. Not too excited about that.