I did it! I made it out of the house with both children this week. My goodness it took a lot of planning, and of course there’s anxiety about it going wrong. But it is always less stressful than you make it out to be in your head and we did it! In fact, we had a lovely time and everyone survived. However, I was reminded of my first time leaving the house when Alfie was a baby and I didn’t have a toddler to add to the mix and it felt just as nerve wracking then as it did this time. So I thought I’d share my top tips to help you when it’s your turn.
Top tip number one is to always leave extra time. Until you become a parent you can’t quite imagine why it can take so long to get a baby ready to leave the house but trust me it just does. There are surprise nappy changes, outfit changes, projectile vomits and poos, or last minute feeds that always seem to take place just as you are ready to go. It can feel really stressful if you’re running late, but if you have left yourself plenty of time then it makes the experience much easier to handle.
Always plan for more than you think you need as you never know how long you will end up staying out, or if suddenly your baby decides it no longer wants to be in the buggy or needs emergency changing or feeding on route. It is far better to take extra clothes, extra nappies, extra milk than to be caught short without, that’s why a big changing bag or basket under the buggy is essential.
As your baby gets older, keep a few favourite toys or things to keep the baby occupied if you have to keep them happy in a queue at the post office, or the supermarket but remember no one minds a crying baby more than their parent. I always panic when my child is having a meltdown because I don’t want to bother anyone else, but in reality no one else hears it as loudly as you do.
And if you are just planning all the bits that you might need for going out ahead of your baby’s arrival, here are a few of my personal recommendations.
There are so many brands of car seat and often it might come with a buggy bundle that you buy but here are two that we have tried and really liked so far.
Joie iSpin 360
Goes from birth up to 19kg so lasts a while and the swivel base means it’s so much easier to secure your baby and change from rear to front facing.
Cybex Cloud Z
This one came with our buggy and we found it really easy to use and the fact it rotated was such a life saver, especially if we were trying to get him in it when he was asleep.
As much as Alfie liked the buggy, I found that baby wearing was often really useful as it freed up my hands and he would often settle much more easily snuggled up against me so I used mine a lot first time around and Barney is already very happy in a carrier too.
Baby Bjorn One Carrier
I found it very easy to use and put it on without any help which I think is vital.
I have never used one but so many Mums rave about this brand as well and say it’s also easy to wear and put on.
Many Mums prefer to wear a material wrap for both comfort and cost reasons and this is one from Free Rider that I tried and can see exactly why many love to use it.
Buggies and Prams
When it comes to a buggy there are a million different varieties and contraptions that you might look for so I can’t list all the good newborn buggies as it really depends on what you need yours to have. If you live in the city you might want quite a compact one that can go on public transport easily, but if you live in the countryside where you’ll likely be on muddy walks you’ll need one with bigger wheels and perhaps some suspension so I would make a list of the non-non-negotiables and head to a big store where you can test drive some and talk to a sales assistant about the options you have. It’s a huge subject area and probably the biggest purchase you will make in your list of newborn essentials, so I have written a blog specifically around how to choose a double buggy for you. And if you want brilliant impartial advice on the best single buggy for you and your baby, I highly recommend getting in touch with Pram World.
Often your buggy will come with a changing bag, and actually we used ours for the entire first year no problem but there are lots of other options that may be more helpful to you.
Changing Bag Backpack
This is the one we got and when I say it is like a Mary Poppins bag I am not joking. It can fit so much in it, there are loads of clever pockets and zips to help you find things and the fact that it is a backpack is really helpful too.
Luxury Changing Backpack
For something a little more expensive but a little less “baby looking” you should have a look at Tiba & Marl. Their bags are so stylish and I personally love this one.
Rockit – Baby Rocker
Babies generally love to sleep whilst out and about in the buggy, but often they wake up when it stops moving which can be really frustrating. We discovered the Rockit and it was such a life saver as it keeps the buggy jiggling even when it’s not moving which tricks the baby into thinking they’re on the move still and it allowed me to stop for a coffee or even have a bit of extra time to myself once we returned from a walk and the buggy was in the house.
Another thing that helps those buggy sleeps is the Snoozeshade. It makes it nice and dark in there but also blocks out wind or sun which both seem to disturb their sleep and make it a bit trickier to stay asleep.
If you use CHARLIEBARKER you can get 10% off your snoozeshade.