Leave the House With a Baby in Two Simple Steps
Step One: Release all the fear that you won’t have everything you need.
Step Two: Pick up the baby and walk out of the house.
I’ve been chatting with friends lately about how hard it sometimes is to get out of the house with a kidlet. I talked last week about how sometimes friends and I sit at opposite ends of the beach from each other, at home alone, unable to face the daunting task of leaving the house.
For me, it was, and still is, incredibly important that I get out of the house every* day. I’m a massive extrovert, which means I get energy from being around people. So if I spend two whole days at home on my own I start to think I don’t have any friends.
And those days when I reeeeeeally don’t have the energy to get out and meet up with friends, those are the days that I need it the most. I ALWAYS come back from catching up with friends feeling energised and glad that I did it.
My need to get out and about has meant that I’ve devised some ways to make getting out of the house easier. So I’ve got a few more than two tips to help you get your butt out the door.
1. I keep a bag of spare nappies in the car.
That way, the level of disaster can only get so bad. I’ve brought the little dude hom in only a nappy, but never had to wrap my own jumper around him to protect the car seat.
2. I carry more food than I think I could possibly need.
The little dude sometimes eats a LOT. And sometimes I am unexpectedly out for longer than I anticipated**
3. I got ok with feeding him squeezy packets of food.
I had these grand ideas that he’d eat only homemade, organic, pureed-by-hand vegetables, free range meats and coconut products (paleo baby). Then I discovered that I could spend hours cooking, pureeing and portioning out to freeze, only to find that he wouldn’t eat it^.
Plus, if you’re taking homemade food out and about, you have to keep it in an esky, just to add one more thing to my bag of tricks! So I take squeezy packets with me when I’m heading out, feed him the homemade stuff when I can take it out of the fridge at home, and try to buy packets with ingredients that I’m happy for him to have (no added sugar for THIS little guy).
4. I bought a stash of dummies, and spares live in the nappy bag and the car.
Seriously, he’s addicted. If I am out without one and he needs to sleep, the sleep won’t happen. So I make sure there’s no stressful hunt for a dummy before I can leave the house when I’m running late. Which I invariably am now that I have a child^^.
5. Make plans with friends.
To be honest, I’m not sure if I could make myself get to babies love books very often if I wasn’t meeting up with a friend. I’ve only made it once and I WAS meeting a friend!
But mothers group, seeing friends for walks and meals, catching up with my mum, baby swapping so I can horse ride… committing to meeting someone means I get out the door even when I might not be bothered on my own.
6. Make a (mental) checklist of everything I’ll need before I go.
Ideally it would be a real checklist so I wouldn’t stress that I was forgetting something, but I haven’t ever actually gotten around to doing that.
Instead, I mentally think of what I need: dummy, bottle(s), formula, boobs, spoon, food, nappies and wipes, bib, hat, sometimes a spare outfit and pile it all up before I pop it in the bag.
7. Give myself a break if I forget something.
I don’t usually carry a spare outfit around with me, opting instead to put a bib on him most of the time. If I’m out and I forget something, well I’m out, and it’s already done, so I just make a note and decide about next time.
As it gets colder I might put a spare outfit in the car just in case he gets cold, but otherwise he’ll survive with food mess on his clothes for an afternoon.
8. Say some big fat no’s.
I love getting out and meeting up with people, but we all know that some activities are a total bore, or you have friends or family who just drain you when you visit. Having a baby has been the biggest leveller, and I no longer agree to just-ok activities. I save up my energy for getting out of the house for things and people I know I love.
So there you go! Eight tips, a nice round number.
Tell me, what do you do to help yourself get out of the house?
**point and case, on Monday I met up with a friend at 10am for a walk in Centennial Park. Then I had afternoon plans to meet another friend, but the timing meant I went straight from one to the other. Then after catch up two was finished, I bumped into a friend which turned into impromptu catch up three! So I was out from 930am-5pm, when I’d only expected to be out until 1230.
^to be fair, I had a bit of an unlucky run. I made some pureed broccoli and cauliflower, and he seemed to have some kind of reaction to one of the ingredients, as I tried it twice and both times he vomited up all his dinner. Then I was steaming some carrots for blending, left it thinking the big dude was watching it (also to be fair, I’m not sure I actually told him that I thought he was watching it) and it boiled dry so tasted horrible and burnt. But that’s still a lot of wasted time, effort and ingredients!
^^some may say I was late a lot before the child appeared. They may or may not be telling the truth.
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