Preparing for Baby's First Outing? How to get out the door with a newborn (and their siblings)!

Preparing for Baby's First Outing? How to get out the door with a newborn (and their siblings)!

Preparing for Baby's First Outing? How to get out the door with a newborn (and their siblings)!

Getting out the door with a newborn is quite a task.

Juggling the timing, feeds, naps, nappy changes. Then there's packing - you're only going for a coffee - but you'll need at least two changes of clothes before you arrive (because *pooplosion*). Plus nappies, wipes, swaddles, change-mat, dummies, toys, pram.... and the list goes on. On arrival you maybe opt for quick feed followed by another outfit change because babies are babies right?!

I mean it's perfectly realistic that we don't always make it out the door, it's what inspired me to create GO by Wild Indiana (one less thing to worry about).

For this week's blog we are chatting to Rachel White, mum of 4, midwife and creator of 'Out of the Nest'.

For Rachel the Nest is a place where we gestate, nurture, and also launch our young. In recognising the obstacles that can often stop us enjoying the newborn season, Rachel, set out to create a space for connection to empower and equip Mums to be their best. To help them locate the many resources available around the Blue Mountains- so that us Mums can get out the door and enjoy all the good things on offer in our local communities.

Rachel, did you feel the pressure of going out with your little ones? Is it normal to feel overwhelmed?

Going out really is a big deal.  It's very normal to feel overwhelmed. I remember the early days, leaving my home with my first baby. Making sure it was between feeds and naps. Making sure the baby bag is packed for every type of scenario. Trying to work out the pram or the carrier. There is such a mental load to leaving the house that you are often so exhausted before you even leave.
I was quite conscious in my decision to not commit to anything in the early weeks just in case I didn’t feel up to it. I think every Mother should feel complete permission to rest, recover and be looked after by those around them. Only venturing out should it serve them to do so. 
Personally, I feel like I had the benefit of insight, being a midwife, to what the reality of newborn life can look like in those first few weeks. I am also a pretty social person, I had a positive birth and smooth transition to Motherhood so I was pretty keen to get out and about. Although I do not think that this is the norm.

 

What advice would you give to a first time mum struggling to go out?

Take baby steps into safe spaces to set you up for success.

Being a first time mum, you are learning so many new things, do not put pressure on yourself to make going out another one of those things to master. If you are happy at home then truely it is the best place for you in the early days. Every person will feel ready at different times.

I would suggest though, community is so valuable when you are a first time mum, so it is worth trying. Make sure you pick ‘safe’ scenarios in ‘safe’ environments where you will be supported- in both your efforts to get out, but also your decision not to, because things can always pop up and derail plans and you want people that have grace for that last minute cancellation- it is #mumlife.

Getting out of the house takes practice, just like anything, the more you try the better you will be at it.

 

When going out is there anything you do to set your day up for success?

If I am going out for the day and have choice about where, I do make sure I choose a family-friendly destination:
  • a playground that meets the needs of my kids.
  • a cafe that has space for pram, highchairs, toilets, change tables, kids menus for older kids.
  • a playgroup that is close to home and easy to leave should I need to.

If I don’t have choice over the destination, I try to pack well. Snacks and activities to buy us as much time as we can. I do try to keep the car pretty stocked as well with all the extras.

I also have a ‘food bag’ that comes in and out of the house when we go out with drink bottles and a snack option (often rice cracker) and of course my GO by Wild Indiana bag which has been an incredibly useful addition!

I think it is worth saying too, that as I have matured as a Mother I have grown in confidence to say 'No' to being places that are too hard to set up for success. I still struggle, but I am always getting better at it.

 

Feeding babies and small children when out is not always easy. As a Mama of four do you have any advice on how we can feed well and not have it be a stressful experience?

I have been fortunate enough to have been able to breastfeed my babies which meant I was able to avoid managing bottles and formula when we went out. However, breastfeeding in public can also take time to master.
My advice would be, don’t pressure yourself to breastfeed when out any earlier than you feel comfortable to and resource yourself with good breastfeeding clothes to make it less fiddly. Ease your way in, feed at a park, before feeding at Mothers group or a cafe, feed in front of a friend before you venture to a big family scenario.

As your breastfed baby gets older, they will be much fussier at the breast in public. Detaching to look around, distracted by all that is around them, meanwhile you are spraying milk everywhere. Planning a successful outing could include identifying a quiet space you can retreat to, were you can relax and both focus on the feed.

When introducing solids, we adopted the baby led weaning approach, which invites you to offer your baby food off your own plate from 6 months of age. This has been successful for all my children, and it means that we don’t have to carry extra food with us, we just feed them whatever we have- and my Go bag always contains a washer or wipes - because starting solids is messy indeed!

 

How has ‘going out’ changed for you over the years?

Going out has become both easier and harder over the years. I have definitely become more confident with going out as I have had more children, and as they have grown.

I think this confidence has come from being better prepared and also more able to manage when things do not go to plan. It has become harder also though in the way that I have more people to accomodate for and regulate when we are out.

I am what you would call an extroverted person, so being around people gives me energy. This has always been a motivator to get me out of the house, I benefit from being out and about and I think that helps me push through the obstacles.

Thanks so much for your time Rachel, we greatly appreciate you sharing your experience with us - from one Mama to another. 

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