Summer is here, the weather is wonderful, and you may be ready to get out of the house with baby. So what do you bring? What time should you head out? Where are you venturing to? Remember that YOUR mental, physical, and emotional well-being is extremely important. Sun, fresh air, a familiar smile, an iced coffee, (insert your favorite self-care), is just as important now more than ever. Be safe, enjoy your outing, and get your venture on! Let’s dive into how to venture out with your baby, like a boss.
Where are you headed?
The destination is one big factor in planning and preparing for your outing with your baby. Think about the atmosphere, setting and distance of the destination from home. If the destination is outside, is there shade?
What’s the weather forecast? (Windy, cloudy, sunny, etc). Is the venue dark or bright? Cool or warm? Loud or quiet? Knowing whether your baby handles one environment better over the other can help create a pleasant journey.
How far is the travel for this outing? Some babies enjoy the bumpy ride of the car, while others scream at the sight of their car seat. A long journey can be emotionally upsetting if the baby doesn’t enjoy the car; and a long journey just may be what the baby needs to settle.
Think about feedings. If the baby is breastfed, do you need to pack breast pads, a nursing cover, or a nipple shield? If the baby is bottle fed, do you have enough clean bottles packed? Don’t forget those ice/cooler packs for longer days out or hot Vegas days. We want to keep bacteria at bay.
What time is the best time to head out with your baby? Does your baby take naps at specific times of the day, or are the naps dependent on the baby. Think about baby’s fussier times, sleep times, and feeding times. If any of these conjure up anxieties for you, plan your outing right after the trigger. Therefore, if nursing in public is not yet comfortable, nurse with everything packed and ready to walk out the door, then head out.
If the baby’s unpredictable temperament sends blood rushing through your veins, plan to bring a well-rested happy baby on the trek right when they awaken.
Get the idea?! When the plans call for a less flexible schedule, adjust your day to accompany a pleasant outing. Take note that the closer the outing is to a feeding time, a nap/bedtime, or their “witching hour”, the outing may not be a pleasant one.
How long a baby should be away is solely at the discretion of the parents. Knowing that an infant 0-3 months has an awake period of 30-45 mins, remember that the baby will soon be ready for a siesta shortly after arriving at your destination (if they don’t already snooze in the car). For a 4-6 month old, staying awake for an hour to 2 hours at a time is normal before engaging in much needed rest. An infant 6+ months may have awake periods up to 3 hours at a time before calling out for rest in the form of irritability.
Deciding if this exciting day out with a baby will be a quick mommy-and-me class or a catch-up afternoon, will help set you up with great expectations.
You’ve decided on the destination, now let’s pack that diaper bag.
Diapers and wipes
Diapers and wipes are a given. Deciding on how many is the key. I suggest packing one diaper per hour that you are away, with one extra as a backup.
Packing a change of clothes will save you in a pinch of a pee-over, a blow out, or environmental change. An additional onesie and sleeper roll up nicely, and will cover you for any encounter.
Let’s not forget YOU! A snack, a water bottle or juice box, and anything that you need (a book, phone charger, hair tie, menstrual items, medications, etc.)
Pacifiers, toys and feeding necessities for baby are all additional items to toss into the diaper bag for an outing.
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