This blog post is about taking the first step into the outdoors with a new baby! For many mums I imagine this is something fairly easy but for me, it was something I found very daunting and something I definitely worried about. I suppose lockdown made it harder as I didn’t have the baby groups like I did with Harris and to start with I definitely felt isolated in the house, worrying about going out on my own with the two boys. The more adventurous blogs will follow but for now, the first blog post had to be about just taking that first step outdoors (on your own) with your baby!
Go for a walk they say… It will do you good they say…
Clearly ‘they’ have never had to juggle 2 kids, pack a car full of all the essentials needed for a 30 min walk, sort themselves out, drive to the local woods, take all the kit out of the car pack the kids into the stroller and attempt said walk with both kids remaining happy and smiley!
After having Arran the thought of getting out for a simple walk on my own, with both children, simply made me want to break down into a teary whimpering mess. The amount of thoughts and feelings that went through my head, about how I was going to cope, in those first few weeks of motherhood were just far to overwhelming!
From the first few paragraphs of this post, I suppose you will be expecting me to say it is easier to stay at home and never leave the house again! However for me the reality of staying in the house vs getting out in the fresh air is quite the opposite of the common viewpoint that it is easier to stay home with kids. I find that if we have a whole morning in the house the time drags, Harris gets bored then starts being very mischievous, Arran won’t settle and my head begins pulsating behind my eyes, as if it is about to explode any second!
Will it always feel so difficult to leave the house?
I don’t want to be one of those people that tell you is is really hard leaving the house and getting outdoors with young children. It absolutely is at first, but… Like everything the more you do it and the more you go out and practise the process of getting ready, leaving the house, heading to your favourite spot giving yourself some well deserved time out in nature, the easier and more enjoyable it will become.
It is absolutely worth pushing through the first few trips out where everything feels hard work, clumsy, stressful and well… just a little bit more hassle than it’s worth. Because let me tell you, It is worth it! When you eventually get your ducks in a row and you are on your own with your children, watching their little faces explore their new world and listening to the relaxing tweets from the birds high up in the trees, you will take a deep breath of fresh air and then all the stress and kerfuffle from a few minutes earlier will just melt away and you will feel like a completely different human!
What can I do to make the first steps outside with my baby a little easier?
Before you set out for your first solo walk with your new baby, get yourself prepared! The more preparation you put in before going out, the easier it will be to take those first few steps outside as a new mum (or dad). I also found this even more important with my second baby when I had a toddler and a baby to get sorted to go outside. These pointers will seem very obvious, but for me (in the haze and brain fog that seems to consume you in the first few weeks of becoming a new mum) I definitely forgot the simple things that would have made my life so much easier in those first few days, flying solo as a new mum!
- Pre pack your car the night before– this should make it easier the next day to just put your children in the car and go.
- Practise putting your pushchair up and down– if you practise putting your pushchair up and down in the house it will be much easier when you get to your destination to just get your pushchair out of the car and get it set ready for a walk. (It is amazing how easy it is to forget this if you have been walking from home in the first few weeks!)
- Practise putting your baby into a carrier– If you are carrying your baby in a carrier then make sure you have done a test run at home first.
- Go to a place you know well– If you have your first solo outing at a place you know well you will feel much more relaxed. You could do the same walk with your partner or a friend helping first, then you will be more confident with the process when getting out on your own.
- Prepare for a milk stop- I have found that when mine wanted a milk stop, they wanted a milk stop now! They didn’t care where we were and they were not going to wait for me to get to a comfy spot. (I have had to perch myself on a fallen log, get my boob out in the cold and feed baby on more than one occasion).
- Wear clothing that makes it easy to feed, if you are breast feeding. Remember it may be cold so take a blanket that you can use to keep you and baby warm during a feed.
- Think about how you are going to take/ prepare a bottle if you are bottle feeding. I have seen many different methods of bottle making whilst out and about.
- Don’t go to far- For me the stressful part of getting out with a new baby was the process of packing, unpacking the car, remembering (baby brain is a real thing!) all of the essentials needed for a baby! You don’t need to go for a huge walk to practise this and you will be walking miles with your little ones in tow, before you know it.
- Create a checklist- I always try and run through a little checklist in my mind before I set off to make sure I have remembered all of the essentials (this by no means implies that I remember everything every time I go out… I don’t!).
Go for a walk they say… It will do you good they say…
‘They’ are absolutely 100% right! taking that first step (however daunting it may seem!) to get out in the fresh air will definitely do you good. You will feel so much better after taking in some of what mother nature has to offer… Now put the time aside and get ready to venture into the great outdoors, just you and your new baby! Sharing this time together in a quiet tranquil setting is great for the soul. You will love it and babies just love to be outside (most of the time).
We hope you have a fantastic time, wherever your first solo outdoor stroll takes you!