The first time I took Rebekah out of the house was a big deal. At least for me. In addition to trying to figure out a carseat for the first time (I am challenged in this area), I had to decided how to dress her. Fortunately, we learned a lot about our daughter on night one. Most babies have a hard time regulating their temperature to stay warm enough. However, Rebekah overheated quickly in her footie pjs and small cap. She takes after her daddy and is often warm.
Nonetheless, I remember how stressful those early outings were. I still vividly remember trying to calm our week-a-half old baby when we stopped at the store for the first time. And then flying with her when she was 14 days old! I learned how to nurse while walking and holding her pretty quickly. (FYI nursing your baby to sleep before/during take off helps a lot, especially as her little ears adjust to the pressure.)
So what do you need to consider when taking your baby out for the first time? Here are some basics to keep in mind for baby’s first outing:
Dressing Baby Appropriately
The first thing you should do is ensure your baby is dressed appropriately. Doctors often recommend layers for newborns because you can add layers to go outside and then take those layers off when you get inside so your little one doesn’t overheat. Also, always pack at least one extra set of clothes. Newborns are notorious for blowouts, especially when you are out and about!
(Rebekah’s first doctor checkup)
Packing Your Diaper Bag
Before you head out, you need to sort and prep your bag. After all, if you haven’t been out before, you may feel overwhelmed, or unsure of what all you need. You don’t want to go out and then realize you forgot some important items. First of all, make sure you have several diapers and wipes in case of blowouts while you are out. I found having a portable, waterproof changing mat (Amazon Affiliate Link) was really helpful during those first few months. Rebekah loved to sneaky pee as soon as the diaper came off. And of course, at least one extra set of clothes.
During the first couple months I always carried a couple sets of clothes. I remember the first week I thought she was past the stage of needing an extra set of clothes, she proved me wrong. I don’t remember what happened exactly, but she went to Bible class wearing only a jacket and diaper while I ran over to Walmart to buy a onesie . . .
Diaper bags themselves vary a lot in size, style, price, and quality. I have tried out a few different things. Personally, I have come around to liking to use a small backpack. Rebekah doesn’t need as much stuff now, so I just use a small, cute backpack I got on clearance at Walmart as my diaper bag/purse. Though I am hoping to get one like this (affiliate link) for the boys because newborns (especially with two) need more stuff packed along. If you cloth diaper, remember that takes up more space because they are bulkier. You will also want a wet bag to contain the stinky dirty diapers.
If you are using formula, you don’t want to leave the house without your needed supplies. The same goes for a pacifier. Rebekah never took one, but many babies love them. If it were me, I would make sure to have a couple pacifiers that I always keep in the diaper bag.
If you are not comfortable with breastfeeding while you are out, you might want to express milk and then pack bottles to feed your baby. And if you are unsure about which bottles will work for breastfed babies, you can look on sites like innerparents to help you find the best for your newborn. Also, talk to other moms about their experiences with different brands.
If you do breastfeed while out and about it is totally up to you and no one else whether you use a cover or not. I always did to be polite in mixed company. But Rebekah loved to stick her hand out the top and tear it off. I still remember briefly flashing a table of men and women at a progressive dinner when she swiftly flung the cover off. And it was extra embarrassing because several other moms were nursing, and their babies seemed so well-behaved! As I mentioned before, Rebekah is warm blooded and overheats easily, even under a light, breathable cover . . . Personally, if it’s just women, I don’t bother with covering at all.
It’s also important to think about how you are going to get out and about with your baby. If you are going to be walking, you might want to use a baby carrier, so they stay close to you and sleep when you go out. Or you could get the stroller out. If you are traveling by car, make sure your newborn is fitted correctly in the car seat. If possible, practice with the carseat before your baby is born.
Personally, we loved to pop Rebekah’s bucket seat directly into her stroller, especially if she was asleep. We enjoyed our Graco carseat and stroller, similar to this Graco Click and Connect carseat and stroller (affiliate link). We still use the stroller frequently for walks or trips to the library. The stroller reclines to fit different ages.
I used a Moby Wrap occasionally, like around the house or if we were on a hike. I didn’t baby wear a ton, but I was glad to have a wrap I liked. Though I will be honest, Moby Wraps take some practice to get comfortable with! Currently, Amazon has a great price on this cute 100% cotton Almond Blossom Moby Wrap (affiliate link). Almost all the moms I know at church love their Ergobaby Carrier (affiliate link). I was so impressed that I eventually bought a used one for our future child–now children. . .
Don’t let getting out and about stress you out. Many newborn babies are completely chill, making it easy to shop or go out to eat or to church. Other babies struggle more with it disrupting their routine. Try not to stress out. You will learn your child and their needs quickly!
Also, let’s make this a conversation–share your own tips or questions. And tips for twins are welcomed. Just going to the grocery store with a toddler and twins is going to take some creativity on my part!
Also, don’t miss Encouragement for First-Time Moms Part One on breastfeeding!