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7 Tips for Getting Out of the House With a Newborn

Leaving your house with a newborn for the first time can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be with these tips and tricks!

Venturing out into the world beyond your house those first few times with a newborn can be daunting. Between feedings, diaper changes, packing a diaper bag… add in a toddler and that’s enough for most moms to hold off and say “ehhh, maybe tomorrow.”

But we’re here to tell you it is possible, and even enjoyable to get you and your little one out for a change of scenery when you’re both ready. In fact, I myself recently took my 5-week-old newborn out of the house for the first time and am happy to report that not only did everyone survive, we actually had a good time! With some planning and practice, you can make it less stressful and less overwhelming. Remember, you’ve got this!

1. Feed Before You Leave

A newborn needs to feed between every two and three hours, and some like to eat even more frequently! Whether you’re nursing or formula feeding your child, try to give your baby a full belly before leaving the house, as this will keep them happier for longer and you may not have to worry about feeding them in public. Depending on how long you’ll be, consider packing your breast pump, bottles, nursing cover up, etc., but the better fed your baby is, the less likely you’ll need to pull all this out.

2. Keep It Simple

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Keep this as simple of an outing as possible. Take the stroller out for a spin around the block. Bring a picnic blanket to the local park for some outdoor tummy time. Meet a friend for coffee somewhere low key in the event that you need to get up and dash home.

3. Pack That Diaper Bag

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You don’t have to pack the whole nursery, but do pack the essentials. Diapers? Check. Wipes? Check. Extra pair of clothes? You’ll learn quickly what you need and what you don’t.

4. Take Your Time

There’s no reason to put added stress or pressure on yourself by making a reservation you have to adhere to. Babies are notorious for going from being ready to needing a whole new outfit after a sudden blowout in a matter of minutes. I have literally been walking out the door with my son in his car seat when I’ve suddenly heard an audible sound from his bottom and had to change not only his diaper, his outfit, but the carseat as well. It will happen. Give yourself a cushion of time for these things.

5. Do Your Research

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Call ahead of where you’re going to decide how you’re going to best maneuver with your child. Are there ramps? Will you have to lug the car seat up the stairs? Is the place baby friendly? When I had my daughter during Covid, many places that claimed to be open online were actually closed when I called. And don’t forget to check the weather!

6. Go Easy On Yourself

Go easy on yourself, mama. If you forget the diaper bag or struggle getting that stroller back in the car, or if the baby cries the whole way there, give yourself grace. This is only a moment in time and things will get easier!

7. Join Other Mamas

Now is the perfect time to schedule a play date with friends of similar aged children or to join a mommy and me class. Being surrounding by a group of new parents that are in the thick of it just like you are can be cathartic. Check out our piece on local parenting support groups for ideas! And good luck!

Calendar Editor & Writer for Bucks County Parent. Email tips to christine@familyfocus.org.