Getting out of the house with your new baby for the first time can be difficult. It can be hard to convince yourself to get up and out of the house and a little overwhelming. But getting out doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Getting out can be as simple as taking your baby for a short walk in the stroller or carrier. A change of scenery and some fresh air can be a great emotional boost. Getting out with or without your baby can also help prevent postpartum depression.
If you feel up to it a short walk each day can be great to help your recovery, as long as you don’t overdo it. You can start walking that first week home if you want. The fresh air can help prevent fussiness in your baby and the sunlight gives your baby natural Vitamin D which can help you avoid jaundice by decreasing your baby’s bilirubin levels.
Getting out for grocery shopping or a longer trip can be a bit overwhelming, especially if your first trip out with the baby is without your partner. For grocery shopping, wearing your baby in a carrier will be easiest and allow for you to fit groceries in your cart. Bringing your baby in the stroller is fine if you only need a few items. If you bring your baby into the store in the car seat, before setting it on the shopping cart seat area, make sure your car seat is meant to clip into the cart – most are not designed for this and must be placed in the cart basket, taking up the entire cart. Watch the video below with a tip for getting your older children into the shopping cart those first six weeks without having to lift them. During the first few months make sure you bring at least a spare diaper and wipes with you when you go out, if not the whole diaper bag with spare outfit! Inevitably your baby will poop when you are out.
When going out some great things to have in the diaper bag or at least in the car include: at least 3 spare diapers, diaper wipes, face wipes, paper towels, small trash bags or grocery bags (for poopy diapers or clothes), a change of clothes for your baby, a change of shirt (and possibly pants) for you, and snacks and water for you if you are nursing. These really are the essentials, everything else is preference based on you and your baby’s needs. You may have the change of clothes in the car and never use them. However, the day you take them out of the car will be the day your baby gets spit up or poop on your clothes or you just spill coffee on your shirt. Either way they are great to have, just in case!
Before your baby is born, think about practicing taking the car seat in and out (if a removable style), and folding and unfolding your stroller and taking it in and out of your car. Practice putting you wrap or carrier on with a stuffed animal or baby doll. Practicing now can be a huge help once the baby arrives. If you have older children, see if they can get in and out of the car and their car seat by themselves, if not try to work on that now. Having them get themselves in and out of the seat so you only have to worry about the buckles and not lifting them is a lifesaver if you go out on your own those first six weeks (when you aren’t supposed to lift anything heavier than your baby).
Getting out of the house really doesn’t take much, besides convincing yourself to get out of the house.
What essential items did you take with you every time you went out?
Next week I will be blogging on the letter H… H is for Hemorrhoids.