Leaving the House for the First Time with Your Newborn: What to Bring and What to be Prepared for
By Maureen Dennis
Getting out with your newborn may prove to be one of the most daunting tasks of your life, but don’t worry it gets easier. Here’s a list of what to bring, and why to bring it, for a short outing like lunch with a friend or grocery shopping. For more tips on what to pack in your diaper bag keep checking out Huggies Mommy Answers.
When in doubt, or in a rush, always stick to the basics: diapers and wipes. Carrying everything you could possibly need and your baby will be the end of your sanity.
- Diaper Bag: Get a good quality diaper bag in a washable fabric or a wipe-able fabric like leather. You don’t even want to begin to think of everything that will get on it so trust me, washable or wipe-able is the way to go.
- Diapers: As you master the art of getting out of the house with your child you must get into the habit of always grabbing an extra diaper. It’s only for the next two to three years, or in my case almost 10 years.
- Wipes: A definite must for any outing. They are just the best thing ever. Wipes are extremely handy for everything! They work well on baby’s bottom and can even be used to shine your shoes .... or so I’ve heard. Get the good quality ones like Huggies Natural Care Wipes and keep extra packages in the car.
- Extra Baby Clothes: If you have ever experienced an up the back explosive baby poop you’ll understand why it is absolutely necessary to keep a backup set of clothes for your baby in your diaper bag. Be sure to check the size. I’ve seen many a baby squished into a one-size-too-small sleeper because mom forgot to replace it with a larger one as baby grew.
- T-shirt: This one is for you. From spit up to full on projectile vomit, baby will seem to be out to ruin every outfit you own. Keep a tee in your bag and it will give you a backup emergency option too.
- Soother: If your baby is a fan of soothers, pacifiers, binkies, or whatever you call them, then make sure you have at least three with you at all times. I can’t tell you how many desperate couples I’ve seen arguing over who had the soother last and who is to blame for losing it while their baby is screaming. Save your relationship; have a few on hand for emergencies.
- Food: As a parent it is now officially your new role to be a snack vending machine for your kids for the rest of your life. At least it will feel that way, so start early. Make sure you’ve got bottles and extra formula. If you’re breastfeeding, well, bonus for you, you have one less thing to pack. If you are shy about nursing in public, don’t forget your nursing cover.
- Toys: If your baby is over four months then you can start to bring along toys; however, I find things that are not toys, like spoons, tend to be way more interesting to baby. Toys that clip on to your car seat or stroller make it one less thing to remember. I’m a big fan of those.
- Car seat: If you are driving to your destination, a car seat is a must—sounds obvious, I know! But make sure that your car seat is installed properly. Lots of times, they aren’t and it’s not hard once you know how. Also make sure your baby is strapped in properly and that you don’t leave them in the seat for more than two hours straight.
- Carrier and/or a stroller: Babies like a change of scenery so if they get fussy in the car seat slip them into a carrier or sling and bounce your way through lunch. Plus, if you are breastfeeding, a sling works as a great nursing cover too.
Getting out with your baby can be a long and stressful process the first few times you do it. But, as with most things as a parent, you will get better at it and before you know it your baby will be all grown up and asking you to hand over the car keys. So take a deep breath, grab those diapers and wipes, and head out the door to explore the world with your baby!