Leaving the House with Baby On Your Own
Last week, I finally felt up to leaving the house with Sasha alone, for an extended period. We’d gone on walks before, and on quick trips to pick something up (aka the Starbucks drive-thru). Leaving the house for an extended time felt like SUCH a hard task. I had to do it though. I did it once, then twice, and quickly developed my own system of how I could do go about leaving the house in an easier manner.
It was overwhelming at first, but I am of the go big or go home mentality. I knew I’d have to do it eventually so I picked a day and just went for it. Over the first few weeks of us getting out more Sasha and I went to a work picnic, Starbucks, the beach, the zoo, and several restaurants. She is an absolute trooper and was great everywhere. The only hard part for me is when she cries in the car and I can’t help her!
Step 1: Make a List for Baby
I love to make a packing list in my notes app on my phone. It makes it easy to mark off things as I grab them, and then unmark them later when we’re back home. I don’t need to retype the list each time we leave the house!
The baby’s list is usually everything you have in your diaper bag. Diapers, wipes, burp cloth, extra clothes, changing pad, pacifier always come with us. I also like to throw in a toy for Sasha and an extra shirt for me. Depending on where we go, we may need some extra gear. For example, Sasha requires a bunch of other gear if we are going swimming. I also make sure to count how long Sasha and I will be out. This helps me prepare enough milk and bottles for her.
Include any gear you might need too! Stroller, car seat, any stroller attachments…
Below is my list of baby essentials when leaving the house:
Step 2: Make a List for You
Since I am an exclusive pumper, the list of things I need for me is quite long. I always include a gallon size ziplock bag for dirty pump parts. I include every item I need for my pump in my list. Also, I make sure to include a cover if I know I will be pumping somewhere public. If I know I will be using my Elvie and not Medela, I include a loose-fitting t-shirt.
To limit bags, I include everything I need for me in a small pouch and put it in my pumping or diaper bag. This includes a hair tie, lip balm, sunglasses, and snacks! If you’re brave enough to venture out while still in the early postpartum days, your list may be a little longer. I’d include pads, nipple pads, and my peri bottle if I was to go out in those early days.
Remember to put anything specific you need on your list too! One of the first times Sasha and I left for the day, it was to make returns. I almost forgot EVERYTHING I was planning to return! Whoops!
Step 3: Make a Game Plan
Having a plan is key to a successful, easy trip out with your baby. The first is figuring out where you are going, and if you need to make more than one stop, figure out which order to go in. I had to think about the best way to get through all my returns so that I could end up at the best place to feed Sasha on our schedule.
The next step is even more important. Figure out the order you want to get things out of the car. For me, this was the stroller first, then the car seat, and lastly diaper bag. I quickly realized I could skip a step by putting the diaper bag on my back first, or putting it in the trunk while I took out the stroller. As a side note, I am so fortunate to have a remote start car. I was able to start my car as we were approaching so that it could start to cool down. Sasha and I went on our mall adventure on a 90-degree day, so keeping her cool was most important!
Step 4: Take it Easy
Most importantly, remember that babies are unpredictable! Even if I have the perfect plan, something can easily go wrong! I have embraced going with the flow and taking things in stride. Sasha’s needs come first, so if I don’t get everything done that I want to, that’s ok! If things don’t go your way, take a moment and breathe.