You’ve welcomed a new baby into your home, you’re feeling up to getting out of the house together, and you’ve picked a location! Now what?
Taking a day trip with a tiny one can seem daunting, whether you’re traveling on vacation or just going to the grocery store. Babies seem to need so much stuff. With some doula-tested strategies and an eye on streamlining your packing process, you CAN manage to enjoy the big world outside without feeling like a pack horse in the process! Try our tips below for stress-free errands and excursions, no matter where you go.
Tip 1: Start with a great bag.
Before you decide what to bring with you when you go out and about, you need to decide where you’re going to put it all. Enter the trusty diaper bag! Diaper bags have come a long way in recent years, incorporating everything from insulated bottle compartments to holes for earbuds to thread through. Choose a bag that’s both sturdy in construction and fitting for your lifestyle. Are you outdoorsy, or will your bag be doubling as a board room briefcase some days? Do you love bold patterns, or traditional neutrals? Take space into consideration too- will you be packing cloth or disposable diapers? Are you traveling with multiple children? This will make a difference! Make sure whichever bag you choose has multiple interior and exterior pockets and compartments. Items stay more organized (and thus easy to access quickly) when they each have a designated place.
Tip 2: Stick to the Essentials
The best way to simplify your days out with baby is to bring only what you’ll actually need. While this can vary widely from family to family, try not to plan for every possibility under the sun. Leave surplus supplies in your car if you’ll be too far from home to pop back in quickly for unexpected emergencies. Include the basics – diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes, then branch out. Think of what baby will need to eat (will you need a bottle?), what the weather will be like (sun hat?), and if at all possible – multi-purpose! Blankets can also be changing pads and sun shades (we love these classic muslin style). Bibs can also be spit rags. Frozen water bottles can keep milk cold while doubling as a drink for you when they thaw. Leave the heaps of toys & gadgets at home.
Tip 3: Suit up
Don’t just think about what you’ll bring along when you venture out – think about what you and baby will be wearing! Dressing for success doesn’t end at the office. When venturing out with little ones, what you and they wear can make or break how enjoyable our day is.
For parents, dressing in comfortable layers and choosing clothing with pockets can be hugely beneficial! No one ever plans for spit up or diaper leaks, but they happen. Being able to easily cover a small stain temporarily with a cardigan or scarf or making your undershirt your “over-shirt” can save your day from ending abruptly.
Keys and phones are easy to lose when juggling a baby and diaper bag. You set them down, turn around, and suddenly can’t remember where you saw them last. Keep them close in pockets when possible and avoid the hassle the search altogether.
For baby, we all know how cute ruffles and buckles are on small humans!
But when out and about, think minimalism on baby. Headbands get pulled off and lost, buckles can pinch in car seats (no one loves a crying baby on a commute), and outfits without snap-bottoms are both inconvenient and messy should a diaper disaster occur. Dress baby is breathable fabrics with quick access for diaper changes and outfit swaps. You’ll save yourself time and have the bonus of a more comfortable kiddo! We love snap-bottom rompers like this one during summer – they wash and wear great and can easily be paired with a sweater on chilly evenings.
Remember that every outing is a new chance to learn and make memories with your baby, no matter how small the reason! It’s okay to forget things and make mistakes. Like most things, the more you practice, the more confidence you gain. So get out there- the world is waiting!