Remember this advice from parents who have already had the experience of doing a basic race with a newborn and who wanted to pack their bags and go on vacation for two weeks.
From all the well-meaning little advice you received when you were expecting a child (Sleep when the baby sleeps! Choose a fantastic pediatrician! Don't forget about tummy time!). You've probably never heard of a crucial aspect of new parenting :
How to get out of the house with a child?
With all the supplies the babies need, not to mention when you leave based on their schedule, it often seems like you spend more time getting ready to leave than getting out of the house.
Don't freak out if baby bickering sounds like an Olympic sport. There are ways to simplify the process .
We spoke to new parents (and experienced parents) for their top tips for making leaving the house with a child less of a marathon. Here is their best advice:
1. Prepare your vehicle well
Some people spend a lot of time in the car, it's practically a second home. Why not prepare it as a mini-traveler version of your baby house?
Alexandra mother of 4, says: "I keep my baby Ethan, my diaper bag and my stroller in the car."
Laurence, a mother of 3 little angels, agrees. "I always keep a spare set of clothes in the car," she says. "I also always have diapers, wipes, paper towels and an extra set of shoes in the car just in case."
A well-prepared vehicle means less time spent gathering stuff every time you go for a ride
Of course, if you have any gear inside, it's essential to make sure you've locked the car properly and not risk leaving things in your vehicle that can't be replaced.
2. Double the baby stuff
For those days when you can't find your keys, you probably have a spare set of keys. For baby supplies, the same idea applies.
Double up on necessities such as wipes, bottles, a changing pad and diaper cream so you can grab them and go quickly. (Maybe even store them in the car.) It's a perfect way to use up any free store samples or brand promotions you may receive.
Or if necessary, take the plunge and invest in a second diaper bag. Providing an alternative option will save you from desperately running around at the last minute.
3. Reduce the list of baby products
If doubling the number of baby items seems excessive or out of your budget, consider another approach.
Spend some time thinking about what you really need for a given release, and be able to be more minimalistic. Going to the grocery store or going for a walk? The bottle warmer and extra bibs can probably stay at home.
This less trendy version was chosen by several seasoned parents. "I didn't carry a diaper bag at all with my last baby," says Samia. "I just made sure to change it just before leaving. If necessary, I put on the bare minimum.
4. Choose the best way to carry baby
A dizzying array of products , each with their own pros and cons, saturate the baby goods market.
The good news is that these devices will simplify your life on the go, allowing you to free your hands and hold the baby snuggled against your skin.
The bad news? Some take up a lot of space.
Choose the carrier that suits you best, a sling or a shoulder strap , to lighten your load, rather than a carrier the size of a car seat.
"I find it really helpful to use a sling," says Emmanuelle, a mother of seven. "Putting the baby in and out of the sling is really easy, no straps and complicated stuff."
I can also recommend a baby carrier belt . It's easy to put on (like a banana belt) and all you have to do is put your baby on it.
5. Feed baby before leaving
Feeding babies on the go, whether breast or bottle feeding, can not only be exhausting, but can also burden you with equipment such as bottles, milk and nursing blankets.
As much as possible, avoid the burden of these accessories by feeding your baby just before leaving the house. It will make you and the baby more relaxed when you are on the go.
6. Set up an effective routine
As any new parent knows, with a baby, schedules can change from day to day. But a plan will help you decide when is the best time to go out.
"If your baby is old enough, put her on a set sleep schedule ," says Jessica. “That way you know when you can leave the house and how long you have before they lose their minds” (Or before you do.)
Discover in this article how to set up a good rhythm of sleep
7. Everything in its place
This is a fundamental principle that applies to any form of organization, especially that of baby equipment: for each object, designate a location . For example, the stroller often goes in the hall closet and the extra wipes go in a specific drawer.
"I'm methodical about putting things in certain places," says Bree Shirvell, mom-of-one. "I keep the leash for the dog and my keys in the stroller."
In case you don't have enough sleep and you're on autopilot, you'll know where to look to find the necessities.
When going out with your baby, there are so many unknowns. Will it suddenly be difficult? Will he have a seizure and need a change of clothes? Fortunately, you can have this information in advance.
Send a quick message when you go to an unfamiliar place to see if there is a room where you can quietly breastfeed your baby or to find out the details of the exchange station . This will help you determine what you should and shouldn't bring, and allow you to mentally plan for any situation.
9. Plan ahead
Little things tend to disappear when you need them most. Be proactive by attaching the little essentials to your stroller or diaper bag with carabiners, for example.
"I tie everything up," Yelena said. "The cup and the toy are always attached to the car seat, the high chair or the stroller. I became paranoid".
10. Prepare things for the next outing with baby
That might be a hassle, but when you return from an outing, restocking on essentials can save you a lot of headaches the next time you have to go for a ride.
"When I get home, I always repack my diaper bag so I don't end up without diapers, wipes, clothes, etc." After all, even when it comes to diaper bags, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.
11. Be brief
There's a classic baby tip that rings true: try not to do more than one run with your little one at a time.
You and your baby don't have to get on and off the car or public transport multiple times or go too long without sleeping or eating. By keeping your outings short , you can also keep the amount of baby clothes to a minimum.
12. Take your time
When you start, you learn a lot about everything related to newborns. Leaving home is no exception.
Don't blame yourself if you can't get up and go like you used to. Just schedule a little extra time whenever you can.
"Give yourself 20 more minutes to leave than you need," advises Cindy.
13. Set a date to go out
Having a bit of responsibility can motivate you to spend the necessary time out of the house , even with the baby with you. "Set times to meet friends so it's harder to slip away,"
Sabrina recalls, "I was lucky to have a few friends in the neighborhood with babies of the same age. I was never well organized, but I made sure appointments for walks were organized so that I am responsible for the release."
14. Take a break, don't panic,
As a new parent, your emotions are likely to be on edge as you mentally and emotionally adjust to parenthood. Try not to get carried away with preparations for an outing with all the tension already present.
Take a break when the work feels too heavy.
Call a friend or loved one for a little pep talk or try deep breathing for a few minutes. If you arrive with a slightly late baby, most people will understand.
15. Go for it, even if it's not perfect,
Rest assured that in time you will get there. In the meantime, even if you don't feel fully prepared, don't be afraid to hit the road.
“Acknowledge that you probably forgot something,” encourages Natasha's mother. "We take too many things we don't need when we go out. Sometimes you just have to leave!"