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Help me go somewhere with my baby. ANYWHERE.(56 Posts)
Typing on an apple device so apologies in advance for the inevitable inappropriate autocorrects...
I have a 7 week old DD. I had an EMCS so I've spent a fair amount of time on the sofa. Roughly 7 weeks, give or take... I am about to spontaneously combust from boredom but I'm being a great big tit about leaving the house with my baby, thus:
- I can't take her in the car. I daren't. I'm getting 4.5 hours of sleep every night and I can't seem to nap during the day. Sometimes I'm so tired I nearly fall off the toilet, I despair of ever trusting myself to drive in the car. Is there any way around this - what do other sleep deprived parents do? The issue is made more tricky by the fact that I was a fairly new driver pre DD and I really don't like driving, I'm always scared I'm going to crash.
- I don't understand how I can have DD with me on public transport. Don't they make you fold up your buggy? So how do you possibly do that with one hand and not drop your baby? Is it easier than my over active imagination is making it out to be? I am so scared I'll drop her. And what about at train stations, most of them round me have lifts, in a way that means they can advertise they have lifts, but you practically need to write in advance to ensure there will be someone around on the day to unlock the thing so you can use it. Do you call the station beforehand and see if they have operational lifts or do they expect you to carry the buggy with one hand and the baby with the other up various flights of stairs?
- Where is good to go with a baby that needs to be fed every 2.5 hours?
Any advice greatly received.
Does the village have a village hall / church hall?
If so, take the pram up there and read the noticeboard. There will almost certainly be adverts up for when a parent and child group of some kind meets.
Next expedition should be to said group. Someone else will hold the baby, and maybe give you a cup of coffee. You can feed whenever you need to. And you will meet people who are at a similar stage to you.
They don't have to be your 'always friends' - but going to a group will get you out of the house and allow you to meet other people.
(DD was born 2 weeks after we moved into a vllage, and I already had DS, just 2. I was a devoted mum-and-tot group attender for the next couple of years - the music one, the one in the next village, the one iun my village. DD didn't sleep at night, DS didn't sleep in the day, and I was hallucinating with sleep deprivation, but all I needed to do was to get the pair of them into the village hall and I knew that someone would help.
And honestly, it's OK. I was in a sort of opposite situation - exactly the same medically but I had such critical reasons for leaving the house (moving country, DH had gone to that country ahead of us) that I never got to think about it at all, i just had to do it. And through doing it, I found out it was OK. But with no reason to go out, I can ust see how it can become a huge hurdle. Start small. be kind to yourself.
Sleep deprivation is torture and can make quite easy tasks seem unachievable. If someone (DH?) isn't pulling their weight, then do make sure you ask for help, some people can be completely oblivious to how awful it is. If baby is struggling with sleep then perhaps posting on the sleep section for tips might help.
Apart from that, I find getting out and about far easier with a sling, especially if public transport is involved. The only issue is having to carry the changing bag rather than chuck it in the pram.
Agree with noble that sleep deprivation is the absolute pits.
The PND questionnaire came back with a very high score for me, simply because I was sleep deprived.
You buy an all terrain buggy and explore the countryside.
You get over not driving and take yourself to your nearest town and you bounce the buggy in and out of lifts and up and down escalators.
D non driving F assures me buses are fine, I wouldn't know, we only have one on Thursdays (and that involves a 1/2 mile walk along a very dangerous very narrow lane) to get to the stop.
You'll find you can do most things with a baby. It just needs confidence.
Bless you. You remind me of me in my early days! I dreaded going out with my baby and when I did go out other mums made it look so easy! I didnt feel like my head was in the real world at all from sleep deprivation. The early months were like I was in a fog. There are loads of helpful suggestions already. Just offering some support. Like you say, stop worrying and just do it. The more often you get out the easier it will be xxxx
Walk to the park, get a coffee in the cafe, just the walk will so you good. But lots of parks do have buggy for classes so worth a look?
Phone up your local sure start and ask if they have any sessions heard towards babies-baby massage classes or sensory classes or something.
A baby swimming session? I took my first from 6 weeks.
Most cinemas now do a baby screening. Films for the grown ups but where it doesn't matter if baby cries.
I never folded a pram with a baby on public transport. Some they will ask you before you get on (if they are full) but just take the next one. I've never had to ask for a lift to be unlocked, I'm presuming you live somewhere very rural? If it is locked though then yes, just ask.
Do you have a DP? If so, I think you need to work something out so you get a bit more sleep at least some nights. I couldn't function on that amount of sleep for more than a few days.
I would definitely get a sling if you can. As you are in a village, it will open up lots more places you can go for a walk with DD eg more bumpy & less pram-accessible paths; on buses that don't have space for a pram etc.
Get some confidence up with your driving by having a few drives with DD & with another adult too. I grew up in a village, i know how important to every day life driving is. Not driving is a serious impediment, don't let your current worries stop you, it will be a problem in the future if you don't keep up the driving now.
The Children's Centre and baby group ideas are excellent. They are a 'safe place' to practice feeding out of the house to get you started, they are an excuse to get out & a place to get a bit of adult conversation.
Best of luck, we've all been there.
I haven't had a car since I was six months pregnant. I am now very proud of the fact that I can do a whole weekly shop and get it all home on the pram, traveling on the train all by myself! A few tips that helped me and I hope helps you. 1. The first few times you go out, take someone with you, just for your own confidence really. 2. Learn where you can feed comfortably and where toilets and baby changes are. 3. If you can, take some expressed bottles just in case you can't get to a feeding place quick enough! 4. If you want to pop out for an hour, add another two on! Baby will attract all sorts of well wishers and will want a feed or to be changed. 5. Ask for and accept help. People are more than happy to assist when they see a pram. In fact when the lovely ladies in my supermarket cafe see me coming, I don't even queue up anymore. They bring me a cuppa and a cake whilst I start feeding baby, and if the tea goes cold (which it will because a sleeping baby always wakes up for a feed just as your tea or food arrives, lol) the bring me hot water or top ups. 6. Most of all enjoy being out and about, and if you are anything like me you will get home and feel so proud to have shown off your little one to the world that you won't be able to wait to go out again!
I've never folded my pram/buggy on the bus. I've only had to get off for a wheelchair once. A couple of times I've had to wait for the next bus due to the spaces being full. It's honestly fine once you've done it a couple of times. With regars to driving I agree you get used to less sleep and in a few weeks you may be ready for some short trips. If you drive regularly you will build up your confidence.
I liked going to the park, wandering round shops, eating cake in cafes, breastfeeding group, music and baby massage classes. And baby cinema was fab, I saw loads of films for cheap on mat leave.
Enjoy your time, I'm back at work now and I miss having time on my hands!
The being scared of dropping them is normal - it must be some kind of evolutionary adaptation to protect the baby in the immediate aftermath of childbirth, but it does go away gradually. I was horrified that I kept having intrusive visions of dropping newborn DD and thought it was PTSD (I had a horrid birth) but every mother I spoke to said it was normal. I couldn't even carry her up and down the stairs without DH for about 2 months! It just gradually got better as I got used to handling her and she got more head control and muscle strength.
Can you nap while your baby naps to get more sleep? At this age I went on lots of walks with dd in sling or pram. Found it easier to come home and take a nap after lots of exercise. Congratulations btw !
Buses - and yes I get your terror on this one - I have two non-walkers so there's no way I could fold if needed.
I used to go for the quieter of our local bus routes - hardly anyone got the buses so I could pretty much always get a pushchair spot, but because no one got on them - they went bust! Now I factor in enough extra time that if the spaces are full I can wait for the next one - with a plan B if this is required (which generally involves where I can go to grab a coffee while I wait), I take stuff for one more feed than I require (bottle fed so need all that malarky) and an emergency supply of snacks for the elder child (I don't normally give her lots of snacks but I have a couple of Ellas kitchen flapjacky things just in case in the bag). I tend to avoid travelling at rush hour when the buses are full, and if I need to get into town for a rush hour I'll get dropped off at the park and ride by DH on his way into work and get the tram in (I can get on at the start of the route then so will always fit and get through before the real rush hour madness starts).
If you're polite and smile and explain you're just getting used to being out and about with the new baby people are usually really really helpful.
I have the changing bag ready to go all the time with the rule that if you use nappies out of it you bloody well replace them the second you get home so I don't have the "shit what do I need to take with me" factor to deal with, if I'm going somewhere I'll need extra bits - like red books if I'm going to get them weighed, or cardies in case the weather turns - I pack those onto the pushchair while the kids are napping... and I tend to mentally factor in wanting to leave about 30 minutes before I actually NEED to leave - allows for the last minute "poo face on as you step out of the door" situations (but like I say - I have two under 18 months so getting organised takes longer anyway and I hate being late for stuff).
When I had DD1 I used to chuck a really cheap meitai carrier in the pushchair basket in case I ever needed to fold the buggy to put her in - but I realised I'd never used it so took it out - it might be a nice security blanket for you to do similar though?
The other one I did was a dry run with the public transport thing - dragged DH out with me before he went back to work and we checked everything out to calm me down (I have an anxiety disorder so if there's stuff to find to worry about - I can find it!) - went into town and back with the buggy but with me doing it all myself pretty much and him just being there as backup (and to pay for lunch!)... once I realised that - it was easier by far. I just needed that little bit of confidence with it all.
People are generally really really nice - very chatty and interested in little kids (my 15 month old big girl has a huge fanclub of little old ladies she's attracted over the months through grinning at them constantly) - and really really helpful. I remember one incident when DD1 was still very tiny (and she was a preemie so we're talking really tiny) and hadn't been out of hospital more than a week and she started wheezing... rang the doctors and they said they'd see her within 10 minutes if I could get there - no time to even chuck the pram in the car - it was grab bag, grab child, grab car keys and go. Getting out of the doctors I was trying to get my keys out of my bag and struggling to hold the baby and do this - some old lady offered to hold DD1 for a second while I did this, and when she passed her back to me she said "thank you so much - you've just made my morning"... things like that go on a lot.
I just remembered something else: whilst you have a non-mobile baby don't feel its only baby groups you can go to. I was pretty much dragged off the street into the village church ladies' coffee morning where I got tea for 20p and lots of old ladies cooed over DS. I also went along to the local knitting group and had a knit and a chat whilst DS was admired/stared at people.
Oh sweetheart - I take it this is baby #1 ?
It does seem insurmountable at first but honestly it's easy ..
What pram/ buggy do you have ? Have you got one which holds a car seat ? If so get yourself a taxi the first time, go to the nearest cafe and then if you feel brave take bus home .. If you get nervous can you perhaps just take a cab for a week or two - I used to keep cab fare on me so if dd began to fuss I knew I could beat a fast retreat .. It will probably only take two or three trips before you realise that you can do this
Or a sling .. If you can - but after my CS I found a sling tough at first .. You have had surgery and are caring for a small new person - be kind to yourself
Sleep when baby does - and get some overnight backup - partner ?
Everyone is nicer when they see a new baby - it will amaze you how many smiles you get - honest
You can do this - not too much thinking - more doing !
meet friends for lunch. Walk about. I was dreadful after ds1 for various reasons. Kept having panic attacks and anxiety went to a&E asking to see the psych but diagnosed baby blues not even pnd(3rd baby). Found a nap and a walk round the park sorted me out. Sometimes i went to bed at 7pm so ready for the 10pm feed as the other kids stopped me sleeping in day.
I have had three csections. I don't like driving much and two minor crashes in one week after ds2 meant I banned myself from driivng for about 6 months as I was a danger. If it's a really quiet village it will be tough finding something but go to any group running. If there's a library I used to take ds in the buggy to use the internet as we had no computer at home.
The biggest thing is just getting out the front door.
I promise you, I've been through this. Forget about packing a changing bag or how you're going to feed your baby while out for now.
Just get out the door, have a walk to the end of your road. Turn round and come back.
Tomorrow, go a little further. Local shop maybe? Buy some fruit and milk. Return home.
Walk to the bus stop. Wait til a bus comes. you don't need to get on it. Watch how people get on and off, you might see someone with a pram, you can observe them, do they struggle? ( I have a baby and a toddler in a big double and I can 'now' get on and off buses after getting my head round it).
Take Baby steps.
Does your village have a café, or even a pub with a beer garden? If so, get everything ready, then feed her and wind her. Pop her in the pushchair and have a little wander about until she falls fast asleep. If you are feeling a little more confident now you have done this, go to said café or pub and order a coffee. Enjoy it. And if she wakes up and you can't settle her, or you feel uncomfortable at all, you're not far from home. When you get home pat yourself on the back. Once you've had a successful outing the next one won't feel quite so scary.
You can do it cheering wildly from sidelines
Hope you've been out this morning OP-I'm another voice saying that people are generally kind and helpful when you're out with little ones.
Memorable mentions go to the person who helped me on one of my first trips out solo with ds when I just couldn't quite figure out the shop door/buggy combo and got stuck everyone that coo'd and let me sit when I took dd out at 5 days solo, popping to the post office took me 5 hours once I'd done multiple feeds etc! And special special mention to the amazing woman who realised I was totally frozen on my way home from work show and tell with ds aged about 4/5 weeks. All the trains were delayed so my beat rush hour planning home from central London fell apart. The platform got busier, ds got grizzlier, the pram appeared to be growing in front of me. Ds then went into a rage and I had to lift him out, cue arrival of train. The woman stood next to me said "you've got the baby, I've got the pram GO GO GO", rammed the pram on brooking no nonsense, made space for me then offered to demand me a seat. She was amazing and of course it was all fine.
And I was delighted, while pregnant with dd to be able to do the same for a woman and her newborn on the tube.
Pay it forward works a lot when you've kids. And don't forget your ability to improvise hasn't got worse, it'll get better
Go forth and conquer OP. And tell us of your adventures.
Have you had many friends visit? Maybe invite a few over to meet baby and suggest you go out for coffee or lunch together to a) get out b) get socialised and c) increase confidence?
Talk to DH about help, try not to leave it too late to do this, we have 2 under 2 and I bitterly regret
and resent not having made him pull his weight early with pfb!
Great advice on here generally but start small and don't expect too much of yourself, you've been through a lot! I find getting out Ds doesn't need feeding and doesn't fuss as much as when at home so often feels much easier when you're actually out! Good luck and let us know how you get on.
Also want to reassure you that people are generally kind and helpful when you are out with a baby. I've never been left standing at the top of the steps wondering how I'll get down, there is always someone offering to help.
Loving all the support on this thread, you're all absolutely gorgeous, thank you so much. It's because of this that it suddenly seemed that I could do it, it wasn't impossible.
Yesterday I had a test run, I took DD in the proper big complicated travel system to the post office, we do have a nice straightforward buggy but no sun parasol or otherwise so I was worried she'd burn in the sun. The travel system is one that can be nearly closed at the top so she was shaded with ventilation. Absolutely nothing went wrong. I would strongly dispute the retailer's claim that the buggy part of the system can be collapsed with one hand and one foot, but never mind.
I don't tend to give myself a break or take it easy, I'm all or nothing, so yesterday gave me the boost to take DD in the car to the supermarket today, which is about 15-20 minutes drive away. All went absolutely fine. I even found and more or less parked in a parent and child space!
I did get stuck with one problem though. At the end of shopping I needed a wee. I took my shopping out of the trolley and DD (still in her car seat) and took the trolley outside, then carried it all to the toilets, nearly dying on the way, what a stupid idea. How do you use the toilets in supermarkets with a child at the end of a shopping trip?
I'd have put the shopping in the car and gone back for a wee. I usually bring a sling for supermarket shops and carry her around with me rather than putting her in the trolley. You can have a wee while carrying a baby in a sling!
Load car and go back with baby for loo.
Or lock up trolley in one of those things designed for using in the cafe.
Also, little old ladies hanging about waiting for their taxi/lift home are often a good bet to watch your trolley for 2 minutes whilst you wee if too urgent to go back and load car!
Noble, I so desperately need to try a sling, it sounds like it would really suit me and DD, but I live in an area where they hardly have book libraries anymore let alone sling libraries. Did you purchase a sling after trying them out or did you go on reviews?
Amanda, I did see the trolley lockup thingies. It's an enormous supermarket so it's maybe five minutes to the car, depending on where I've parked. Next time I won't walk last the trolley lockers! D'oh.
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