Does anybody else find it really difficult to get out and about with a baby?(35 Posts)
Or is it just me?
It feels like a huge expedition to even just pop to the shops with my 7 month old sometimes, and I find longer trips so stressful. I always leave a bag packed with nappy stuff, a couple of changes of clothes, bibs, Muslins, cartons of milk etc. etc. but still end up flapping over bottles and food. It feels like I have a very small window of opportunity between feeds. The best time is right after his second bottle. I can just about manage after his first bottle and breakfast if I move like the wind to clean him up and get him changed and out the door before he is screaming for his nap, but I have very little time to get ready myself then.
Other people just seem to be breezing about with their babies! Does everyone find it hard or am I just making a mountain out of by molehill? He was a difficult baby, screamed all day long, wouldn't nap, colic, reflux and I had assumed now he is a happy wee soul it would be so much easier.
We take him on trips out at the weekends, but I would live to just be able to spontaneously 'pop out' with him without it feeling like a military operation. Someone has asked me to go for a day out shopping in a city a couple of hours from us and it doesn't seem worth the hassle to me of the mad morning rush, then finding somewhere to feed him right away, timing the whole day around his feeds. Does it get easier?
I think at this age it is really difficult, you seem to be in a constant cycle of sleeping and feeding and they need a lot of food brought along. We had this brilliant idea we would take ds on holiday at 8/9 months, totally forgetting the amount of food we would need to take with us! The good news is by around 9 months our ds was eating pretty much whatever we did and became much more portable.
On separate note, i never found shopping all that fun since ds arrived, preferring instead to plough my energies into trips out we would both enjoy. You might also find if your trips are to child friendly places like children's centre etc that you will have good changing facilities etc when you get there making the whole trip simpler!
Would a sling be an option? I find it quite easy getting out and about because I just tie ds on my back and leave. I also have a back always packed. It means I don't have to faff with a pram which I find so much easier.
I'm not sure if this will help, but here is my routine which I find permits (if I want to) two trips out per day.
7-7.30 - DD wakes and has bottle straight away. We prep a bottle for the morning the night before. Reheat in micro wave and feed her. Nice and quick. Nappy change after bottle as she is usually impatient for her milk, so milk trumps nappy in this instance. She stays in her sleepsuit for breakfast. I see no point is dressing her as she is 99% likely to dirty that outfit and it will mean another change.
8-8.30 - we eat breakfast anytime between these times.
8.30-9 - I jump in the shower and DD comes into the bathroom with me in bouncy chair with toys to occupy. After shower she comes into our bedroom, plays with more toys on her mat or crawls about. I get dressed, dry hair.
9-9.15 DD goes down for her nap - still in her sleepsuit. While DD sleeps I check the change bag, pack milk and food as needed. Wash up breakfast items, do a quick check to make sure I have stuff for dinner, take out from freezer if needed.
10 - DD usually wakes. Quick nappy change, dress her in clothes for the day, coat etc, stick in buggy. Put my shoes on, grab my coat, keys and leave. I can usually do this bit from her waking to exiting in 10-15 mins.
For the afternoon, same thing applies. I get ready while she is napping. So she has lunch around 12-12.30 and then wakes around 1.30/2.30. She has a milk feed around 3 so I make that and take it with us. I now take some snacks to in case. We can then be out the whole afternoon and if she really needs a snooze she will sleep in the buggy usually when we are heading home. I usually aim to be home for her tea at 5 or 5.30.
Hope that's of some help.
Not just you at all. It does get easier to leave as you have fewer things to pack.
That said my chap is 2.5 and the amount of time it takes to get anywhere is incredible. He likes to climb into th car seat on his own. That 5 minutes. Find his shoes himself etc. and that's if he doesn't spot a car while he hunting!!
I remember it being difficult too, but for some reason it got easier once I had a baby and a toddler to take out.
I didn't have routines, and I breastfed, so no real luggage to take out except a nappy and some wipes and some water- which I take for myself anyway. Baby was in a sling, so no buggies to content with, I would breastfeed whenever and wherever it was needed. For food I would just buy a banana when I am out, having a light lunch is no big deal once in a while at 7 months.
Hmm. To be honest once I cracked BFing I found getting out and about quite easy, but then both mine would happily nap in the car/in pushchair. If babies won't do this (and plenty won't) then it's much harder.
This is going to sound horribly smug and I REALLY don't want it to, or mean to but - not really, no. I kept the buggy bag just stocked all the time of a few nappies, wipes, a change of clothes and a couple of toys. But I mostly just hung around our local area - the high street, park etc. Tommee Tippee do a box of two disposable and sterilised bottles, and even though I was BFing, I kept them in there for any old (anxious) reason.
For longer expeditions across London, I packed the bag the night before and got everything organised then so that in the morning we just had to change nappy, have breakfast, get dressed and get out.
I was lucky in that he would - and still does - nap in the buggy but, and I mean this very kindly, I think sometimes it's more a state of mind than about practicalities. I had a lack of confidence about staying inside, a "shit, what now" sense of feeling. Being out all day meant I didn't have to entertain him, I guess. So we go out every single day and have done since I could walk a few days after his birth. Staying inside did my head in, but it's just the same as how going out for you seems so huge. So I think, baby steps - go out for little hour long trips where you don't actually need a litany of stuff and doesn't require much planning. You'll get there - having a screamy, colicky baby can really dent your confidence and increase a sense of keeping away from stressful situations. But it's just one of those things - you have to keep doing it in order for it to become easy.
It gets easier. Look don't take this wrong but you are learning new skills. All skills need practice and a few f ups. At 7 mths you've got nappies, weaning maybe returning to work, bf/bottle issues, sleep, colic/reflux, all sorts. That's before you pack a car or go out.
I make a list and stick to wall. I literally cross it off as it goes in. Age of mine? 3 and 1. You get better at it but only coz you've been more places and coped with more types or lack of of facilities.
It's not you in other words.
Zebra, I was the same. If indoors there's hours to fill. If out, there's buses/lunch/coffee/friends/park/buses... Etc
In dd1 time I could walk 4hrs a day. Enjoy that.
I'd also rather be alone. Friends means schedules. Added stress. Go alone. Find your feet. Invite others to suit you as best you can. Leave when suits you.
Have you considered a sling? One like manduca/ ergo/ similar you can carry them up to toddler age on front/ then back.
That way they might be happier as closer. And you can feed them in sling if needed. I bf, but have fed other children bottles easily enough in sling. They are upright and you can then feed and walk at same time if needed. Ie on train/ in shops etc
Pack a bag the night before. If in say 3 hours they usually have 1-2 bottles. Pack 3 clean bottles and x3 cartons of milk. Don't take powder atm if your not feeling confident outside. That way you know you have spare if needed.
Have you considered just feeding on demand instead of schedules? You might feel more relaxed that way
To be honest, I prefer to get out. I hate staying home, fighting DD to nap and feeling guilty about all the chores I can't do while looking after her.
I think it gets easier with practice. Is there something in particular that you're anxious about?
It is like a military operation! When I was on mat leave I used to get up early and shower and get myself ready before DH got up for work or it would never have happened. Nappy bag always stocked, do breakfast, clean them up - they can still go out in baby grows when they're that little. Then go out coinciding with nap time so they would sleep in the buggy. I walked everywhere in those days so naps still happened on time and tbh they wouldn't sleep in their cots so it was beneficial to be walking when they needed a nap.
It does get easier, especially when the weather gets warmer and you don't need coats / blankets etched which all take extra time.
I agree 100% with zebra! it gets easier the more you do it and you need to do it to get the confidence. Relax on the schedule/routine a bit and enjoy the sunshine! You will prob find summer easier - picnic rug, easy finger food, nap in the buggy. Lovey.
My DS is 11 months and I know exactly what you mean, the best time to leave is between his first and second nap but he only sleeps for 30mins so I struggle to get ready in that time which means trying to get ready while he climbs all over me, same as trying to pack lunch.
That's not including trying to get DH to be ready to leave at the right time either, that's always a disaster!
DS is a grumpy reflux baby too who doesn't nap in the car/buggy etc and until recently wouldn't drink milk out of the house, although he has now mastered the milk milk in a Sippy cup so that should help. You are not alone though!
Yes, 100x yes! It was so hard and it looked so easy for everyone else. I used to spend ages packing and checking the change bag. I had everything inc. Calpol!
I was eventually diagnosed with post natal anxiety.
I am finding the toddler stage much, much easier. After 11 months I really began to settle into motherhood. DD is now 18 months and I don't feel any of the anxiety and stress I felt when she was a baby.
DC2 due Aug... Gulp!
Star it's a bit easier 2nd time. You have learnt a lot and more things are natural (dunno if good word) second time.
I was like this with my pfb. It was hard but it did get easier.
Now dd is 8 mths and I have the school run to do as well I wonder what the problem was.
Tbh I think you just need to relax a bit and go with the flow. I was very concerned over my ds's every need. He survived!
You can only do your best. Take what you need. Accept things take a bit longer and make the most of nap times. Don't expect to get everything done as quickly and efficiently as before. Its unlikely to happen.
It won't be long before you get the hang of it. The first year is hard because just as you find your feet baby changes again and keeping up can be frustrating.
Keep the change bag stocked - but remember unless you're going to the Sahara or something you can buy pouches of food, cartons of formula, clothes, nappies, wipes and Calpol at any supermarket and most of that at any corner shop! Of you forget something it isn't the end of the world!
And the second time you wonder just what the fuss was about - you do your thing with the older child and baby tags along happily.
I used to buy a couple of pouches of food (didn't normally use them apart from when out and about) and leave them in the change bag along with a couple of plastic spoons and some disposable bibs (so I didn't have to lug manky bibs home - one of the pound shop chains sells them), and I used to do the same with the ready to drink formula cartons with DD1 (DD2 used prescription stuff that needed to be made up form powder) - so the worst I had to do was sling a sterilised empty bottle in the bag and go. Had a very strict policy of if you use something out of the change bag you replace it IMMEDIATELY you get home (no procrastinating and forgetting DH) and so it was always ready to go.
If all else fails with solid feeds - can always go buy a banana at a cafe or bunch of them at a supermarket and mash one up for a feed or give it in a chunk depending on if you're BLW or pureeing.
Yes yes to just buying anything! I would forget things all the time - at first it was a sense of, oh god I can't do anything right! Then it just became - ahhh, he needs water, I'll have to buy another bloody sippy cup in Boots. I forgot his sippy cup all the time. ALL THE TIME. We now have about 8 in the cupboard. I still continue to forget them. I don't know what my problem is So even if you do forget nappies or run out of wipes...things can be bought and picked up very easily. Practically speaking, getting out with a baby is pretty simple. Psychologically, anxiety wise, it's a completely different story and it's easy to confuse the two.
I wing it a lot more now. I I used to spend ages packing up a bag but now I just fling a nappy in to replace the one used last outing and hope for the best. means we dont always have a wet bag for dirty nappies, spare clothes etc but I figure at least we are out. we normally have some drink between us and there is sometimes a snack in the bag but I guess we can buy it if desperate. or come home
better just to leave the house IMO else wed never get anywhere! esp now we've got 2!
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