I have never been a person who enjoys being in the confines of the home. I have always been outgoing, and would head out most evenings. But of course, towards the end of the pregnancy, I had slowed down quite a bit.
Back in Kerala, once a woman delivers, she is expected to stay indoors being pampered for 40 days. While I would love being pampered, I was sure I would lose my mind if I had to stay indoors for that long.
And anyway, considering that I am the one with the driving license, staying home is not even an option.
Our first outing was actually to the pediatrician’s. Not because there was anything the matter, but just for his one-week check-up.
And I felt amazing getting out f the house – putting on something nice, some make-up, and stepping out was bliss.. The sunlight on my face! It was as if I was a vampire before that, staying indoors all the time!
And that is when I realized: it is indeed a task. Gone are the days when I could decide at a moment’s notice that I wanted to go out.
The steps to to be prepared for the first outing with the baby are as follows:
- Feed the baby
- Clean yourself and remove all traces of vomit and poop and general exhaustion
- Clean the baby, to make sure there is no vomit or poop on him
- Change the baby – well, not the baby but you know..his diaper, and his clothes, and his bib
- Pack the diaper bag with the 101 million things including toys, pacifiers, blanky, extra clothes, bottles, wet wipes, dry wipes, an elephant, the grocery shopping, a ghost, and the cast of the Big Bang Theory, and of course diapers.
- Put on your make-up. Stare at yourself when it strikes you that it is possible to look like a nice well-kept human being again.
- Celebrate, and have a drink of water.
- Realize that baby is hungry again, so feed the baby.
- And burp the baby, thus getting your clothes dirty.
- Change your clothes.
- Change the baby’s clothes because he’s pooped or vomited.
- Get out of the house. Do not forget the baby, or the diaper bag, or the keys, or your husband who is actually carrying everything.
Laughing side, getting out with a baby is not the easiest thing. It really helps to be completely organized.
Here are some tips to make the first outing with the baby easy!
- Ensure you have his clothes ready, and keep your clothes ready Don’t wait too long in front of your wardrobe deciding what to wear
- Pack the diaper bag early on, so you can take it and run out of the house. It helps to have spares of wets wipes, tissue boxes, blankets etc so that you don’t have to juggle things.
- If you are planning to give him milk, then have the bottle and milk ready, there really won’t be much time when baby is crying his head off to move milk from one bottle to the next or to mix and make the formula (Of course, it goes without saying that this is for short trips)
- Feed the baby just before you go out of the house. That means he’s a happy child going out, and he will be calm for a longer period of time.
- Once you put the baby in the car, check and cross check the car seat. This helps to ensure it has been fastened properly
- I find that it helps to have a USB full of soft soothing music, not just for him, but also for me. There is no way you can drive fast when there are soft lullabies playing in the car.
- Make sure you know the route. Getting lost will only add more time to your journey. It could mean you have a hungry and irritated baby with you.
Most importantly, know there is no reason to be nervous. And if the baby starts to cry, let him be. I hate to let my baby cry, but I cannot lose my attention. I need to keep the focus on the roads to keep us safe.
Keep your head on, you will need it.