Leaving the house when you have a new baby can be a little scary at first. But getting out with your little one is not only good for you physically but it is also very good for your mental health and brings a little bit of normality and routine to your day. Getting out with baby is something that you should try to do at least a few times a week. If you are able to get out daily – GREAT. If not, don’t stress. Once or twice a week is a great starting point.
How do I prepare to leave the house with baby?
Before you leave, you need to make sure that you are prepared for your outing. Think about where you are going to go, how you will get there and how long you are planning on being out for.
If you’re travelling by car, don’t forget to check your car seat or capsule using the checklist provided by Absolute Baby or check over your car seat manual to remind yourself how it works.
Will your baby need to be fed whilst you are out? If so, it is important to have somewhere that you are able to feed and if you are bottle feeding, make sure you have everything you need with you.
Even if you are only planning a short outing, taking your baby bag with you is a great idea. Your baby may need an unexpected nappy change or clothing change and you don’t want to be caught out.
Other things to consider are whether you need to take something such as a blanket or a hat based on the weather and if you are going to be outside.
Where can I take my baby?
The great thing about getting out of the house is that you can choose where you would like to go.
If you are not quite ready for crowds and simply want to get out into some fresh air, a walk around your local neighbourhood is a great start. Check to see if you have any local walking tracks or parks that you can visit and stroll through. Or simply walking around the block is a great way to get out, get some sunshine and fresh air.
If you are ready to be out around people that visiting your local shopping centre or markets gives you a chance to be out and around other people. You might even indulge in a bit of retail therapy and that can sometimes help too 😉
Planning an outing with friends at a local café will be an opportunity to be social, have others provide love to your little one and give you a little break from being at home alone with your baby. If friends have older children then look at the local indoor play centres. The Crazy Joker has an outstanding menu and pretty good coffee too – it’s kinda like a 2-for-1 deal – good café plus a way to keep toddlers entertained.
Mothers groups are also a great way to get out of the house and also meet new people. It can be tough after having a baby and getting to know others who are in the same situation as you can be a life saver. Check out the great Messy-Moo and other activities offered at The Co’moo’unity Rooms – a small hub specifically designed to nurture babies and children under 5s!
Play Matters is another great local non-profit organisation specialising in play where, you can get access to a suite of benefits that support you to get back to what matters most – play!
If you are wanting to be more active and step up your exercise, mums and bubs exercise classes are a fun way to be active and also get to know other mums and their babies. Vector Health has a session designed just for new mums and babies and it focuses on the pelvic floor, abdominal muscles, and general fitness which are all the main focus points to target after birth to assist your transition back in to exercise.
What if I am not ready?
The first few weeks and months after having a baby can be difficult and leaving the house with baby may be the last thing on your mind. But it is important to have something to work towards and being out of the house can be beneficial for both you and bub – both physically and mentally.
If you aren’t ready to make big changes and take big steps, start slow. A simple 15 minute walk around your block will help you to move towards wanting to be out more and make the transition easier.
The Queensland government have some great articles on mums and bubs health and information that can assist you with feeling more secure about leaving the house including Your guide to the first 12 months – Child Health Information
Take it one day at a time and focus on just leaving the house with baby. It can be sitting in your back yard one day, then a small walk o a different day, that can turn into a proper outing another day. Listen to your mind, body and soul and don’t push too hard. Work up to it and enjoy your time outside.
Look at what is around you, the different colours, smells and people.
I know it can be scary at first mumma and if you aren’t ready today, that is okay. Tomorrow is another day, and you can try again.
Stay safe out there,
Rebecca is a twin mum with a passion for child passenger safety. She completed ACRI training in 2015 to become a CPST and had a great trainer in Townsville. Then on returning to Rocky in 2016, she started Absolute Baby with the goal of helping parents and caregivers navigate the world of child car safety seat stages and terminology so they feel empowered rather than overwhelmed.
For more expert advice on child car safety seats visit Bec at the Absolute Baby Rockhampton shop. 📍 234 Lion Creek Road, Wandal Qld 4700 Australia.