Leaving the house with your baby for the first few times can be a nerve wracking experience for new moms. Laura Kalehoff, Executive Editor of American Baby Magazine, has tips to help you get out of the house without worry and make your first outing with your baby a smooth one.
One of the first trips new moms make with the baby is the pediatrician's office. This is a tough one because you've only been a mom for a few days when you have to get you, your baby and all his gear to the doctor's office. The secret to getting everyone out the door and into the office is scheduling. Book your appointment for after 11am. Even though your baby is up early, getting the two of you ready takes more prep than getting yourself anywhere. Build in a half an hour for the unexpected. Once you've gotten to the doctor's office, make sure you write everything down. You're probably going to have "mommy brain" so don't stress yourself out by trying to remember everything. Don't forget to bring your list of questions. You'll probably have plenty and that is absolutely ok.
You deserve to have some social time and lunch is often a good first outing for you and your baby. Pick a casual place that tends to be a little loud just in case your baby lets out a "feed me now" scream. His noise will blend right in with all the other noise. Go before noon or after 2pm to avoid the rush and make a seasoned mommy your lunch partner. Another mommy will understand when you need to nurse or have an unapologetic ventfest midmeal. Experience moms will also be able to show off some of their own tricks like sitting in a booth rather than a table to create more room and privacy. When you're deciding what to order, opt for a meal you can eat with one hand just in case you need to hold the baby or bounce him on your knee. Ask for the check when you order dessert so that you can make a quick getaway.
If you're taking a long car ride, planning is as important as packing. Plot out your trip and make notes about rest areas and other pit stops. Leave room for the unexpected by allotting double the amount of time you would need if you were traveling solo. Bring lots of toys and offer something new every so often to keep him from melting down. Be patient. It's often helpful if you or your partner ride in the back with the baby to keep him company and entertain him when he gets fussy. If you're alone and your child starts wailing, use your best judgment. If you're still hours away from your destination pull over and calm him down. If you're ten minutes away and he's not in pain, crank up the radio and just get where you need to be. Never take the baby out of his car seat while the car is moving and never leave him alone in the car.
For more information on going out with your baby and other parenting tips, click <a href="http://www.parents.com/american-baby-magazine/">here</a>.