Leaving the house on your own as an adult is not hard. Keys, wallet, phone...umbrella if it is raining. Pretty simple, right?
Leaving the house with a newborn baby? That is a completely different kettle of fish. It can feel like a military operation. And you could be leaving the house for only a quick trip to the supermarket, a visit to the GP, a walk in the park with a friend or your baby's first photo session.
As I have done all this before (three times!!) I thought I would put together a little checklist to help you get out of the house easier and hopefully not forget anything.
1) CAR SEAT OR PRAM
If you are leaving the house to go to the park, you will most likely be putting your baby into their PRAM. Depending on the weather you will want to have a cosy-toes or a blanket to keep your baby warm. A spare muslin is helpful to have in the pram for mopping up any sick if baby brings up some milk. A dummy in a sterilised box if you are using one as you will always and forever be looking for one or drop one on the floor and need a spare :). Check that you have a raincover in the basket underneath, even if you think it is not going to rain...the chances are, it will pour down on the day you forget the rain cover at home.
If you are driving anywhere a CAR SEAT is a must. Make sure you know how to fit the car seat into your car before baby arrives (ISOFIX base was my favourite as all it required was to click the car seat on top of it). Ensure that you know how to strap baby in correctly, with straps going over their shoulders, strap needs to be tight. THIS is a brilliant video showing how to place baby into a car seat correctly.
2) CHANGING BAG
As a new mum you have most likely discovered that your beautiful handbag days have been put on pause. There are many stylish changing bags in the market with designated pockets for just about everything but it is not a handbag, is it? :) It never ceased to amaze me how my changing bag turned into a Tardis when I needed something desperately. I would be going through all the pockets and finding just about everything else bar the thing I needed :) It took me some practice to be able to fish out what I needed quickly :D
So what do you definitely need in your changing bag? I will list all the necessary contents below.
3) NAPPIES AND CHANGING MAT
You will always need extra nappies with you, babies seem to love nothing more than going for a poo into a brand new clean nappy :) It is also a good idea to keep restocking your changing bag so you don't get caught out...A changing mat is necessary too, you will always have somewhere clean to change baby (not always the case if you have to use a restaurant toilet).
4) WET WIPES
Cotton wool used with water is brilliant with tiny babies but there are also water wipes which are very gentle to baby's sensitive skin. But honestly, are you even a mm if you don't have a pack of wet wipes in most rooms of your house and use them to wipe just about anything with? Baby's bottom? Wet wipes, Baby had a bit of a spit u? Wet wipes. You notice a bit of dust on your table while feeding baby? Wet wipes... Honestly, wet wipes were one of my go to things for a long time :D
5) CHANGE OF CLOTHES
This is a very important one. A change of clothes for your baby and then maybe one more. Poonamies do happen. And they happen when you least expect them. Do not believe the adverts that claim that baby's nappy is going to keep it all in! Babies are experts of doing a poop explosion that goes all the way up their back or manages to escape down their legs. Or they will pee all over everything as you are changing their nappy :) Sometimes a spare top for yourself, if you can fit one in is a great idea. Especially if you have a baby who suffers from reflux and you don't fancy walking around covered in milk.
6) BABY BOTTLES AND MILK OR BREAST PADS AND A BIB
If you are breastfeeding, breast pads are hand to have in the changing bag. If you are bottle feeding a bottle, boiled water and formula powder or one of those little pre made bottles of baby formula. Once I discovered those I realised just how handy those are! (two out of my three babies were combination fed). Pack a bib or a muslin too, they are needed when baby is having a feed, both breast and bottle fed babies dribble milk out of their mouth when drinking and many babies bring up milk when you wind them.
7) SNACK FOR YOU AND WATER
Looking after a baby is a hard and a full time job! The amount of times you have no time to have a breakfast or only realise you have not eaten at lunch time! Having a snack and a drink in your changing bag could help keep the hunger pangs away. Especially something that can be easily eaten using one hand :)
8) DUMMY IS YOU ARE USING ONE
If you plan on using a dummy having a spare one in the changing bag is a must. Babies are very good at spitting dummied on the floor or even loosing them.
9) FEMALE HYGIENE PRODUCTS
Let's be honest, you will be needing all sorts of pads after having your new bundle. Your body won't quite be the same again. A couple of spare pads in your bag will definitely come in handy.
9) WALLET, KEYS AND PHONE
The usual things you would take with you when going out :)