4 challenges in getting out and about with a baby

I can’t sit still.

I get cabin fever so quickly and easily; I’ve been that way ever since I can remember. Sure, I have days/nights where all I want to do is be at home – I’m just saying I can’t do many of those in a row.

I struggled with cabin fever when Luca was first born. There was a lot of other things that were overwhelming at the time as well, but more than anything I wanted to get out of the house. The C section meant that I couldn’t drive, couldn’t push a pram, or do anything really for quite a few weeks.

Thankfully Luca is now of the age (and had his vaccinations) that we can get out. So far I’ve conquered going to the shops by myself, and visiting friends and family. I knew it would be tough. I didn’t understand just how tough.

“Going out” means a few things:

  • Touring all the parents’ rooms of the local shopping centres. (Hot tip – Big Top Maroochydore’s parents room smells like poop. Someone needs to get some fragrance in there, and empty the nappy bin STAT.)
  • Being prepared to be peed on pooped on, and having a spare change of clothes ready for all of us.
  • Wearing clothes that allows me to whip a boob out at a moment’s notice – I never dreamed that would be a requirement for my wardrobe

Bearing all that in mind, I’ve discovered that going out of the house has more challenges that I hadn’t even considered.

I have a hang up about how often he feeds

It feels like Luca feeds all the time when we go out. I’ve tried timing it to go out when he’s just been fed, but then soon after we arrive at our destination I’m having to get a boob out.

The first time I met a friend for coffee, her first experience in meeting Luca was to see his feet. The rest of his body and his head were under the wrap nearly the entire time while he fed.

When my sister visits he’s nearly attached at the boob the whole time. It’s gotten to the point that I’m sending videos to my sister proving that my baby isn’t constantly attached to the boob.

I apologise nonstop about it.

Thing is, I don’t think anyone else cares. It’s just me. It doesn’t inconvenience them in that we still do the things we were planning on doing – chatting, catching up, walking around shops etc. I just feel awkward about it. It makes me question whether I’m feeding him for the sake of settling him when there may be something else that he needs.

I guess in a nutshell it makes me question whether I’m doing this “parenting gig” right.

Almost everything makes me question myself.

Trying to change him is difficult

When he needs his nappy changed, trying to find an appropriate place is difficult. If I’m in a shopping centre it’s fine – I can just go to the parent’s room. But what if we’re out and just in a coffee shop – where do I go? Do I do it right there and then in the shop if there’s no where else appropriate? Do I let him wallow in it until I get a chance to find somewhere else more appropriate?

On one occasion we changed him in the pram, which was uncomfortable and difficult in the least. We’ve had to use the back seat of the car. Previously I mentioned the parent’s room at the Big Top Shopping Centre is disgusting. I’m yet to do a change out in the open, and I wonder if it will bring on looks of horror or judgement from people nearby.

Timing is everything

If I don’t time it right, then I’ll have either a grizzling, tired baby or one screaming for milk. He doesn’t have a feed/sleep routine yet, so it’s hard to judge when is an appropriate time. I’m getting better at telling when he’s tired though, so it’s a balancing act to try and get out after he’s fed but before he’s tired.

Next challenge? Getting him to sleep while mobile. Right now the pram over-stimulates him and he refuses to go to sleep.

A post shared by Kelly Sofia (@kelsbells) on

One of the rare occasions we managed to get him to sleep

But time it wrong? We’re spending our time feeding, in which case refer to the earlier section.

Going to appointments

I’m so stumped on whether I’m meant to take him to appointments with me. How do people do this? For example, a chiro appointment. Doctor’s appointment. Small basic meetings.

I’m sure a single mother would have no choice but to take the child. Or people with working partners doing the usual 9 – 5.

If I visit the chiro, and I’m laying on the bed, what happens to the baby? Do I take a pram with me and leave the child in the pram? What happens if he starts crying? Do I forego the appointment altogether if it means I’m having to feed the baby.

Needless to say this is why I haven’t booked in for a chiro appointment in a while – I need to coordinate the logistics of what happens to Luca. Whether I need to wait for a time his dad can look after him, or a family member etc.

 

Once again I’m calling on all the mothers for advice, and shared experiences. What challenges did you face? How did you overcome them?

5 Replies to “4 challenges in getting out and about with a baby”

  1. Book a chiro appointment, express milk to bottle and give me a call. I can go with you, cuddle and feed Luca if need be and you can get your back into comfortable shape. Let me know if you want to do this.

  2. Evelyn fed All. The. Time. In those first few months she was almost constantly on me. Afternoons were worse than mornings, so I tried to do things in the morning. I always worked on the if in doubt, whip it out principle.

    Take up opportunities to have someone with Luca when you have appointments. I have found it pretty easy to take her with me most places though, people I had appointments with have been very accommodating.

    I prefer nappy changes in the boot of the car, rather than the back seat. Usually means moving stuff out of the way, but it is a better height. I carry a towel in the car for these. We use the tray of the Ute similarly. I have changed her in a pram in a cafe, or on the ground in a park. I used to reuse the mats from child health, or a muslin or towel on the ground. I am yet to have anyone look at me funny about it.

    Good luck with your navigation of what works for you. Sounds like you are going great though.

  3. Yep, just take him with you everywhere! In the pram is totally fine. I found my Chiro’s receptionist LOVED babies and kids, so she would pretty much hold Ahava the entire time.

    Also, babies just like to feed. If he’s a lover of the boob you’ll only make your life more difficult trying to offer him alternatives! That being said, I’ve met very few babies that don’t feed as often as what you’ve mentioned above, so I’d say it’s pretty normal! Ahava was (is!) a baby who feeds pretty much constantly. Now that she’s nearly 2 I can see that this is totally just part of her personality. She is a touchy feely girl, and so breastfeeding is a big connecting point for her. So if it makes you feel better you could definitely put L’s feeding schedule down to that!

Let me know your thoughts!