There are a lot of things to consider for new parents. Once your bundle of joy arrives, there’s so much to think about – feeding times, bedtime routines, whether or not your baby is warm or cool enough. What do you need when you go out with them?
Here, we have the ultimate guide for new parents on what to take with you on trips out with your tot.
Nappies and wipes
Babies are unpredictable when it comes to their bathroom breaks. Even if you’re only out for a short stroll, nature may still call, and you need to be prepared. Stocking your baby changing bag with nappies, wipes, and nappy rash cream means you’ll never be caught short.
Packing your own portable mat can also be helpful too, in case you need to tend your baby at short notice with no baby changing rooms nearby.
Something else that can be unpredictable? The British weather. Even if the day starts out as a seasonably warm spring day, you can’t guarantee it’ll stay that way. Having an extra baby blanket, mittens, and a hat will make sure you can wrap your baby up warm if a sudden cold snap sets in.
A change of clothes
Accidents happen – whether it’s a bathroom accident or a food spill, there’s a chance your baby’s clothes might get spoiled. Having a change of clothes will help you avert this potential disaster and ensure they’re in comfortable, clean clothes all day. Throw in an extra bib, too – that way, if you stop to feed them and they throw up, you don’t need to worry.
As your baby grows and turns into a toddler, this also applies. Toddlers are messy little rascals and may well go off to play in the park, only to come back with a T-shirt caked in mud. No problem – just whip out your spare T-shirt. They may well go and get muddy again – an activity that is proven to be really beneficial for their health – so pack a couple of spares. A plastic bag to put soiled clothes in won’t hurt either.
Whether you’re a mum who breastfeeds your baby, pumps your milk in advance, or uses formula, make sure you or your partner have the ability to feed your tot when out. Breastfeeding mums may feel more comfortable in public by using a breastfeeding shawl or other cover-up – but they’re not necessary if you’re comfortable not using one.
If you take pre-packaged milk out with you, make sure you’ve got at least two sterilised bottles’ worth and the facilities to heat or cool it – breast milk needs to be kept chilled in a cooler, while formula will need to be warmed up before being fed to your baby. To warm formula, you can either bring a flask of hot water or obtain some while you’re out – it’s a good idea to bring a container to place your bottles in to heat or cool.
As your baby moves onto solid food – and as they grow into hungry little toddlers – make sure you’re packed with plenty of satiating food that won’t spoil as you cart it around. Pots of puree are easy to carry, while healthy finger foods like fruit pots and carrot sticks will fit neatly into reusable containers.
Entertainment for your baby
Babies need visual and auditory stimulation. And while a walk to the park or the shops can provide that, it’s good to mix it up. Bring their favourite teddies, sensory toys, or dummies to make sure they never get bored on your excursion.
Supplies for yourself!
When packing a baby changing bag to go out, it’s easy to forget yourself in your haste to make sure you’ve got everything your little one needs. But a tired, dehydrated, hungry parent isn’t ideal. Make sure you’ve packed plenty of water or fluids for yourself, a snack, and maybe something like a magazine if you have a moment to stop and relax as your baby snoozes away.
Parenthood is joyful and rewarding. There are so many things to remember though, so it’s important to always be prepared. By packing all of these essentials into your baby changing bag, you’ll be sure to keep your tot clean, dry, well-fed, entertained, and warm. And all of that means a happy baby.