Updated: Oct 16
Getting out of the house can make all the difference for you (and your baby) - for your mental, emotional and physical health. What?! You ask. How am I supposed to leave the house alone with a new baby? Well, live in your baby cocoon for as long as you can and for as long as you still need to do so and still enjoy it. The timing will be different for everyone. But, at some point, you will desire to get out. With baby. You'll be able to do this. I promise. This is part of the journey.
Don't worry, I have a few suggestions on baby-friendly and new parent-friendly outings. Start slow and easy. I suggest you seek out a New Parents Group or a Mom's Group in your area. These are PRICELESS (see previous posts about them). They are not only a great place to meet others in the same life stage, but they are the perfect practice run for getting out on your own with baby. The great part is, you can show up completely frazzled and no one cares because half of the people there will feel similarly. Usually at a parent group you can change and feed your baby, soothe them, pass them off to a friend, eat, complain, celebrate, ask questions etc. They are a GREAT first outing. With my second baby, I think the only place I went with both kids during the first 6 weeks was my mom's group.
Next up, baby focused activities. These can look like all sorts of things and are a great option since they will be attended by other parents and babies who feel just like you. There are usually facilities for changing and places to feed baby etc. Some ideas include, library story time for babies, baby/parent focused workouts, stroller walks (either organized or spontaneous), baby music classes, community center programs and specially organized events for parents and babies. For example, I run art events for parents and babies 0-12m. We paint baby's footprints onto plates and mugs so you can keep their toes tiny forever. I'm there to help with babies when parents need to paint their pottery, take a break, or enjoy a snack.
After you've mastered the baby-centered outings, try a little something else. Lunch or coffee with a friend, a trip to a local park with a friend, or an easy shopping trip. The mall is actually a great place to walk baby in the stroller, especially if you live somewhere with cold winters or you really need to get out on a rainy day. Museums during weekdays can be terrific as well. They are often quieter, and you can meander around, take baby-necessary breaks, or have a pastry in the cafe. Art museums are a wonderful option.
Whatever you decide on, take it slow, give yourself time and patience and grace. You might be late. You might show up with spit up on your sleeve. You might leave early. You might just love it. You might meet a new friend. No matter what, it will break up the day. Being home with our babies is wonderful. But? Sometimes we need to get out of the house. If you can get out a few times per week and work up to one activity per day, if that works for you, that would be great! And if you can't see this possibility yet, you will.
I've got your new family needs covered.