Day Trip Tips: Traveling with A Baby

travel pray love baby suitcase

Diapers ✓
Wipes ✓
Soother ✓ 

Anxiety about first day trip with baby ✓ 

Heading out into the world with your new baby seems so incredibly daunting when you’re a new parent. The world all of a sudden seems so much scarier, and you start to think of the million things that could happen to you and babe while you’re out and about.

Whether you’re heading into the city for a shopping day or going to explore a city you haven’t been to before – here are some of the things I’ve learned about day-trip-traveling with your little one.

GO OUT ON THE TOWN AS SOON AS YOU CAN (within reason, of course)

 Okay, so obviously this one has some leeway – you need to be physically and emotionally ready for a day trip with your little one, and the weather has to be suitable as baby won’t have their vaccinations yet, but in my opinion, the sooner you make your first little trip, the better! Even if it’s just a trip by yourself with baby to do some grocery shopping, getting yourself used to traveling with baby early on will make things much easier down the road. The main reason I say go as early as you feel comfortable is because ALL NEWBORNS DO IS EAT, SLEEP and POOP. And they sleep A LOT – so chances are your little one will be asleep for most of your journey. Definitely wait until you’re feeling physically and emotionally comfortable, and when the weather is appropriate for a newborn – but honestly if you can get a few day trips in while your baby is super young and sleeping a lot, by the time he’s a few months old and needing more attention/having more awake-time, you’ll feel super comfortable traveling with them already. We took our first city trip when my son was about a month old. I was absolutely terrified and I cried as we left the house, but my little dude was fast asleep within minutes of leaving the house and stayed asleep for the entire hour and a half it took me to get to where I needed to be. Once I arrived, I fed him, had a little play time with him and he fell right back asleep!

PACK YOUR DIAPER BAG, NEATLY, SO YOU CAN FIND WHAT YOU NEED

One’s diaper bag must be impeccable, in my opinion, because there is nothing worse than fumbling your way through your diaper bag while your baby screams. A trick I learned from one of my dear expat-mom-friends here in Belgium is to separate things into tupperware containers. You really only need two: one for changing supplies (diapers and wipes) and one for feeding supplies (a bib, a nipple shield, etc).

Trust me, this will make your life so, so much easier.

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HAVE BACK UPS OF YOUR BACK UPS OF EVERYTHING

Three soothers, two sets of wipes, 262 diapers…

Okay that last one might be an exaggeration but still – more is better in this case, because you just never know. The general rule of thumb is to have a diaper for every hour you’ll be out of the house. This is obviously more than you’ll need, but it’s a good general rule to follow. As for the rest, I usually pack at least two pacifiers (soothers), a change of clothes for baby, and two packs of wipes (in case you have a poop-splosion, which you will definitely want to be equipped to deal with when you’re not close to home.) If I have room, I usually throw in a shirt for myself in case my son spits up on me.

HAVE A QUICKIE WAY TO GET HOME THE FIRST TIME YOU GO OUT

The first time is obviously super scary, so make it a smaller trip and maybe a little closer to home. Instead of going into the big city, take a bus to the town next to yours. Even if it’s just to wander around a park or check out a few shops, starting small is still a start! This way, you’re close enough to home that you can make it there quickly if needed, but you’re still getting used to being “out and about” with baby.

CONSIDER USING A BABY WRAP INSTEAD OF A STROLLER/PRAM

I may be a little biased because I absolutely adore my Triotslen baby wrap (no this is not sponsored!) 😉 , but the baby wrap is just so freakin’ easy! Baby is always close to you (which, in my experience, helps him sleep more), you can attach your baby’s pacifier to you so it’s always close AND you have both hands free to get things you need out of your diaper bag. The baby wrap is just a super easy way to get used to having your baby with you while you do day to day things like grocery or clothes shopping. A stroller or pram is super nice when you’re doing more adventurous things like going on long walks, but if you’re going in and out of stores or eating at a cafe, the baby wrap is easier!

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TRY TO STAY CALM

In case you haven’t noticed by now, your baby tends to pick up on your moods. So if you’re nervous, frazzled and anxious – chances are your baby will be a bit more fussy during your trip. Breathe in, breathe out, look at your cute little baby and remind yourself that most likely, the worst thing that could happen is your baby will cry. In which case, you’ll feed them or change them and then they will probably stop.

MEET WITH A FRIEND/FRIENDS

Because your baby will probably be passed around and adored, meaning they will be exhausted and distracted most of the time. Meeting with friends at a cafe or someone’s house is a really easy first outing, because you have back up!

GO OUT AS A FAMILY

Speaking of having back up, your first few outings may be easier if both parents are there – tag team it! You may not even need the other parent to be there in the end, but it will most likely make you feel a lot more comfortable!

BE PREPARED TO IMPROVISE

Okay, so sometimes things don’t go as planned. Sometimes you need to think fast, improvise or change your plans a bit. And that’s fine – it happens! Like that one time I had to create a make-shift changing table in a train bathroom to change my sons poop-explosion diaper…

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BREASTFEED LIKE NO ONE IS WATCHING

Because they probably aren’t. And if they are – they probably don’t care nearly as much as you think they do. For my breastfeeding moms out there – the first time breastfeeding in public can be intimidating for so many reasons. But fear not – you’re a wonder-woman, and you can do this! Have no shame. Free the boob and let your babe eat! It’s totally and pleasantly surprising, just how many people don’t care that you’re breastfeeding your kid. I expected so many looks or maybe even a rude comment – but seriously, chances are no one cares!
(Also, if you’re a breastfeeding mom, do yourself a favour and wear a loose or button down top and a nursing bra – easy access is best!)

FORMULA FEED LIKE A BOSS (maybe with some assistance)

GIRL – if you need to bottle feed your babe, there are so many ways to do this on the go! You will be so surprised at how many cafes, restaurants and stores will help you out with a cup of hot water or a microwave. Just because you don’t have the option to whip out your breasts when your little one is hungry, doesn’t mean it has to be harder for you!

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Travel Pray Love

Canadian travel & immigration blogger.

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