It could be to visit the grandparents, catch up with friends over Sunday lunch or just to the local park. Whatever the event, it’s time to leave the duvet on the sofa, have a shower and head out with your baby
1. Get real
Be realistic about how long it will take to get ready. ‘Give yourself lots of time and make sure you have everything,’ says Katy Hayden, from Tinies childcare. Schedule outings for the afternoon when you’re not tired and don’t be ambitious – a walk or coffee is fine.
2. Do a practice run first
Have a couple of goes at putting up the pushchair or fitting the car seat beforehand, so you know how to use them. You’ll look like a relaxed pro and won’t have any last minute panics.
3. Take a plus one
Make sure you have someone to help. From pushing the pram to holding your handbag while you search for a changing mat, another pair of hands is useful.
4. Travel light
Keep your changing bag simple. ‘Include nappies, wipes, a spare babygro and anything you need for feeding,’ suggests Katy. Also, have essentials such as your purse in front pockets and bring a drink and snacks to keep up your energy up.
5. Baby comes last…
Don’t get your baby ready until the last minute. ‘Only when your bag is packed, the pushchair’s unfolded or your car seat is in place should you get him ready,’ says Katy. A feed and a change before you leave the house is the best tactic.
6. Layer him up
Avoid bulky, tight clothes and instead opt for layers you can add or remove if your baby gets too hot or too cold. A cotton hat will keep him warm, as he’ll lose and retain most heat through his head. Unzip his coat when you go into shops, so he doesn’t get too hot.
7. It’s OK to be late
If you need to leave your house late than expected to fit in a feed, do it. Everyone (especially mummy friends) will understand. And it’s better to be 15 minutes late than have an unhappy, crying baby and a stressed-out you.
8. Bond with him
Keep making eye contact and talking to your baby while you push him. Remember, this is a brilliant opportunity for you to socialise – whether it’s with friends in a restaurant or baby-mesmerised randoms in the street.
9. Brave the rain
Don’t be a fair weather mum. Even if the weather’s bad, you need to leave the house. Your pram’s rack cover will keep your baby dry.
10. Keep calm, carry on
And if the first trip still doesn’t go to plan? Don’t read it as failure. Just try again tomorrow.