After months of preparing, you’ve finally welcomed your brand new baby into the world. And all going well, you’ll be ready to leave hospital in no time. As exciting as this next phase can be, there’s nothing quite as nerve-racking as driving home that first day. Tales of overcautious new parents crawling along at 30kms an hour are abundant. Because the truth is, getting out and about with your baby can be scary. In the beginning, anyway.
But once the initial hesitation has worn off, you’ll be heading out on daily adventures without batting an eye. And to do this, you’re going to need a few things to put your little one in when you go; be it a car seat, a pram, baby carrier or all three.
Baby capsules and car seats
For the first six months, baby will need to be in either a capsule or rear facing baby seat in the car (be sure to check the current laws in your state for the most up to date info). From a budget point of view, a baby car seat is great, as you can use the same seat from birth until four years of age. But from a convenience point of view, a capsule is better as you can unclip it to remove without waking up baby. Plus, some capsules can clip directly into your pram, meaning you can move smoothly from one to the other without disturbing precious sleep.
Prams & strollers
Trying to distinguish between the thousands of prams and strollers on the market is like playing a complicated game of spot the difference. So rather than go cross-eyed trying to compare minute details, the trick is to decide what you can’t live without. For instance, you might want a pram that can switch between front facing and rear facing, or you might prefer one you can run with instead. You might want lots of space for groceries, or perhaps you can’t live without a coffee cup holder. Once you’ve decided on the features you need you can whittle down the options, making it a lot easier to choose between what’s left.
Many people like to ‘wear’ their babies using a baby carrier. As well as freeing up both hands to get things done, carriers are great because babies love to be snuggled. But like prams, there are lots of different types to choose from (ring slings, wraps, mei tais, etc.) and it can be hard to know where to start. Again, it’s best to think about how you’ll be using it and work backwards from there. Will you be doing a lot of walking? If so, you’ll want something that’s lightweight with breathable material. Are you a no muss no fuss kind of person? Then maybe look for something you can just put over your shoulder and avoid the ones with complicated wraps. Don’t forget, if you’re looking to buy a baby carrier on Gumtree you can always ask the seller questions to help decide if it’s the right one for you.
Flying with baby
Once you’ve mastered getting out and about with baby, it’ll feel so natural you won’t give it a second thought. But that confidence can unravel pretty quickly ahead of your first plane trip! ‘What if my baby screams the whole flight?’ ‘What if everyone stares at me?’ ‘Oh my, we’re going to be those people with the crying baby!’
It’s ok. Yes your baby may cry, but that’s what babies do. Don’t worry about it. And it may end up that your baby sleeps the whole flight. We know it can be daunting, so we’ve put together a few tips to help you through your first plane trip together:
• Dummies or something to suck on will help relieve baby’s ear pressure during take-off and landing
• Put everything you might need at the top of your bag or in the seat pouch in front of you for easy access during the flight
• Always pack a spare change of clothes for bubs. And for you too if you have the room!
Do you have anything to add? We always love to hear your tips so let us know your thoughts in the comments section. And check back next week for the final in our Gumtree baby series; feeding and baby proofing. We’ll look at all the things you need to think about when your little one is scooting around the house and finger-painting with food!