Spring is in the air here in Shanghai, and the sunshine is calling your name! After you’ve checked the weather forecast and the AQI, it’s time to get out and enjoy these rare spring days.
But then all at once, your mind floods with everything that could go wrong on an outing with your baby. Running out of diapers, diaper blowout, screaming in a restaurant, overtiredness… And the list goes on and on.
Take a deep breath.
You used to go out all the time. You can do this! When bringing one more (small and needy) person with you, and you just need to plan accordingly.
It doesn’t need to be complicated. By packing a few simple things in a purse or backpack, you can confidently take your baby out and show them all of the amazing things that Shanghai has to offer.
Here are five essentials that you need when going out for an afternoon with your baby.
Do I even need to say it? I mean, this one is obvious. But the idea of getting caught out there without them is still a scary one. Some people feel comfortable bringing one diaper per hour that they plan to be out.
Still nervous? Pack a few more. They weight almost nothing, after all.
Blow outs happen, but you’ll feel reassured going out with an extra change of clothes for baby. Having a change of clothes for yourself doesn’t hurt either.
Stroller or Carrier
Try walking around your compound testing both your stroller and your carrier. Which one does your baby like better? Which one feels more comfortable for you?
Strollers are great because you can usually put your diaper bag in the base of the stroller, and your back will thank you after a few hours walking around. But depending on where you’re going, a carrier may be more convenient. Navigating tiny sidewalks and around parked scooters is often easier done with a baby carrier.
Plan for Feeding
If you’re breastfeeding, the only thing to plan is where and how to breastfeed. Breastfeeding in public is a legally protected right, so you can confidently feed anywhere that you’re comfortable. You can also use a muslin cloth or breastfeeding cover for extra privacy, if desired.
Not sure about this breastfeeding in public thing? Going to a big shopping center may be a good way to ease into going out with your baby. Many large shopping malls have nursing rooms where you can take your baby to feed them in privacy and comfort.
Want to bottle-feed breastmilk to your baby? Measure out some pumped milk and put it in a bottle. You can keep it cool in a small thermal bag with an ice pack. It’s safe to feed cold milk to your baby (or even frozen to relieve teething pain!), but if you prefer to warm it up first you can bring a portable bottle warmer with you.
If you’re formula feeding, simply check the feeding recommendations for your brand and type of formula.
A Supportive Friend
Make plans to go with a supportive friend, or ask your postpartum doula to go with you. You’ll have a lot more fun and an extra set of hands in case things don’t go as planned. Knowing you have an experienced friend or birth professional at your side will be reassuring as you get into the swing of things.
Is there anything else I should bring?
That’s going to depend on where you go! You know best what your baby needs. Trust your instincts, and pack items that are appropriate for your destination. Depending on where you’re going, you could also bring:
Baby hat and sunglasses
Ointment for bum
Water and snack (for you!)
… and more.
Everyone has doubts when going out. Start small, and work up to longer periods of time out and about. You’ve got this!
Adding a postpartum doula to your postpartum care plan is one of the best choices that you can make. These special moments with your baby come once in a life-time, enjoy them! You’ll love the confidence that comes with having a supportive newborn care professional by your side.
Pregnant and wondering what your options are? Knowing what to expect during labor is key to reducing the anxiety and fear that comes with birth. Talk to one of our birth doulas today to learn more.