Written by: Phindile Le Bris Sithole-Spong
Having a baby or toddler can be an exhilarating, exhausting exercise in preparedness. As someone who is knowingly almost always never prepared. My life has been turned almost upside down when I became a mother. But almost one year in and I can say that I have a bit of a formula when it comes to going out with my 11 month old. And whilst this is not by any means prescriptive as every baby is different. It can be a big help if you are a new mom doing things by yourself or with very little guidance.
- Nappies: It goes without saying that having a nappy (or three) is a must. Personally I like to carry at least three as my daughters bowl movements are unpredictable. Also as I can never say for sure how long I will be out at any given time. Three seems to be the perfect number for short outings to longer ones.
- Baby wipes: With full and stinky nappies comes the need for baby wipes. I like to keep a half pack in my bag at all times. This way I can wipe away any particularly nasty bowl movements.
- Baby mat: For a long time I went out without a baby mat. But after coming across cafe’s, shops and even just places that were not baby friendly, I’ve come to appreciate my baby changing mat. Its great because I can place it under baby pretty much anywhere and change her nappy.
- Milk: Have you ever had to cut an outing because you didn’t bring enough milk? Well I have. After one too many outbursts due to insufficient milk available, I now carry at least three bottles worth of formula. This may seem like a lot but trust me you wont regret it. If you are breastfeeding I suggest taking some water for you to drink up as you breastfeed. As I’ve found when I was exclusively breastfeeding that the more hydrated I was, the easier it was to produce as much milk as baby needs.
- Stroller and baby carrier: My daughter is quite opinionated and can get fussy. Which is why I tend to carry both her stroller and her baby carrier with me when heading out. This ensures that I can strap her to me when she is bored of sitting in her stroller. Or even when she is tired and cant go to sleep on her own.
- A couple of toys: This s pretty explanatory but also not always necessary as most babies and toddlers can happily play with what ever is on hand. Depending on what you are doing its always a safe bet to take one or two of their favorite toys.
- A change of clothes: If there is one big thing I never expected when I had a baby was how dirty they get. Whether its the mess they make or create from stuffing their faces with foods and consequently getting it everywhere. Having an extra set of clothes on hand is a must. Not only for them but also for your sanity as I’ve learnt too often babies don’t have boundaries. And if they are dirty, you will get dirty too. So ensuring they are dry and clean helps protect you both -.