5 Tips to Ease Anxiety When Leaving the House with a Newborn
BY LUCI WORMELL
I had a conversation with a new mom last week and she told me, “I was 4 hours late to my Walmart grocery pick up.” She also expressed she has anxiety just thinking about leaving the house with her newborn baby. I thought back to when I had my firstborn, we did stay home a lot. The thought of going out in public with my son was terrifying. However, with my second, it was so different. I had a system. I was confident. I found what worked for us. Here are 5 tips to help your anxiety, when leaving the house with a new baby.
1. Pack your diaper bag the night before.
This way you are not rushing to get your bag packed. You already have everything you need and ready to go. Your diaper bag is your home away from home. If you forget even one item, it will throw you off. The next morning, just look through your bag to make sure everything you need is in there. Also, there is no right or wrong way of packing your diaper bag. Some moms pack very lightly (that works for them). Other moms pack their diaper bag as if they are ready for a weekend getaway (that’s me). And that is perfectly okay. You know yourself and your baby best. Whatever it is you feel like you need in your diaper bag, pack it. This will give you peace of mind when you are away from home.
2. Plan your baby’s outfit the night before.
This might sound so silly and simple but it will save you so much anxiety. In the morning, I am trying to get myself ready plus my kids. It gets crazy. There’s a lot of crying, screaming, and running around. If we have plans the next morning, I always pick out their outfits the next before. This includes socks, shoes, and for my daughter a hair accessory. Everything is folded on their dresser and ready for them in the morning. I also make sure I pack an extra outfit for just in case (kids are messy, spit ups, spills, dirt from the playground, accidents happen).
3. Plan your outfit the night before.
The reason why I did not combine this with tip #2 is because it needs its own bullet point. As a new mom or a mom, we are already stressed out enough with everything that needs to be done before we leave the house. Trying to figure out what goes with what when you have a crying baby, or a toddler running around the house is hard. Your stress level will raise. You might find yourself crying out of frustration and the mood for the entire day will change. That’s not how we want to start our morning. Therefore, plan your outfit the night before: top, bottom, shoes, hair style, accessories, etc. The only thing you’d have to worry about in the morning is putting on your already planned outfit.
4. Feed your baby before leaving the house.
When you have a happily fed baby, the car ride will be so much more peaceful. If you are not comfortable with breastfeeding in public, bring a bottle (pump the night before or that morning). Do not make going out impossible if this is something you struggle with. If you don’t want to give your baby a bottle, you can breastfeed in the car or a restroom stall. These places will give you enough privacy.
5. Tell yourself, “it’s okay if my baby cries.”
It might seem like everyone is looking at you when your baby has an outburst in public, but it is all a mental game. It is okay for your baby to cry (that’s what they do). You know your baby best: is he/she hungry, does he/she need a diaper change, is he/she tired? Okay, so the baby just needs to be fed, changed, and rocked to sleep. That’s it. People will not judge you. We are our only critic.
As a new mom, we are always afraid of people judging us. We feel incapable or inadequate. When you add in a fussy baby who won’t stop crying, that can give us an anxiety attack. It doesn’t have to be that way. Especially if we are prepared. These 5 tips are so simple and easy but I promise you this, it will help you so much. The more you go out in public with your baby, the easier it will get. Not every time will be perfect, but it will get easier.
You cannot be confined in your house all day – that’s not taking care of your mental health. I will save this for another post. I hope you feel a little more confident leaving the house with your newborn after reading this. After all, moms are actually superheroes in disguise, we got this!