You will find summer outings a breeze if you have the essentials.
Dress your baby appropriately for the warm weather. A rule of thumb is that your baby will be comfortable in one layer more than you are wearing. So it you are comfortable in a T-shirt, your baby will do well with a little vest under his T-shirt. Dress your baby is 100% cotton if possible. If it is a really hot day, it is great fun for your baby to frolic in only a nappy, as long as his tender skin is out of the sun!
Dressed correctly, you are now ready to pack for the day’s outing:
THE NAPPY BAG
Gone are the carefree days of spontaneous day trips. There are some things that you simply can’t leave home without now. A good nappy bag that is packed with the basic is vital.
The key components of a good nappy bag are:
Ahead of time, pack the following into your nappy bag:
- A plastic covered wipe down changing mat
- Space for mom’s essentials (wallet, keys and phone)
- Adequate space for baby’s paraphernalia
- An insulated bottle pocket if you need to keep a feed warm for bottle feeders
- An easy access outer pocket for dummies, wipes and other emergency items
Keep an emergency bag in your car’s cubby hole
- 5 nappies
- Pack of wipes
- Feeding shawl for privacy if you are breastfeeding (Woolworths has the first of this convenient Baby Sense product from this month in selected Woolies stores this month!)
- Bottle of cooled boiled water
- Bottle of watered down juice if your baby is over 7 months
- Formula if you are bottle feeding (measure this out ahead of time into a convenient formula container)
- Sun cream - use one especially for babies’ sensitive new skin with a very high SPF.
- A snack trap – for babies older than 8 months, pack a little bowl with a lid filled with yummy finger snacks such as biltong, mango strips, dried fruit, boudoir biscuits and cheerios
- Two little board books, a rattle and two other toys to keep your baby busy.
- A dummy and/or your baby’s comfort object for sleep time while you are out
- Bib or two for emergency meals and babies who drool a lot
- Baby spoon – restaurants never keep any of these
- Burp clothes
- Three empty plastic bags for tying up those nasty smells
The idea behind an emergency bag is that if you have rushed out and forgotten your entire nappy bag or just one thing, there will always be a back up in the car. I cannot tell you how often a simple 5 minute trip down to the shops with one of my brood has ended in a poo nappy or a ruined outfit.
- Small travel pack of wipes
- Two nappies
- One bib
- Spare shirt for your baby
Mode of transport
Every outing needs a mode of transport for your baby. If you are off to the shops or for a walk on the pavement, a pram suffices. Make sure your pram folds as small as possible for convenient travel. The most versatile mode of transport for your baby is a sling, which packs easily into a nappy bag and can be used on any terrain – beach, shops or mountains. Make sure your sling is easily adjusted so Dad can use it too and look out for a brand that focuses on safety by testing and guaranteeing their rings.
Of course for travel in the car, a good car seat is essential! Don’t skimp on this vital piece of safety equipment.
Where & when to go
Now you are ready for a day out with your baby. Make sure your baby is in a happy mood and is well rested so that your outing can be enjoyed by all. If he needs to sleep while you are out, use the sling or your pram to give him quiet down time. Be sure the places you go are baby friendly; restaurants that have quiet corners to feed in peace and shops with baby parking bays near the shop entrance are a bonus.
The great thing about summer is that many of your outings can be into nature and your baby will love these excursions – feeling the soft caress of wind, hearing the white noise of the big wide world and seeing the muted colours of the outdoor world.
All this is a recipe for a fun and happy outing! Enjoy these precious times of making memories with your baby.
By Meg Faure