|My baby is 4 weeks old and I am still scared of going out
with her. I am scared I will forget something vital, or
something will go wrong and I won’t know what to do.
So it seems easier to stay at home most of the time, and
have friends do my shopping and errands for me. Will I ever
have the courage to venture out again?
A four week old baby is a very new baby, and both of you
are still learning to know each other. Remember that your
grandmother probably had support from a midwife for weeks
and even months after the birth of a child. Modern mothers
are not given as much support, and are expected to fulfill
the ‘superwoman‘ role. In fact there is no reason
to rush this period, and taking things slowly is the perfect
way to gain confidence in your mothering skills.
You are extremely lucky that your friend are prepared to
support you so well, and well done for being clever enough
to accept the help that they are offering.
However, you do need to slowly start to gain enough confidence
to get out of the house with baby. A good idea is to start
with a short stroll around the block, and gradually extend
the time until you have the courage to go on a proper outing.
Check the weather before you embark on your stroll, and
choose a time when baby is cheerful and alert. Perhaps just
after a nap? You will probably enjoy getting out of the
house more than you expect, and baby will benefit from the
fresh air and change of scenery. Even ten minutes on the
first day is a perfectly respectable stroll.
This might also be a good time to start practicing using
a baby carrier. It can take quite a while to get the baby
into the carrier and strapped onto you the first time you
use it, but you will soon be a dab hand at it with a bit
of practice. Very small babies should be carried in front
carriers, and you can sit on the bed and chat to the baby
while you try and master the skills, try and make it light
hearted and easy, and be patient with yourself. It is possible
that you won’t even manage on the first attempt –
and guess what – your baby won’t even know the
difference, just that you had some fun together on the bed!
A proper outing requires a bit more planning. If you carry
a well stocked baby bag, then you can be sure to be prepared
for most eventualities. It is not a bad idea to routinely
keep a bag stocked so that the preparation for an outing
is reduced. (Sometimes the preparation can take so long
you start to wonder if you will ever actually get out of
the door – and having the bag prestocked can reduce
A well stocked bag would typically contain:
• Enough equipment for 2-3 nappy changes (for cloth
nappies this would include spare pin and plastic pants)
Don’t forget a small container of wipes.
• Container for dirty nappies, preferably sealable
(such as a ziplock bag)
• Baby wipes and a small container of the cream you
use on baby’s bottom
• A complete spare set of clothes, and a warm jacket
if the weather is cold
• Warm hat or sun hat depending on weather
• A set of light toys such as sets of plastic keys.
Special outing toys can add to the sense of occasion
• And also for your own sake, make sure you have supplies
for your own needs, like a bottle of water and perhaps a
snack. An extra set of pads for your bra can be a life saver!
Once you are brave enough to go out for a while you need
to plan for feeding times. Breast fed babies pose less of
a problem, and you may need to take a cloth to use for privacy
while feeding. For bottle fed babies, you should take a
clean bottle with the formula pre-measured. Take the cooled
boiled water in a separate container. NEVER be tempted to
do the mixing before you leave home – you run the
risk of germs growing in the formula and making your baby
Once baby is eating solids you need to take all the equipment
for that – spoon, container and bib.
Going on outings requires careful planning and preparation.
That’s the truth of it unfortunately. Small details
like a tape or CD of fun music can make all the difference
and change the trip from a struggle into a fun event. As
with toys, perhaps consider keeping some music CD’s
which are only used in the car. Having a timetable for bus
or train journeys, or checking the map before a car journey,
are vital parts of planning for a trip. Everything is a
little more difficult and slower when you have baby to consider,
so try to pre-empt problems for your own sake.
Newborn - Appearance
Newborn - Bloodshot eyes
Newborn - Circumcision
Newborn - Colour of eyes
Newborn - Confusing day and night
Newborn - Going home from hospital
Newborn - Handling
Newborn - Jaundice
Newborn - Cradle Cap
Newborn - Heat Rash
Newborn - Red Rash On Upper Body
Newborn - Spots
Newborn - Reflexes
Newborn - Sticky eyes
Newborn - Swaddling
Newborn - Timing of feeds
Newborn - Vernix