5 Tips for Taking Your Newborn Baby Out for the First Time

5 Tips for Taking Your Newborn Baby Out for the First Time

Getting out and about with a brand new baby can feel like a mammoth task at first, but here at Grow Wild we want you to have the confidence to get through the front door and start exploring with your little one. Whatever it is you’re planning, from a gentle walk around the block to a full hiking expedition, we’ve got some useful hints to help you out.

Okay, we know, it’s not quite as simple as it used to be to throw on your trainers and leave the house without a backwards glance, but it does get easier the more you do it. A little forward planning will really help to streamline things — thinking about where you’re going, whether there are adequate facilities in place, and packing plenty of supplies will give you extra peace of mind. Perhaps most important of all is having a little bit of flexibility. If it all gets too much, or the heavens suddenly open on you, it’s absolutely okay to abandon your plans and settle yourself in a cafe with a hot chocolate instead!


When can I take my newborn outside?

You can take your newborn out whenever you feel ready. While there’s a lot to be said for staying at home and enjoying your ‘newborn bubble’ initially, you can go outside as soon as you feel comfortable. In fact, getting outside can have huge benefits for both you and your baby. There’s a reason fussy babies often stop crying as soon as they’re taken outside.

Connecting with nature can:

  • improve your mood
  • increase feelings of calm
  • reduce feelings of stress and anxiety
  • help relieve symptoms of depression

Now that we’ve given some thought to the timelines of when to take your baby out, let’s consider the real practicalities of time - or the lack of it. It can be tricky fitting everything in, especially if you have older children as well as a newborn. Often, we have to work around nap times, mealtimes, school pick up times and appointments, but this is where forward planning can really come into its own.

Choosing somewhere close to home, and packing plenty of snacks and spare clothes, will mean you don’t have to worry too much about timing. If anything, newborns are significantly easier to take out and about than toddlers and older children! They often sleep on the go, so naps aren’t an issue, and they’re pretty easy to please when it comes to feeding — as long as you’ve got milk, whether it’s stashed in a breast or a bottle, you’re good to go.

So you’ve found the time, but what about finding the motivation to get off the sofa, pack a bag, and leave the house? Yes, it can be difficult when you’ve had a sleepless night, but there are only so many box sets you can watch before the cabin fever creeps in. A gentle walk in nature is an ideal form of low-impact postpartum exercise to get your body moving. Like most exercise, walking has been shown to improve the quality of your sleep, improve relaxation, and boost energy levels. So, if you can make it over the threshold, you’re winning.


What should my baby wear to go out?

What your baby wears depends on the weather, which is largely dictated by the season (although the UK can be unpredictable!). In winter, you’ll want to make sure your baby is wrapped up warm with plenty of layers, and in summer, babies need lightweight clothing and a sunhat. As a general rule, babies should be dressed in one more layer than adults, so go by what you feel comfortable in. If you are babywearing, be aware that your body will be a heat source, and that the carrier or wrap counts as an extra ‘layer.’

Merino wool is a good choice for baby clothes, as it is a natural insulator that helps regulate temperature and stays comfortable even when damp. Merino is also not bulky, which is important for correct fit and safety when babywearing. That’s why our range of baby clothing is made from sustainably sourced merino wool. Take a look at our favourite products.

Don’t be so caught up with how to dress your baby that you forget to keep yourself comfortable! Walking while babywearing or pushing a pram will warm you up, so you can expect to get a little sweaty (and that’s before we even think about the postpartum hormonal changes… We see you, night sweats!) Choosing a base layer top made from quick drying fabric, like this one, underneath a zip up fleece or jacket will give you plenty of flexibility for temperature changes. Our Mamalila Babywearing Coat is a fantastic way to keep your baby warm, dry and snuggled in against you - we love this one because it’s versatile enough to see you through pregnancy, babywearing, and beyond.


What should I take with me when I go out with my newborn?

The days of leaving the house with nothing more than your phone in your back pocket may be long gone, but you’ll quickly get used to carrying extra supplies for your baby, and you’ll probably refine your own list the more you get out and about too. Keeping an “outings bag” packed up with some of the basics can make it that much easier to get out the door on the day.

In the meantime, here are some essential pieces of kit from us at Grow Wild:

  • A changing bag with nappies, nappy sacks, nappy cream and wipes
  • Spare vests and clothes for your baby, in case of any explosions - poo and sick are both very real threats now!
  • Feeding bits and bobs - if you’re breastfeeding, all you’ll need is yourself! If you’re using a bottle, then remember to pack sterile bottles and formula. 
  • You can never have too many muslins.
  • It's always worth taking a spare top for yourself, just in case you end up covered in sick too.
  • If you’re going on a long walk, take plenty of snacks for yourself, to keep your energy up! Water is also important, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
  • Finally, remember to think about weather-related considerations, like suncream, or waterproof layers.

That’s a lot to pack that you didn’t used to have to think about! So how do you carry it all?

Well, if you’re pushing your baby in a pram, you can usually put everything you need underneath. If you prefer babywearing, (which is generally the easiest option for navigating uneven terrain, and the preferred choice for most babies) it gets a little trickier. A backpack that you can wear across your back or front, depending on where your baby is strapped, is a good option, as are plenty of really deep pockets! If you don’t plan to stray too far from your car, just take the bare essentials in a bumbag and leave the rest in the boot.

Where should I go with my newborn?

Go wherever you like! If you’re feeling a little bit nervous initially, which is completely understandable, just try a walk around the block at first, or what about taking a picnic to your local park? Having a friend with you the first time you go out can be an invaluable source of comfort and support, so consider asking someone to come with you - most people will be desperate to spend the day getting to know your new little one! 

Blaze Trails is a fantastic organisation supporting mothers to get out walking with their babies and toddlers, and has local groups all over the UK - check them out on Instagram.

Public walking routes with visitor centres and cafes tend to have toilets, baby changing facilities and parking, so these can be a good option when you want to get outside and enjoy a decent walk but still have essential facilities close by.

If you’ve always been an avid walker, there’s no reason you can’t continue to tackle steep terrain with your little one in tow, just make sure to choose routes with suitable terrain if you’re wheeling a pram, and remember to think about shelter and safety.


What about feeding and changing on the move?

Like most things baby related, feeding and changing while out and about with your baby will get easier the more you do them.


Breastfeeding and formula feeding in public?

You can breast or bottle feed your baby anywhere you feel comfortable doing so - generally speaking, if you would eat there, your baby can too! So sitting in a cafe, at a picnic bench, or on a grassy verge are all perfectly acceptable places to fuel your little one. If you’re breastfeeding, wearing a breastfeeding top like this one will make the process as simple as possible. If you’re breastfeeding and babywearing, it’s really worth practising the game changing art of feeding in a sling.


Changing your baby’s nappy in public?

If you’ve chosen somewhere with a visitor centre or cafe, chances are there’ll be baby changing facilities in the toilets. If you’ve got to change a nappy on the move, just find a flat surface, like the boot or backseat of a car, the pram, or a bench. A lightweight travel changing mat is really handy to have with you, or you can lay down a blanket.

Good luck!

So, whatever you’ve decided to do with your little one, whether you’re walking to the park to feed the ducks, or tackling a mountain trail, remember to take it slow, be kind to yourself, and scout out the nearest coffee shop beforehand, just in case.