Acclaimed parenting blogger Eeh Bah Mum, aka Ilkley mum-of-two Kirsty Smith, has just published her first book, How to Have a Baby and Not Lose Your S**t.
Here’s her top tip for getting out of the house with a baby.
The first time I left the house with both my children I looked like a human version of Buckaroo (The stacking game with a moody mule!). Pushing my daughter in a pram, wearing my son in the sling I was loaded up with all the essentials for an afternoon out with small children: one bag of books and toys, one toddler change bag, one separate baby change bag complete with spare clothes, one bag of snacks, one baby first aid kit filled with a selection of bum creams.
By the time I arrived at my destination I was a sweaty, sweary mess. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
You’re going to the park not the moon.
When Daddy takes the kids to the swings he takes a tiny rucksack with a banana, water and some wipes. When I questioned how on earth he managed he pointed out that the park was full of other mums laden down with snacks, creams and wipes he could borrow. The man is a genius.
Ignore the adverts.
All those baby essentials in the magazines? They’re not essential. When you go out you need something to put it in, something to feed it with and something to wipe it with. That’s it.
Obviously as baby gets older you will need to buy some things. But guess what?
The shops will still be open once you have had your baby.
And by then you’ll know what colour/ size to buy.
The real essentials are things you can’t buy.
A sense of humour.
A total lack of house pride. (If you visit my house and there are no pants on the radiator I have tidied up.)
A big group of friends with babies. Enough so you still have people to hang out with when others cancel because baby is ill/ sleeping/ not sleeping.
A lax attitude to timekeeping.
Embrace being late.
You’ve got a baby! Babies are the perfect excuse for rocking up late everywhere you go. Make the most of them being small and cute and unable to speak for themselves and blame them for your tardiness.
Finally remember If you leave the house fully dressed and wearing matching shoes that’s a win.
Ah who am I kidding you don’t even have to be fully dressed.
I’m off now to replace all the batteries in the musical toys with dead ones.