From MimiV ~ I’m wondering if you ladies have any suggestions on how to schedule outings with my newborn. Sophie is not quite 1 month. Her sleep habits are very much up in the air. So, nap times aren’t reliable to schedule with. She does take a bottle, so that makes things easier. I’m not yet comfortable with breastfeeding in public. I’d like to go shopping, just for a long walk, visit a friend. The ice cream shoppe is a short distance. We also want to start going to a mom’s group for newborn moms. I’m just not sure how I should work it with Sophie. Whenever we’re out during her nap time, she will stay asleep. But the nap after that always seems to be messed up. She never gets to sleep nicely after we’ve been out.
From clover ~ I always thought it was really easy to take DD out when she was a newborn. I didn’t worry about schedules. If she was asleep, I let her sleep; if she was awake, we played or nursed or strolled about. As a newborn, nursing in public was easy. When she started to squirm and look around, it got to be impossible and I’d usually bring a bottle of EBM.
My advice is to not bother with a schedule for a while. Newborns adjust quite easily. Within a few months, she’ll start to have normal nap schedules that SHE will set herself. By about 4 months old, DD took a long morning nap, a long afternoon nap and a short early evening nap with bedtime around 9 p.m. By 8 months, she had cut out the early evening nap and started going to bed for the night at 7 p.m. But every baby is different and it is best to let them set their own schedule.
The best you can do is offer routine… not a schedule. For instance, every morning after breakfast and nap, go out for a while (whether it be a walk or to a playgroup) and then come home for lunch and another nap and then go out again (say, groceries or whatever) before returning for supper, more play time. bath and bed. Even if you are only out for 20 minutes each time, she will start getting used to the series of events throughout the day.
From Lucy ~ I agree with Cloveer that it is routine (i.e. the order in which things happen) rather than a timetable which is important at this stage. DS was on formula by 1 month so that side of things was a little more flexible (I know how precious breastmilk is so you don’t want to take it out with you if you don’t think she’ll want it) but basically, if it was me going out just with DS, I would pack his diaper bag, wait til he’d just fed and then head off, knowing he would only want one feed maximum in the next 3 hours or so.
The only fixed thing we did was a newborn group (like you want to try) and I went regardless of what DS needed (I would just pack up and go, though if he was in the middle of a bottle obviously I let him finish, but we’re only talking 10 minutes here), and would attend to him there as he needed it. Often he slept through the whole thing LOL! It was only once a week so even if his sleep got a little messed up, my other outings were at my timing (i.e. waiting til he’d just fed) until I felt more comfortable managing him in public.
Re: breastfeeding in public, I totally understand. Can you find out which stores etc near you have mother and baby rooms? Some of the stores near me have breastfeeding rooms, there is only room for two mothers and babies at a time, I was okay with that – often it was empty anyway. Just a thought!
From Casey784 ~ It took me a long, long time to be comfortable nursing in public so I became a pro at finding lounges and dressing rooms (nursing in the car got old really quickly and I just couldn’t be at home all day long). Nordstrom usually has really, really nice lounges that are perfect for nursing. Dressing room attendants wouldn’t even blink an eye when I’d ask for a room so I could nurse my son.
I agree with the others though….just get out and about as best you can. I found it easier to get everything ready, nurse and then go.
From mary1 ~ Your little one is still 1 month old. Routines are good. I found that getting things ready to get out of the house right after nap time was successful. DD would wake from a nap and we would have a feed and then get out the door. Also, our excusions were usually short. I did attend a newborn group, but I never woke DD to attend. If she was sleeping I skipped the group. I have learned that letting a child sleep is the most important thing I can do to keep DD and myself happy and healthy.
Another idea is to just call a friend when you daughter is awake and say, hey let’s get together or something. You may need to make plans on the spur of the moment rather than scheduling. As Clover said, by about 4 months your little one will most likely have a definite sleep pattern and scheduling will become easier.
From PattiS ~ Good responses but another thing to consider with any child but especially in one that young is sun exposure. Make sure she’s shaded all the time when you are outside, my pediatrician said no sunscreen until they are a year old so anytime before that they were unprotected.
From JM ~ I found going out with a newborn quite easy really; I just used to make my arrangements and go. I think the thought of it is far worse than the reality. Once you’ve gone out a few times it will be old hat and you will wonder what you worried about.
From Summergirl ~ I agree with most of the other ladies here. Don’t worry about schedule, but try to keep a routine and get out and go. Being out and about is a great way to feel good and keep your sanity. Plus, I always feel like I’ve accomplished something when I come home from an outing–and those moments of accomplishment are few and far between these days!
Anyway, what I do is get everyone ready (me and toddler) and then nurse the baby right before I leave. That way she’s “tanked up” as much as possible and is likely to fall asleep and go a nice stretch while I’m out. Use the bjorn or sling. The motion of you walking is also likely to keep her napping.
As far as nursing in public, try to scout places to go now and practice nursing as if you were in public at home. Restaurants with booths are great for private nursing, and I have even put baby down on them to nap once or twice. (especially if it’s one with a turn in the booth so you get a nice, wide space. Put down a blanket first and let her snooze next to you while you eat).
Oh, and mommy groups and LLL meetings are great becuase you can do anything you need to with baby there and if you’re having a tough time everyone understands.
If you have a rough outing or two, don’t sweat it. We all do. Just keep at it!
From SharonCC ~ If you can overcome your discomfort of nursing in public, you’ll be a free woman. It helped me to put a chair in front of a full-length mirror and practice latching on and off discreetly. I’d also have my dh judge to make sure I was being discreet. I was able to come up with a system, no blanket, no nursing clothes or anything, to nurse anywhere. It’s very do-able!
From BridgetMS ~ When I first had Ryan, it was hard to go places because of breastfeeding in public. I remember going to the mall and having to sit in the bathroom (in a chair or something) to nurse. I have also had to go into dressing rooms. After I got really good, I could breastfeed and shop at the same time! People just thought he was sleeping! It gets easier.