You know what it is that I look for when deciding to go out? Comfortability. Not for me though but for my daughter.
I now have a 13th month old baby girl and it’s gotten easier, for now, to go out and eat (or just go out in general). But man, oh, man, when she was much younger, like 1 month old-young, it was kind of a challenge. You see, me and my husband go out a lot, not just because we want to but because we have to (be it work, family, or errands related) and our “business” is usually in the city and we live an island away (we live in Mactan).
Since giving birth, last October 2016, we haven’t had the chance to just stay at home for more than 5 days at a time. Meaning we’ve never stayed home for a week straight. So that goes without saying that we eat out, especially when we can’t get to prepare food to bring (which is often) and we don’t have a maid, so wherever we go, our daughter goes.
“So what’s that like? Out with an infant and traveling?”
Well, this I’ll tell you, it isn’t easy BUT it isn’t impossible. It definitely takes some time getting used to.
So let me share some tips on daily travelling and what I look for in restaurants when eating out with an infant.
- Prep your car. Either put your essentials in it or be sure to have a backpack ready full of it. Think of your car as your 2nd home. (I know it is for me)
When my daughter was weeks to months old, I always had a portable bed/bassinet in the car – for when she’s fast asleep (And makes for a really easy diaper change!). A baby car seat would do as well, the type that’s big enough and stretched out enough for your baby to sleep in. And of course, I had diapers, wipes, extra clothes, blankets, baby food, baby utensils, alcohol, pretty much all the essentials in the car. I had a container in the car which also had these things for “emergency cases”.
1.1If you don’t have a car and use public transport, Be sure to have a backpack filled with all your baby needs.
What’s worse than having to commute and bear with Philippine traffic? Forgetting something and having to go back for it! So make a checklist if you have to. Bear in mind that it’s stressful enough to have to use public transportation (I mean let’s be honest, even if we use a v-hire with air conditioning and all, having to share the ride with strangers while you have an infant/toddler with you isn’t really a great thing to deal with) so imagine what your baby has to go through as well. So try to let it be as smooth as possible by avoiding further stress. Yes? yes.
2. Know where you want to go. Do your research.
When you’re in the car nursing your child and trying to get him/her to stay soothed, conversations during the ride may be “stressful” for you and the baby. Having to talk to your partner, asking each other where to eat can get pretty “chaotic”. Let’s not deny that this “conversation” takes it toll.
“Where do you want to eat?”
“I don’t know, where do you want to eat?”
So it’s best to be prepared. Also, when you do your research, you’re able to pick out the best place which is also suitable for your baby. Information – like knowing if the restaurant has a booster seat, has a spacious layout that can accommodate a stroller, or if their service is family friendly (and not the type where the waiters don’t even listen to you or acknowledge you when you call out to them) is gold!
3. Practice using a baby carrier – There’s a ton to choose from. Figure out which is best for you and your baby and use it! It’s a life saver especially when you don’t want to bring a stroller with you.
For those that are just hearing about this, check these articles out about what it is and what there is to choose from.
My favorite was the baby ring sling from Mamaway Philippines and Maya wrap. This was significantly my fave when my daughter was weeks old up to 8 months. From there on I’ve been using a hip seat carrier since she moves a lot. Having a baby carrier definitely saves you arm energy! Unless you’re looking to exercise your arm muscles daily, having a baby carrier is your best bet and will become your best friend when going out. My daughter would be asleep in it most of the time which made her more at ease and happy.
I never leave the house without one!
4. Breathe. Remember you have your happy pill with you, your baby.
When stress comes in throughout the day, pause, take a deep breath, and smile at your little bundle of joy. They are ultimately your best stress reliever – even if the stress can come from them. There’s no better joy than seeing your baby, especially when they’re smiling or at peace. 🙂