mama, the first time is always the hardest! It gets exponentially easier after that. The first time we went out alone, Cecilia was 4 weeks old, and we went to Target, which is 5 minutes away. It was hard because she was a carseat hater until she was about 5 months old. Once we got there, it was fine. She did get worked up at one point, and I sat down on a shelf in the very back corner of the store and nursed her! I couldn't believe I did it, but I wanted her to be happy! After that I started getting more confidence in both taking her places and nursing in public.
Will she stand for a blanket/Hooter Hider type of thing? Try one at home and see. If so, then you can be a little more fumbly and it won't matter since you'll be covered. You can ditch the cover once you get more confident, or just keep using it. NIP while you can, cause man, Cecilia won't do it anymore! She gets distracted so easily now, she's pulling off every two seconds!
bedsharing, knitting, toddler-nursing, nerdy, babywearing mama!
I understand completely! Liam is 5 weeks old and I'm starting to go stir crazy as well. To top it off I live in Wisconsin, so it's quite an ordeal just to get bundled up for a walk. I have gotten out some, but so far I have mostly gone out at times when my husband or mother can go with me so I have some extra hands to help. They've also mostly been short excursions when his tummy is full so I know I won't have to feed him while I'm out. Now that my husband is back at work/school I need to start venturing out on my own more.
I haven't figured this out completely, but this is what's helped me so far:
-Go to a postnatal yoga class or a different new mom's group
A postnatal mother-baby yoga class is one of the things Liam and I have done by ourselves. It was great to get out and get exercise, plus it really took the pressure off of nursing in public when I was surrounded by other people who were pulling their boobs out left and right to calm/feed their own babies.
-Buy some nursing clothes/tanks or make/buy a nursing cover up
This isn't really necessary, but it makes me feel better about nursing in public. I haven't perfected breastfeeding when I'm not lounging on the couch with a pillow under my arm, so I like having a cover to use.
-Take baby steps
I feel much less overwhelmed when I do small excursions (like going to the store to buy one thing) by myself. At this point our solo trips out of the house are very short and are mainly to help me practice and feel more comfortable with the whole experience. I'm increasing their length and complexity very slowly as I feel more comfortable.
I have this same question, so I'm looking forward to seeing what other people say.
plan your first couple of trips carefully, that's all i can say! my first trip was to a large bookstore. i didn't need anything, but i hadn't been out with her by myself yet and i wanted somewhere comfortable, quiet and spacious to practice. a bookstore is good because there are usually nice quiet spots to sit, a plus if you can get a latte and a magazine to browse while nursing :)! a mall is good too, especially if you know of one that has a good breastfeeding room. i can nurse my baby anywhere, of course, but in the beginning, it is nice to utilize those baby rooms which are comfortable and well-equipped. my favourite mall in the early months was one with a super nice breastfeeding room... rocking chairs, quiet music, low lights... it was an excellent place to spend the hour it takes to feed and change a young baby!
just take your time, don't over-pack and don't worry about "crowds" or whatever. i had a couple of crazy people yell at me for bringing out such a tiny baby in public... whatever. she was in a wrap right next to my body, and perfectly safe and happy.
We took a week long trip to a state 6 hours away when DD was 2 weeks old. My grandmother was dying and I wanted her to see her first grandchild, plus as happy as I was to have a new baby, she is/was the closest person to me besides my husband and I wanted to spend her last days with her. This kind of forced us out there, with us taking trips to Target, grocery store, church with a babe just 14-20 days old. She never got sick, and she was probably held by 20 different people. Im not sure I would make the same decisions if I hadnt been in crazy emotionally intense place, but it all worked out. My DH was with me the whole time, and I dont think I could have made trips to the grocery and such all alone with her that little, but at about 4 weeks, I could do it by myself wearing her in the moby.
Holly and David
Adaline (3/20/10), and Charlie (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)
DD was 2 weeks old. We went to Target. I was batshit stir crazy at that point and felt chained to the couch nursing all the time. It took me longer to get ready to get out the door than we spent in the actual store!
Nursing in public can be tricky when you're just learning how... but practice with the right outfit before you go out and you might feel more capable. Try wearing a nursing tank under a loose top or t-shirt. The nursing tank flops down and the t-shirt comes up and once you get your LO situated, no one's really seeing any skin.
I think we are WAY more paranoid about someone seeing us than there are people out there trying to look. Most people just think I'm holding my baby or don't give a shit.
3 houses - 2 blocks in the old neighborhood = 1 eclectic/traditional tribe!
DS was one week old. We drove an hour to a park at the ocean and DH & I ate a picnic lunch and then we all laid on a blanket for a little bit, baby nursed, and we went home. It was nice because he slept in the car both ways, and we didn't have to worry about germs, and it was July so dressed in pants & a hat we weren't worried about the cold.
The first time I took him out alone we also went to Target (seems to be a theme!). He got a little fussy so I put him in the wrap... and then spent 20 minutes walking around the store with my shirt caught in the wrap, exposing my 10 days postpartum belly flab... awesome. I finally got through getting everything I needed and while I was waiting in line I looked over and saw a serene mother with a 5 or 6 month old in a perfectly tied purple Moby and I felt like such a goof and I wanted to cry. I remember telling DH about it and feeling like crap and he said not to worry, that would be me some day. And 4 months later... it was :)
I never worried about germs (I think cause it was summer and I didn't let anyone touch him). Baby carrier is your best friend - I had an Ergo with the infant insert and I could go just about anywhere... as long as I was walking he would sleep. And if he was sleeping he didn't want to nurse so I wouldn't have to NIP! Once he got to be about 2 months I was better at NIP and then we went everywhere. I remember sitting in a coffee shop talking to my best friend for like an hour while DS nursed. I had a nursing tank on and nobody could even tell what I was doing. I would say by the time he was 2.5 months old we would go somewhere almost every day - I'd give myself one little errand to do each day and it got me out of the house.
Now that he is six months though, forget it. He sees something interesting, pops off and there you are hanging in the breeze!!
(BTW: if you go to a mall and need to nurse, go to the bra section of a dept store. It's quiet and full of just women, and you can usually find a chair there.)
Sorry that was rambling... DS will be waking up soon!
Mumma to DS July 2010 and expecting another baby boy late July 2012
Oh man a MONTH! I don't remember how long it was before I went out with DD, but I think it was a week? We went to my moms house for dinner and naps : ) With DS it was like 3 days, and I took him to the movies. Seriously, love the movies! I had him wrapped up cozy the whole time on my lap, I got to sit and eat a popcorn/enjoy a film and if he needed to nurse it was dark!
Wow, a month is a long time not be getting out. I was out and about almost immediately after both my babies were born. As far as nursing on the go, the trick is to just do it. Sure, you might fumble a bit the first time or two but you will become comfortable very quickly. Make sure you have a good sling or wrap and you will be fine.
well.....I am of the opinion that unless someone is puking or spewing up snot or something and getting close to your kid, you can go out right away. Assuming you had a birth center or hospital birth, your baby has already been out in public. ds was a winter baby and I took him out within 3-4 days of birth. dd was a spring baby but it was fairly cool when she was born in April. We checked out of the hospital early so she was less than 2 days old. We came home, I put ds down for a nap, put dd in the carseat and headed to target. I felt great and I needed a diaper pail. I carried her in the wrap in teh store so that people wouldn't breathe all over her. That was a Friday. The next day we went to the park (for ds) and Sunday we went to church as usual. The Wednesday after dd was born, making he exactly 1 week old, we went to ds' storytime at the library. It was pretty funny because we hadn't even missed a week, and the last time the moms had seen me I had been so hugely pregnant.
I don't let people hold my babies and I am very protective of them. But I would lose my ever loving mind if I had to stay in the house with a newborn for an entire month. I say get out and start doing stuff. She will be fine! DD has never had an ear infection or major illness and she goes everywhere ds goes....playgroups, activities, storytimes, classes etc. which are typically germy places with all those snotty preschoolers running around.
Forgot to add about nursing in [public. I really could care less if people see a flash of boob. But my DP cares a lot. So when we are out together I often wear a regular cami with the built in shelf bra, and a shirt over it. Then I pull the shirt up and the cami down. I know stores like dots, forever 21, rainbow, etc have them for $3 and I still have one that I wore when ds was a baby, so 3 yrs ago. But at $3 it won't bug you if it does get stretched out. I love kmart tank sports bras for the same reason...cheap. and I find them much easier to deal with than nursing bras. I refuse to wear nursing attire. It's ugly and imo just adds an extra step to the process. Plus it makes me feel so....frumpy!
Very blessed mama to one bouncin' boy (12/07) one who didn't get to stay (6/09), one potty learning, mess making diva(4/10), and one cheerful milk monster. (12/11) Happy partner to the love of my life.
Well, to offer a different opinion, I didn't want to go anywhere for the first month when my daughter was born. It wasn't about germs. It was about being blissed out with my amazingly perfect newborn. I swear I spent a month just staring at her and memorizing her perfect face. I still do it at night when we go to bed.
bedsharing, knitting, toddler-nursing, nerdy, babywearing mama!
I do the same thing! Sometimes I have a hard time falling asleep because I just want to stare at her some more!
I'm not too worried about germs. I do want to take her to school for all my fellow teachers and friends to see and that has me a bit worried because of all the germy kids, but I'll just be sure to ask everyone to wash their hands or sanitize before touching her and I won't let the kiddos get too close. I'll try to plan my trip for right after school, when the kids are gone.
I'm in Tucson, so I also have nice weather...it's been in the 70s here lately during the day. At least I don't have to deal with bundling up. I have the opposite problem. We took a walk with her in the Moby and we were both too hot! Now we use the stroller for walks. Which is nice because I can keep the sun off her. She would burn to a crisp out here with this sun. I'll have to find a cooler wrap because summers are brutal and I enjoy having her in the wrap. Her daddy and I both have one and we love carrying her around the house in it.
Hey, I'm in Tucson too, mama! Let me know if you're looking for a mama's group; I have one in mind.
For cooler wrap ideas, I used a cotton gauze one. Worked wonderfully for me!
bedsharing, knitting, toddler-nursing, nerdy, babywearing mama!
My DS had colic and was very easily overstimulated and would start screaming, so unfortunately we couldn't go anywhere except on walks until he was just over 3 months. Man was that a long 3 months, trapped inside (during summer) with a screaming baby!
Who knew it could be so terrifying just going somewhere with a tiny baby!? Our first trip was around the corner to the supermarket. I'll never forget how I rushed through it out of fear he'd start screaming. He was in the Moby, and did just fine. I think for the next excursion we actually took the train into the city. I sat around knowing I HAD to just do it, but it took about a week to get up the courage. In the end it was fine, I had to keep walking up and down the train or he'd start crying (15 min ride), but it was ok. I can't even remember where we went.
The first time I NIP we were at Starbucks. I took a quiet table way out of the way and I just remember thinking "Oh my god! I'm doing it!!!"
....but we're in the same boat as Aimee and Cecelia: Max will not NIP anymore, he gets so distracted! I started using a cover, which helps sone, but these days I just give him a sippy cup with water when we're out.
Mama since 2010
Multicultural living in Europe
My first was 2.5 days old when we went out to dinner, lol.
My 5th is 5.5 weeks old, and I've taken him out (other than to the ped. and a quick Grandma visit) exactly once, at about 2.5 weeks. Days later, he was hospitalized for a fever. We haven't been out since. I know it was just a coincidence (my own kids shared their germs), but now I'm Paranoid Mommy. :-p
Raising a full house- Kings (12, 3, new) over Queens (8, 7)
PMed you, mama!
bedsharing, knitting, toddler-nursing, nerdy, babywearing mama!
We nursed in the car quite a bit, when my son was first born. He ate so frequently in the beginning, that I could "top him off" before running errands or walking downtown.
DS is almost 10 weeks old now. We started getting out for short trips to the store pretty much right away. DH and I went to Target to Christmas shop when he was he was 2-3 wks old and I nursed him in the family fitting room. I've nursed in the car a bunch of times and in the back of the bowling alley. I still haven't learned how to nurse in the wrap or sling. I definitely still don't feel "coordinated" with it. We are still using a nipple shield which makes nursing in public more difficult. I've been trying to wean him from it and have made a little progress at home, but when we are out, I cannot get him to latch without it for even a second. Just find an out of the way location, face a wall, whatever. I kind of have a hard time with it cause I want to just pop my boob out and latch him on like a pro, but I have to hide a little since it takes a few minutes to get the shield on and get him to latch. So I end up feeling guilty for hiding cause I WANT to nurse in public with confidence. Last week I nursed at a restaurant for the first time, but it wasn't that busy and the tables next to and across from us were empty and the lighting was dim, so I didn't feel like anyone would even notice anyway. I will be SOOO glad when we can finally ditch the nipple shield for good. Once that happens I'm going to nurse everywhere, LOL!
Panda was 3 days old when we went out for groceries.
Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012) Married to awesome SAH DH.
We were at the mall the day after we left the hospital, the farmer's market the next day & church the day after that. I go crazy staying in the house all day. DS was born in a hospital so probably was exposed to way way more germs there than he was anywhere else we went.
We tried at 2 weeks and I had a breakdown. I just couldn't handle the people. and DD wanted to nurse the whole time and I seriously couldn't nurse unless I was totally topless and had 3 pillows and used both hands and I leaked a lot. So it was hard at first for me to be in public, to be comfortable. You can always find a bathroom (I sat on a toilet once for like 20 min to nurse my baby at the grocery store) or changing room or quiet corner or face a wall. Honestly, people try not to stare and I have found that I'm so preoccupied getting her to latch on that I'm not paying attention to the general public. And soon enough you will get better at it and your babe will have neck control and it will be easier (then they get distracted and excited about the world that they can't focus on nursing. that's where i am now. we finally figured it out and now she can only get a good feed in at home in bed! but i know that will change too)
good luck momma. i think we finally had our first outing around 5 or 6 weeks
P.J............my first was a screamer as well, I didn't know it at the time but I think she just got overstimulated, overtired and couldn't settle herself to sleep (hindsight is 20/20). I was terrifed to leave the house.
OP, with DD2 we left the house for the first time when she was 5 days old. My recovery this time was amazing, with my first I started to get sore after standing too long for about the first week or so. My ODD was getting a bit stir crazy, her grandparents had been taking her on outings but she wanted her mom and dad. We took her swimming and to an indoor playground, she swam with her dad and played while I sat in a chair reading a book while YDD slept in the Moby. My Mom was having a homecoming BBQ for my little brother right after so we went to that. I had a camping trip/family reunion 2 weeks after she was born and we went there for about 4 days. It was great because there was lots of family to entertain Mya and I just sat in a chair for the whole time nursing and cuddling my YDD (I shared her with family too.....but didn't have to share too much since she was a nursing maniac in those days so she was with me quite a bit). Outings really do get easier. I remember feeling the same way you do with my first. Even going to a doctor appointment seemed overwhelming. I wasn't good at NIP and it caused some stress. This time around I'm a pretty good at NIP, I discovered nursing tank tops and these really help......it's my NIP uniform :). I think you've gotten some good advice, start small (the bookstore seems like a great idea) and go from there.
I was out within the first week with both. I am concerned about germs, but not overly so when they are so tiny because the baby is in a wrap the whole time and other people can barely see the baby, let alone touch the baby.
Mama to three
It took me a few months to venture out on my own with the baby. I had a c section so I felt like the first month I was still really injured- more than a month really. I would say jsut take it slow- breastfeed just before you go out. I would personally feed him in the car when we werre out and he needed to eat- I mean park the car in as private a place as possible and feed in the back seat.
I probably only stayed in for a couple weeks. We took walks a lot though. I just kept her in a wrap so she was close to me and to keep people from touching and getting too close to DD. In the beginning we used a nursing cover but I soon got the hang of discreet nursing without it! I loved the nursing cover for the first month or so because I could fumble around and let it all out without anyone being able to see a thing