Parenting | Lifestyle | Food | No F--king Idea

How To.. get out of the house with a little one

How To.. get out of the house with a little one

For a very long time, my family has found it extremely hilarious and entertaining how punctual, organised and time-aware I am. Where my brothers and mum are relaxed and keen believers of ‘going with the flow’, I am the stark opposite.

I would rather be an hour early somewhere than on time or – GOD FORBID – five minutes late. If a party starts at seven, I am there at seven. If I have been invited to a dinner out at six thirty, you can guarantee that I will be there at six (quarter to six). When Pete assures me that everyone else will be there at least twenty minutes late, he still showers and jumps in the car with me to be wherever we need to be very, very early.

I have zero idea where it comes from, but that’s just me. I have always been punctual and I have always been a (very) early riser. The hours between 4.30am and 6am are my favourite of the day. (Having said that, waking up at 6am is preferred as I need all the sleep I can get at the moment, but I digress.)

A friend of mine asked me the other day, “Do you find it hard getting out of the house with Hunter?” and I was honestly able to answer, “Nope!” She then went on to compare me with a friend of hers who also has a little one who she swears can’t get out of the house before midday. Another friend of mine, also with a little one, said to me a few months ago, “I have no idea how you got out with Hunter when he was so little, I can barely make it out before the afternoon!”

I hadn’t thought anything of it – Hunter and I were just doing our thing.

Every single baby and mother and parent and child is different. I have had mornings (and afternoons and nights) where I cannot wrangle Hunter, I cannot coax him to do anything. And on those days, he and I don’t get out of the house until HE is ready and I can handle him.

But hey, if I can pass on even ONE handy tip that can help a mama get to her caffeine sooner then it is totally worth it.

  1. Pack your nappy bag.

I can’t tell you how simple and helpful it is to pack your little one’s bag the night before. Whether you have a newborn, a six month old or a toddler, preparing everything you will need for the next day will save you a lot of stress in the morning. Here are my ‘must-haves’ for Hunter’s day bag:

  • Nappy pouch with a change mat, three spare nappies and nappy bin bags
  • Wipes. All the wipes. I have a Huggies wipe pouch that I then purchase bulk refills for
  • Spare formula. Hunter is formula-fed so I always make sure that I have spare portions with me. There are a number of formula dispensers on the market – I have an Avent one that holds three separate portions
  • Water for Hunter and I. I always make sure I have a litre bottle of water for me and to make another bottle if he needs one. I also pack a bottle of water for Hunter
  • FOOD. Hunter is on solids now and, like his mama, the little man loves his food. I pack a small lunchbox with breadsticks, avocado sandwich, rusks, rice puffs, cut up fruit, etc.
  • Spare change of clothes – in case of any accidents!
  • Bibs – because you always need bibs
  • Toys. I always pack some blocks, some teething rattles and whatever other toy he is fixated on at the moment.
  • Spare dummies. I cannot tell you the number of Hunter’s dummies that I am sure litter the streets and shopping centres of Sydney
  • And then for me: book, wallet, sunglasses, phone, lip balm, hair elastics and keys

2. Check the weather

This may sound silly, but it is something that I do every night. Not only does it help me plan what I am doing with Hunter the next day but it also helps me plan what to wear, what Hunter is going to wear and also if I need to pack anything extra in his day bag (like an umbrella, a hat, etc.). Now again, all of that may sound like a silly idea, but there are days when I just have no idea what to wear; or days when I will come out of the shower and want to wear something in particular only to realise that it is in the washing machine and then Im just naked, confused and Hunter is getting all restless because he knows we are going out.

3. YOUTUBE IS YOUR FRIEND

Now I realise that not everyone may like their children watching television, and some may be totally against it! That is totally fine and I completely admire you! Just before I hop in the shower, I connect my laptop to the television, head to YouTube and put on either “Disco Food Party”, “Sparkabilities” or “Baby Einstein”. By that stage of our morning, Hunter has eaten breakfast, had a bottle and is playing with his toys on his playmat on the floor. These videos are educational (besides the Disco one) and Hunter loves them! He doesn’t sit there blankly watching the television, instead he plays with his toys and tends to listen to the videos rather than watching them. When I get out of the shower and am doing my hair and makeup, I have a clear view of Hunter and these videos simply help keep him THAT much more distracted so I am able to make myself feel nice for the day ahead. Like I said, not everyone will agree with this method and there are some mornings when Hunter doesn’t need that extra stimulation. But for me, it allows me to have those brief five minutes to myself to brush my teeth, tame my hair and brush some mascara onto my tired eyes.

4. Relax

It’s all well and good to get your little one out of the house for the morning, but what is the point if you are frazzled, feeling pressured, putting yourself through unnecessary stress and feel like absolute shit! Hunter normally wakes up at about 5.30am, so by the time 7.30am-8am rolls around, he is ready for another nap. This has been his routine for about a month and a half now, and it works for us! When he goes down for his nap is when I like to start my day properly. I make myself a coffee. I make myself breakfast. I put The Today Show on. I open my book. I sit. Hunter is awake for most of the day after that so I allow myself that time when he is napping of a morning to be selfish. There may be dishes that need washing, clothes that need folding, vacuuming that needs doing but I ignore all of that and do exactly what makes ME happy.

5. Trial and error, baby!

Each and every day, Hunter is different. Like yesterday he decided that he wouldn’t have his morning nap. Cool. But then this morning, he went down from 6.15 until 7.30. There are mornings that I have cried, that he has screamed, that my mum has had to come over; there are other mornings where he is happy, and content, and I am caffeinated and showered. It’s all trial and error.



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