Two days after Daniel was born, we took him out of the house and met up with our NCT class at The Freemason Arms in Hampstead. We re-packed the diaper bag from what we brought with us to the hospital (fewer changes of clothes, more muslin cloths and more nappies) and we put Daniel in the pram for the first time.
He was so tiny that when we lifted the nose end of the pram, he slid towards the bottom and disappeared below the bassinet cover. It was terrifying. We walked to the bus stop – boarded the bus, locked the buggy and felt extraordinarily proud of ourselves for managing the logistics – which in retrospect, were not many, but it was all so new that it felt like a real accomplishment.
It was mid-day so the bus was fairly empty, and I think the physical space which the roomy bus afforded us, made the trip that much easier. Try to plan your first outing when there won’t be as many people around and you will have more time to do everything. Remember, this will be the first time you’ve reached into the diaper bag to find the nappies, the mat, the wipes and maybe even a change of clothes; and it can feel like everyone is staring at you. If you have a screaming baby in your arms, it will feel that way, because they will be. It all becomes habitual very quickly (doing something 10 times a day will do that), but make your first time in public as easy as possible and avoid situations where other people might put pressure on you.
Another tip: don’t go too far away from home. Our bus ride was no more than 10 minutes, and we were a comfortable walk away as well. Start small.
As a side-note: The Freemason Arms was a great place for a bunch of families with prams to meet up. There was ample space for all the buggies, and the food and drinks were delicious. We met lots of the other babies for the first time and stayed for a full EPS* cycle (*a phrase coined by my brother with his first son – Eat, Poop, Sleep). Having had enough excitement for one day and knowing that a long night loomed ahead of us, we boarded the bus a few hours later and headed back home.