free fun!

photo (18)

My goal is to jazz up your Mondays, or at least give you something to look forward to (see my first {marriage mondays} post here)! Today I’m focusing on new mommies, especially those with newborns or infants. My sweet little one will be 3 months old tomorrow, and I feel like I’ve reached a peak and have some downhill slopes in my future (at least for a little while).

You moms out there know what I mean, and for all you soon-to-be moms, here’s a little heads up. The first 2-3 months is the hardest adjustment period. I think the biggest challenge for me wasn’t the lack of sleep or even post-partum recovery, it was the fact that now my days and nights revolved around my new little one’s meal times and, who are we kidding, always recurring snack times. Nursing every 2 or 3 hours may not seem like much, but when those babes are figuring out how to be alive outside of the womb, meals can sometimes take 45 minutes to an hour. That gives you less than 2 hours between feeds, which doesn’t amount to much time for getting things done around the house, much less even considering going out.

I was determined to not just sit at home, so here are my tips for getting out of the house with a newborn and then some ideas for fun and free outings around DFW that are ‘baby-friendly.’

Tips & Tricks

  1. Start wearing your baby when they’re little. I first came in contact with Babywearing on my multiple trips to Africa. I saw moms getting work done and happy babies everywhere. I started ‘wearing’ RC when she was 1 week old. We went to Costco, out to dinner, on walks through the mall and over to friends’ houses. When she was just a newborn, she would fall asleep almost immediately. Now she quietly watches the world around her, content to be hanging out with Mom. I have a single-layer linen ring sling from Sakura Bloom and a Boba backpack carrier. I use both, but mostly my sling right now because it folds up into the diaper bag and I can put her in it using one-hand while I hold her with the other hand. I can also nurse her discreetly in it (walking around in the grocery store…yes, I’ve done it and yes, absolutely nobody knew), and it has calmed 2 tantrums to date when nothing else worked (and I mean NOTHING). Other selling points: I can use both hands, the slings come in beautiful colors, it’s lightweight and it’s super cute. And what gets better than snuggling with your baby? The Boba is Jake’s favorite way to carry her securely, and the backpack style helps distribute weight evenly and spare your back if you’re going to be on your feet for a long time.
  2. Nurse while you’re out. I know different people have different ideas and opinions about this and I’m not here to criticize or judge. I will say this, though: as long as people can walk around exposed, I’m going to discreetly and modestly nurse in public (or in an air-conditioned car if you’re out of options). If there are any questions, know that according to Texas State law it is a mother’s right to breastfeed in public. There are ways to do this without wearing a poncho, just youtube it. The easiest is to wear a tank top and a loose top – the tank covers your midriff, the top covers your chest, and the baby covers the rest. There’s also the ring sling which has a ‘tail’ to cover any exposed skin, but also keep baby in place. The biggest hurdle is worrying what others will think, so it just takes practice and going for it. For me, this is easier than pumping, carrying around a bottle, or trying to make it home every 2 hours to feed her (because some babies won’t take a bottle).
  3. Practice makes perfect. The more you get out, the easier it will be, and the braver you will get. Getting all your errands run in one day can be overwhelming, so start small. I had a full day planned when she was 3 weeks old starting with FedEx. I had to go home and back to FedEx 3 times because I was carrying so much and forgot what I needed. My day out ended with FedEx, but that’s ok. Start small – head to Target and walk around, or just go to the mall and window shop. Make it a fun trip that doesn’t necessarily have to be productive. You were productive when you walked out the door.
  4. Just do it. RC hates the car seat right now, but I’ve made it a goal to get out of the house at least once a day for most of the days of the week. It’s hard, and sometimes I just want to stay in my PJs (and some days I let myself), but going out and being flexible is good for both of us.

And that’s how we do it. There’s no artform and we definitely struggle, and sometimes most of the time RC looks more put together than I do, but we do it and we have fun! Moms, keep an extra mascara and lip color in the car console. You’ll thank me.

Below is a list of free activities in the Dallas area for Moms and babies, and a picture from my ‘outing’ today. Have a fabulous Monday and get out of the house with those babies!

Baby Bounce Basics – Northpark Bookmarks

Angelika Dallas CryBaby Matinee – Tues/Wed at 1:30

Angelika Plano CryBaby Matinee – Thurs at 1:30, Saturdays at 11

Stroller Boot Camp @ Klyde Warren Park – Tuesdays 10-11

Perot Museum Lobby – cafe and activities (no admission required)

Dallas Museum of Art

Check your local library for events and activities

Lunch with our favorite guy today! RC cried the whole way there, but sitting on Daddy’s knee and all the lunchtime smiles made it worth the trip.

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