Thrilled to say hi, let me introduce myself… I’m Lucy Felton, Alex and Alexa’s Life & Style Contributor, a fashion journalist turned lifestyle blogger at The Lucy Edit, wife, mum of two (one of each – Hector, 2, Hadley, 11 months) and lover of chocolate, décor and buying hordes of magazines I inevitably never get to read!
Just like you guys, I’m a mother trying to juggle it all, stay sane and pretend I’ve got all bases covered when I’m generally having a meltdown on the inside and dropping plates left, right and centre. I never get to go to the bathroom alone anymore and can’t remember the last cup of tea I drank hot, but would I change it? Of course not! As I navigate the chaos that is life with two under three, I’m here sharing my motherhood journey with you all. Expect plenty of baby hacks, parenting tips and postpartum advice.
Something I’m asked a lot is how I get the kids out of the house. I find that for all the days I’m happy to embrace staying in and hunkering down with snacks and games, I’m equally as happy getting out and about with my brood in tow. But here’s the thing… It’s the thought of getting them both ready and out of the door that’s way more overwhelming than the actual being out bit. In fact, being outdoors can do so much for my state of mind and mama wellbeing, that simply getting up and out of the house, whether it’s for a trip to pick up a basket of shopping or full-blown visit to the local farm (who just so happen to have the best soft play and homemade cake around) completely changes my whole outlook on the day for the better.
Something I always come back to, is about being as organised as you can, especially when it comes to the little ones. Sure there are times when my changing bag is all strewn around the house (usually when I’ve forgotten to hang it up high out of my toddler’s reach) but mostly, I’ve got a nappy bag all set and ready to go at a moment’s notice. It’s this having all of the baby kit prepped, that makes getting out as seamless as it can possibly be with two tots following my every move like the Pied Piper.
There’s so much chaos introduced to your life when a baby is born. Firstly, you’re learning on the job and getting to know your baby’s personality. Secondly, you’re experiencing a huge hormone imbalance and generally speaking, your body has not even had a chance to begin its recovery process before you’re back out there in the big wide world pushing that pram along the pavement. All of this means that it’s imperative that everything else around you is simplified. Ordering takeaways, wearing the same sweatshirt for a week straight, embracing the no-time-to-shower top knot – all acceptable when you’ve got a baby in your care! But the one thing that’s really going to help give you a boost, is having all of your new mum arsenal on standby. The dirty dishes can wait, because getting your mama kit – from the changing bag to the stroller – in working order is the best secret weapon you have.
The dirty dishes can wait, because getting your mama kit in order is the best secret weapon you have.
When I was a new mum the first time around, I remember being told that all I’d need to get out with bubba was a nappy and change of clothes thrown under the pram. I felt a huge sense of anxiety as to why I didn’t feel getting out was anywhere near as easy as that. In fact, I felt a bit downhearted because as a new parent, all I really wanted was to tick all of the boxes to get everything right for baby. I soon realised that as much as those people meant well, they didn’t have newborn babies anymore and they’d forgotten exactly how much apparatus comes along with a baby. I shrugged it all off, scooped up my happy, giggly baby and grabbed our army commando-style assault backpack as we headed for the park. In reality, taking small children out of the house generally warrants a stack of nappies, milk, snacks, change of clothes, teether, back up teether, blanket, hat, muslin, rain cover… You get the gist!
While the list can reel on and on, once you’ve got the staples packed and get into the habit of replenishing supplies and equipment regularly, something that at first seems a bit daunting soon becomes as normal as brushing your teeth in the morning. Then you can just pepper in and tailor any extra paraphernalia specific to the event or outing taking place. There’s also so much to be said for prepping your changing bag, getting the pram ready and organising their clothes and food the night before. While you won’t feel like it after bath, milk, book and bed, it’ll mean the morning is just a smidge less frenzied.
The big thing to takeaway is that in getting baby out, you’ve achieved, end of. As we head into autumn and the weather becomes trickier and days become shorter, it’s those daylight hours spent outside with baby that you’ll value the most. So here at Alex and Alexa we’ve put together an essential list to make your outdoor pursuits just that little bit less complicated. While those pre-baby days of grabbing your keys, phone and purse before dashing out of the house are over, with our taking-baby-out-pointers, you’ll be well on your way to supping that flat white in the playground in no time.
What Are They Going To Wear?
– Outerwear: depending on the weather you’ll need a cosy cardigan, coat, pramsuit or snowsuit. A hat and mittens, plus a soft snood when it’s really chilly
– Shoes: don’t forget pre-walkers for any bubbas who’ve started to cruise or toddle, while slippers are great for smaller ones who are stuck in the pram (tiny toes tend to get cold, even with a footmuff.)
– Change of clothes
– Extra bibs for feeding spills and teething dribble
What Do I Need For The Baby Change?
– A stack of nappies, nappy bags and plenty of wipes
– Small, foldaway changing mat
– Antibacterial hand gel
What Will They Eat?
– Milk: bottles and formula if you’re formula feeding. An insulated bottle warmer is handy. While readymade mini bottles can be pricey, they come into their own when it’s difficult to get access to boiling water
– Water: if baby is weaning, their sippy cup
– Baby puree or handheld foods for baby led weaning, a travel bib and spoon
– Snacks like rice cakes, baby biscuits and fruit that travel well in your bag or in small pots
What Will Make Life Easier While We’re Out?
– Teether (plus back-up teether!)
– Dummy (plus back-up dummy!)
– Toys: a comforter and crackle book are great starting points
– Pram toys: activity spirals that wrap around the bumper bar, mini board books and sensory add-on’s that clip onto the pram are all great
– XL muslins that double up as playmats, blankets and for feeding
– Small pack of tissues
– Sun cream
– Mini first aid kit: an antibacterial cream and wipe, plasters, plus travel sachets of baby paracetamol
What Transport Do They Need?
– Pram or car seat and adaptors for the chassis
– Footmuff or bassinet cover, blanket
– Rain cover and/or parasol
– Baby carrier/sling
– Pram clips are a lifesaver for clipping on extra bags
– Don’t forget the buggy board or scooter and helmet for any older kids
What About Mama?
– If you’re breastfeeding, don’t forget spare nursing pads, nipple cream and a large muslin/nursing cover. Your breast pump if you’re combi feeding
– Plenty of maternity pads for the early days after giving birth
– Sunglasses and paracetamol (for the nights you’ve been up all night!)
– Reusable coffee cup
– Purse, keys, phone
– Earphones (for the podcasts while – fingers-crossed – baby sleeps
– Socks if you’re planning on going to any playgroups or soft play centres
– Foldaway shopping bags
What essentials do you always pack in your changing bag? Is there a baby item that you would never dream of leaving the house without? I’d love to hear all of your own tips and tricks in the comments below. It makes my day when the amazing Alex and Alexa community get in touch, so come and say hi at any time. You can find lots more fashion, baby and parenting over at my blog The Lucy Edit and Instagram @thelucyedit. Stop by and get involved in the conversation.
Enjoy the first flourishes of autumn and see you soon!