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Nov 18 / Caro

Baby’s Day Out

Eight days old today, and we took our first big trip out to a local shopping centre.

I had lots of reasons for wanting to get out and about, not least of all that I was still feeling a bit stir crazy after all my time in hospital and then at home, despite having taken short trips to the high street each day so far. I was worried that if I didn’t start off feeling confident about taking us all out further afield than the town centre for the day, it would just become harder and harder to do. I wanted to get confident about changing nappies in public changing rooms. And even more importantly, I wanted to feel confident about breast feeding in public because otherwise I could see it becoming an anxiety point for me. So we chose a local shopping centre that I knew had “Family Rooms” and breast feeding rooms, and we chose to meet my parents there for some added support.

Oh, and, I also wanted to have a look at some boy specific clothes for Thomas!

The day was definitely a success. Sounds silly, but I actually feel proud of myself. Shows how measures of success and the sense of achievement are altered depending on your life circumstance! And I’m well aware that in a couple of months when things like changing nappies is all completely second nature and old hat, I’ll probably laugh at my anxiety and trepidation. But we all have to start somewhere!

We managed to get all of us up and fed, cleaned, dressed and out of the house by 10am, which felt like an achievement in itself. Thomas was quite happy in his car seat. We didn’t snag a “Parent and Child” parking space, but no matter as the parking spaces are wide and it was easy to get him out. He was quite content in his pram as we wandered around the shops – although he screamed in protest if we tried to put the hood up. It seems he’s a nosy boy who likes to look at the word going by. Sounds cheesy, but I felt proud to be pushing him, and to be his mum when people looked in a cooed at how small and sweet he is. I changed his nappy in Marks and Spencers and then settled down to feed him in their “Family Room”. Only, Thomas had other ideas. He fussed and wriggled and wouldn’t latch on. So I gave up and we went instead to get food for us adults. Of course, the moment we were settled at a restaurant table he decided that he was hungry and wanted to eat too.

I'm hungry too!

So I did it.

I fed him, right there, at the table in a busy restaurant.

And it was absolutely fine.

A couple of hours later he was hungry again, so we stopped and I sat on bench in the middle of the mall and fed him again. I’m not sure if I had an expectation, but I do know that many women feel uneasy and self conscious about feeding in public, but it was honestly easy. No body stared, and had they done I’m not sure they would really have been able to tell that we weren’t just having a snuggly cuddle. There will definitely be no stopping us now.

Mission well and truly accomplished – including getting some cute little boy clothes – we ended the day with a trip back to my parents’ house, the same house that they brought me home to when I was born. It was an odd feeling to take my own child back to my childhood home for the very first time. Feels a little bit like coming full circle!

Family

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