Running an errand with a baby is not impossible, but every parent can empathize with how complicated the task can be. You often find yourself torn between your concern for your child and your need to accomplish the task as you carry out multiple responsibilities. With the right tools and strategies, however, you can care for your child and carry out your tasks at the same time! To be productive with your errands while also juggling parenting responsibilities, here are some tips and tricks that you need to know.
Base Your Errand Run Around the Baby’s Routine
Before going out, make sure that you have addressed your child’s needs first. If your child is not well-rested, then they will definitely be uncomfortable throughout the trip. As a result, you might have to sacrifice more time and attention to your restless baby while running errands.
The Sleep Foundation’s recommendation for children states that newborns should sleep for 14-17 hours, while infants need between 12-15 hours per day. Therefore, you can avoid the tantrums of a sleepy child by making sure that they have gained enough sleep before going out—workaround their daily routine, including their sleeping and feeding schedules, for a more productive errand run.
Bring Their Favorite Toys Along
The long lines at supermarkets and establishments are a pain, especially when you have a bored child with you! Keep your child happy by providing them with a source of entertainment. Toys will not only make your child happy, but they can also serve as much-needed tools for your babies’ development.
For example, Healthline’s list of baby toys notes that rattles and balls are some of the best toys for babies aged 3 to 6 months, while babies nearing 1-year-old need toys for teething. Pick the right one according to their age and developmental needs, and don’t forget to pack them in the baby’s day bag.
Pick the Right Pushchair for Errands
Imagine carrying your baby on one arm while balancing all your grocery bags on the other. You’ll become exhausted very quickly, and your baby will become agitated from all the shifts you will have to make. This is why you need a pushchair. However, not all pushchairs are the same, and it is worthwhile investing in a good quality model, especially if you are buying for your first child and are planning for more. Modern designs are made to be multi-functional, with iCandy’s selection of pushchairs showing how some models allow the seat to be converted to a carrycot. This will allow you to bring the pushchair on public transportation easily.
Many single pushchair designs can also have an additional seat added, turning it into a tandem model. Well-designed pushchairs are also equipped with baskets underneath so you can place your babies’ food and toys, your bags, and your groceries all in one place! You will be saved from inconvenient experiences (and an unexpected arm workout) through these multi-functional tools.
Keep the Baby Close with a Carrier
Carriers are another great option that you can try, especially when you need to use both your hands for any given task. Studies also suggest that babies who were carried are less likely to fuss and cry than those who
weren’t. Whether you’re running through an airport or strolling through city streets, Wired’s collection of baby carriers states that these tools can keep both you and your baby comfortable at all times. You can use linen to tuck your child close to your body or invest in a baby carrier that can efficiently support both of your weights through its structure.
Prepare Light Snacks
Things don’t always go according to plan. Unfortunately, inconvenient setbacks to your schedule might coincide with your babies’ mealtime. UNICEF points out that you need to remain attentive for signs of hunger from your child during these times, such as when they’re putting their hands in their mouth. Ensure that your baby won’t get hungry by preparing light and healthy snacks for your journey. Sliced avocados, unsweetened applesauce, and mashed bananas are good sources of carbohydrates and nutrients. Plus, they’re also easy to pack!
Stay Calm When Issues Arise
Your child might become agitated when they need help or feel uncomfortable. When these unexpected issues arise, it is best to extend care and patience towards your child. As previously discussed in ’10 Tips to Stay Calm When Your Child Acts Up’, you must first calm yourself and take a deep breath before assessing your child’s needs.
After providing your child with much-needed support, you must also take of yourself so that you can finish all of your tasks in a good mood. With the right tools and tricks, you can keep your child happy while fulfilling all of your tasks.
Sofia Ingram balances her time between being a freelance writer and a mom to three kids. When she’s not busy working, she loves singing and dancing with her children who are also musically inclined.