Getting Out with Your Newborn
Grab a drink
Baby's not the only one who deserves a bottle. Strap your bambino into his sling or carrier, grab your partner, and hit up your local pub. The ambient noise is likely the perfect balance of loud enough to muffle baby's fussing and not too loud to startle him awake. If things are going well, why not stay for dinner? Chances are, baby will sleep right through it.
Take in a matinee
Take your little one to a movie. Many cities have special showings for new parents where crying and tantrums are on the menu next to popcorn and jujubes. Alternatively, try hitting up a mid-week matinee. Best-case scenario? You'll be the only one in the theatre. Worst case? You'll leave early with the satisfaction that at least you tried.
I know what you're thinking, "You want me to take my newborn to a museum? Are you crazy?" While it's hard to believe in those first sleep-deprived months, babies actually get harder tote around as they get older. The trade-off? You get more confident. Take advantage of those long sleep stretches and hit up a museum or art gallery. If baby wakes up, nestle into one of those museum benches for a quick feeding while you take in your surroundings.
Nowadays, postnatal and baby yoga classes abound. Classes typically incorporate stretches for both mom and baby, and crying, diaper changes and nursing are all expected. Plus, you'll have a room full of moms willing to keep an eye on your little one while you use the bathroom unaccompanied (that alone is worth the cost of the class).
I like yoga pants as much as the next girl (and admittedly became embarrassingly fond of the elastic waistband of my maternity jeans) but it's time to buy a new pair of pants. A normal pair of jeans can do wonders for your mood. Don't invest a lot of cash, as you are likely still shedding pounds (and will be for some time). Do take your little one and hit the mall for a tide-me-over pair of pants until your pre-pregnancy jeans fit again. While you're out, pick up some tops to show off your newfound cleavage. Bonus: some stores have nursing lounges for new moms, making for hours of stress-free shopping.
Hit the road
Take advantage of the time you and your partner have off to plan a mini maternity-leave vacation. Spend a few days at the beach, in the country, or exploring a new city with baby in tow. Most babies are lulled to sleep by the constant motion of a long car ride, and the change of scenery will do wonders for you.
Host a party
If getting out of the house is still too daunting, bring the party to you. Put baby to bed, turn up the white noise, grab the baby monitor, and head downstairs for an evening of friends, food and drink. Make sure dad has a monitor, too, so you can take turns calming baby if and when she stirs.
Check out your local kid-happenings
From story time at your local library to weekly mom and baby meet-ups, there is likely an entire world of kid-geared activities in your town. Start exploring. Even if your bambino isn't old enough to get the most out of them, each is a friendly place to get out with your baby and will rescue you from the house.
Set-up lunch dates with friends. These mid-day dates will get you out of the house, allow you to reconnect with friends, and give you an extra pair of hands to hold baby while you eat (priceless). Pick a restaurant that is baby friendly or, if the weather is nice, pack a picnic and meet at a local park.
Experience the great outdoors
Put that sling or baby carrier to good use. Take a walk around your neighborhood, go for a hike (remember not to overdue it before your six-week checkup) or hit up your local park. You'll enjoy the fresh air, and baby will enjoy the constant motion and closeness of riding snuggled up to mom.
Katherine West Slevin is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C.