I'll never forget the first time I ventured out of the house with my first baby on my own. My daughter, Bellamy, was 3 weeks old, and I decided to meet a friend for lunch at the local diner. It took an hour to pack the stroller (how many diapers will she need? where did I put the rash ointment?), and then I had to figure out how to carry the whole contraption down our steps.
After being stopped several times on the street by clucking old ladies, I made it to the diner. Then, just as lunch was served, Bellamy started mewling like a kitten who had just spotted a Rottweiler. For a moment, I panicked. I was breastfeeding and had never done it in public. Would I flash the whole restaurant? And just how do you comfort a crying baby, open your shirt, and wrangle with a nursing bra all at the same time, anyway?
In the end, I did the only thing I could think of and pulled up my shirt right there on the faux-leather banquette. When we finally made it back home, I was so exhausted I collapsed on the couch with the baby on my chest and didn't move for two hours.
For any first-time mom, leaving the house with the baby can be filled with SOS moments. But with a little preparation and a few words of advice from been-there, done-that moms, you'll find yourself sailing along with ease.