As she got older, I began to realise just how straight-forward a trip out with a newborn actually is when compared to taking a toddler along as your shopping buddy. Not to mention the nappy bag overflowing with snacks and toys and dead flowers pinched from some beautifully landscaped display home.
To demonstrate my point I have put together a little timeline of a simple trip to a Shopping Centre requiring me to get some pyjamas / sleeping suits and some milk.
Going out with a newborn
Pack nappy bag.
Make sure you have twice as many nappies as you would think reasonable for a 3 hour trip, I like to run with about 8. You will also need wipes, disposable nappy bags, a full change of clothes with warm and cold weather options, a couple of wraps and if breastfeeding, be sure to check you packed your boobs.
Load baby into car.
Drive to destination listening to all of your favourite rude words songs while baby sleeps peacefully.
Arrive at your destination, load baby into pram, store nappy bag, enter Shopping Centre.
Baby will most likely want to be fed before you get started so grab a coffee and some kind of cake and find a parent room or quiet spot to feed baby.
Baby will most likely have filled their nappy during the feed so change baby, finish your coffee and head towards your first shop.
Purchase Wondersuits and Baby Sleeping Bag.
Realise baby has fallen asleep so take advantage and peruse a couple of other shops, buy yourself a cute pair of shoes then pick up the milk.
Sense baby is beginning to stir and return to car.
Load baby, pram, nappy bag and purchases into the car.
Drive home listening to all of your favourite rude words songs while baby sleeps peacefully.
Arrive home, feed and change baby.
Put baby to bed.
Have a coffee and unpack purchases and give yourself a pat on the back for a successful day out.
Going out with a toddler.
Pack nappy bag.
If toddler is still in nappies, pack as many as you would think reasonable for a 3 hour trip. I like to run with about 3. You will also need wipes, disposable nappy bags, a full change of clothes, a jumper, hat, dummy, blankie, a sandwich, apple, banana, sultanas, drink, muesli bar, le snack, grapes and a mandarin, don't forget the 3 most popular toys of the day including a ride on unicorn and a plastic cash register.
Load toddler and various paraphernalia into the car, it should take about 3 trips.
Drive to destination while fielding questions from your toddler about the rain, cat whiskers and why you have toes. Feed toddler the apple, muesli bar and drink. Sing the incy wincy spider eleventy billion times.
Arrive at your destination, almost crash your car because your toddler has asked you to LOOK AT THIS!!! as you are pulling into your parking space.
Explain to toddler that daddy cannot get her out of the car because daddy is at work.
Forcibly remove toddler from car and explain to toddler that she must go into the pram because it is too far to walk.
Forcibly secure toddler into pram, give toddler a sandwich, store nappy bag, find a space for the ride unicorn, enter Shopping Centre.
Toddler will most likely want to play in the play centre before you get started so grab a coffee and some kind of cake and move to the play equipment.
Surrender cake to toddler.
Toddler will most likely have filled their nappy during this time so go to parents room to change them.
Head towards your first shop.
Give toddler a box of sultanas.
Purchase pyjamas, 4 pink t shirts, a pair of light up joggers, a plastic lion, a glitter hat and a lollipop.
Realise toddler has tipped contents of sultanas onto the floor, continue walking.
Sense toddler is about to crack it, return to the car.
Load toddler, pram, nappy bag, ride on unicorn and purchases into the car.
Drive home listening to your toddler complain that they want to get out.
See your toddler fall asleep as you turn into your street.
Attempt to transfer toddler into the house while still sleeping. Toddler will most likely wake up believing she has slept for 2 hours and does not require any more rest today.
Attempt to make a coffee and discover you forgot to buy the milk.
Listen to over-tired toddler having a hissy fit because you put the grapes in the green bowl instead of the pink one.
Vow to make all future purchases online.