• Activities that you loved pre-pregnancy might feel impossibly daunting once your baby is here

  • Clare Winton offers her practical advice for getting back outdoors with a newborn

Your first trip out with a newborn baby can feel incredibly daunting. I remember our first trip out, just a GP appointment a few miles away, but it felt like embarking on a major expedition. I love the wild outdoors and if you do too, here are a few tips to get you back outside with your new baby.


Any time you are taking your baby out of the house—be it for a supermarket shop, a walk in the local park, or a train to visit relatives—preparation always makes things easier. And that means making a list. Just like a packing list for a holiday, not everything in your first draft will make the final cut. Aim for a core collection that you then add to depending on the type of trip you’re making, perhaps keeping these must-haves in a pre-packed 'outing bag'.  

Think about your route: Is there shelter if there’s a heavy downpour? Are there facilities like toilets or a café that can make changing/clean ups/refuelling easier? What is the terrain of the route you are planning – steep slopes, rough ground, likely obstacles (fences/gates/streams)?

What would be easiest, a carrier or a buggy? Do you prefer the agility of a carrier on unknown terrain, rather than having to manoeuvre the bulk of a buggy? Do you like being able to carry additional stuff in a buggy without having to think about the weight of carrying baby and gear? There is no right answer, so experiment with what works for you in different situations.

No pressure

For your first solo outing with your new baby, it’s a good idea to schedule a day and time—that will allow you to focus on prepping your 'outing bag' —but give yourself permission to bail if the weather becomes unpleasant, or if there’s a particularly messy nappy leakage to deal with, or if you just don’t feel like it. The outside world isn’t going anywhere. 

Pick a location and/or an activity you are really familiar with, so that the only new aspect is the baby. If you can go in company even better, whether that’s a friend coming with you or joining a local parent and baby walking group. Also allow yourself to be flexible – if you’d rather ditch the park for a hot chocolate at a nearby café, that’s fine.

Dress for the weather

If it’s forecast to change from sunshine to rain, or vice versa, you’ll want to be properly equipped – the right clothing makes a huge difference to your comfort during your outdoor adventure. The right layers make a big difference for how comfortable you and your baby will be. If you are babywearing, be aware that your body is a heat source, and that the carrier also counts as a layer (or multiple layers if using a stretchy wrap). Merino wool is a good choice for baby clothes, as it is a natural insulator that helps regulate temperature and stays comfortable even when damp. 

Avoid bulky clothing like snowsuits – these are a risk for overheating and preventing the sling from being snug against their body thus providing the correct support. Choose lightweight options that you can layer.

Walking and carrying will also warm you up – expect to sweat! Wear a base layer top made from quick-drying fabric underneath the sling, and layer up over the top with zip up fleeces/jackets – this will give you more flexibility for temperature changes without having to remove baby from the sling.

There are various choices for staying dry when babywearing, from waterproof babywearing coats to sling covers. Babywearing coats are a fantastic way of keeping your little one warm, dry and snuggled in against you without having to worry too much about baby’s clothing layers. The best ones are versatile enough to see you through pregnancy, different stages of babywearing and leave you with a good coat even after your little one is running ahead alone.

If you are out with a buggy or pram, then the general rule for baby clothing is one more layer than the adult is wearing. Babies in buggies won’t be moving enough to generate much heat, so depending on the weather, an additional layer like a blanket or a pram-suit may be needed. 

Don’t forget suncream and UV-protective clothing on the sunny days. Long sleeves, high necklines and lightweight fabric are the way to go, combined with a hat. Although the older your baby gets, good luck keeping that hat on. 


If formula feeding, you’ll need to bring the required amount of formula powder in a sterile container plus a vacuum flask of water boiled just before leaving the house (it should maintain a safe, bacteria-killing temperature of above 70° for several hours). Alternatively, you could bring “ready to feed” cartons, or make up your own in advance – this needs to be used within two hours if kept at room temperature.

If you are breastfeeding, again your choice of clothing can make things much easier – whether that's wanting to be able to feed discreetly or draft-free, or trying to nurse in a sling. We have bamboo breastfeeding tops that have been designed specifically for comfort and easy access when out and about. I have personally used these tops to nurse in forests and up mountains, and I love camping in them too (no more chilly night-time feeds).

Outdoor nappy changes

An outdoor nappy change is going to be required at some point. Having something waterproof for you to kneel on can be handy. There are some good portable changing mats that are lightweight and can be clipped to a bag/sling, and will also hold wet wipes, nappy bags and nappies.

Remember you are still you

Women can feel that their old sense of identity disappears during early motherhood – getting back out and doing activities you love can help. It may be different, it may require more support and it may feel harder to find the time and energy, but you can continue to do what you love. If you are feeling nervous about the prospect of getting outside with your baby, then build your confidence slowly and, if you can, bring a friend or family member for moral support (and to carry some of your stuff!).

Every outing will be different, and you will find out what works for you, so try not to stress if it doesn’t go to plan – it gets easier with practice. 

Further reading

What new mums need to know

Using breathwork to support your pregnancy

How to make an active pregnancy work for you and your baby

How EMDR helped me recover from birth trauma