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Sunday 24 September 2023 Dublin: 15°C
# parents panel
'We called my dad to bring us home': 18 parents on surviving their first outing with a newborn
‘I wanted to do something that made me feel like me again.’

WHEN IT COMES to being pregnant, or parenting a newborn, everyone’s just figuring things out as they go. That’s why it can be so helpful to hear how other people are getting through the mess of it all, from the first nappy change to the countless sleepless nights.

Our Newborn and Baby Parents Panel is made up of parents and parents-to-be, all raising little ones aged up to 24 months.


This week, we asked parents to share where they took their baby for the first time – and how it went! 

Where did you take your newborn baby for his or her first outing? 

Some parents headed off on an adventure…

1. We ventured from Cavan to Tipperary for the night: Unfortunately, baby’s first few weeks were dotted with trips to the hospital. I was readmitted twice so we had unexpected sleepovers in Cavan General! But the first place we took her was a long drive from Cavan to Tipperary. We were going for a tongue tie release but it was our first overnight trip and long car journey too. The amount of stuff we packed… you’d have sworn we were staying for a week! So many nappy and feeding stops, and it was also the first time I breastfed in public, so it is definitely a trip I won’t forget.  

- Kathryn Walsh

2. I went to get my nails done: I brought my daughter out for a walk as far as the beauty salon to get my nails done when she was six days old. My sister came with me and brought the baby for a walk around the block while I was in there. I wanted to do something that made me feel like me again and I was dying to show her off to the girls in the salon. I was so nervous about whether she was warm enough and whether I had her strapped into the pram properly – we both survived the outing though! 

- Claire Kodjo

shutterstock_530966302 Shutterstock / Vladislav Lazutin Shutterstock / Vladislav Lazutin / Vladislav Lazutin

There were a few medical-related outings… 

3. The hospital baby clinic for a tongue tie release: It took us six days to venture out of the house. Our destination was back to where it all happened; the maternity hospital. We took a left at the labour ward and went straight to the baby clinic to get his tongue tie released. 

Make-up and a nice dress made me feel a little closer to a human again, however C-section scarring and extremely swollen feet meant I scurried at a sloth like pace from the car to the clinic door. We managed to grab a coffee and some lunch on the way home while he slept, so at least I was a happy sloth in the end!

- Mairead McHugh 

4. To the doctor: Our first trip was the first of many unnecessary visits to the doctor (and a sign of the overly anxious first time parents we were). When we left the surgery, we realised we were out in the real world! So we decided we might as well go for breakfast. Never has a breakfast taken so long to be cooked while we both watched the sleeping baby as if she was a ticking time bomb!

My son’s first trip out was to collect his sister from the childminder and a sign of all the hanging around waiting for her that was to come! 

- Aisling Fitzgerald

(Some more dramatic than others)

5. The emergency room: Our first outing with my older girl was to the out of hours doctor when she was eight days old – swiftly followed by a speedy trip to the hospital where she was diagnosed with viral meningitis. Thankfully, she made a full recovery with no lasting effects.

The second time around things couldn’t have been more different, we were out for a walk with my little boy less than 24 hours after he was born! It was short and sweet, but for me it felt amazing as my SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction) was already starting to go away. Having spent the last three months of my pregnancy needing crutches to walk, it was lovely to get out and about without them.

- Amy Molyneaux

6. Back to the maternity hospital for tests: The first place I took my son was actually back to where he first entered the world! I had to go back to the maternity hospital a week after he was born to get some tests done on myself following a haemorrhage during his delivery. It took two other people to help get us out of the house, from walloping a temperamental car seat to calming a temperamental new mummy! My son was the least phased by the trip, and there was actually something quite comforting about being back at the hospital, seeing all of the terrified expectant parents, and realising that I had done it. 

- Sarah McGinley

A stroll in the fresh air was enough for some…

7. We tried a (slow) walk on the beach: The first place I brought my little boy was a walk by the beach about two weeks after he was born! It took a good 20 mins to walk what usually would be five minutes. I thought I’d be power walking by then…little did I know! It really only hit me then how long it would take to recover from it all. Slow and steady it was for us after that and we settled in to enjoy a lot of cuddles and Netflix.

- Laura Ryan 

8. A walk around the park, in the throes of new-mum exhaustion: Our first trip outside the house with our little boy was when he was about two weeks old. He was born in August and the weather was really nice so we went for a walk around the park. I was still recovering from my C-section and was extremely exhausted. I was exhausted not only from becoming a new mom, but also recovering from an infection and anemia after losing a lot of blood during the C-section. 

I remember feeling so drained that day, but the fresh air really helped. It made me start to feel a bit more human again being out and about. 

- Julie Ann Walsh

9. Just a stroll in the park, until the crying started: We waited only a couple of days and took our little boy out to the local park for a stroll. It was the end of April so the weather was nice. 

Fresh air really cleared my head and I enjoyed it for the whole 10 minutes it lasted. He quickly decided he wasn’t not happy in the pram and wouldn’t stop crying, so we turned around and went back home. Tried again the day after and it was better.

- Marta Lisiecka

shutterstock_746542930 Shutterstock / LALS STOCK Shutterstock / LALS STOCK / LALS STOCK

Food came calling for these parents…

10. Our local café for a long-awaited brownie: I was terrified to go anywhere with my first baby, but the second time around I went everywhere! My first trip was to the Farmhouse Cafe on Long Mile Road.. I was having dreams about their snickers chocolate brownie so the fear of leaving the house with the baby wasn’t as strong as the need for the brownie! We survived and the brownie tasted better than it ever did!

- Valerie Murray

11. We wolfed down lunch at the local pub: Our first trip was to the pub down the road for lunch when Pádraig was one week old! I was hilariously nervous! No idea what I thought would happen, but I was all butterflies! It was my first time feeding in public also which was equally nerve wracking. Thankfully it all went grand and we wolfed down our dinner and bolted home! 

- Siobhan Mehigan 

12. A mid-January walk to our local cafe for lunch: Our first trip out of the house was when my son was five days old. He was born in January, so we got him a cosy pram suit to keep him warm, he little hands didn’t even reach the mittens. We took a stroll down to our local cafe for some lunch and then back home. Funny thing is, I remember when we left the house we had a little tiff over who would get to push him first. I won, so I go to push him on the way down and my partner on the way back! 

- Paula Lynch 

13. We left the hospital for a lunchbreak, one week in: Our first trip with Jack, when he was a week old, was to the Wilton Bar, directly across from the hospital, for lunch. My husband took him in while I ran to the chemist for a Hakka, and he was swarmed with old ladies oohing and aahing at them both.

- Flora Buckley

14. A speedy meal with the grandparents: Our first trip was when baby was two weeks old, we risked a trip out for lunch with her grandparents, and it went off pretty well! Although it was literally in, grab food, eat, back in the car and home, but still proved we could get out and about with her, albeit for short durations!

- Niamh Roche

Plus a few local outings…

15. The supermarket poultry aisle, among other places: My first outing with my newborn son was when he was four days old, and we ventured into Dun Laoghaire to visit the library and the supermarket.  As soon as we got to the library I had to feed him – my first time breastfeeding in public. I think I spent 10 minutes trying to get the nursing cover on right. It was the last time I bothered with that. In the supermarket, I was scolded by a woman in the poultry aisle for bringing a baby “into the cold”…my next few outings were a little less ambitious!

- Kristi Paris

16. The local shop: The first place we took the baba was the local shops when he was about six days old. I was post C-section so basically doubled over. I just remember being terrified and suddenly realising how filthy and noisy everything was! A lovely lady came over and poked her head in the pram to admire the baby and I almost clotheslined her! I blame the hormones!

- Brianan Nolan

17. My breastfeeding group: My first solo trip with the little man was to a breastfeeding group when he was about three weeks old. I remember how foggy my head still was and how weak I still felt from the delivery, lack of sleep before/during/after and just the overall need to slow down and recover. It was nice to be out, but I was by no means physically ready to venture outside. 

- Jess Mushanski


18. Off to the supermarket, though I didn’t last long: Baby was five days old and I, in my post C-section haze, thought a walk was a great idea. Neither of us drive and we needed some provisions so we walked to Tesco. My partner offered to push the pram but I felt so far removed from the little man with him lying down and not in my arms I couldn’t let him. Plus the pram was helping to keep me upright. When we got to the shop I had to ring my dad to come get me to drive me home, I’d tried too much too soon. But I gradually built up, bit by bit, and now, seven months in, we walk everywhere. 

- Martha Mernagh  

More: 16 products that’ll keep your baby cosy this winter, as recommended by parents>

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