It takes forever to get everyone ready. By the time you leave the house, you’re dead tired.
“Share the burden. If you have two kids, ask your husband to help you out with one,” advises Sameen Khan, an entrepreneur.
Besides, you don’t have to do everything at the last minute. “If it’s a planned trip, it helps to pack everything you need the night before,” recommends Jacqueline Wee Yuan, a stay-at-home mum.
After every outing, replenish your diaper bag with wet wipes, hand sanitisers, clothing and diapers, so you’re always prepared.
Don’t worry if you missed anything. With her first child, Nicky Eduoard confesses that she used to pack fastidiously for every outing. “But I learnt with the second one that nothing is important except for the kids,” says the stay-home mum.
So if you’re really pressed for time, take the little ones and buckle them in the car. You can always buy the necessities along the way.
You’re still shopping for groceries and your little one is cranky.
The only time you should plan your trip is right around your bub’s naptime, so that he’s either asleep or well-rested and happy, mums tell Young Parents.
“Naptime is definitely the best time,” says Charu Chitwal, stay-at-home mum. “Feed them, clean them and put them in the stroller for a good two-hour nap.”
Nicky agrees, adding: “I plan shopping around naptime. But if you really need to go, make it super-quick or be prepared to have a screaming baby. Even I get cranky when I’m tired, so why shouldn’t Baby?”
And in the event of a meltdown, Jacqueline suggests: “Just keep your head down, don’t hold eye contact with anyone, get on with the shopping and run for home.”
But if you don’t want to risk it, shop online and pay a little extra for delivery, suggests Guangeek Lau, a stay-at-home mum.
Or buy the groceries at 24-hour supermarkets after putting the little ones to bed at night, says Sameen. Get Hubby to watch over them. This way, you get to enjoy some me-time, too. “It saves you a lot of time and grey hair, for sure.”
Your toddler has a meltdown on the MRT and everyone’s staring
“Always carry at least one favourite toy. But if you don’t have it, improvise,” says Nicky.
“Keys, a bracelet, something to chew on. Let’s face it – we women carry enough things in our handbags. Besides, everyone has a mobile phone now, right? And even if you don’t, chances are you’ll never see those same people on the train again. So who cares if your child screams a little?,” Nicky adds.
“Stay calm and ignore the crowd,” encourages Charu. “They’re not as judgmental as you think. Those with kids understand. Those without will understand when they have them.”
But if your little darling has a tantrum every time you’re out, then find out why he does that and address it, reminds Sameen. Sometimes it could be something as simple as being sleepy or hungry.
You’re driving alone and your tyke is wailing in the car seat.
Just keep driving, mums advise unanimously. As disconcerting as it may be with a crying child in the back seat, keep your eyes on the road and do not look back at him. Unless there’s something hurting or endangering Baby, don’t stop for tantrums.
If you really must, then stop once you reach a safe spot, shares Sameen. Soothe him, give him something to pacify himself with, and drive on again.
It’s difficult to navigate your monster strollerat crowded malls.
Plan your day out at family-friendly malls such as United Square, Paragon, Forum The Shopping Mall, Vivocity, and Changi City Point, which are great for strollers any time of the week.
Or simply avoid shopping centres on weekends and public holidays when it seems like the entire country is out for free air-conditioning.
Jacqueline, however, has a different take: “Monster strollers are the best! People get out of your way.”
Baby needs a diaper change and the toilet’s changing station is filthy.
“Lay down whatever you have, so that your little one is on something clean. Change the nappy quickly and get out of there,” says Nicky.
Or find a more suitable place, such as a restaurant, fast-food outlet, your car or even the stroller.
Baby spilled food and you don’t have an extra romper for him.
Just grab some wet wipes and clean him up as best you can. “Kids are always messy – that’s why it’s awesome being a kid! Stop stressing,” says Nicky.
But this is also why it’s essential to have a well-stocked diaper bag. “The little ones are always unpredictable, especially those under three years,” says Sameen.
For a one-hour trip, have at least one change of clothes, two diapers, wet wipes, snacks, a hand sanitiser, toy, milk and water bottle.
If you’re out for the whole day, pack at least one more change of clothes, more diapers and activities to keep Baby occupied.
“But perhaps the most important thing to pack for a full-day outing is a change of clothes for yourself, too,” says Charu. “Anything is possible.”
By Young Parents, 13 May 2016