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28.8.11

Guest Post: Solo Outing.

Alli from Mum 2 Four contacted me following my request on Twitter for advice and experience stories from other second time + mums.
Alli is mummy to four children ranging in age from 12 years to a few months.

It's a long time since I did my very first solo outing with a baby - over 12 years to be exact, yet the memories & the panic came flooding back last year when I had my youngest Son.
My first solo trip out with him didn't happen until 4 weeks after his birth as he was born by c-section & so I was confined to barracks for a bit as my Husband was at work.
Don't bite off more than you can chew
The first solo trip I made with my new Son & his older siblings was a small walk to our local park - I think it is important to make a small trip like this initially as going to the park isn't as simple as it sounds when you need to make sure all the older children are ready & you have all the necessary equipment required for the newest addition.
My next solo trip was a little further afield I went to see my Cousin - I found comfort in knowing that although we were leaving the house that we were going somewhere where I could relax & not worry if my baby started screaming or the other kids started to create.
Ascertain your Troop Manouvere Time & build it into travel time
Getting out of the house with a new born baby & all the related paraphenalia is bad enough, when you add in additional children it becomes an even bigger challenge!
Regular outings out to the park or to the local shops will enable you to practice your "troop manouvering skills" - I've now learnt that our troop manouvere time (TMT) is 15 minutes from the first mention of "it's time to go" so always build your TMT into your travel plans, hopefully this will cut down on travel stress.
Be prepared
Another tip I have is to always make sure the "going out" bag is repleneshed when you come back in from a trip to the shops or a family day out.  This way if you have ever to rush out in an emergency you don't have to rush around packing the bag up first!
Our going out bag always contains the following:
·         Wipes
·         Nappies
·         Nappy Sacks
·         Calpol
·         Calpol syringe
·         Change of clothes
·         Red book
·         Plastic spoon
·         Carton of formula (if not breastfeeding obvioulsy) & a bottle /Jar of baby food (in case of emergency only - you never know!)
·         Bib
·         Dummy
·         Muslin
I made sure our "going out" bag was big enough to carry all the above and still leave room for my phone, purse & car keys as you have enough to worry about with the children, baby & all related parphenalia without adding a handbag into the equation!
I also make sure the other troops know where their equipment is and as they are old enough they now take responsibility for their own kit - if the 12 year old forgets his coat then he gets wet - simple!
Contact Details
When we go anywhere that involves crowds of people we always make sure the older children have contact details for us just incase they get lost & if we are going to an event where there are stewards we always point out who they should go to if they get lost - knowing that they know what to do should this happen makes me less tense.
The eldest now has a mobile so he has our phone numbers on that - the younger 2 have slips of paper with our names & mobile numbers on that they out in their pockets.
Fortunately the kids have never had to use their contact details!
Hopefully these tips will help make getting out on your solo outings a little easier.

I think we'd all agree that this is fantastic advice from Alli. We will definitely be practising our TMT before we make the leap to regular solo trips out. This was something I hadn't even thought about concentrating on but will make an effort to do so now!
Thank you very much for your input and for sharing your experience Alli. I hope others find the tips on this post as helpful as I have.
Like what you read? Then check out Allis blog at Mum 2 Four