A lunch date? You must think I’m crazy, with a newborn, you hardly have time to shower somedays right? Well, as difficult as it can be to get things together enough to take a trip outside, once you feel your little one has settled into a somewhat predictable routine, I encourage you to plan a lunch date. My first lunch date was with my sister, who at the time was visiting from beautiful, sunny, San Diego.
#3 Lunch Date
For this trip out with the little one here are some tips:
- Schedule the lunch after 1:30, when the lunch crowd has died down a bit and the restaurant you go to won’t be so crowded or busy
- Choose a casual restaurant that you have seen families dine at. Make sure they have enough space for your stroller or car seat.
- Consider the menu. Does it have food options you can eat with one hand? You may have to hold your little one while you eat.
- Have lunch with a friend that is understanding of a crying baby.
- Be flexible. This could mean having to cancel your lunch date, move it to a later time, change the location, or cutting it short. It all depends on what your little one needs at that moment.
For those of you living near downtown Chicago like me, below is a list of some locations I have gone to with my little guy. I consider these places baby lunch date friendly.
- Macy’s on State Street. Their food court has many options. Lots of space for your stroller. Keep in mind, the food court closes at 3pm.
- Melis on Halstead. This restaurant has always been a favorite of mine. It is usually very busy, so I make sure go after the lunch crowd and have lunch at 1:30 on a weekday. The crowd is much smaller then. Consider leaving the stroller at home, they don’t have much room for a stroller. I brought my little guy here in his infant carseat.
- Protein Bar on Washington. This place is a great place for a healthy lunch. I have had lunch here with my little guy several times. The wraps are easy to eat while holding a baby. Protein Bar’s downtown locations are closed Saturday and Sundays.
- India House on W. Grand Ave. I love Indian food. This place offers a great lunch time buffet. Since all the food is already prepared, it is a quick meal with lots of options. Their lunch buffet ends at 2:30pm.
- Atropolis on Halstead. This cafe is roomy, has delicious sandwiches and tasty pastries. It’s a great place to meet a friend for lunch. There’s plenty of room for your stroller.
- Perez on Randolph. For the Mexican food lovers out there, this restaurant is a great option for lunch. There’s room for your stroller.
- Whole Foods in the South Loop. With their many food options, you could meet a friend here. Maybe your friend could even help you do some quick grocery shopping.
Do you have any restaurant suggestions for other moms out there? If so, please share.
For all you new moms out there, I am sorry to break the news to you, but you will need some transitional clothes after childbirth. I was hoping I would be one of the lucky few who by their sixth week postpartum could fit back into my pre-pregnancy skinny jeans. That did not happen. I was somewhere in between really loose maternity clothes and too tight pre-pregnancy clothes, I needed some in between clothes for my in between body.
This brings me to my second Mommy and Me Out and About:
#2 A Shopping Trip
Now, I’m not talking about a quick trip to get some milk, I am talking about a good two hours to get yourself some new clothes. While you are adjusting to mommy life, it is important that you look and feel good. Wearing your maternity clothes and knowing you won’t fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes can be frustrating. You deserve to treat yourself out to some new clothes that fit your current body.
In planning for this shopping trip I would suggest enlisting some help from someone you trust. It should be someone who will be honest with you about how you look and can help care for the little one while you try on clothes. For my first shopping trip out, I went with my sister. We had my little guy in the stroller, walked out to Chicago’s State Street. We browsed Old Navy, Forever 21, Ann Taylor Loft, H&M, and Macy’s. Since the clothes I was purchasing are transitional pieces, I didn’t want to spend too much on them. I ended up buying a pair of pants and a blouse from Ann Taylor Loft, a blouse from H & M, a pair of electric blue colored jeans and a cardigan from Forever 21. I consider it a successful shopping trip. By the end of the week, I was wearing clothes that fit and felt much better about my appearance.
So what are you waiting for? Get on the phone and plan that shopping trip!
Below is a picture of my little guy at Macy’s on State Street.
This is the beginning of my feature, Mommy and Me Out and About. It is about things to do with your baby.
#1- A walk around the neighborhood
When I first had my little guy, the thought of leaving my home was admittedly stressful. I figured, best to take baby steps (pun totally intended). So I took a walk around the neighborhood. It took about 1.5 hours to prepare for that short walk, but it was just the beginning of what became our daily two-hour walks downtown. Why did it take an hour and a half to get ready you ask. Let me explain.
20-30 minutes to breastfeed the little guy
5 minutes to burp him
10 minutes to change his diaper and dress him appropriately for outside
15 minutes to get myself ready
20 minutes to sooth him and get him sleepy or sleeping
5-10 minutes to strap him in the stroller and sooth him while he was in the stroller
Once we were out the door, I had a 30 minute window. After 30 minutes, I would then return home because it was time for his next feeding.
Was it worth all the trouble to get out for only 30 minutes? Yes. For new moms out there, fresh air will be good for you and for the little one. Even a short walk around the neighborhood will help you feel a little more like yourself. For mom’s wondering how to dress their little one for winter trips outside, check out my past post: Taking Baby Outside During the Winter .
Below is a picture of one of my first trips outside with my little guy. For anyone curious what type of stroller I use, it is the Britax B-Ready with a Chaperone infant car seat. It is mentioned in my previous post: Mommy Product Review: Top Five Products I Use Everyday.
What was your first trip outside with your little one like?