Dressing a baby can be frustrating. Here's a tip: It is easier to put on sleeved outfits if you put your hand through the sleeve opening and pull baby's hand through instead of trying to push the sleeve up baby's arm. It is quicker and does not give baby time to wiggle away.
Whenever you take baby anywhere you are going to need to take along the baby gear — and babies need a lot of gear. If you are going on a long trip, God help you—you are very brave. If you're just going shopping or to Grandma's, however, you can usually get away with a manageable amount of stuff. You'll need diapers, baby wipes, spit-up rags, a toy or two (depending on the age of the baby), diaper rash cream, and whatever paraphernalia you need for feeding. You might want to throw in an extra pair of pants or a sleeper so you can change the baby before you head back home and then transfer him right into his own bed when you get there.
The best place to stash your baby gear is in a diaper bag. If you get a diaper bag as a baby gift but it is not big enough for you or the right shape or size, make sure you get another one that suits your needs. You are going to be spending a lot of time with your handy-dandy diaper bag. You want one that is not too heavy or bulky but that will carry everything, with easy access. I liked having one with compartments in case I needed to store soiled clothes. You can also use one-gallon plastic bags that zip closed —they're great for keeping messy clothes or dirty diapers from touching other things in the bag, and when they're zipped shut, they keep the stinky smell inside.
Momma Said There'd Be Days Like This
When my first child was born I didn't know what to do with myself. I had no idea how to manage my time—with or without the baby—but I read that the local community center was offering an infant stimulation class, and I signed up. The class was intended for women who needed a reason to get out with other women with young babies. I don't know whether it helped my baby in the long run, but it certainly helped me.
Diapering on the Road
Some diaper bags come with attached changing pads—a “have changing pad, will travel” kind of deal. This is fine while the baby is very little—the pads are usually pretty small. When you use a changing table in a public restroom you most likely will still want to use your own changing pad, for sanitary reasons. The advantage to having a changing pad as opposed to just using a blanket under baby when you change him on the road is that a changing pad can be easily wiped down with soap and water. No matter what level of diaper dexterity you reach, you are going to have a few mishaps. You would need many blankets to equal the capacity of one reusable diaper-changing pad.