Going Out With A Fussy Infant

With the temperature dropping and my calendar almost completely empty aside from doctor’s appointments, I have settled into comfortable clothes, thick reading socks and knit sweaters. When my sister gave me a call to ask me to go out with her so she could do some shopping, I thought; ‘What the hey…’

My daughter has been fussy for the past week and a half. She is inconsolable at times which has even led me to consider whether or not she is colicky, but I am leaning more towards overly gassy. That and the change from having constant attention all the time when we were at my in-laws, to her having to be okay with just having plain-ole-mommy. The thought of going out with her, with her in the mood she was in, was a little daunting. 

Bundled up in her adorable bear outerwear, with a handful of binkies in the diaper bag, her favourite caterpillar rattle, and several spit-up blankets we headed out to meet my sister for the day. 

The first half of the day started off pretty well. I had fed her right before leaving the house knowing full well that a full belly and a car ride would soothe her right to sleep and her naps these days can range from one hour to three (I had my fingers crossed for three hours). She slipped off to sleep and we ventured out to the mall in the middle of nowhere that had the outfits my sister was looking for. 

On the way back, my daughter was awake, alert, and miserable. Having a fussy baby in the back seat while you are driving is frustrating. My daughter’s cry has a way of chipping away at pieces of my heart and my breasts immediately start to leak like they are auditioning for a role as Niagara Falls. 

When my sister ran in to get my nephew from his after-school program, I popped in the backseat and fed her again hoping this would be enough to calm her, even just a little bit. 

As a new mom, I try not to restrict myself. If I want to go out, I go out with baby in tow. I ignore the looks from people when she is fussy, I talk to her in silly voices while we walk the aisles at the grocery store. We are a little team and I am happy to bring her out into the world. 

I think one of the mistakes a lot of new parents think is asking themselves what other people will think. ‘My child is a little fussy today, I don’t want to cause a scene.’ ‘It’s crowded in that store, I better wait until baby is in a better mood.’  This world is as much your’s and your baby’s as it is everyone else’s. Limiting your movements and outings to when your baby is content would mean you never get the chance to go out. 

Go on! Get out there! Screw those people looking at you out of the corner of their eyes! 

Your happiness matters, and unfortunately if you spend all your days inside with greasy hair, half-dressed, with spit-up and poop stains all over your clothes you will eventually be driven as mad as you look. 

My daughter was unbelievably fussy when we went out yesterday. I went into several stores and had to listen to her wail in the backseat of my car for several minutes at a time, but we got out. I feel a little better for it today, and I don’t think she even remembers being out. 

No matter how prepared you are when you go out, there will be times when absolutely nothing in your large diaper bag will soothe her/him. And that is absolutely okay. Mentally prepare yourself for the possibility that you will be out, your baby will be crying, and there is nothing you will be able to do in that moment. Come to terms with that possibility and it will make going out a lot less daunting. 

As a parent, we feel like we need to be in control of every situation. The sooner we realize that is unattainable, the happier and less stressed we will be. 

Now, if you will excuse me. I am off to clean up another diaper blowout.