Third Wheel; one who deters the socialization of a couple.
Sound like someone you know? Maybe someone who still wears a diaper? With Valentine’s day around the corner, it’s easy to feel kind of sad about not being able to experience this romantic holiday with your partner like those pre-baby days.
Babywearing is amazing; I’m pretty sure we’ve established that. But have you considered slinging baby up and taking them on your Valentine’s day date before? I drummed up some pretty good advice from educators, volunteers, and some of my good babywearing friends who actually go on regular dates with their baby!
Why would you take baby with you?
- Finding a babysitter is really the pits. You have to spend about a month in advance making sure you find someone with no plans that day and willing to watch your drool monster. If you’re like me and you basically only trust your mother or one close friend to watch your kid, then your chances of going out are pretty slim. I should mention that my mother lives about 1400 miles away and my best friend has her hands full with a new baby, a toddler, and a spouse who works just as often (if not more,) than my own. If your trusted friend or relative isn’t available, then you have to probably let someone you’re only sort of comfortable with watch them which brings on more stress. Basically you’ll end up doubling the cost of your date by shelling out for the babysitter and “Was that my phone? Did you hear that? I should probably text them. I’m sure she’s okay but she’s never been with this sitter before so I better call. Just in case. And then again in 10 minutes.”
- Where my nursing moms at? Pumping is the worst, am I right? Then you gotta teach someone how to warm it up, not to shake it, or use the microwave. “But don’t just feed them, check their diaper, sing a song, try the pacifier (if they’ll take it) – basically, do not waste my liquid gold.”
- Formula moms, I feel you too. It’s just as difficult to explain to someone who hasn’t prepared a bottle before. My wallet wept whenever I’d spill a bottle or if she wouldn’t finish one so that waste factor was just as important as breast milk when we nursed.
- Oh and do you need an excuse to buy another wrap or carrier? Voila. You have a date and a hot outfit that will not go with your Girasol Rainbow. Probably should buy that linen Didymos Indio you’ve been buying because it’s so chic. (You’re welcome.)
Doesn’t taking baby with defeat the purpose of a date?
- Absolutely not. A date between two people who love each other is really subjective. Brittany M. shared a really nice photo of her and her spouse signing a lease to their new home with baby in tow and nursing. Then they hit up the mall together and had an overall nice day together. Because of the sling, they were able to connect and be together without much fuss.
- Sometimes baby can make it even more romantic. You two are raising an amazing baby. You may not always agree on stuff but baby can be the thing that makes you put your differences aside and really connect. Cue the tears.
What kind of date do you even have with baby in tow?
- The most common Valentine’s day date is probably dinner which is absolutely doable with baby, even if the restaurant doesn’t offer a high chair. Faith R. gave excellent advice about wearing a ring sling to dinner. She could easily nurse in it without standing and it was easy to lower the sling down with a heavier child while sitting down so the weight was in her lap. If baby is already in a back carry, ask for a table versus a booth and flip the chair to the side so the back of the chair isn’t restricting you from sitting down. Make sure you aren’t going to a restaurant that’s entirely off limits to child but don’t feel like you have to restrict yourself to a burger and fries either!
- Anne P. mentioned that she essentially took her daughter everywhere her first year. She found very few issues being able to go out with her husband. Even shared a photo of her and mentioned that almost everyone was oblivious to the fact she was even wearing the baby. So it’s clear that you can still enjoy most of your typical outings without feeling restricted by baby. The best advice we got for those who didn’t want to change it up too much was just to set your dates back about 2-4 hours earlier. Get to know baby’s schedule and find that window where baby is least cranky and try to do your dates then.
- A movie isn’t unreasonable either. Generally if you can show up to a theatre early enough for baby to crash in the sling, they usually stay out during the entire movie. This is probably for the newer baby crowd but a movie with kids is a lot of fun too if you have multiples. Here in Hampton Roads, Cinema Cafe is really quite child friendly. The movies are extra loud so if baby fusses a little, it’s not nearly as disturbing as it would be in other theaters. We always order the largest popcorn for the kiddos and they sit the entire time as long as they have it in their lap. I still advise you to please leave the theater if baby becomes too upset.
- Mini golf would be a lot of fun as well. You can still putt away while baby hangs out in a sling!
- A night in isn’t always the worst either. You may just have to embellish it to make it feel special. Share a package of Oreos (definitely the ones with pink or red frosting in them,) pop popcorn, crack open a soda and finally sit down to watch that movie Netflix just added. Sometimes the safety of your home is the best place to cuddle up and feel romantic. Plus, you can probably get away with this after baby goes to sleep!