September 23, 2010 (7:38 am)

Our First Official Outing With Kamea

by Kristen Suzanne

Since Kamea was born in June, we’ve left home only a handful of times and they were all for doctor and midwife appointments. There were a few reasons that we stayed homebound for this long. For starters, it’s been hot as hell outside in Arizona (typical summer). Taking Kamea for an outing that wasn’t really needed is just plain silly with the temperatures so high. Secondly, I was tired! The last thing I wanted to do was get ready, pack Kamea up, and go out… just to go out. Thirdly, I was still learning and thinking about how I’d breastfeed in public, what to do if she had a meltdown, etc. All of those reasons just added to my stress level when I was already trying to keep it all together as a first time mama. It felt natural and “right” to just stay home and bond with my baby… get to know her… stay snugly all day and relax.

But. When she turned 12 weeks on Saturday, something changed a bit. I woke up that morning and said, “Let’s take Kamea out for a little adventure.” It just felt like the time was right. I felt confident and ready to show her life outside the home.

Kamea having fun at Starbucks

So, where did we go? Well, I wanted to keep it very local and I wanted it to be a short, relaxing trip. We went to our local Starbucks. I know… kind of lame to some people. But, Greg and I actually enjoy spending time there reading, chatting, surfing the web, etc. We work from home, so it’s nice to sometimes move our “office” to Starbucks and work for awhile. Of course, we didn’t bring work with us when we had Kamea.

Here’s Kamea in her groovy Orbit stroller / infant car seat system. I love how the seat rotates 360 degrees so I can push her closer up to the table (I rotated it 90 degrees here). We also bought the stroller seat for walks and LOVE it. Actually, Kamea loves the stroller seat – lol – it rotates 360 degrees like the car seat, but also reclines three levels and is made of materials that are a little “cooler” since she doesn’t have to be protected in it like she does the car. I’ll write more on the Orbit system in a future post with a video. Check out how “green” Orbit is here.

The little trip to Starbucks was a big success. Kamea loved it… she looked around at new things and smelled new smells. It was fun. I can’t wait to do it again!

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  • Emma Ellis

    Aww sounds like fun! She looks super cute in her stroller =)

  • Ashley

    She is just a beauty! I'm so glad you had a great first adventure that wasn't stressful. Taking kiddos in public can be definitely stressful. I LOVE that stroller! It's quite pricey and doesn't come in a double, but what a cool concept, thanks for posting the link to their website.

  • Kristen Suzanne

    Yeah, I hear ya on the price. But I can use the stroller base for the

    toddler car seat too. So, that helps me justify it a bit. Lol. And who

    knows, maybe it'll be around for kiddo #2. My main attraction to it

    was: green materials. The rotating aspect was cool, too. :)

  • Lauren519

    Adorable and what a nice little outing! :) Hubs and I do that at Barnes and Noble sometimes. I am planning on doing the same thing. I don't think I will leave the house much at all during the whole Winter. Christmas (which is about a month after she comes) will probably be her first outing, unless she comes before Thanksgiving. But I am still a little nervous to bring her out that young. After the holidays though, we have nothing to do but enjoy our little bundle! Can't wait!! XOXO

  • Alina

    Hi Kristen! What do you think of the seat part that doubles as a car seat? Is it heavy? Does it mess up the car seat itself (the suctioning)? I was going to get Orbit originally but then read many people complain on forums just how heavy the carseat part gets, especially with the baby inside. Curious to know your opinion :) Thanks!

  • Kristen Suzanne

    It is one of the heavier seats out there, but only by maybe a pound or

    two? I think once it's at that point, a pound or two doesn't matter.

    That being said, we don't carry the seat much because we put it right

    on the stroller. The seat in our car itself is fine. We are loving

    it… so far so good!

  • Tina

    So how did you deal with the whole feeding in public dilemma? It's something I'm struggling to cope with. It doesn't feel right doing it in public but sometimes it's a must. Have seen big blankets to put baby under but looks a bit scary for a baby under there all alone in the dark!! lol

  • Kristen Suzanne

    I kept the outing short so I didn't have to. But, my only issue is

    being comfy physically, as in being in a decent chair for it when I

    don't have my nursing pillow. So that I'm not flashing everyone, I

    have some nursing tops. It's not a public issue per se because I think

    we need more moms doing it. If that happens more moms will feel good

    doing it, ya know? :)

  • Michelle

    Hiya Kristen,

    Loved this post! As I've commented before I love that you really waited until you felt it was the right time for you to voluntarily venture out with little Kamea. Maybe its just me but I've found that people are in such a hurry (or even a race) to get back to their 'normal' lives after their babes are born and I just think that it's crazy! Staying home and breastfeeding my baby is one of the main things I am looking forward to when the time comes. As they say babies grow up so fast and before you blink you'll have a hard time keeping them in the house!

    I hope everything goes great when you do breastfeed in public for the first time. I think it's ridiculously sad that mums even have to think twice about doing something so normal and natural due to some uninformed, uneducated and ignorant people out there. I learnt a few tips (from mums in my family); mainly to surround yourself with other breastfeeding mums; use a cover or nursing necklace to keep older babies focused effective eaters and always make a fuss or complain to the (highest level) manger of a public building (after the fact if the situation is unconformable) if anyone tries to force you to move to the toilets or exit the venue.

    Oh and yay for eco consciously made buggies!! I hope more pram companies wake up and start making sensible material choices for baby gear because it would be lovely to have more choices in designs and price points :)

  • Kristen Suzanne

    Well said on all points, Michelle! :)

  • Ashley

    I didn't even read that, that is a great thing to be able to use the toddler seat as well! I'm showing my hubby that after work. Holiday gift maybe?? ;)

  • Rose

    Your daughter is so beautiful!! I love your videos where she is cooing in the background…so precious!! Quick question for you, does she use a pacifier at all, or do you ever plan on giving her one? What are your thoughts on pacifiers? It seems like every baby these days has one stuck in their mouths…. I always said I never wanted to give my child one, but everyone tells me its a “life saver”. I just wondered what your thoughts were on it? :)

  • Kristen Suzanne

    No, she doesn't use a pacifier. I didn't use one as a child either.

    There are some babies that don't like them and spit them out. That's

    how I was my mom said.

    I've heard it's hard to get them to give it up sometimes. Plus, I've

    heard it can cause nipple confusion. If Kamea gets fussy, which is not

    often, I simply put her to my breast.

  • Our Green Nest

    Hey Kristen! Glad your first outing went well! Quick question, I've been searching maca for an estrogen dominance and wondering what you've found in regard to maca and breastfeeding? I have found ALOT that says it's completely fine (and in fact good) and then plenty that say the opposite (of course:). I remember you didn't eat/take maca while pregnant, correct?

  • Kristen Suzanne

    That's right, I didn't take it while pregnant. Wasn't willing to risk

    it. Same for breastfeeding. I don't see the need to risk it. But,

    that's just me. ;)

  • Rose

    Thanks Kristen! My mom had 6 kids, and not one of us used one….its good to know that not EVERYONE uses one!

  • Kristen Suzanne


  • Julia

    Good for you for honoring your instincts and staying home until it felt right to venture out! I believe all babies, and Kamea maybe even more so due to her super-clean mama and papa, are very sensitive. Sounds like your mama's intuition played a big part in ensuring a successful outing when you were all ready :)

  • magda

    I am due in 5 weeks and looking at strollers too. From what I've read, they recommend strollers that recline flat for newborns. Apparently spending too much time in the car seat position is not good for their development. Does this stroller recline flat? I looked at the stroller seat on Amazon and it looks very much like a car seat. Right now I'm leaning very much towards the Maclaren Techno XT. I'd love to know your thoughts. Thanks.

  • Kristen Suzanne

    The car seat does not go flat but she is only in it a minimal amount

    of time. The stroller seat does recline quite flat and we love it.

  • Kat

    Hey, Tina, I know this comment is a few weeks old but I just wanted to chime in with some support for you. This is my second baby, and since we go out a lot more by necessity (for her big sister) I am doing a lot more nursing in public. It is a challenge to get used to, but the more you do it I find the more confident you feel. It helps to have someone supportive, like your partner or a friend, just to know that they are there in case you get negative feedback. But no one has ever said anything awful to me, I think most people don't even know you're breastfeeding after you get the baby happily latched!

    I use nursing tanks under my shirts most of the time when I know I'm going out, but sometimes just a regular nursing bra. If I am wearing my sling, sometimes I will use the tail to cover my exposed belly and my hand on the baby's cheek helps comfort her and cover exposed skin. You can use the nursing covers if they make you feel more comfortable, or even a receiving blanket or whatever you have on hand, but ironically it might draw more attention to the fact that you're nursing than using nothing at all.

    Research the breastfeeding laws in your area (most states specify that breastfeeding is exempt from indecency laws), grab a friend for support, and take your baby out. Be relaxed and comfortable and I hope that you are able to feed your baby without incident!

  • Jlhoucek

    Hi Kristen,

    I hope you don't mind me adding comments/questions to your older posts as I just recently came across your blog. It is SO nice to be able to read about the experiences of another new mom who shares some of the same values I do! In this post, you state that you hadn't really taken Kamea out much before she turned 12 weeks. Our little girl is 9 weeks and I am terrified of taking her out! There are just so many terrible things out there (toxins, pollutants, etc) and I don't want to expose her to any of it! I don't even want to take her to my husband's parents home due to the fact that they use conventional air fresheners. So my question for you is how do you cope? Where do you draw the line between what you expose Kamea to and what you chose to “let slide?” I am driving myself crazy with worry…

  • Kristen Suzanne

    Hi! Thanks for writing your comment.

    Okay, so first of all, I'm running on mama intuition as my main

    decision factor. If I don't feel good about something, I don't do it.

    It's worked great to do that! ;) I don't blame you much on the air

    freshener thing… I hate those. I always use the excuse they give me

    a headache, which they do! Heck… read this and you'll feel good

    about your decision not to take your baby around that.

    How do I cope? I'm a mama bear, that's how. I'm protecting my

    offspring and feel good about it. The real stress would start for me

    if I didn't follow my intuition, and then later down the road had

    regrets at not being strong enough to speaking my mind and following

    my heart. I'm not crazy with everything. I don't mind her being

    exposed to germs someday, for example, but she can get exposed to

    those more when she's 6-12 months and beyond, as far as I'm concerned.

    There's no need for her to get exposed when she's younger than that,

    if I'm not comfortable with it. Again, that's just my intuition for

    Kamea speaking and I'm happy to go with that. ;) I'm doing what is

    natural feeling for me and at 12 weeks (in the post), I just woke up

    feeling good about taking her out. I take it day by day. Some days I'm

    up for doing stuff and other days I feel right staying in. If people

    give me shit, which they don't really, but if they do, I say, “I might

    not always feel this way, but I do today and this is how it's going to

    be for now.”

    Don't drive yourself crazy with worry. Be confident in your choices

    and as her mama. :)

  • Jlhoucek

    Hi again!

    Got any advice on what to do when Momma Bear and Poppa Bear don't agree on how to protect their offspring? I recently posted a message regarding my fear to bring our little girl to my husband's parents house due to their use of conventional air fresheners. We are supposed to go their house for Thanksgiving tomorrow and I am just sick over it. I asked my husband if we could request that they unplug the plug-ins and refrain from using any sprays or candles while we are there. He doesn't feel like it is necessary and doesn't want to offend his parents. I'm a wreck…Any thoughts?

  • Kristen Suzanne

    I can appreciate your frustration. One thing to keep in mind is that

    toxins and their effects result (usually) from cumulative exposure.

    So, it all adds up over time: air pollution, off gases, air

    fresheners, pesticides, etc. To expose your baby for a short period

    during a holiday shouldn't be too bad. That being said, if you go,

    perhaps you can unplug them a bit from the wall so they're not working

    without anyone realizing it, or turn them down. Blow out some candles

    when no one is looking – lol. Maybe others wouldn't agree with me, but

    I'm just thinking about it… what I might do. Also, they might smell

    so bad that they give you a headache – uh oh – and you have to leave

    early. ;)

    Let me ask my husband if he has any ideas and I'll let you know…