Monday, 27 June 2016

Out & About - Pizza, coffee, and nappy changes!

At 16 days old, we ventured out for the first time with Oskar. Despite previously going to our local breastfeeding group, we hadn't been on a proper day out, and we were missing our date days! 
We did have a few reservations about what it would be like going to places we would have gone to pre-baby, with a baby, so decided to report back for other new mums! 
We will be writing a few 'Out & About' posts, talking about places we have found which are, or aren't baby friendly!
We will mainly be discussing chain stores and restaurants, so that they will be accessible to most people.
This week we wanted to do something we did often pre-baby - lunch and a wander around the shops, so we went into our usual day out town centre of Solihull, visiting Pizza Express, Starbucks, and John Lewis.

Firstly - be prepared! We don't feel our baby bag contains a huge amount compared to what we've seen other people pack, but expect it to grow once toys and snacks are needed! Here's what our bag contains:

  • Clean cloth nappy inserts and wet bag
  • Cheeky Wipes cloth wipes in their Fresh bag, and the Mucky bag for dirty ones.
  • Muslins - for burping, general baby spit/vomit wiping (parenting is glamourous!), and also to use as a cover up when breastfeeding if Lauren is wearing a particularly open top. 
  • Expressed breast milk in bottles, and Medela Calma teats - we put these in the bottle holder for convenience.
  • Clean baby grow and vest
  • Burts Bees cream to powder nappy cream
  • Keys, purse, lipbalm, phones! 

Our first stop was Pizza Express, as we were starving! Our first issue was locating a lift in the shopping centre - something we had never had to contend with before! Luckily this was easy enough, and we were soon outside our destination.
Pizza Express has an offer of £5 main courses for o2 customers, and they do lots of yummy veggie and vegan stuff - sold! 
We were greeted warmly at Pizza Express, and our server offered to find us a table that had lots of space for our pram, which was great. Oskar quite happily slept throughout our whole meal! We noticed a lady sat nearby with two young girls and were impressed at how good the waiting staff were with children. (We were also impressed the girls either had colouring books or chatted to their mum instead of being glued to iPads!)
We found Pizza Express extremely baby and child friendly. 

After a stroll around the shops (navigating shops with a pram can be quite challenging, especially in cramped shops such as h&m!) we stopped for our essential Starbucks pit stop!

We were really impressed to see a notice stating that Starbucks are in partnership with the National Childbirth Trusts Parent Friendly initiative.
 Starbucks are the first high street retailer to be awarded Parent Friendly status by the NCT, and around 800 of their branches (including the one we visited) will display their charter. The charter states that parents will be given a warm welcome, assistance, and a safe, comfortable place to feed their baby, whether this is support from staff for women who are breastfeeding, help with equipment when bottle feeding, or a child that needs a high chair (high chairs are provided). How amazing! We think our 11.5yr tradition of Starbucks dates will long continue! 

Our final stop was John Lewis, as we love their children's department. We also needed to change Oskar, and thought John Lewis was bound to have changing facilities.
And they certainly did! We expected a baby changing toilet cubicle type affair, but instead were pointed towards John Lewis' Parent Room. Complete with seperate toilets, a row of changing tables with changing mats and sinks, nappy bins, and nappy vending machines selling emergency nappies for 50p! There were also two comfy feeding areas which felt quite private, and had a water dispenser. Impressive! 

Our first outing was a huge success, and definitely gave us confidence in venturing out in future. Being prepared is key, as well as working out where lifts are, where changing facilities and comfortable feeding places are, and learning to manoeuvre a pram around! Overall we were impressed at how child friendly places we visited pre-baby are, particularly Starbucks. 
Here's to many future adventures!

1 comment:

  1. Totally get where you're coming from seeing the kids with colouring books instead of iPads... The other day on the train I saw a young boy with his older sister and mother on the train & it made me happy to see him pull a book out of his bag .

    Glad your first trip was a success & John Lewis Parent Room is amazing!!!!!! The only time I've ever experienced a problem with "baby duties" was with my local KFC... Who refused to give me hot water to warm a bottle... Even though they sell tea & I was willing to pay that price... The staff were rude & unhelpful. I hope you never have to experience that kind of behaviour p.



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