Your first post-baby night out is usually something that you long-for and dread in equal measure. There’s the excitement of having some much-needed time to yourself, and the all-consuming terror about leaving your helpless little one with someone else for the first time…

Don’t go far

Not because you’ll have to race back to help the babysitter or because of an emergency, but because if you do venture far, you’ll spend the whole night stressing about the fact that it will take ages to get home in the extremely unlikely event of any of the above! Put your mind at rest by going close to home so that you can relax safe in the knowledge that you can be home quickly if needs be.

Don’t talk about the baby all night

It’s almost impossible not to fall into this trap, and whilst a certain amount of baby-talk is inevitable, varying the conversation a bit will help put a bit of perspective back into your life and enable you to really feel like you’ve had a break.

Do consider your clothes carefully

Be wary of anything that’s too tight around the bust, or is susceptible to changing colour when wet. Not because you should cover your modesty now that you’re a mum, but because if you’re breastfeeding your boobs will gradually get bigger as the evening progresses. And if you make the mistake of wearing a silk shirt like we did on our first post-baby night out, you’ll quickly discover that leaky boobs and silk really don’t mix! Likewise, anything that’s too tight around the stomach or nether regions will end in nothing but painful chafing after an evening perched on a bar stool…

Do choose your childcare carefully

If you’re going to relax at all on your evening out, try and choose childcare that you’ll feel most comfortable with. So if that’s a grandparent or uncle or aunt, try them first. If you have to use someone outside of the family perhaps a babysitter who’s been recommended by a friend, or a member of staff from the nursery you’ve got your child’s name down for (if you have) because at least you know that way that they’ll have all the relevant training and checks. If you don’t have family close by, lots of new mums organise babysitting exchanges with their new mum friends, whereby you babysit for them one night when your partner is in to have your baby, and they do the same for you in return. At least you’ll feel confident in their ability to handle a baby the same age as yours…

Do have a drink

While we’re not advocating the health-benefits of alcohol here, we’re simply suggesting that if the last three months are anything to go by (or more if you take into account all those months you were pregnant) you bloody deserve one!

Do manage your expectations

If you expect to be dancing on the tables until 3am you may be disappointed. If it’s your first night out you’re likely to still be in the sleep-deprived stage. That, coupled with the sheer exhaustion of having a newborn means that whilst you might be so excited about being out that you go crazy, it’s more likely you’ll be flagging early and back home in bed by 10pm!

Don’t text constantly

You’ve decided to leave your baby in the safe hands of the babysitter/your partner/mum for a reason – because you trust them. So as difficult as it is, try not to fall into the temptation of texting them all night to check the baby is OK. If there’s a problem they’re sure to be in touch. So try and go with the mantra that no news is good news and enjoy your evening.

Don’t feel guilty

Having your first post-baby night out can bring sheer relief – at getting some precious time to be yourself again, and crippling guilt – about leaving your baby for the first time. But remember that it’s actually good for your baby to bond with other people, and you need time to feel like person in your own right. Plus, do you remember any of the nights that your parents left you when you were 3 months old? Exactly! No harm done!

Do pace yourself

The first night of freedom can feel a bit like an adrenaline rush to the head. You step outside the front door and for the first time in at least three months you haven’t got a baby attached to your hip (or boob). In the rush of excitement it’s easy to knock back the wine without thinking as you savour that much-needed drink. It might not seem such a good idea when you’re woken at 3am for a feed, and 5am and 7am. Killjoys, us?