In a Matatu With My Six Week Baby

I am just from having a conversation with my friend Rhoda Kawira and we were talking about the cookout happening this coming weekend then all of a sudden she gets a slight panic attack, hahaha because we realize that for the very first time she will have to take a ‘jav’ with our little princess A. This is the one of the most frightening moment for most new mummies because we all know how matatus can be hectic especially when you had to carry the baby bag with you plus your handbag and woe unto you if you do shopping on the way of watermelons and potatoes, not to forget how the matatus can be quite stuffy and hot, then when you least expect it the baby decides to do a poop! No! I am not trying to scare anyone but maybe I should give out a few pointers when you ‘jav’ with baby for the first time.

I remember my own experience, my very good friend mama Manuela was having her SURPRISE baby shower and baby was only 6 weeks and we had walked together in this confusing path and I just did not see how I would miss the look on her face when she walks in and finds everyone seated, guess what? We forgot the shoes outside so it kind of had her guessing something was going down inside the house. Smh! The look on her face though was priceless until we thought baby would come sooner than expected. I took a matatu all the way from Ngong to Thika road with a six week baby, things we do for love 🙂

I know probably you are wondering why I couldn’t just leave the baby at home with expressed milk, wouldn’t it have been easier? I tried to express but I guess because of the excitement I was getting a few drops so I decided I will just have a mini road trip with the baby and plus baby had to see Manuela. On the way back home however, baby did a little poop in the matatu! Sigh! I just sat there like whose baby is that? Definitely not mine. Hahaha I learned from experience though, best teacher alive. Now I am a veteran, I go everywhere with him, mummy’s handbag things.

Some nice things to consider:

  1. Make sure the baby is comfortable, this means do not overdress them. Have you seen how some ladies walk into the bus with a blanket, the heavy one and the bus itself is stuffy and they are busy telling the baby to stop crying, no mummy! The baby is hot. As my baby says, “oto mummy to” that means “moto mummy toa (I am hot mummy, remove it)”.
  2. Change the baby’s diaper after you reach your destination. Alternatively if you feel the diaper is not yet ‘full’ you can just remove it for a while and that will help them relax. Then you can continue with your agenda of the day.baby-bag
  3. Carry one bag with you. Preferably the baby bag. You can put your personal belongings inside as well; this is just to make it easy for you to move around since you have less weight to carry.
  4. Avoid sitting next to an open window. This is because of the cold air that we all know is not good for our babies. You do not want to be battling with a cold after.
  5. Do not let strangers hold your baby. Have you ever encountered those strangers who see babies and just stretch their hands faster if you are seated next to them or keep touching baby’s hands, lol. We do not know where their hands have been. In the most polite manner tell them no, you don’t like that.
  6. When you reach home ensure that baby takes a bath to relax so that he can sleep well. You can finish off with a massage, always works magic.
  7. When he takes a ‘dump’ in the matatu, relax! You will get there soon because honestly that is what I did. Imagine trying to change him and the way the buses are sometimes driven recklessly and how unstable they are plus how uncomfortable people will be in that matatu. However again, ensure that you leave them for a while before you give them the next diaper change.
  8. Choose a quiet bus. Now being a young mother you may still want to prove that you are young but do not enter a bus that has loud music with baby or funny flat screen tv’s where they put up obscene pictures because those images will get glued to your child’s mind and that music will damage his ears. Plus it is his first time, so the noise may be quite shocking to him.
  9. I prefer you sit next to the conductor so that will give you ample time to shout your stage way before and they always inform the driver if it is a mother and a baby alighting. Instead of sitting too far and then you have to hurry while alighting.
  10. Carry an umbrella or something e.g a hat that will shade your baby from the sun.
  11. Carry something to entertain the baby if he will be awake during the travel time.
  12. I lost baby’s shoe once while travelling so I would advice you take off the shoes and you can have them wear them later on.

Any other tips you would like to share with fellow mums on using the bus for the first time with baby?

Now, Rhoda knows what to do :p Hope this post helps someone 🙂

  • Gertrude O.

    I fret at matatus but what do we do when it’s the ”ONLY” means of transport for majority of us.
    I realised this, travel at a time when not many people are travelling. What do I mean? Off – hours travel!
    And if the baby is too small, like a three week four week old baby, I’d sit with her or him or even them in the farthest corner of the bus especially if I’m not alighting along the way, crazy woman you’d say. At the corner, no one touches my baby, I can open the window when it’s becomes too hot, cover the baby well, I can get some air, no one touches my baby so I don’t need to explain so many details and all …hehe.
    I must admit, I cover my babies too much I even make fun of it but I love to travel with them a lot from very tender weeks!

    Otherwise, as a newbie to your blog, I enjoy reading your articles so much.
    Oh another tip, avoid matatu travels, buy grocery from your locality or send someone or do some online shopping, can be a pain or buy in bulk!. For some air, walk within your neighbourhood, there are always nice sites to see around us.

  • Gertrude O.

    Baby wear your baby comfortably, preferably at the front, using a moby wrap or lesso, shuka, choose a seat that’s comfortable ( I prefer at the back when i’m going to alight at the last stage), Avoid travels anyway, do grocery shopping in bulk or buy from the local shops if you can though a little expensive. Send someone, what are pals for or even family if they are there!

    Anyway, stay comfortable and hydrated all the time, helps to calm those stressing moments which are unavoidable. Above all, enjoy your baby and yourself!

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