Well, well, well. Look who threw on a clean pair of maternity jeans and decided to venture out with baby.
You have high hopes, which is all well and good, as long as you temper expectations! Taking an infant anywhere can be a gamble, especially when you’re exclusively breastfeeding.
Sure, the boob beats mixing and toting bottles (and it’s ideal for baby, etc. etc.). BUT breastfeeding out in the world can be tricky. Even in this era of #freethenipple and #normalizereastfeeding. All the societal support in the world isn’t going to cradle your ever-growing baby while you position yourself and your boobie to maximize comfort and minimize gas.
Now, back to you and your brand new backpack diaper bag. You’re ready for a fun morning out, and you’ve picked the epicenter of coolness as your destination: Downtown Austin! Seems like a good idea on social media, so let’s go.
But first, parking.
The garage under Trader Joe’s (Seaholm District) is super convenient. Plus, you can get a discount if you make a purchase at TJ’s on your way out. If that’s full, try the adjacent lot, also off Seaholm Drive under the Gables Park Tower.
And then, coffee.
I did a giant, unnecessary circle looking for the right spot to fill my caffeine tank and also give baby a little post-car top off.
After passing over a slightly crowded Merit coffee (cold brew is excellent), I stumbled on the tucked-away Juan Pelota Cafe inside Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop on 4th & Nueces.
GUESS WHAT, YOU GUYS? Not only does this cafe/ bike shop have a stroller-friendly restroom for paying customers, THERE IS A SHOWER inside.
Obviously intended for use by hardcore cyclists, these showers are like a desert mirage come true, should your baby be sitting in a massive diaper explosion of poo. (Shit. My bad.)
Back to the coffee: It was delish, and the empty patio gave me a quiet place to nurse and still people-watch the passers-by.
Now, maybe… shopping?
You’re feeling good, baby’s feeling good. Why not head south for two blocks and then hang a left on 2nd street, right where the action starts.
Cruise past some delicious looking lunch spots (Flower Child’s organic, grass-fed menu looked pretty killer) and bookmark them for a daytime date — but I don’t recommend stopping. Between high-top tables and French bistro chairs, these places are better enjoyed sans baby and con bebida.
Instead, spend your dollars on the extremely
overpriced cute graphic tees at Austin Rocks.
Bonus: They have cushion-top rock benches out front for all you side-lying feeders! Wooooot! (You haven’t been this horizontal in downtown since you puked in the alley behind Chuggin’ Monkey.)
Memorialize this trip with a selfie.
Further down 2nd you’ll find Toy Joy (for fun) and Eliza Page (belated push present?). Or, personal recommendation here, you can just snap a selfie with the Willie Nelson statue on the corner of Lavaca before using one of the very posh restrooms inside Trace Lounge at the W Hotel.
Roof deck!!! (But not that kind.)
Now that you’ve purchased a few souvenirs, it’s time to loop back around to the new Central Library (between 2nd and César Chávez, by the City of Austin power station) and and wander around the massive, museum-like building before finding your way to the incredibly awesome roof deck. Grab a book and a seat and feed that baby.
Last call for food and followers.
Now, for the last stop on your grand tour. You’re tired, you’re hungry, you’ve still got to get home because — lol — you sure don’t live around here. So, before you load up, stop into Trader Joe’s for some ready-made snacks and a giant fucking water. Also, BRACE YOURSELF.
I walked through the sliding doors and immediately doubled back thinking I had accidentally made it past the PAs and stumbled onto a working commercial set. A Millennial Woman 18-25 in a long, floral maxi dress was riding inside her boyfriend’s shopping cart, like a carefree toddler. No less than 15 pilates/ yoga/ barre instructors were all buying alkaline water. Thirty-something men in coastal-living attire made me wonder if Austin was the next Santa Monica. Is this where Influencers buy mochi and sweet potato chips? Yes, yes it is.
I bought a salad in a cup and got out as fast, as anyone would.
There’s this lovely little AstroTurf greenspace just outside, so I posted up on a shaded bench and fed my baby one more time while everyone around me gave zero fucks.
It was pretty nice.
So, there you have it. The new-moms guide to hanging out downtown all comfortable and chill like you Air B-n-b’d a million-dollar condo for the night and have nothing better to do.