When you've spent the last few months in that new-parent bubble - physically, emotionally (not to mention hormonally) attached to a small dependent infant, it can be easy to forget what it is to be a fully-functioning adult in the real world.
Those first few outings without your baby can be daunting to say the least. Simply walking down the street can feel downright odd with no pram to push or baby to talk to.
"I felt like I'd had my right arm cut off the first time I left my husband in charge while I went to the hairdresser's," says Ally, 27.
Louise, 31, compares her first outing without her baby to those first few disorientating moments when you walk out of a dark, quiet cinema with your mind still in the film and step into the bright, noisy reality of the foyer.
Then, of course, there's the small matter of holding normal, intelligent conversations with grown adults in real-life situations... without breaking out into baby speak or quoting Mr Tumble.
When you do take the brave leap, it's the little new-parent habits that have become so ingrained in your psyche you don't even know you're doing them that will be the dead giveaway...
More:Baby's First Year
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