Becoming a parent can be intimidating and scary. And with so much happening before your newborn can come home, it can be hard to think ahead or remember a plan. You may have children or pets waiting at home who will also be adjusting to the new addition. You may also be overwhelmed with friends and family overly eager to visit. Don’t stress and be ready with these tips for bringing baby home.
Be mindful of clothing for the trip home
Prepare for the baby’s trip home with comfortable and simple clothing. Light cotton fabrics are great for summer while warmer snugglier clothing is good for winter. Make your life easier by choosing a simple outfit that is easy to take on and off.
Those who delivered should have loose-fitting clothes for themselves. It takes about 6-8 weeks for the uterus to return to normal size after birth so keep those maternity clothes on hand.
Schedule the first check up
Schedule your newborn’s first check-up quickly. It’s best if it can be scheduled before leaving the hospital.
Have a car seat for the drive home
Make sure you have a proper car seat. If your baby has spent time in the intensive care unit, consider having it looked over. Doctors will be able to tell if it will work for your baby’s specific needs. If you’re borrowing a seat, make sure it’s under 6 years old, functioning properly, and hasn’t been in a car crash.
Check out our blog all about car seats for more detailed information.
Keep an open schedule
Don’t stress over keeping your time to yourself and reducing how many engagements you attend. Adjusting to life and the schedule of a new baby can be tough. And this is a wonderful time to enjoy bonding with your newly expanded family unit at home.
Be ready for baby's crying
The first bout of crying at home can be challenging. This is because babies cry for 1-5 hours within a 24 hour period. And they cannot always be consoled. Don’t be afraid to call in a close family member or friend to help out.
And keep in mind that these bouts will gradually decrease over time and will pass.
Introducing baby to their siblings
Introducing a baby to others siblings can cause some jealousy. Make sure to spend time with all your kids when returning home. You can engage them in tasks to “help” their new sibling. A simple task like grabbing a diaper or a snack for the new baby can make them feel helpful while also spending time with you. Another idea to reduce jealousy is bringing the big brothers and/or big sisters a gift the day baby comes home.
Introducing baby to pets
Pets respond best by being introduced via scent. Have someone take home a blanket with the baby’s scent on it while you’re still at the hospital. This way your pet is already familiar with the baby beforehand. And remember that pets should never be kept alone with newborns.
Accept visitors at your pace
Having a lot of family and friends over can be more stressful than helpful. Don’t feel bad about accepting visitors slowly. This is a time to prioritize your comfort and rest. You may still be recovering and healing from delivery.
To keep the pressure off, you can set up automatic email replies and voicemails. They can be a simple message about how the new parents and baby are doing and that you will return calls and messages when it’s convenient.
Reducing baby's exposure to illness
Since a newborn’s immune system is not yet fully developed, it’s okay to be cautious. Don’t accept visitors that are or have recently been ill. And ask that all wait to visit until they’re no longer contagious. It’s also okay to urge people to wash their hands before holding a newborn.
Calling the doctor
Doctors and pediatricians are prepared for all kinds questions from new parents. Even if it’s not serious and you feel the urge to ask your doctor a question, it’s best to just call instead of worry. If your baby is exhibiting severe symptoms like high fever, or labored breathing, don’t hesitate to go to the hospital.
While becoming a new parent can be overwhelming and stressful it’s also very rewarding. There are so many good things to love and appreciate during this time. Focus on the delight of meeting your new bundle of joy. And spend time with your partner to share in this new and exciting chapter together.
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