Bringing your baby home for the first time is a scary and exhilarating moment for any new parent, here’s how to prepare
Along the emotional road to parenthood you have surely asked yourself the same theoretical questions as millions of new parents before you. Will I be a good parent? How will I cope? However, when preparing to leave the hospital you will be surprised how fast these concerns will turn into practical questions. How will I get baby home? What do I still need to get for the first week? Read on to find out how to be prepared in any situation.
When packing your hospital bag, don’t forget to bring clothes for the trip home. There is no point in packing your size 10 jeans either. Plan to bring loose-fitting and roomy clothes, preferably with a drawstring waist for comfort. Plenty of mums are still wearing their maternity clothes two and three weeks after birth and for the next two to six months, be prepared to wear clothes that are at least two sizes larger than your pre-pregnancy clothes. Dressing baby Babies are frequently over-dressed for the trip home. There is a knack to dressing a baby and it will take you a couple of weeks to get the hang of it. Avoid too many layers or complicated outfits as too much pulling at your baby will stress him. Stick to a babygrow, a hat to keep his head warm and keep a couple of baby blankets to hand, which can easily be added or removed to keep him comfortable. Keep connected Before leaving the hospital, ask for the direct number of the maternity ward and the name of a nurse or two (and their shift hours) that you call from home if you have an important question. And if you haven’t already made arrangements with your baby’s health care provider, make sure to ask when the baby’s first checkup should be scheduled before you leave the hospital.
Car seats are a legal requirement and definitely the safest means of bringing your baby home – it is never safe for one of you to hold the baby in your arms while the other drives. You or your partner should take a bit of time installing the car seat before you go into hospital to make sure it is correctly fitted – plenty of shops will help you do this if you are having difficulty. Some mothers prefer to settle the baby into the car seat while still in the hospital, and then install the seat in the car with the baby already in place. Do not forget that you should never place the car seat in front of an airbag. Pediatricians also advise against leaving the baby in a car seat for several hours.
Depending on your labour and delivery experience, you are likely to be feeling drained, sore and very tired – and of course your hormones are likely to be all over the place as well. Your partner may be feeling a little left our or confused and awkward and you are both likely to be nervous and excited about the enormous changes and challenges ahead. The key is to keep everything as simple and laid-back as possible. Keep visitors to a minimum for the first few days, no matter how eager they are, in order to allow you some time to find your feet and develop a routine.
Worrying about your newborn’s health is the most natural thing in the world. Your baby will boast plenty of lumps and bumps in the first few months and unless your are psychic, you will find it frustrating trying to interpret his cries. However, where your baby’s health is of concern, you can never be too careful. If you feel you need to call your G.P. you should do so, especially if you notice something unexpected or different.
Don't miss a thing, register to our newsletter!
On this website we use first or third-party tools that store small files (cookie) on your device. Cookies are normally used to allow the site to run properly (technical cookies), to generate navigation usage reports (statistics cookies) and to suitable advertise our services/products (profiling cookies). We can directly use technical cookies, but you have the right to choose whether or not to enable statistical and profiling cookies. Enabling these cookies, you help us to offer you a better experience.