So…you’ve just given birth: so much happiness, so much excitement, so much to worry about! And though you’ve probably spent the last couple months thinking about this life-changing moment, you probably actually haven’t given that much thought to actually bringing your newborn home from the hospital.
If you’re like many moms-to-be out there, you’ve done your research and gotten everything prepared for birth. But it’s the time after labor that’s sometimes forgotten, leaving you confused and overwhelmed when it’s finally time to bring your newborn home from the hospital. So before you get lost in the piles of information online, here is what you need to know about bringing your little bundle of joy home.
The first car ride
As soon as you leave the hospital, the very first step is getting your newborn home safely. Having the proper infant car seat isn’t just essential to keep them protected, it’s also required by law. No matter how short the trip, holding baby on your lap or keeping them unsecured in the car is never safe.
When looking for a car seat, find one that will properly fit your newborn who doesn’t yet know how to support their neck. A combination such as the Doona Car Seat & Stroller will provide security for your little one, while making it easier for you to get them in and out of the car, especially in the days following birth.
Dressing your baby
Picking out your newborn’s very first homecoming outfit is so exciting as a new parent. Although it’s definitely okay to find that perfect bow to match their onesie, you also need to consider their comfort. When first leaving the hospital and for your first day home with baby, simpler is better. Avoid complicated clothing, and remember that infants get cold easier than you, so dressing them in one more layer than you’re wearing is a good rule of thumb.
The first few days are all about bonding with your baby. Everyone will be excited to meet your little one, but you’ll want to take this time to get comfortable in your new routine, so it’s perfectly okay to limit guests. Infants typically aren’t shy around new people, however they may become overstimulated, so having only a few people at a time is best. When you do welcome guests, be sure everyone washes their hands, as your baby hasn’t fully developed their immune system yet. At the end of the day, this initial period is all about you and your family, so get plenty of rest, and don’t stress about entertaining visitors.
You can never be truly prepared for the first few days at home with your baby. However, gathering all the essentials ahead of time will help the adjustment go a little smoother. Be sure you are stocked up on diapers, bathing supplies, pacifiers, swaddle blankets, and all the other baby must-haves. Spending a little extra time getting organized before baby comes will give you more time and energy to focus on bonding during those important first few days.
As a new mom, it’s hard not to stress over everything. Going through this transition period for the first time is scary and overwhelming, but it’s important not to spend your time worrying. If you do notice signs something may be wrong, such as baby skipping feedings, a cold that won’t go away, or a rash, call your healthcare professional. It will take time to adjust and you may not nail down a consistent schedule right away. Your family members and infant are all adapting right along with you, and it can be exhausting. So go with the flow, give yourself time to rest, don’t rush the process, and enjoy this time while you have it.
If you have other children, be sure to introduce them to their new sibling with intention. Help them feel involved, and allow them to assist with the baby where they can. Keeping them engaged will get everyone excited about the new addition, and lay any feelings of jealousy towards the baby to rest.
Things may not go exactly how you planned, but cherish these first few days with your baby. Knowing what to expect can help make this transition period as smooth as possible, so you can focus on enjoying this exciting time.
At Doona, we’re dedicated to making parenting simpler, easier and more enjoyable. It’s just our way of saying thank you to all the parenting superheroes out there. Happy parenting!