Your baby’s homecoming from the hospital is a special occasion. To make this first journey as stress-free as possible, keep the following things in mind:
Leaving the hospital
Pack comfortable and weather-appropriate outfits for both yourself and baby in the hospital bag. Choose something roomy and light for maximum comfort as you might have just delivered. Be mindful of not overheating the baby with too many layers unless it’s cold.
Determining the pediatrician
As a new parent, it’s important to find a pediatrician you feel comfortable with. You can meet up beforehand and get to know him or her better. Ascertain when the baby’s first checkup should be scheduled before you leave the hospital. Most hospitals and pediatrician offices provide “warm lines” for new parents to call with questions and concerns about breastfeeding, bathing, umbilical cord care and any other concern.
Baby’s first car ride
The most important item for heading back home is a child safety car seat. Every state mandates parents to have one before departing from the hospital, as it’s one of the best ways to protect your baby. Keep in mind that most hospitals require you to bring in your car seat so the staff can ensure its safety.
Even for a short trip, it’s never safe to hold your baby in your arms. Practice installing your car seat in advance. Operating them can be tricky, and the last thing you want is to struggle with the car seat while holding your newborn in the hospital parking lot.
Ready all essentials before coming home
Having everything ready prior to your return with your new baby can actually allow you to sit and relax without hustling to find these essential items. Make sure to stack up diapers, swaddling blankets, extra baby nightgowns and onesies, a bassinette along with extra sheets, umbilical cord care materials, and your favorite snacks.
Take it as it comes
Try and spend some alone time with your partner before heading home or soon afterwards so you both are prepared to step into this stage of your life together as a brand-new family.
It will take time to feel comfortable with a baby’s different cries, swaddle effortlessly like the nurses and feed the newborn, especially for breastfeeding moms. Babies can sense tension and anxiety around them, so try to relax and go with the flow.
Introducing the new baby to friends and family
Don’t hesitate limiting the number of guests initially. It will allow you to take some time to rest and acclimate yourself with your new baby. Request anyone who’s sick to wait until they’re feeling well and no longer contagious before they visit. Older siblings also need to be eased into the process, as they will be experiencing a myriad of emotions as well. Don’t forget your pets, especially in the case of a first baby. You can bring a baby blanket home from the hospital to get your pet used to the baby’s scent. Never leave the baby unattended with your pets until they are used to your new routine with the baby.
Sovereign Health of Arizona is a leading behavioral health center, devoted to the provision of evidence-based treatment for substance abuse disorder and mental illness. Our aim is to see our patients not just succeed in treatment but thrive in their normal lives as well. If you or a loved one is in need of professional help, call us right away.
About the author
Sana Ahmed is a staff writer for Sovereign Health Group. A journalist and social media savvy content developer with extensive research, print and on-air interview skills, Sana has previously worked as an editor for a business magazine and been an on-air news broadcaster. She writes to share the amazing developments from the mental health world and unsuccessfully attempts to diagnose her friends and family. For more information and other inquiries about this article, contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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