Bringing baby home
Congratulations on your new arrival. In most cases you have had a few nights in hospital on the maternity ward with Midwives giving you lots of support and tips for your newborn baby. Now you are ready to leave hospital and are heading home. We have put together some information you may need to know about that first night at home.
The idea of bringing baby home, of the absolute unknown, of all the ways that your life is about to change in perhaps the biggest way to date, can be overwhelming. Don’t worry many new parents feel like this. Does that feel like the understatement of the year? We hear you. For first-time parents, the idea of being solely responsible for the tiny human you’ve just created isn’t just daunting, it’s incredibly, monumentally scary. Once you leave the hospital, there’s no turning back. Aside from your village (family and friends) you guys really are entirely on your own.
But here are all the reasons you’ve got nothing to fear. Consider, first, that people have been doing this for a very, very long. You’re not the first, and you’re certainly not the last, to face the daunting first night home with baby. More importantly, even if you aren’t perfect (and nobody is and ever will be), we can assure you that you’re not the worst. Just the simple fact that you’re reading this means something, so you’re already way ahead of the game. And to help you ease into things, here are a few pointers.
First thing’s first: Home base
So much of what goes into leaving the hospital actually comes before you even step foot inside the hospital. Preparing in advance for your newborn’s first day at home will make the transition smoother for both you and newborn baby. Baby needs a safe place to sleep as well as a place for you to change their nappy and clothes. Good idea to ensure your change table has the may essentials you will need on hand including nappies, wipes, clothing, and a soft and sturdy changing pad cover. Before you can even think about transporting baby anywhere, they will also need a car seat. It is imperative the car seat or capsule meet Australian Safety Standards. If your due date is approaching, make sure that your home is baby-proofed ahead of time and that you have all of your essentials on-hand before bringing home baby. For sleep-deprived nights and days that seem to have no end, make sure you’re prepared.
Leaving the hospital
Many hospitals require that your car is fitted with the appropriate car seat or capsule before you and your baby can be discharged. While this is just to make sure your little one doesn’t have any issues while seated in it, it can feel like an inquisition as you fiddle and fumble with the belt clips. Try to familiarize yourself with your car seat before the pressure’s one. Also remember to make sure that baby has proper clothes to leave the hospital in. Dress them comfortably and appropriately for the weather and time of year. Plus, it’s always good to keep a change of clothes, extra wraps or a blanket on hand in case of any messes or unexpected weather changes.
First night at home
The first night home with your newborn baby will seem scary, but come morning you’ll be saying “we made it” with high-five’s and sighs of relief. That may be due, in part, to the fact that there won’t be much sleeping. Baby’s schedule will take time to develop, but because your schedule is very well-developed, it’s a massive adjustment. It may be frustrating, but don’t be overly alarmed if you find your newborn baby crying all night. Because it’s an around-the-clock affair, one in which is lights off for the rest of the world and the rest of your household too, invest in a good night light that allows you to see when everyone else is sleeping. To aid in that first night at home and make your best effort at a chance of sleep, make sure you also have a swaddle and have learnt the best way to wrap your baby. Babies can wake themselves up with what’s known as the Moro reflex, an involuntarily response to a feeling of falling. When done right, swaddling can help decrease these startling movements and spontaneous awakenings while encouraging longer periods of sleep.