Bringing Baby Home
After a hospital stay you’ll be thrilled to get back to familiar surroundings and get settled into a routine with the newest member of your family.
Leaving the hospital
Have your going home outfit and baby’s packed and ready to put on. Babies can heat up and cool down very quickly so make sure they have the right amount of layers for the weather – not too hot and not too cold.
Baby’s first car trip
Car seats can be fiddly - make sure you have the car seat installed and get some practice in well ahead of time so you can get baby in and out of it quickly.
It’s a learning curve so go easy on yourself
Those first few weeks can be a bit of a blur – long days, sleepless nights and “baby brain” can all take their toll so you may not be firing on all cylinders. Don’t try to take on too much and ask for help if you need it.
Introducing baby to brothers or sisters
If you have other children at home, it’s important to make sure they feel included (a little present from baby can work wonders). Get them involved where you can and enlist them as “helpers” with nappy changing or feeding. Try to spend some one-to-one time with them too so they don’t feel left out.
Your family and friends will all be dying to meet your new arrival so you’ll probably have a lot of visitors. Schedule visits at times that suit YOU and don’t be afraid to make them wait if you’re feeding the baby. Don’t feel under pressure to have the house tidy and buns baking in the oven (you’ve done enough of that already). Instead, why not put them to work? Show them where the kettle is and let them make you tea.
Accept ALL offers of help
Don’t be a martyr. People are only too happy to help so accept it if they offer. If you’ve had a C-Section you’ll need to take it easy so ask for some help with the housework. Get someone to cook you dinner or give you something for the freezer.
Sleep when baby sleeps
It’s easier said than done with the house in a mess and a million other things to do but if you can manage to grab a few extra hours sleep here and there you’ll be better equipped to deal with all those night feeds.
Look after yourself emotionally
You may be recovering from a difficult birth and your hormones will be all over the place so it’s only natural to feel like you’re on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. Talk to your partner and friends about how you’re feeling and let them know if you feel a little overwhelmed.
Don’t feel you have to be perfect
There’s no such thing as “the perfect parent” and parenting is a learning curve for everyone. Just do your best and you’ll get into the swing of it in no time.