You may have been preparing for nine months, but bringing your baby home from the hospital for the first time can still be a daunting experience
While baby doesn’t come with an instruction book, there is still some advice that you can take on board….
You don’t need to be a psychiatrist to work out that every new mother wonders how she’ll cope when she comes home with a newborn. Even those coming home with their second or third baby have concerns about coping with a newborn and their older siblings.
While things may have been plain sailing in the hospital, coming home is the crunch. You need to be able to concentrate on your baby and on getting yourself fit and rested, so a bit of preparation beforehand is a great idea.
Here’s our list of recommendations:
First of all, stock up on plenty of plain towelling babygros. These are relatively inexpensive and can be bought in a variety of colours and styles. They’re all your baby really needs for the first few days, so if you’ve already had a child or know someone that has, then feel free to use their hand-me-downs. Whatever you do, don’t even think about trying to keep up with the washing every day, because you won’t!
If you work on the basis that you need approximately six vests, seven babygros, two cardigans, five pairs of socks or bootees, a warm hat for a winter baby and a sun hat for a summer baby, a shawl or blanket and scratch mittens, you should be well covered.
When it comes to nappies, you’ll need to decide whether you want to use terry towelling or disposable nappies. Some brands now offer a ‘newborn package’, which is designed to provide you with everything you’ll need for the first few weeks. You’ll also need to have barrier cream, a changing mat, nappy sacks, white cotton wool and a changing bag.
From a purely practical point of view, before your due date, fill the freezer and stock your cupboards with easy-to-prepare but nutritious food. Freeze bread and make sure there are plenty of clean towels. Think of it as being a bit like being snowed in. That way, when you do go shopping, it will be for nice things like fruit or perishables that aren’t going to weigh you down as you get to grips with negotiating your newborn around the supermarket in their pram.
Make sure you have all your phone numbers saved on your mobile. Stay in touch with friends and relatives by text and email and, when your baby-day gets a bit hard going for you, invite someone round who will not only remind your that your baby is gorgeous, but who may bring some home-made soup with them!
Don’t ever think that you’ll fall straight into a routine! No-one does. Few newborn babies sleep or feed to a strict timetable, so just go with the flow and rest when you can.