It was just you found that you’re pregnant, and the 9 months passed like a whirlwind of joy and worry, and
before you knew it, it’s already time to bring that little bundle of joy home. Prepping for the baby’s arrival is not so rainbows and roses for you mums as so many questions run in your mind!! How will the labor be? How long will it last? Will my baby be healthy? Will I be a good mother? How will I manage everything?
While you need to do many home preparations for the arrival of your newborn, you need to prepare your mind and body too, as to what you need to do when your little one enters the world. Post-delivery your body may see a lot of changes, so getting yourself ready physically, mentally, and emotionally is very important too Mumma!!
Everyone adjusts to life with a newborn, and so will you, so there’s nothing to stress about!! The first few days and nights with your baby may affect you very strongly, and you may not know how to deal with it. But making a plan will greatly help you settle into the routine with your munchkin.
Bringing your little bundle of joy home
Bringing your baby home from the hospital is going to be one of the most exciting days of your life. This is important for all parents especially the first-timers, to know and plan all things beforehand. Here are a few things that you can do, which will help you smoothly transit from the hospital to motherhood.
Schedule up a follow-up appointment with your pediatrician
Make sure that before you leave the hospital, you schedule a follow-up appointment with the pediatrician for your baby. ṁ
The ride from the hospital to home
This would probably be the last thing that you would be worried about but is equally important. While you pack your hospital bag, put in loose-fitting clothes as you won’t be able to fit in your pre-pregnancy clothes so soon. Also, sometimes the babies are overdressed as it being their 1st ever trip home, but make sure to dress your baby in comfortable clothes as you would dress yourself. Pick an outfit suitable for the season. Don’t dress them in knitted clothes if the weather is hot or humid. If you plan to come home by car, install a proper car seat with help of the store expert. The car seat will not be of help just for a day, but even for future travels with your baby till 3 years of age. If you’re planning to install a car seat, then do this a few weeks before your due date, to avoid the last-minute hustle.
Clean your home
Clean the room/area where you plan to set up your little one’s nursery. Clean the room with help from family members or caretakers with gentle cleaning products to avoid exposure to any harsh chemicals to the baby. Continue the cleaning procedure daily even after the baby’s arrival, to ensure a healthy and dust-free environment.
Make a room/wardrobe/cabinet for your newborn and their daily essentials
If you don’t have a separate room for the baby, set up the nursery in your room. While you may need to rearrange your room to make space for the baby, make sure you place the crib/cradle/bassinet at a place that is safe such as away from windows, heavy shelves, electrical cords/wires, and home decor things. Also, remember to put all your baby essentials in a separate wardrobe/cabinet for easy access. You can divide the baby essentials into three parts first one is the clothes, second the diapers and wipes, and the third, the bath/massage essentials, and if possible label them so anyone in your house would be able to help you better. Take a separate box for keeping the toys and a separate dustbin for discarding the used diapers. Stock up on clothes, diapers, wipes, blankets, and burp cloths before birth or if you don’t want to buy before birth, keep a list ready and let your partner or any family member know where to get them from.
Make sure you place the following things in the respective rooms:
Living room: Rocking chair (optional), stroller
Kitchen: Bottles (if bottle-feeding), bibs, cups, plates, silverware
Wardrobe: Daily wear and swaddle clothes, diapers, bath/massage needs
Bathroom: Baby tub, baby toys, soap, shampoo
Baby’s first bath
Consult your doctor before giving a bath to your baby. Usually, the doctors suggest giving a bath to the baby only after the umbilical cord falls off which usually takes around one to two weeks. Until then only sponge baths should be given to the baby. Once the cord falls off, give a bath to the baby on alternate days. Keep the naval area of the baby clean, until it gets healed completely, this will help prevent the risk of infections to the baby. The umbilical cord may change color but if you feel a discharge coming out or redness in that area, consult your pediatrician.
Arrangements while putting the baby to sleep
Most of us mothers plan to share our bed with the baby. But doctors recommend that at least for the first six months or till the first year, the baby should sleep in your room, either in a crib, cradle, or a bassinet with a firm and fitted mattress with a bedsheet covered on it. Do not get your baby in your bed as it is NOT RECOMMENDED. Do not keep stuffed toys, blankets or any pillows in the crib. Always place your baby on their back, while sleeping, even if you are swaddling the baby. Once the baby starts rolling over, stop swaddling.
Breastfeeding and lactation support
If you want to breastfeed, you would have mostly understood about it during your hospital stay. But even if you haven’t don’t stress about it as it needs time and practice. For some mommies, breastfeeding can be challenging, but you can seek support from the hospital lactation consultant even after being discharged from the hospital. If you wish to pump the milk and give bottle-feed or formula feed, you can seek help from the lactation consultant for further guidance.
Make your home babyproof
Though it’s still time for your newborn to crawl, keeping your home free from bumps and bruises will help you in the coming months as you will be habituated to do it. If you have pets at home, try and get them the smell of the baby with a cloth from the hospital before discharge, so that the pet doesn’t get aggressive when the baby arrives home. Never allow your pet to be near the baby without any supervision.
Hand over the work or hire house help for support
Even if you feel that you’re a super mom, and no one except you knows what to do and how to do, trust people around you and delegate work to them which will make motherhood easier. Never say no to help or food, if someone is genuinely offering you help, do not hesitate at all to take it. You should think about maximizing help from people around, hire help for household chores so that you can rest adequately, and spend all the time with your baby and family.
Ensure that your older children do not feel left out
Bringing in a newborn baby home can be a life-changing event for the sibling as well. So you must prepare the elder child as well about what’s going to happen and why Mumma will spend a little less time with them. Explain to them that Mumma needs to take care of his younger sibling as they are too small to do things on their own. You may notice some anger or jealousy as they will see you busy with your little one, but you need to cheer them up and guide them on how they can help you to take good care of the baby. You can involve them in simple activities or tasks related to the baby like asking them to get you a diaper or help you while bathing the baby, which will make them feel important and useful, and also spend one on one time with them. Ask them that how they feel about their newest sibling and help them talk about their feelings, and tell them constantly that Mumma loves them a lot.
The Health Of Your Family Members
The health of family members or caretakers should be checked, as newborn baby can easily get infections from others as their immune system is not developed completely. If anyone has cold/cough or any allergy, keep them distant from your little one to avoid any consequences.
Visitors: Family and friends
Though sounds simple, but you need to plan about visitors coming home to see the baby. Your family members and friends would be too excited to meet the baby, but let them know that you still need some time to adjust with the baby and home, and you will let them know when would be the best time to pay a visit. Don’t worry, that they would feel bad about it, as even they understand that coping with a newborn takes time.
And lastly, plan out some time for yourself, talk to your husband, family members, or friends, or meditate, whatever you wish to. Motherhood is challenging, but planning beforehand will help you settle as a new mother easily and manage your tasks efficiently when the baby enters the world.