It is natural for new parents to feel a little apprehensive about taking their newborn baby home from the hospital. It will be the first time you will be with your baby without a room full of nurses at hand and you don’t know whether you’ll be able to cope.
Although most parents do cope and six months down the line they don’t even know what they were worrying about, there are several steps parents can take in bringing a newborn baby home from hospital to help ensure that the transition from hospital to home runs smoothly.
* When you pack your hospital bag make sure that it includes clothes for going home in for both you and your baby. For yourself pack comfortable, loose fitting clothes, as it is unlikely that you’ll have returned to your pre-pregnancy figure by the time you’ve left the hospital!
* Many parents have a tendency to overdress their newborn for the trip home from hospital through worry that their baby may be too cold. Layers are the key as it may be cold outside but then warm once the car gets going. If your baby is therefore wearing a hat to get to the car it may be wise to remove the hat once he is inside the car to prevent him from overheating. The same could be said about a thick babygrow or coat.
* Blankets are often favourable to putting lots of heavy, warm clothes on your baby, as blankets can be more easily removed.
* Ensure that your baby has had a good feed before you leave the hospital to go home as there is nothing quite as disturbing as pulling up at your house for the first time with your newborn who is screaming because he’s hungry!
* Most hospitals won’t let you leave with your baby unless he is strapped correctly into a car seat. Make sure your baby is securely fastened in his car seat correctly before you leave the hospital. If you are unsure how to use the car seat correctly this is a good time to ask one of the midwives to demonstrate.
* It goes without saying that you shouldn’t drive yourself and it is wise to sit in the back with your baby. It also goes without saying that your partner or whoever is driving takes extra care when taking your newborn home from the hospital, after all you have precious cargo on board.
* Make sure you have asked the midwives everything you need to know about feeding, burping, changing, bathing, etc., before you leave the hospital.
* Ensure that you have made arrangements with your health care provider about when someone will be visiting you for your baby’s first check-up.