You’ve read the books and articles, watched movies, attended classes, but you still feel unorganized and overwhelmed. Take heart. Everyone feels this way when preparing to have their first baby. This guide outlines a few things that will help you feel more in control during those few days between having the baby and that first day back home.
Make sure you have a bag packed. Do this at about 30 weeks of pregnancy and keep it by the door or in the vehicle. It should contain a change of clothes for you including, a comfortable nightgown, nursing bras if you are nursing, a few underclothes (remember you might need a size or two bigger than normal to be comfortable), socks for when the room gets cold.
You will also need toiletry items, a camera, notebook, and the clothes that the baby will come home in along with diapers and wipes.
You also need a car seat that is installed correctly. You can go to any police or fire station and they will make sure the seat is safely secured for free.
It would be a good idea to have some meals made up and in the freezer. You won’t feel much like cooking those first few days back home. Maybe have some friends start a meal schedule where they can sign up for different nights to bring you food.
Baby needs a bed. It doesn’t have to be in a fancy nursery with a 10’ mural of Peter Rabbit. He just needs a bed to sleep in. It could be a crib or bassinet; it could be in his own room or yours.
In the Hospital
Once at the hospital, have Daddy make note of the room number and have him call the family. You are going to be way too busy to worry about those details.
After the baby arrives, it is ok to change into a gown that is more comfortable for you. If you are a nursing mom, make sure the gown is accessible and you have nursing bras with you. You will want the extra support the bras give you.
Take a lot of pictures for the baby book! Some even have spaces for “Baby and Mommy on the first Day” or “Baby in the nursery.”
Enjoy your baby in your room 24 hours, or have the nurses take care of him during the night so you can sleep. Either way is acceptable and you should in no way feel guilty for wanting some sleep between feedings.
It’s time to come home! On that last day, change baby into what he will wear home. Be sure to get some pictures! It might feel nerve wracking, but the nurses are there to help and answer any questions you may have. Try to remain calm and baby will be calm. You can take all the disposable things in the room like diapers on the nursery bassinet, wipes, and feminine products from the bathrooms.
Make sure you have a ride and that ride is on time. Only have people waiting to visit if you are ready for that. Don’t feel pressured to host a houseful the day of the homecoming. Most of all, enjoy the time. Take things slow. Savor every moment.
Tina Richards is a mother of 4 and mommy-blogger who loves to write about various parenting techinques as well as newborn adivce.