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You did it, you superhero! You just conquered labor and delivery and have stepped into the wonderful world of motherhood.
The most precious gift you will ever receive is nestled in your arms and you just know life will never be the same again. In fact, you can barely remember what life was like just a few days ago without your little one! Now, you’re repacking those hospital bags to head home as a family. From here on out, your priorities will change. You will be on your toes around the clock, take my word for it. This new chapter is going to be an overwhelming, sometimes frustrating, often challenging, but absolutely the most rewarding period of your life. We’ve put together a checklist to help you smoothly transition from the hospital to home.
1. Nurse your baby 30 minutes before leaving the hospital
30 minutes will give you enough time to feed, burp, and change your baby while also keeping them satisfied long enough to last the car ride home.
2. Dress your baby in their 'Going Home' outfit
In our blog Hospital Bag List we recommended packing a special outfit for you and your baby to wear home. You’ll be taking lots of pictures of this momentous occasion so packing ahead of time helps you two effortlessly look your best!
3. Run your car for 10 - 15 minutes in advance to get a comfortable temperature for your newborn's first trip
Running your car’s A/C or heat before you hit the road ensures your baby will be safe and comfortable for your trip. In addition, make sure that your is car ready with the installed car seat base, window shades, baby view mirror, and your other accessories before you head to the hospital to deliver.
4. Be ready to feed your baby when you get home
The excitement of a car ride, travel, and a new place can be tiring for your newborn.
5. Pack a snack to eat on your way home
During pregnancy, you probably started carrying snacks with you. This is a great practice to continue into motherhood. Keep some granola bars or other high-protein snacks on hand for a quick energy boost.
Getting house ready for baby can also include getting carpet shampooed, air ducts clean up, filters changed to avoid any allergens. Getting house clean by professional cleaners can also give you the peach of mind of having a sanitized house as you come back home from the hospital. Plan to get your house cleaned at least a week or two before your delivery date. A professionally clean home may provide a sense of clam and allergen free welcome to your newborn
7. Ask someone to record your baby's first homecoming
Put those cute outfits to good use! This is a special moment in your family’s story and it will be a wonderful keepsake to look back on. Plus, we know your nursery is already prepared to perfection after using our All You Need to Know About Setting Up Your Nursery [link] post!
7) Most importantly a camera for pictures & videos for those high quality enthusiasts, otherwise a smart phones works just fine!
9. Know your boundaries
You will probably have some very excited friends and family eager to come over and help you. You should absolutely ask for help if you want or need it! They can help with the meals, clean up, laundry while you take care and bond with your baby. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to let people know you’re not ready for guests! You are allowed to let your friends and family know you don’t want guests coming over for the first week or so (especially during flu season!). You’ll be adjusting to motherhood, a new schedule, and still recovering from labor. You and baby will still be around in a couple of weeks!
There you have it! Now that you have labor and bringing your baby home in your rearview mirror, you can focus on all of the beautiful things ahead of you – settling in as a family, your first outing, bonding with your baby and partner. A word of advice, whenever this new way of life seems more difficult than you expected, look back on all of the difficult things you’ve already championed and remember you are the best person possible to take care of your baby!