By Amelia Mae Cunningham
Blogger and Freelance Writer, talking honestly about motherhood and family life. After finding out she was pregnant in her final year of uni Amelia set up her own blog where she shares her experiences – we’re thrilled she’s chosen to work with MAM Baby UK
The anticipated wait for your baby’s arrival is finally over and it’s time to take your bundle of joy home. What will be the happiest time of your life, will also be very overwhelming. Taking your baby out of the hospital and into the real world is exciting but there is a lot to think about and with a to-do list as long as your arm, sometimes new mums need that little reminder, to breathe and simply, take in the chaos. Before we know it, our tiny babies won’t be so little anymore and they will be growing up right before us.
In the meantime, motherhood awaits, and here are some top tips for the first week of being at home with your new baby.
LEAVING THE HOSPITAL
When the midwives have signed you both off and you are ready to walk through those hospital doors into the big wide world, your newborn will need to be ready and snug. It can be easy to get carried away planning their going home outfit but avoid all the frills and keep it practical, simple and most importantly warm. There will be lots of time for dress-up fun. So for that going home outfit (and for the first few weeks)…
- Start with an all-in-one vest over your baby’s nappy.
- Layer with a soft sleepsuit with feet to keep their little toes warm and snug.
- Opt for a fleece to go over the top.
- Finish with a newborn hat and scratch mittens.
THE RIDE HOME
You would have most definitely spent a lot of your spare time during pregnancy researching car seats before finally deciding on one. But something you may want to consider practicing strapping in with a teddy. With every baby-related gadget, furniture, and product, you want to ensure you are completely happy with the functions and how it all works to avoid any stress when your baby arrives. When the time finally comes for you to put your baby in the car for their very first drive home, you will know exactly what to do. You might find you are a little nervous but your chosen chauffeur will be extra careful and you can hold their little hand the whole way.
It is completely normal for friends and family to want to put a date in the diary as soon as possible to come over and visit you and your new baby. In these uncertain times you might find that visits are reduced down to immediate family peering at baby through a window but if you are not up to even this, it’s ok to put it off until you are 100% ready. Whilst you probably dreamed that you would jump at the chance to show off your newborn, you might find that actually, you could do with a few more days. If you want to say no, if you want to put it off, don’t feel guilty. These are some of the most precious days of your life. Soak it in, people can wait!
Once you do feel up to it, and government guidelines permit, spread the visits out so it’s not all at once and you can keep things manageable while you and baby are getting used to your new routine. Having a support network is a great thing and can bring lots of comfort without you even realising it!
Feeding can be one of the biggest challenges when you go home with your baby. You may receive feeding support at the hospital so being at home with your baby without that immediate help in the next room can be a little daunting. Whether you have chosen breast or bottle, it’s important to remember that every decision including this one, is best for you and your baby. Try not to worry as there are feeding groups that you can go along to and in your going home pack there should be an advice number to call with any questions you might have about feeding your baby.
It’s important to take every day as it comes with a newborn, every child is different and you will eventually start to establish a great feeding routine with your baby.
THE FIRST NIGHT …& BEYOND
You are warned that you will kiss goodbye to 8 hours of interrupted blissful sleep once you have a baby, so you are aware, but nothing can actually prepare you for the sleep deprivation. Your little one will most likely wake for a feed every 2-3 hours and even when your baby is sleeping during that first week, you will probably find that you won’t get much sleep either as you will be constantly checking on them!
There is a hope and like with feeding, you will of course establish a routine but it takes time and all babies are different. There are lots of support resources out there, from baby and parent groups in your local town to online support, don’t be afraid to ask for advice and reassurance.
The days might feel long but the first few weeks of your baby’s life will fly. So enjoy every precious moment while it lasts.
You’ve got this mama! xx