When I brought home Josiah from the hospital, I was so excited to finally be home with my baby, but also a little nervous. What if I couldn't handle being a Mom? What if something wrong happens? It's a scary, exciting time and everyone has their own opinions of what the expect and what you should do. I sure wish I'd had a better idea so, here's a list of 10 helpful tips for bringing baby home!
Bring Baby Home- 10 Helpful Hints
10. Expect the Unexpected – So, you think you will get to sleep 6 hours tonight? Or you have to be somewhere at exactly 3pm? Your world will be turned upside down, but in a good way. Just don't expect things to always go as expected. Some days will go extremely well and other days will end with you crying in a pillow. This is absolutely normal!!
9. Guests, guests, and more guests! - Your friends and family will want to visit you, usually at the most inconvenient time for you. If it's a bad time for you, don't be afraid to put your foot down. It's your baby and your time! They will have plenty of time to get to know the baby so, they don't all have to show up the day you get home.
8. Guests = Germs – 'Anti-bacterial' will become a much more important word in your household! Before bringing Liam home (a preemie), we bought several containers of anti-bacterial hand sanitizer and placed them in just about every room of the house. We knew this would be great for guests and to remind ourselves to constantly wash our hands and keep them as clean as possible. It's not rude to request others to wash hands, take their shoes off, or anything else like that. Your baby will be most important and they will completely understand.
7. My New Best Friend, Coffee – Don't expect much sleep. Your baby will be feeding about every 2 hours and, if you are breastfeeding, those two hours will sometimes run into each other in the beginning. You may feel a little overwhelmed (also normal) so, sleep when you can. Seriously! If the baby is napping, run to the bed and get you an hour in. You will be amazed how much difference an hour can make. I wish I'd learned this lesson when I had Josiah.
6. I'm Sooo Bored – You may expect to bring baby home and have so much fun! Don't expect a party, especially at first. It's definitely true what they say about babies: all they do is eat, sleep, and poop. There really won't be much more going on in their world or yours for about a month or so. Just relax- sit back and enjoy the quiet. There will be a time when you dream about this time, believe it or not.
5. Consider Cloth Diapering - You remember cloth diapers, right? Maybe your own Mom used them, but, I promise, they aren't at all like they used to be. Do some homework, read up about how modern they really are. They can save you a bundle of money and are much, much better for the environment.
4. Get Your Priorities Straight! - So, your house isn't as clean as it was a week before baby was home. So, you've got clothes piling up for the wash. You still need to make dinner and take a shower for the first time this week? Take a deep breath and decide which is most important. I'd probably pick a shower or a nice, hot bath. Get your husband, boyfriend, or family member to pick up some take-out. You deserve it, regardless of what you may think. Parenting is hard work, especially in the beginning. You don't have to be supermom all at once. Take it one step at a time and it will all happen.
3. Baby Stuff Everywhere? - People will recommend so many different items for a new mom, some ridiculously expensive and others just ridiculous. When the baby comes home you will only need a few essentials: diapers, wipes, towels, bath wash, lotion, bottles (if you are using them), and formula (if using or supplementing). On top of that, you just need blankets, clothes, and somewhere for baby to sleep! Toys and other items are not essential at first so, don't go overboard. A few little rattles are all you need in the beginning and even those will not be used for at least a week or so.
2. Wipes & Wipes – You will need to kinds of wipes when you come home. Those for baby and the others for clean-ups. Lysol makes awesome anti-bacterial wipes, which are absolutely perfect for cleaning up messes quickly and efficiently. I use them quite often in our household and love them. It sure beats having to use a spray, get a towel, and go back and forth three times.
1. Don't Forget About YOU! - It's easy for you and others to focus completely on the baby. You have to remember to focus on yourself sometimes. Take time for yourself. Go out shopping by yourself or a friend, get a pedicure, or even just take a bubble bath. Whatever you do, just do it for yourself, without someone else in mind. I went an entire year before I realized none of my clothes fit, I hadn't worn my hair down in months and hadn't gotten a haircut in a year! Don't let this happen for your sake, the baby's and your husband/boyfriend's!
Like I said, you will hear a bunch of useless advice from other Moms, including your own Mom, but there is really only one piece of advice that should ring completely true- TRUST YOURSELF! No book or person can tell you what to expect or what you should do... it just comes instinctually. Don't let anyone make you feel like you are doing something wrong just because you didn't do what they did. Every child is different and only you will know what's best for your own! Lastly, enjoy every single minute because it goes by so very quickly. One minute you are bringing baby home and the next, they are having their 3rd birthday party. It's an amazing journey!