After bringing your baby home from the hospital, life can be a bit of a snuggle session blur. Here are the most important things to do the first few weeks of bringing your baby home.
You’re finally bringing your baby home! Bringing your baby home can be a bit of a whirlwind. It’s heavenly to be in your own bed without nurses checking on you at all hours, but it can also be daunting to be completely in charge of this tiny creature without medical professionals to help.
You’ll feel a mix of emotions when you first bring your baby home and you might not feel like yourself much initially. It’s okay to let the house be messy and ignore cooking, cleaning, and everything else when you first bring your newborn home (well, except the baby.)
Make sure you grab these postpartum essentials to help you recover and feel like yourself again1
There are just a few important things you’ll want to take care of in that first week or two now that your baby is home. The rest of it can wait.
Here’s our list of the most important things to do once you bring your baby home from the hospital.
Top Things to do After Bringing Baby Home
1. Take it easy
I had a C-section with my daughter and I remember trying to jump back into my old self immediately once we were home. We had put all our hospital bags at the bottom of the staircase. Without thinking, I went to grab all the bags and head upstairs. As soon as I did, I realized, “Oh, crap, I might not even be able to go up the stairs at all!”
Remember that you just had a human come out of you, no matter how you delivered. Your body is still recovering. Try to take it easy those first few
days weeks. You don’t need a clean house or a home cooked meal. You need to settle into your new groove, read the best advice for new moms, and start the path to feeling like yourself again.
2. Write down your birth story
I have a horrible memory. There are parts to Evelyn’s birth story that I don’t remember happening, like at all. Luckily, I wrote it all down within that first week. Now, I know what really happened, even if I don’t remember it. Giving birth is such a whirlwind, and so is coming home. So it’s understandable that you might forget what happened in the hospital. Jot it down that first week while it’s still fresh in you or your partner’s mind so you can look at it later and remember all the beautiful and—let’s be real—traumatic memories.
3. Get dad involved
I think moms tend to take on the bulk of the responsibility with a newborn in the beginning. Perhaps it’s because breastfeeding is only something moms can do, or because the baby came from us, so we feel 100% responsible for it.
Regardless, I think it’s important to get dad involved early on. Dad and baby need chances to bond as well. If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, there are still many things dad can do with baby: skin-to-skin snuggling, changing diapers, bathing baby, and cuddling. Get dad involved early on so they can bond and so you can truly feel like a team.
4. Get newborn pictures taken
I put a deposit down for our newborn family pictures when I was pregnant and I was so glad I did. When it was time to take the photos it was the last thing I wanted to do. My daughter was 10 days old and I was a hot mess. I would have chosen anything over putting on real pants and smiling for the camera.
But now, those newborn photos are some of my very favorite. My daughter looks purely angelic in every single shot. We also got a few photos of all of us. And while we look incredibly awkward and tired, it just reminds me how far we have come since becoming new parents. Seriously, look at us as a family!
5. See a lactation consultant
If your milk is in and baby is latching and eating perfectly, then you can skip this one. But for most new moms, breastfeeding is a learning curve and takes time to master. Reach out to your insurance to see if there is a lactation consultant you can see. It can be so helpful to get latching and breastfeeding tips early on.
6. Add baby to your insurance
While you’re on the phone with your insurance, make sure to add your baby to your policy. It was pretty simple for us to do. They usually just need the baby’s name and date of birth. Most policies require that you add a new baby within 30 to 90 days of the birth. Just do it while you’re on the phone with them and you can check that off your list.
Having friends and family members bring you meals is lifesaving those first few weeks. Takeout gets old fast and thinking about what to cook for dinner is the last thing a new mom needs. Meal Train and Take Them A Meal are free websites that are easy to use. Ask a friend or family member to organize one for you if they haven’t already.
8. Send in paperwork for baby’s birth certificate
The hospital should have given you some paperwork to mail in to get the baby’s official birth certificate and social security cards. Make sure to pull this out before throwing that giant stack away. (Seriously, why do they overwhelm new moms with so much information?) Send in the correct forms and when the birth certificate and social security card arrive, put them in a safe place.
9. Take people up on their offers to help
If people offer to help, let them! Whether someone offers to watch your baby while you take a quick nap or vacuum your floors, God bless them! My mom was willing to do an overnighter at our house and do all the night feedings and I never took her up on it. I was such a control freak that I was worried that somehow she’d mess it up! Let me tell you, the second time around I will be taking her up on that offer. You need caring for during this time and there are people who want to care for you. Let them!
10. Find Support
Many hospitals offer support groups for new moms. I would urge you to attend at least one of those classes. I never did, but I think if I had, I would have adjusted better, knowing I wasn’t alone. Reach out to friends who have kids around the same age as yours. It can be so helpful to have someone walk beside you who knows what you are going through. Even friends with older children will never forget those postpartum days and can encourage you and offer support.
What are some of the things you are so happy you did after you brought your newborn home? Leave a comment below with your tips!
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